I‘ve been helping entrepreneurs and business owners like you for more than 40 years — mostly from within our Business Power Tools software apps and templates, and thru my blogs and book, "Business Black Belt."   My “Hero’s Journey” started In the early ’80s, I was the electronics buyer and a copywriter for the Sharper Image catalog. Later, I also sold some really cool word-processors in Silicon Valley. After Macs and PCs became popular, I started my own business creating sales literature for tech companies. A friend had a deal going to sell his engineering software to Apple. They wanted to see his business plan to be sure his company would stay in business to provide future upgrades and support. At the time, I viewed a business plan as an elaborate brochure that sold his concept to people at all levels, and responsibilities with various perceptions, biases, and interests. (I learned that from selling word-processors.) We got the deal. Over the next year, people came to me with some brilliant ideas, but their plans weren’t getting funded. I helped them fill in the missing parts to succeed. Along the way, I saw that business plans have a fundamentally universal structure. Hmmm…    What if I took all the content I’d developed, redacted everything proprietary, but filled in the blanks with a variety of customizable multiple-choice options, and offered it as a software template that many people could use?    This became BizPlanBuilder, the first of its kind, and my new company took off!    Inspired to help others build businesses that would make our world a better place, we became our own Guinea pigs seeking to remove as many common mistakes and as much unnecessary BS as possible, and crafted tools for others building businesses to make our world a better place.    We followed-up with MarketingBuilder, which picked-up where BizPlanBuilder left off, then we went even further with PRBuilder which included sample press release templates… In another direction, we added EmployeeManualBuilder and SafetyPlanBuilder full of actual policies and procedures.     Altogether, we had 10 products in about 3,500 retail stores and built a $12 million company with 30 employees… (All that to say, I've been down the road you're on. I didn't just make this stuff up!)     Today, all of our products have been integrated into a streamlined and unified online toolbox/dashboard. And we’re the leader in business development software templates that help you build your business.     I also like dogs, kick-boxing, flying airplanes, writing, walking on the beach at sunset, candlelight dinners, and red wine... :-)

New Tax Law Analysis: Meals and Entertainment

This man posts great distinctions on laws being passed that affects business — this one is on meals. 🌺 Sandy Botkin January 24, 2018 The changes resulting in meals and entertainment are among the most confusing and yet unknown changes resulting from the new Tax Cut and Jobs Law. I have rarely seen anything mentioned…

Keeping Up With OSHA Regulations: How to Ensure You’re Up to Date

From a business perspective, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations can seem burdensome. They change fairly frequently, sometimes seem to lack rhyme or reason and can be costly to follow at times. But staying up to date with OSHA standards isn’t optional. Failing to follow the rules can land you in hot water.Originally appeared…

OSHA FACT SHEET: Safety Walk-Arounds for Managers

This fact sheet provides guidance to help managers and business owners identify hazards in the workplace and communicate with workers about hazards in their jobs, by conducting safety walk-arounds. There are at least two reasons why managers and owners should periodically conduct workplace inspections themselves. First, inspections demonstrate management’s commitment to improving safety and health…