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... :-)

The 3 Most Important Things You Learn from the Business Planning Process

This is the first in an ongoing series of audio podcasts with Burke Franklin, founder and CEO of Jian Software, the publisher of business planning software, Biz Plan Builder, as well as many other business productivity software titles.  In each audio podcast, Burke tackles topics related to planning, starting, financing, and growing an entrepreneurial venture…

Are Your Financial Projections Ready for Primetime?

Ask ten investors what the most important section of a business plan is, and you are likely to get back a variety of answers. For some, management team is the section to which they turn first. Others begin by reading about the market opportunity and your proposed solution to determine their level of interest. While…

Bootstrapping and Other People’s Money

Over the past several months you have been working diligently on an idea for a new business that is going to be your ticket to fame and more importantly, fortune.  Your due diligence has shown a several billion dollar market opportunity, and you are now convinced that you have the right strategies to garner a…

Does a Business Partner Add Value To Your Startup?

You have chosen to start a new business.  Having left “The Man” behind (your corporate job), you have decided now is the right time to launch your entrepreneurial venture.  After many years of being accountable to a boss, to your staff, and your co-workers, you are ready to venture out on your own.  You now…