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Hurdle: The Book on Business Planning Paperback – July 1, 2006


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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Everybody in business should have this book. You're not
going to find a simpler, better, or easier to follow book on business
planning, no matter where you look." -- Jim Blasingame,The Small Business Advocate, 10/7/98 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Publisher

This book is written by the author of award-winning Business
Plan Pro and Business Plan Toolkit software. Buy the book and get your money
Back with a $20 discount on the software. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 232 pages
  • Publisher: Palo Alto Software, Inc; 6th edition (July 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0971218528
  • ISBN-13: 978-0971218529
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 7 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #368,834 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Although back when I went through business school they were training us to be either consultants or middle managers at large companies, I always liked small business, startups, and entrepreneurship better. I always liked business planning because it's about designing the future in detail and then, when done right, managing the pieces to make it happen. Planning to me is not about the document, but about the goals, metrics, milestones, accountability, and, ultimately, management.

I'm a bit jealous of the "lean startup" meme because 1.) it's real, practical, and appropriate for our times; and 2.) I think my 'Plan-as-you-go Business Plan' book had the same idea for business planning in 2008, but it gets a lot less buzz.

My main claim to validation is having done it: I've bootstrapped a company to 40 employees and multimillion in sales with profits and no debt (Palo Alto Software) and also founded bplans.com, FreeTheNumbers.com, and Eugene Social at eugene-social.com; and I was a co-founder of Borland International. I also have a Stanford MBA degree and a lot of blog posts, magazine articles, and several books published.

I'm blogging on my own blog, Huffington Post, Amex OPEN, gust.com, smallbiztrends.com, and Up and Running. To consolidate all my blog posts in one place I'm using a powered Rebelmouse site to consolidate them all on http://blog.timberry.com. And my main blog, where I've posted about 2,000 posts since 2006, is "Planning Startups Stories" (http://timberry.bplans.com). I also have a business and consulting site, with some speaking samples, at http://timberry.com.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
5 star
82%
4 star
18%
3 star
0%
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See all 11 customer reviews
This was a very easy and clear read.
S. Nascimento
Tim Berry has purchased three of my business plans for publishing in his Business Plan Pro software system and this book comes with that plan.
Martin C. Mongiello
Reading the Hurdle book can help you to make sense of all the details of a business plan.
David and Suzanne McClendon

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 7, 1999
Format: Paperback
This is the most pragmatic, easy to understand, and easy to follow book for creating a business plan I have found yet. "Hurdle" is designed for those that want to benefit from what a business plan can offer their business. The chapter "About Business Numbers" is the best I have read to understand the numbers behind a business and how they relate to the business plan. A quick read, a great resource, and a sound business investment. After reading "Hurdle", I wouldn't plan without it.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By S. Nascimento on January 17, 2002
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This was a very easy and clear read. The best book on business planning that I have ever read. It's refreshing to know that you don't need a MBA to read and write a clear business plan. Great examples and figures throughout.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By B. Vongrabe on August 22, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I needed to write a business plan for a service organization. Since it was back in 1988 when I wrote my last one, I bought six books on the subject. One was absolutely useless, two were written by people who had obviously never operated a company, which suggests to be careful when buying books on the subject. One was ok, one reasonably good, and Berry's was the best of all of them, though not perfect. At least it caused me to think like an investor who reads the plan before giving his money to people who he doesn't know from Adam.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Steven J. Roy on February 7, 2009
Format: Paperback
"The value of a (business) plan is the decisions it influences..."
Stanford Professor Emeritus, James March
Quoted by Tim Berry in Hurdle

"He is obviously a genius. He agrees with me."
Steven J Roy, after a wine tasting...

Hurdle emphasizes creating and implementing a working business plan-something quite different from the sterile, academically-correct document many business plan guides espouse.

Hurdle provides excellent introductory coverage of

* Cash flow planning and its relation to profit planning;
* Goal setting, milestones and accountability; and includes
* A section on capital sources that is as realistic as it is informative. (What are a startup's chances of getting venture funding? Slim to none.)

Hurdle also includes the only presentation of variance analysis I`ve seen in a business plan book.

It has always baffled me why business plan authors/instructors think it is absolutely necessary to know, to at least four significant decimal places, that your company controls a miniscule share of a very large market. Apparently, Berry (A co-founder of Borland International) has felt the same befuddlement.

Hurdle spends few words on how to correctly quantify, e.g. your market share. It says a great deal about how to present what is useful (or practical) to your plan's intended audience. If you follow Berry's guidelines, you won't produce a "plan" that gets shoved into a drawer and remains there,testimony to your prowess with internet searches, word processing, and spreadsheet software and a memorial to your ability to follow meaningless instructions. Instead, you will learn about your business and convey that knowledge to your audience.
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Format: Paperback
This book was pretty good. It is currently in its 5th edition, and acts as a marketing tool for the author's software called Business Plans Pro. In fact, this book comes free with the software if you purchase it. Personally, I am not a fan of business plan software because I think it allows the user to think of a business plan as artwork rather than a research paper assignment. But that's just me.

As business plan books go, this is a good one. It is well outlined, well written, and informative. It includes the following six parts:

1. Fundamentals
2. Tell Your Story
3. Gathering Information
4. Forecasting
5. Financial Analysis
6. Strategy and Tactics

It also includes two sample business plans, a workbook for helping to prepare a business plan, and a glossary of business plan terms. I especially liked the price since I found it as a free download off the Internet last week. 3.2 MB in size, but the price was right.

Anyway, I had a few problems with the book. Business plans are supposed to be handbooks that tell entrepreneurs how to turn their business models on paper into business models functioning in the real world. And a business model is a profit model that is a system that allows the business owner to extract cash from her customers while creating a profit that she can live on. Anybody in business knows that if they don't have customers, then they don't have a business. And anybody who stays in business knows that they have to have a sound marketing plan that finds prospects for their business that can be converted into customers. This book is lacking because it does not cover how to research a marketing plan or to write one. For me, this was a BIG problem.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By David and Suzanne McClendon on August 21, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Hurdle is a fairly comprehensive book on business planning. So far it is the best I have found.

Reading the Hurdle book can help you to make sense of all the details of a business plan. It helps you to think about the different areas of writing a business plan.

If you can read Hurdle in the version with the color charts, like is on the Business Plan Pro CD, it is easier to make sense of the charts. Several of the versions recreate the charts in black and white which makes it difficult to read them.

Before you begin to write a business plan you should read five books. The first one would be Frank Bettger's How I Raised Myself from Failure to Success (Infinite Success Series). This book is a must read for everyone no matter what business they are in. The second book should be From Idea to Success: The Dartmouth Entrepreneurial Network Guide for Start-Ups. The third book should be The Art of the Start: The Time-Tested, Battle-Hardened Guide for Anyone Starting AnythingThe fourth book should be this one. Finally the fifth book should be The Plan-As-You-Go Business Plan. Fortunately three of these books are bundled with Business Plan Pro 15th Anniversary Edition.
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Hurdle: The Book on Business Planning
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