Friday, October 21, 2005

How to Really Create a Successful Business Plan

I got this book because I am ever thinking about starting a business or two. Who knows when that will actually happen. But I have started reading the literature. This book is a workbook. This particular edition is copyright 2003, which makes it pretty recent. The cover says it features actual business plans of Pizza Hut, Ben & Jerry's and others. First off the whole Ben & Jerry's thing didn't do anything for me because I don't like to support neo-communism. My second thought is that Pizza Hut et al are really big and make starting one's own business (presumably a small business) seem pretty inaccessible. But that was a first impression, and the book's exercises are largely pretty useful.

The book takes you through picking out which kind of business plan matches your business (kind of like whether a person should use a functional or a chronological resume). Then it talks about asking the key questions, knowing your market, knowing whether there is a market, and evaluating your financial positions. The thing that is good about this approach is that they teach a principle and then give you several real-life examples, which is clearly a good way to teach something. Then, proverbially, it finishes by having you "work the plan."

I have taken a class on this kind of thing at the National Women's Business Center here in Washington, DC (even tho I am not a woman) and they have classes that are very good at treating these issues. However, if you are more of a booklearner, but still want to put yourself through some rigor, this book is probably a good choice.

By David E. Gumpert
ISBN# 0970118171