"...a must-read for business owners and those thinking about starting their own businesses."

-Rieva Lesonsky, CEO, SmallBizDaily.com and Former Editorial Director Entrepreneur magazine

 

“A great business planning resource that helps test the feasibility of an idea quickly and easily. . . before investing a lot of time, money, and energy in execution.”  

-Bryan Janeczko, Founder and CEO, Wicked Start

 

“... well laid out, straightforward and easy to follow—the key reference book any entrepreneur will need to build a successful business plan.”    

-Barbara Kasoff, President and CEO, Women Impacting Public Policy (WIPP)

 

“Hal has worked with hundreds of small businesses to help craft business plans, identifying what works and what doesn’t. Consider this book your cheat sheet.”

-Rod Kurtz, Media Consultant and Editor-at-Large, OPEN Forum

 

"I wish had read this book before starting my businesses. I would highly recommend it to all entrepreneurs as it identifies different tools and resources available to help your business succeed. This book does a great job in breaking down the processes and testing your business plan’s feasibility quickly and easily before you put extensive time, money, and effort into something that may not work. This book is a must read for any successful businessman or woman."

-Farooq Cheema, Founder and President/CEO, Study Sparkz

 

"Content is impressive and meaningful; Hal has a wealth of experience to share. The book’s explanations, case studies and work areas are very helpful and straightforward. I recommend it to any one starting a new business—use it by yourself and in group discussions, because it is so hard to write a business plan without feedback."

-Roanne Pitluk, Founder and President/CEO, Roanne Pitluk CPA LLC

 

"Finally—a book about writing a business plan that won't put you to sleep with vague theories. This guide is exceptional because it is all inclusive without being overwhelming. Sitting down to write a plan is really hard work. It's easy to get distracted or to simply give up. But every successful businessperson knows if you fail to plan, you are planning to fail. Hal's guide is not only well-written, but it's also practical and easy to use. Kudos to Hal Shelton for delivering a truly useful step-by-step guide to creating a business plan.." 

-Greg Warner, Founder and President/CEO, MarketSmart

 

"Content is impressive and meaningful; Hal has a wealth of experience to share. The book’s explanations, case studies and work areas are very helpful and straightforward. I recommend it to any one starting a new business—use it by yourself and in group discussions, because it is so hard to write a business plan without feedback."

-Roanne Pitluk, Founder and President/CEO, Roanne Pitluk CPA LLC

 

"Finally—a book about writing a business plan that won't put you to sleep with vague theories. This guide is exceptional because it is all inclusive without being overwhelming. Sitting down to write a plan is really hard work. It's easy to get distracted or to simply give up. But every successful businessperson knows if you fail to plan, you are planning to fail. Hal's guide is not only well-written, but it's also practical and easy to use. Kudos to Hal Shelton for delivering a truly useful step-by-step guide to creating a business plan.." 

-Greg Warner, Founder and President/CEO, MarketSmart

 

A must have!

“This book takes "the fear" out of writing a business plan. I use it as a reference book when helping my clients write their business plan. Is the "how to" book of business planning.  Mr. Shelton's use of real examples makes you aware of the many scenarios a business should be prepared for. It is a great road map of how to get to "GO" in your enterprise idea. Great resource for a new or existing business and a great book to keep in your library!”

-Amazon Customer

 

Must have resource for anyone serious about writing a business plan!

“I spent the summer reading the books used by the best business schools in the country to teach business planning. Hal's book is far and away the best one in my opinion. I loved the clarity of the writing. The practical advice provided through out. The step by step worksheets Hal provides the students to guide them through the process sealed the deal. I have a passion for making sure my students get the most out of our time together and Hal's book is an invaluable tool in helping me achieve that goal. I will be using the book in my Advanced Business Planning course this semester and plan to continue to use it in the future. Thank you Hal for sharing your hard won wisdom with my students and with me.”

-John Paul Engel

 

Easy to read and very thorough and something to refer ...

“Just when you think you know everything there is to know about business plans, along comes Mr. Shelton's secrets. As someone who has written, reviewed and approved business plans for 35+ years I can tell you this book put it "all in one place" for me. I would urge those who are feting a business concept, or are serious about starting that business that has been rumbling around in your brain for years or even college professors who have students with various levels of skill in your class to use this business planning tool. Easy to read and very thorough and something to refer back to as our business plans are never finished, but constantly being revised and updated.”

-Stephen Vesce

 

Excellent book as guide for a business plan!

“Excellent book as guide for a business plan, the work sheets are great and make you think through your ideas.”

-William Mitchell

 

Excellent Business Plan Guide!

 “Excellent book, well organized, detailed and clear explanations, good examples. Highly recommended for anyone working on a business plan.”

-By Mike

 

“I can't wait to put the information to good use!”

-DKD

 

A must read for any startup!

 “I have been a business lawyer for more than 50 years and have found this book to be a concise roadmap to starting and continuing to maintain a successful business. It is organized in a thoughtful and logical progression in language that is easily understood. Real-life examples, based upon Mr. Shelton's experiences, highlight the realities faced by any entrepreneur. The book provides valuable research sources not readily found in other such publications. I was particularly impressed with Mr. Shelton's discussion of sources of funding.”

-Ira c. Wolpert

 

“Great book helped me so much. Everyone should have this book if they are thinking of going into business.”

-Robin Rodenberg

 

Five Stars!

"The proof will be in the results of the plan. So far, clearly written and informative."

-Dean Curtis

 

Great book that provides the blue print for anyone looking...

"Great book that provides the blue print for anyone looking to start a small business, and prepare and implement a business plan."

-Adrian Karloci

 

Excellent business plan writing guide

"I am the author of Breaking Into Freelancing - Easy Steps to Transition from Bored Cubicle Drone to Full-Time Freelancer, and you won't know you need a business plan until you read this book. With detailed concepts outlined in easy step by step fashion, you'll create a successful business plan so that you can move your business forward. Highly recommended read!"

-Romantique

 

Great Guide

"Although putting together the plan is taking far longer than I anticipated, this book has be an irreplacable guide."

-Ross L.

 

Easy to read. A lot of useful information

"The book will enrich anybody who is trying to write his or her first (or not) business plan. Easy to read, good information."

-BigCityLights

 

Great Read! Give good details and warns of common pitfalls.

"Explains the business plan in simple terms. Hits the highlights and warns of common pitfalls. Really appreciate all the reference material as well."

-PT

 

It’s easy to read

"I haven't finished reading it yet, but so far, it's easy to read, informative and keeps my attention."

-Elizabeth


A cure for business plan anxiety

"Smart and simple! I had a bit of "business plan anxiety" before discovering this book and kept putting this important "task" off. A business contact mentioned they met the author at a SCORE event and suggested I check his book out. Glad I did! I found the tips and guidance to be super helpful and now have confidence that my business plan is a blueprint for success."

-L. Von Rueden

 

Wonderful and speedy!

-Sandy Summerfield

 

Essential for business owners

"Great book! Very easy read and broken down for everything you need. Don't waste time on other complicated books or guides!"

-George

 

This takes aware "start up" fear.

“I am a professor of Business Management & Entrepreneurship Studies at Paul Smith's College in Paul Smiths, NY. My forever task is trying to find relevant books for my entrepreneurship classes at a price point that is reasonable—Hal’s book hit both criteria spot on. The book is an excellent first-step to planning the venture, including the scary part about finances. Buy it."

-Maria Maywood

 

A great resource

"This is a very useful book! Not only does it reinforce why you need a business plan, it clearly presents how to put all of the pieces together. The thought of writing a business plan can seem daunting at first. Yet the structure of this book is simple in the way it presents each element of a plan in a way that is not intimidating. I found the ’Chapter Checklists’ and ‘Your Turn’ exercises at the end of each chapter to be a great way to apply the lessons I just learned to my situation. After completing the book I felt more confident in how I should approach writing my plan."

-Erik W Morrison

 

A true resource for Fledging Entrepreneurs!

"During my career in development banking I have read and analyzed thousands of business plans submitted by fledging entrepreneurs in support of requests for investment capital. Had Hal Shelton's book been available to them, I am convinced the insights and advice it provides would have helped most of these entrepreneurs improve the quality of their business plans. The author rightly emphasizes the fundamentals of business plan preparation, and does so in a practical, no-nonsense manner that I found both appealing and very effective. Availing themselves of his experience and recommendations will help Entrepreneurs convey their vision effectively; identify and mitigate business issues ; address the concerns of potential investors and lenders; and generally make a coherent, convincing case for their investment proposals. An excellent compendium, this little book is well worth the investment."

-Guy Antoine

 

Starting a business? Start here!

"Hal Shelton is a seasoned businessman and mentor and investor for start-ups and entrepreneurs, so who better to write a guide to planning for a successful business? Whether you are just starting out or want to revamp or grow your business, following Hal's roadmap to making a plan, building your team and raising money is a fantastic place to start. I must admit I didn't really understand the value of writing a great business plan until I read Hal's book. This book is the next best thing to having Hal on your team."

-A. Goldfarb

 

A clear roadmap for getting to the dream owners want.

"I have worked with Hal for years and seen his wise advice help steer an entrepreneur away from deep pitfalls and toward the ultimate goal. Thankfully, Hal has carefully assembled this valuable information into an easy to follow, practical resource. Whether you are starting out, or have been in business for many years, following this book will get you clear on your priorities and the best next steps to getting there. PS Now as an angel investor himself, Hal's concluding sections on getting investors is a must read insight for anyone looking to truly create a high growth business."

-RoadMap Marketing

 

Business planning, plain and simple --- Advice from a pro

You definitely want to read this book whether you are just beginning to think about starting your own business or you are already a business owner. Hal Shelton takes all the mystery out of what a business plan is and how to write one. And as a bonus he includes some great information on financing options for your business.

-Jean Jesensky


"You definitely want to read this book whether you are just beginning to think about starting your own business or you are already a business owner. Hal Shelton takes all the mystery out of what a business plan is and how to write one. And as a bonus he includes some great information on financing options for your business. The book is packed full of useful information that is presented in an organized way that makes it easy to read and understand. Shelton lays out the information in a logical manner taking you through the process step-by-step. Each chapter covers a specific aspect of the business plan and ends with “Key Lessons”, a summary of what was covered in the chapter as well as a worksheet for you to practice what you learned. And all the relevant information on a topic is included within the chapter and not in appendices, so you don’t need to go flipping pages back and forth for the information. Categorizing and organizing information is what I do for a living as a book indexer, so I really appreciate when the information in a book is well-organized and logically presented. I have been in business for 8 years and am using Hal’s great book to review my business progress, because business planning applies to both in-business and startup entrepreneurs. This is a book you’ll want to keep handy on your shelf so you can refer to it again and again, because a business plan is not just something you write when you are planning to start a business. Your business plan is something you should continue to revisit and update during the lifetime of your business to make sure you are on track with your business and help you grow your business and ensure its success. And this book will help you do that and more."

-Jean Jesensky

 

The Secrets are simple but powerful! Well organized and up to date.

"Everything about this guide is easy to use. Nice size, easy to read content and powerful insights. Written for the small business entrepreneur."

-Carl Gomolka - Certified SCORE Mentor, VP SCORE Delaware Training & Development

 

This book offers a simple, practical approach to writing a solid business plan.

"Being an entrepreneur, I've used many resources in preparing my own business plans. This book is the most practical, easy to follow and informative resource, I've encountered over the years, to aid in the preparation of a great business plan. The author offers the approach in a simple, yet impactful way that makes it easy to digest and apply. I would recommend this book to any aspiring entrepreneur."

-Margie Traylor

 

The KISS Approach to Business Plans

"After wading through the business plan templates on line & the books on the library shelves, I found that it was nice to read a logical, concise & creative book on writing a SUCCESSFUL business plan. All of the templates & books help you create a business plan, but the key is how it helps YOU be successful. Often the sole purpose of a business plan is to get a loan. However, Mr. Shelton correctly emphasizes that the plan is critical for any small business, it keeps YOU focused, challenged & centered. Thanks for making it worthy of the KISS label, Keep It Successful Stupid."

-Walter Abbott, Former Banker, Risk Manager & Current Small Business Entrepreneur.

 

Professional Advice from a Pro

"Writing an effective business plan is, to say the least, a daunting task. But Hal Shelton’s book of "secrets" will guide you through that process clearly and effectively. With his many real life stories, Hal makes it easy to stay focused and identify the important elements of your own business plan. A must read for all up-and-coming entrepreneurs."

-Richard J Rose

 

Now there is help for those who want to turn passion into reality

"Hal Shelton knows how to create and grow businesses, so if you want to turn your passion into reality, this book is a must have. It takes the mystery and fear out of writing a winning business plan, and it especially takes the reader on a much needed view of marketing. Marketing is not about having a printed business card or developed website, it is about the entire marketing plan activity, the cost to operate that activity, and the return on investment. This book will take you on that journey with years of experience and knowledge to back it up. Don't go it alone, make this book your friend."

-Dee

 

How do I get to Carnegie Hall?

"Practice, practice, practice!. It's an old New York joke, but it is right on the money when it comes to building a successful business the right way. Few people have Shelton's tremendous experience in business and as a public service mentor to aspiring entrepreneurs. He is a master in helping people to create a viable and persuasive business plan. Shelton's book gives the prospective entrepreur a GPS roadmap on the best way to get there successfully. Through several case examples, he focuses on giving the reader an insight and tools needed to get ahead with the process of converting your dream into a real plan that can help build a successful business. Shelton gives the reader his "Ten Commandments" to follow. Read them over and over as you work to build your business plan. You want to be a succes at making your dream business into a reality? Practice, practice, practice. The secrets are revealed in this book."
-Charles Yulish

 

Want The Business Plan That Will Bring You The Cash You Need? BUY THIS BOOK.

If you want to:
- get bank or investor (including friends and family) financing as a startup;
- grow an existing business via new products, channels or markets; or
- acquire, franchise, or sell your company.

you need a business plan.

"Hal Shelton hands you the very best practical advice from his years of experience as a SCORE counselor and thousands of clients' business plans! One size doesn't fit all. Hal goes step by step so you can focus your precious time doing on practical things you'll need to include to meet your goals. You'll avoid squandering hours creating some giant theoretical document that nobody, including YOU, cares about, and, instead, develop a valuable, flexible guide to chart your course that you'll use constantly and update as you course-correct en route to those goals. I've spent over 25 years as a consultant and subject matter expert in government contracts...and I say that anyone who wants success in government business would benefit by starting with Hal's book before moving on to mine, "Government Contracts Made Easier."

-Judith A. Bradt

 

Focusing on what matters

"Any entrepreneur looking to start a business needs a business plan, and this book does an excellent job of focusing attention on what really matters. Real life anecdotes, a clean layout, and a chapter on non-profits also help differentiate this book from others that I have seen."

-Jeffrey M. Shelton

 

Must-read book for any business owner  

"This book really does explain how to write a business plan in a clear, easy-to-manage way. After reading this book, I felt energized about the process, rather than intimidated. I highly recommend!"

-Bridget Weston

 

A must read for anyone in business

"Business plan writing is usually a futile activity at best... because most don't have a good process for writing a business plan. Hal details a GREAT business planning process that, as a former CEO and a current corporate board member, I can highly recommend. This book will lead you to greater business success."

-Robert Waite

 

A must read book!

"This book is a must read for all entrepreneurs beginning a business. It serves as a practical reference and a valuable tool for any successful businessman or woman. What I love most about it is that it's an easy to read book; the pro forma is simplified and easy to read, and the book identifies different tools and resources available to help any business succeed. I wish had read the book before starting my own businesses as the resources provided in the book are very helpful."

-Farooq Cheema, Founder and CEO, Study Sparkz Tutoring

 

A practical, straightforward, easy-to-use guide to business planning.

 "“The Secrets to Writing a Successful Business Plan" is a must have for any entrepreneur who is launching a new business or moving a business from the start-up phase to that of an ongoing concern. It provides a straightforward, easy-to-understand approach to business planning. The book’s practical insights reflect Mr. Shelton’s extensive experience as a businessman, mentor, investor and as a small business leader. It is choc-full of real life, relevant case studies, as well as, helpful exercises. Mr. Shelton nicely balances the case for a disciplined and consistent approach to planning with the need for an individual message that reflects the owner’s unique vision for the business. Two chapters, “Make No Mistake” and “Forget Me Not”, are essential final checklists before hitting the “send” button and/or the “print” key."

-Michael Mendez

 

Improves the Likelihood of Success

"Entrepreneurs are faced with daunting odds when starting a new business. The Small Business Administration estimates that one-third fail within two years and over 55 percent within four years. I am convinced that “The Secrets to Writing a Successful Business Plan” can significantly improve the odds of success. Its outstanding value is in helping the reader think through all of the elements necessary for the business to succeed. It is rare that a book has the virtue of being clear, concise, and comprehensive. This one achieves that high standard. In a logical arrangement it covers all of the topics that if left unexamined can trip up anyone starting a new venture or trying to grow an established one. I was impressed as I read it by how practical and easy to read it is. Each topic covered stands on its own. You get useful information that tells you what you need to know. After each chapter there is a short summary of “Key Lessons” and a “Your Turn” section where the reader can apply to his or her own business idea what was just covered. Unlike many books, this one will not sit on a shelf after you are done reading it. It will remain as a valued reference as your business grows and changes. That great American philosopher Yogi Berra once said, “If you don’t know where you are going, it doesn’t much matter how you get there.” I can think of no better guide to making sure that you know where your business is going than this book. For an entrepreneur who wants to start or grow a small business, “The Secrets to Writing a Successful Business Plan” is a must."

-RMR

 

A welcome source of guidance for developing business plans -- a fresh approach!

"The Secrets to Writing a Successful Business Plan provides lots of helpful information and guidance from an expert who has helped over 1000 small businesses. The book is intended for potential entrepreneurs as well as those growing businesses and those interested in starting nonprofits. With many real life examples and containing good observations and ideas about many aspects of starting a business, this book puts the entire process of creating a business plan in perspective and supports flexibility in the creation of business plans. Stressing the importance of competitive analysis and an actionable marketing plan, the book includes lots of referrals to useful information from SCORE, the Census Fact Finder, the Library of Congress, and the SBA. It is especially strong on all the financial aspects of developing a business plan, as you would expect from an author who has many years experience as a CFO and senior business executive. Readers are guided through the book interactively, based on each reader's interests and needs, and the included worksheets support thinking through the decision-making process associated with starting a new business or expanding an ongoing business. With these Secrets in hand, readers will be inspired to create new businesses based on realistic expectations, building on proven ideas from a highly experienced author."

-Tom Pyke

 

A Geat, Easy to Follow "How To" Book for any Entrepreneur Ready to Launch a Successful Business

"I would recommend this book for anyone starting a business..or even someone who has started their business without first developing a Business Plan. Easy to understand, straight forward and provides all of the information you will need without being overwhelming."

-Gerard Glennon  

 

Comprehensive, clear, and easy-to-use.

"What I liked best about this book is that you don't have to read it in a linear fashion. It's probably the MOST COMPREHENSIVE book ever created about writing a business plan. But you really don't need to nor feel compelled to sit down and trudge through it (as you might feel with other similar books).  The way this book is written makes it really easy to pick and choose what is interesting or important to read or do NOW and just hop over to that section.  Hal is clearly tremendously knowledgeable in this area. He's got everything covered. Plus there are lots of little hints and takeaways throughout the book that keep it engaging.  I'd venture to say that... not only is it essential that you write a business plan but it's probably also essential that you do it by using this book as your guide.  Gain insights based on deep experience with thousands of new business owners  "Secrets to Writing a Successful Business Plan” is impressive and meaningful as Mr. Shelton has a wealth of experience to share. The book layout with explanations, case studies and work areas is very helpful and straight forward. It is invaluable for anyone starting a new business--use it by yourself or in a group. Discussion sessions while working with the book will provide important feedback for first time business owners.”

-MarketSmart

 

Gain insights based on deep experience with thousands of new business owners

"Secrets to Writing a Successful Business Plan” is impressive and meaningful as Mr. Shelton has a wealth of experience to share. The book layout with explanations, case studies and work areas is very helpful and straight forward. It is invaluable for anyone starting a new business--use it by yourself or in a group. Discussion sessions while working with the book will provide important feedback for first time business owners."

-Roanne Pitluk

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