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Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I am a serial entrepreneur, a University lecturer in, Russia, Italy and the USA in Business Economics and International Law and am an international business and peak performance consultant. I have also advised small businesses on creation of business plans to secure additional finance. So my comments on this book are based upon real and theoretical business experience.

There are many mistakes people can make in writing business plans to try and get financing for a business start up and or for an established business. I have seen these mistakes made by everyone from the business owners themselves, to accountants who advise the business. In my opinion, the best business plans include such things as extensive segmented marketing plans focusing on business USP's, 18 month cash flow projections which include tax provision and risk analysis of the marketplace. Its incredible to look back on the amount of businesses I have advised, who have left some or most of these keys out of their Business Plan. This book is designed to get business owners to look at all these key areas and others, so that they themselves can write great business plans.

The book itself totals 400 information packed pages which guide you through the whole process of writing a business plan. The author looks at everything from a self analysis of your business, how to analyse your potential customer base, identify your USP's, identify market trends, create realistic cash flow projections, how to talk to investors and a large amount of other valuable business information you need to write a business plan.

The book is not some theoretical tombe written by academics nor does it give you a template which you simply fill in. What it is, is a practical workbook with large amounts of valuable information, which if followed will lead you to writing a better business plan. I would also recommend anyone with a business to read this, as the advice given should help any business who wants to expand within their marketplace.

It is a great read and I highly recommend the book to anyone who owns a business and to those who want to write a better business plan.
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VINE VOICEon 2 September 2012
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This book is much more than a guide to writing a business plan to satisfy the bank manager. Unlike other books that provide a template and tell you how to fill it in, this one goes into most facets of running a business, delves into the reasons behind the key parts of a business plan and suggests actions you can take to develop a meaningful plan that will guide your business, rather than sit in a file on a shelf. Thus the plan becomes a living thing, something you will refer to constantly, keep updated and share with colleagues and staff. Rather than a chore best avoided, the business plan could become a bible. Taking you from setting goals and objectives, it covers customers, products, sales and marketing, managing and motivating staff,financials and more. I would recommend it for start-ups to established SMEs and there is plenty in here that even larger companies could learn from. Dip in or read cover to cover, there is something here for any business owner or manager.
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VINE VOICEon 20 September 2012
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This is a typical dummy book that even those people like me who are find business terminology difficult to comprehend. I did expect much as I expected the whole book to dwell on that one document business pla, or may be I did not know the constituents of a business plan. As it turns out you have it covered from The Business Plan itself (covering everything such as executive summary, company overview, business environment etc), developing company vision 9covdering company vision, mission statement, building a brand), a look at the market place (covery market research, recognising success factors etc), customers, competition and so on.

You have jargon alert with consipicuous icons which explains business jargon in plain English. Examples of real world scenarios with the icon Example serves to show how the theory is put to practice. Most of it is in bullet point so it is an easy read.

Some aspects of it will intimidate Start-up as it gets very technical in parts, but I think there is sometning for everyone.

Recommended unreservedly!
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Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Business Plans for Dummies 3rd edition

I have been using this book from edition one and have found it a very valuable aid to business planning. Now in its 3rd edition it now covers ecommerce and many new ways of doing business using social networking. I run a small design business and my markets and the technology in them is constantly changing so I need to plan and plan well.

The authors
They are all well experienced, respected and hands on people and not theorists trying to overburden the reader with theory that muddies the waters for a company at whatever stage of development it is in.

A text book ????

No not really this is a practical workbook that helps and business planner think about the future of a business and how to deal with any possible scenarios that may come along to trip you up. This book can be used by small start-ups or buy business going through restructuring or new product entry. All the theory is explained but unlike other books it tells you how to implement this theory into your own company.

Structure of the book

The book now has a better structure than previous editions although they were not that bad. The book starts by looking at what you want from your business and then develops strategies on how to achieve these. The book is full of examples and tips which have proved to be very useful for my little company.

The thought process

It is easy to devalue the reason for planning in the quickly changing business environment but this book makes you think otherwise. The authors have been careful to explain the merits of planning against the 'deal with problems as they occur' school or thought.

Techniques used

All the text book analysis techniques are here but importantly they are used to help you understand your markets and how to 'best fit' your own business into them.

Value

This book offers a lot of help and practical advice to any business whether running or in the planning stage. I think it is an essential read and even though I have had a successful company for many years I still gained insight into my own planning systems using it. If you are borrowing money to set up you have to read it - banks and other lenders should give this book to everyone who comes through their door as it would help avoid many of the start up problems or expansion problems companies are facing at the moment. Very highly recommended !
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on 18 October 2015
This book has been helping get me in the spirit of completing my business plan, which I had almost given up on as I could not understand what was required in the financial parts. Now I don't mind, I know I'll be able to do that part of it and more. You literally don't have to think very hard as on each page and section it asks a set of questions which only take a minute to think about. After a while you get the feeling that you do know what they are talking about. It's really easy to do just a little at a time, say if you got children, and it always makes you want to spend longer on it and forget the world around you. It's a UK version.
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on 22 November 2012
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
It wasn't what I was expecting. It seems to be for those already in a business and is not for creating a new venture. I suppose that would be covered by a different book (Starting and Running a Business All-in-One For Dummies for example).

I gave it a brief and very half-hearted attempt to read it but I was defeated straightaway. I might one day try and read it, but that won't be anytime soon. So instead I've just flicked through it on camera. This should be roughly similar to leafing through it in a bookshop.

I've given it four stars for the sake of it.
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VINE VOICEon 20 November 2012
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
As usual, the Dummies version of something does what it promises and more.

As a self-employed author of a series of books How to Love a Libra:How to Get Along and be Friends with the 7th Sign of the Zodiac I find it helpful to re-write my business plan every now and then.

I also mentor other therapists, homeopaths and writers, so having this to hand is very useful.

Business plans aren't just bits of paper you file away and forget and as this Dummies version explains, they're working documents that guide your business.

It is more aimed as small businesses and organisations than therapists, but since there is nothing written to assist therapists or writers, the nearest would be The Business of Therapy: How to run a successful private practice

This won't do you any harm to read, whatever the size of your business....and you are after all working to make money, not be a charity.
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on 10 September 2012
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Over the years I've found the 'xyz for dummies' series a bit patchy but this particular one is really good- now in it's third edition- and worth the investment if you are going to set up or already are in business.

Pretty much all bases are covered from inception through to the mechanics of financial management to helping your business grow once its bedded in. I found the chapter on Preparing for Change particularly good and refreshing; it's an area rarely covered adequately in a lot of business guides to my mind and although it's a topic only covered relatively briefly, it nonetheless gives some valuable pointers. The book is also very accessible and can actually be read coherently cover to cover, rather than just for 'dip-in' reference purposes.

All in all this is definately one of the better Business start-up and the running guides out there and well worth having on your shelf. Use in conjunction with some appropriate software and you can't go too wrong.
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on 29 April 2015
Being new to business, this book helped a lot with the planning and helped me think about things I hadn't thought of. There are lots of assistance online but this book puts it in terms I could understand easily. Well worth the money and received quickly.
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VINE VOICEon 5 November 2012
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This is a very useful book if you need help with writing your own business plan and the best thing of all is that it's a UK edition of the book and not a US edition, so it has all the relevant information for the UK.

I have had this book for several weeks now and I still haven't finished reading it and working my way through everything I need to do in order to get my business plan written but it's been a great help to me. There is a lot of information and tips in there that I hadn't even thought about so I would recommend it to anyone starting a small business.

I will update this review when I have finished the book, should anything need changing. This review is based on my experience with the book so far 4/5
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