New local author hopes to help businesses increase profitability

New local author Jon Umstead thinks if you’re a business consultant, then writing a book is like street cred: serious, successful consultants prove their mettle by developing profitable, proven business plans.

In his new book “Business Is ART,” Umstead explores a formal business plan based on his own experience in the business world.

“Most business plans are geared toward large companies, and I wanted to create a plan that starts with vision, and I didn’t see any plans that had the full package,” Umstead said.

Small businesses are Umstead’s target. If a company uses a business plan, its chances of success increase 30-50 percent, Umstead said.

“I’ve really started to look at this as almost a moral imperative, because most businesses in the U.S. have no planning process,” Umstead said. “Most businesses don’t have formal plans, it’s too easy not to, and they’re too complex. I think a lot of what’s out there is so academic in nature it just doesn’t speak to them.”

But Umstead doesn’t want to just speak to those in business management, he also wants to help them achieve tangible business goals. In June, Umstead hopes to complete and release a subscription-based software for “Business Is ART” that assists business leaders with planning and creating business models.

Umstead said he wrote “Business is ART” to entertain and also inform, and hopes it will stand out among other works on business planning.

“I want literally anyone to pick it up and get something out of it, and a lot of business books are just so dry,” Umstead said. “It’s also not based on academic research, it’s based on my own experience.”

Before working as an independent business consultant, Umstead worked for Covance, a contract research organization in Kansas City. When it was acquired by the Computer Sciences Corporation, Umstead spent some time growing the company before returning to the place he grew up: Dayton. The business model he used during his time at CSC is discussed in “Business Is ART.”

In addition to his new book, which is sold by Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and “a slew of independent booksellers,” Umstead hosts a radio talk show called “Business Is ART” to discuss various business topics, answer questions, and give advice. He is already working on a second book to share business leaders’ personal stories and advice.

I’d certainly approach it from a business angle, but I think it will appeal beyond business,” Umstead said.

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