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... :-)

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…

Welcome to the Business Black Belt Podcast

Experts. Advice. Results. I’m Burke Franklin, and after 35 years in business helping new and established businesses raise capital and gain higher success, I hate it when good products, companies or people fail! Building a successful business and being a mindful and responsive entrepreneur is an emotional, mental, physical and spiritual bootcamp. Yet, few things…

Hiring the Right People

Excerpted from the book on mindful business management, Business Black Belt There is something that is much more scarce, something finer far, something rarer than ability. It is the ability to recognize ability. ~ Elbert Hubbard, writer Before you hire anyone just to get some more things done, take some time to plan what you…

Management by Centrifugal Force

Excerpted from the book on enlightened business, Business Black Belt “Come to the edge,” he said. “We are afraid,” they said. “Come to the edge,” he said. They came… He pushed them …and they flew. Here’s a possible way to think of your business structure, regardless of the structure you actually have, and have what…