"The Instant Business Plan by Gustav Berle, Ph.D., 12 steps to creating a business plan. The book offers instructions on what bankers want, adapting your own business to fit a sample plan, and financing secrets. Also included are tips from the Small Business Administration." -- Minority Business Entrepreneur, June 1997
"The Instant Business Plan, 2nd Edition. This second edition updates information on the 12 basic steps to creating a business plan. From locating sources of cash to simplifying the business plan process, this provides a strong key for creating a business plan which confirms to professional standards." -- The Bookwatch, April 1997
"The Instant Business Plan. Business author Gustav Berle, Ph.D., has revised and expanded the 2nd edition of The Instant Business Plan. It offers detailed instructions on what a banker wants to see in a plan, how to adapt your own unique business data to fit a ready-made plan outlined in the book, financing secrets, pitfalls to avoid, and all the forms, examples and worksheets you need to create a professional business plan. With a solid business plan you position yourself to more easily start or expand a business or borrow venture capital." -- PhotoStockNotes, October 1997
"The Instant Business Plan: Twelve Quick and Easy Steps to a Successful Business, 2nd edition. This step-by-step blueprint offers detailed instructions on: what a banker wants to see in a plan; how to adapt your own business data to fit a completely worked out plan provided in the book; financing secrets from behind bankers' walls and from inside the Small Business Administration; pitfalls to avoid; all the forms, examples and worksheets you'll need to quickly and easily create a professional plan." -- The Newsletter on Newsletters, October 1997
From the Publisher
During the past few years the use of a business plan in starting a small business or making application for a business loan has become requisite. This trend has been accepted virtually all over the commercial world.
Having a business plan is good for the entrepreneur as well. Without it the business person might be traveling in a strange land without a road map. The problem is not with the acceptance and the logic of the business plan, but with the assumed complexity of it. It need not be complicated, however.
In Germany, France, England, Russia, Italy, Latin America or Scandinavia the need of a business plan is the same. Business is conducted in almost every country very similarly. Money is needed and money is borrowed in every country under similar circumstances-you ask for a certain amount, you offer proof of your need, you present the lender with security or collateral, you make arrangements to pay back the loan and you pay interest.
The preparation and presentation of a business plan only details the need and offers proof of the borrower's viability and ability to repay the loan. It also shows that the entrepreneur is a professional, is serious about running the business, and has prepared well. This book will show you the way-with a minimum of confusion, double talk and unnecessary detail.
In this book the authors are making two assumptions:
...that you are a small-business person who wants to go into an enterprise of your own, expand a business you already own, or want to borrow money from either a personal or commercial source; and
...that you have a general idea that a business plan is desirable, even necessary (if you are going for a loan), but that you need more guidance and specific help.
There is rarely one single way of preparing a business plan. However, there are some specific ground rules that the authors have developed. In this book they have narrowed down the why and how of preparing a business plan into 12 easy steps.
What is a business plan anyway? Your blueprint. Your map. Your statement of plans and hopes. Your compass. Your guidepost or guidelines to planned action. Your business philosophy backed by realism. Your current and futuristic X-ray of your business. Your reminder system. It is all of these and more. In a previous book, The Small Business Information Handbook, author Gustav Berle offers the following detailed explanation:
"To plan and operate a successful business, it has always been necessary to have a business plan. In recent years it has reemerged as a major topic of business talk, as if it were a unique discovery. What is a business plan? It is your guidepost for your business's existence, your road map that shows you how to go forward on your road to success, your blueprint for building your enterprise, and the key that can open the door to your bank loan. Without a viable, complete, credible business plan, as an owner you are groping in the maze of entrepreneurship. With your business plan, you become a professional. It can lead to riches, or it can reveal to you pitfalls that you have ignored. Revealed pitfalls are not unconquerable stumbling blocks-they are incentives for you to do more research, learn more, do more checking, rein-in enthusiasm until your knowledge catches up with it. Your business plan is the heart of your business's start."
You need a business plan: when you want to start a new business; when you want to correct a losing trend; when you want to expand a business; when you want to sell or pass on a business; when you want to get a loan.
The latter reason is generally thought to be the most important one, even though in practice it is not. The most important consideration especially when you are asking for somebody else's money, is management... in short: YOU.
We will cover the "You Factor" later in the book Here we will consider the first reason as the one that most entrepreneurs need a business plan. Again, a couple of reasons mandate this emphasis. For one, many new companies are incorporated each year, and perhaps twice as many just start up a business as a sole proprietorship or partnership, without the legal umbrella known as a "corporation"; abbreviations that signify corporate limited-liability status include "Inc.," "Corp.," and "Ltd," as well as GmbH (German for Gesellschaft mit beschrnkter Haftung, which means, quite literally, "company with limited liability"), N V (Dutch for Naamloze Vennootschap), Lte. (French) and SpA (Italian). It is at startup that a business plan is most vital, and here is where we'll cast our spotlight. At the genesis of a new business, we sometimes need to pull on the balloon string to bring the airborne, free-spirited sphere back to earth a bit.
Business ideas are often generated over the breakfast table, while lolling on a beach during a vacation break, or at a moment of frustration with the status quo. This idea is then developed into an embryo with further discussion and research, soul-searching and questioning. The formation of the fetus, the final stage before birth, becomes then a matter of intense activity. Unfortunately, business starts, unlike the majority of births, do not have a definite gestation period. Some businesses are stillborn or do not survive through adolescence. Those that mature into adulthood after five years, amount to a bare 20 percent. We can aid the survival rate by developing a business plan. But instead of thinking of the business plan as a lifesaver to be tossed to us by a banker or business consultant, why not use it to construct the business from the start, along sound and firm lines?
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