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... :-)

Business Contracts – What we learned from a lawsuit will help you!

Way back, being sued by a former employee who felt he should be paid for sales 10 years out into the future inspired the Sales Representative Agreement (just ONE of the 165 sample contract templates available here). We wrote it with a renewed sense of need. This sample Sales Representative contract alone could save you…

Investor SCAM Alert!

It’s hard enough to find financing for your business let alone worry about being ripped off along the way by scammers preying on your desperation for funding. Here’s a good one that recently came my way… “We are most interested in business opportunities that require equity investment, debt investment and venture capital for start-up or…

Get a Life!

Excerpted from the book on mindful business management, Business Black Belt. “Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.” ~ Cyril Northcote Parkinson When you proactively fill your time, you can prevent BS from filling it for you. A friend of mine was complaining that many otherwise great projects were going undone…

What Are You Going to Do Next?

Excerpted from the book on mindful business management, Business Black Belt. “You know exactly what to do. You just don’t do it fast enough.” ~ Robert Petersen, CFI, Flight Instructor You really do know what to do… One afternoon I was flying my airplane home with my instructor. As we flew into the San Francisco Bay…

Do I Need a Business Plan to Raise Money?

In my experience raising capital, investors can’t seem to get enough information. Think about it. Before they’ll write a check, investors ask all kinds of questions and you need to have answers. Why do you think only 3-5% of startups get funded?!? You might as well do the homework ahead of time, do some of…