This book has a heritage back to the early 1980s, the time of Reaganomics, entrepreneurship, and a renewed sense of spirit in our country. It was prepared for the thousands of people starting businesses. At the time, there were few resources available to entrepreneurs to help them develop their first business plan. This book was written to fill that void. It has been published in many languages around the world and has been well received.

In order to broaden the appeal, this new edition has been prepared for entrepreneurs who are in the planning stages of starting, expanding, or acquiring a business. We provide a step-by-step process for preparing a business plan. The instruction goes beyond simply discussing what is required in such a proposal. It explains why certain information is required, how it may be best presented, and the sensitivities of both the preparer and reviewer.

Since the first edition was published in 1988, the authors have heard from many entrepreneurs about the importance of this straightforward approach to the business plan, which not only helps entrepreneurs tell their stories but creates the discipline to be sure each story is complete and has all the elements necessary to enhance its success. While not the original intent, we have also heard from many that it helps mature business leaders present a plan for capital resources within larger companies.

We believe the discipline of a start-up business plan is not radically different from the planning associated ...

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