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... :-)

Investors and Term Sheets – Jim Burk – Business Black Belt Podcast

Securities attorney on investors, investing and term sheets… Jim Burk of Burk & Reedy, a Washington, DC-based law-firm who specializes in business law and financing. Jim has 40 years (!) experience in business law and business financing! He assists emerging companies in their initial stages of organization and then growing with the companies through the…

Funding Your Business – Greg Writer – Business Black Belt Podcast

Priorities to prepare for investors Greg Writer, founder and CEO of the Angel Network. Greg has over 31 years experience in corporate finance, capital formation. At 21, he was the youngest owner / operator of a full service investment banking firm in the history of the US — directly involved in over $100 million in…

Managing Creative Interference… Business Builder or Business Killer?

Excerpted from the book on mindful business management, Business Black Belt Never give an order that can be understood. Always give an order that can never be misunderstood. ~ Douglas MacArthur, W.W.II General Why can’t people follow directions? Your clients and boss are your customers — listening to them and giving them exactly what they…

small business customer feedback product research

Let People Tell You What’s Wrong…
Before They Tell Everyone Else!

Excerpted from the book on mindful business management, Business Black Belt   “The one who needs to know the most, is often the last to find out.”   You must create a connection with your customer grapevine, otherwise you’ll never know trouble is brewing in enough time to deal with it inexpensively. Some study concluded…

Hiring Interview Questions Not in Anybody’s Book

Excerpted from the book on mindful business management, Business Black Belt “Hire smart or manage tough.” ~ Lou Adler, executive recruiter If you’re betting the farm on key employees, you need all the clues you can get. Here are a few questions to add to your interview repertoire. Tell me what you’ve done or continue…