The key to successfully starting any business is a good business plan. In his ebook, "Business Plan Secrets Revealed," Mike Elia walks you through the business plan process step-by-step: from gathering the evidence you'll use to build your plan to delivering your plan to qualified investors.
His book provides the basic information you need to write a business plan. But its real focus is revealing how to communicate your plan to investors and convince them that your business is their best investment choice.
When I first opened Business Plan Secrets Revealed, my heart sank. You see, I had promised Mike I would read his book completely before writing a review. And Business Plan Secrets Revealed is no ordinary ebook with one sentence paragraphs, large fonts and hefty margins. It's crammed full of information!
But as I began to read, I was pleasantly surprised. Mike's writing style is engaging and practical, and his explanations simplify difficult concepts. Throughout the book, I felt as though a friend was sitting with me on the back porch, matter-of-factly explaining exactly how to do something. It's the kind of simple practicality that you can achieve only when you fully understand a subject.
Mike's clear understanding of business planning concepts results from experience spanning more than 20 years. Mike helps business owners buy, sell and finance their businesses. He has overseen manufacturing and sales locations in more than nine countries. He is a CPA, holds a Masters in Business Administration, and has served as Chief Financial Officer of two publicly held companies.
Business Plan Secrets Revealed starts with tips for collecting and organizing the information you'll need. From the beginning, Mike concentrates on overcoming your biggest single challenge--bridging the investor confidence gap. In the chapter "Show Me the Numbers," Mike provides some of the clearest explanations of business financial statements that I've ever read If concepts like stockholders' equity or statements of cash flow make your eyes glaze over, then your salvation has arrived.
Later chapters of Business Plan Secrets Revealed really deliver on Mike's promise to help you communicate your business plan effectively. There are complete instructions on writing your business plan, including how to get your plan opened and read, and how to avoid nine common writing mistakes. He explains how choosing the right design can make your business plan easier to read. Mike wraps things up by telling you how to prepare for critical face-to-face time with investors, including developing a 60-second, to-the-point, verbal pitch for your business. Tips on finding investors and a resources section complete the book.
I must admit that several times as I was reading, I would ask myself, "Do I really need this much business plan?" This is not a fill-in-the-blanks-and-print-it-out business plan solution. But then I realized--if I'm serious about succeeding, then I do need to know as much as possible about my business up front. Before I've started spending money. Before I put myself on the line out in the market.
By the way, I did make it through the whole book. And I confirmed that Mike delivers what he promises on the title page: he teaches you how to quickly gather evidence, build a case for your business, and write a readable plan that attracts investors and makes your business the most appealing investment choice. Even if you already own other business planning resources, I highly recommend Business Plan Secrets Revealed.