Palo Alto Software
Business Plan Pro for Canada
Palo Alto Software
$99.95

If you're writing a business plan for a Canadian business, Business Plan Pro for Canada includes all the features of the U.S. version, plus additional resources and guides to address your specific needs.

Get your numbers right

Business Plan Pro includes built-in market research data for over 1,000 different industries to help you make sure that your plan is on target with industry averages. The research data is gathered from U.S. and Canadian businesses so that you can be sure that your plan is accurate no matter where you are starting your business.

Click here to read more about Business Plan Pro.

Start a business in Canada

This special Business Plan Pro for Canada release comes with an e-guide to starting a business in Canada. It includes business resources and information specific to Canada, such as:

  • Obtaining a Business Number (BN)
  • Registering your business
  • Tracking GST/HST
  • Contact information for the Canada Revenue Agency
  • And more...

Canadian resources included

Business Plan Pro's included resources will help you find legal advice, market research, industry information, and much more for your Canadian business.
 

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Business Plan Pro Premier Academic
Palo Alto Software
$89.95

Business plan software for educational use

Business Plan Pro Academic Edition is the most popular business plan software in academia, used and respected at thousands of colleges and universities around the world. It allows instructors to focus on teaching business planning and students to focus on writing their business plans.

Textbook integration

Prentice Hall bundles Business Plan Pro with several of its top textbooks on entrepreneurship and management, including:

  • Barringer, Entrepreneurship: Successfully Launching New Ventures (2nd Edition)
  • Barringer, Preparing Effective Business Plans: An Entrepreneurial Approach (1st Edition)
  • Scarborough, Zimmerer, and Wilson, Effective Small Business Management (9th Edition)
  • Robbins and Coulter, Management (9th Edition)
  • Wheelen and Hunger, Strategic Management and Business Policy (11th Edition)

60+ sample plans included

Get inspired with examples of complete business plans. Each sample plan can be edited directly in Business Plan Pro and used to jump-start your own plan. Instructors can easily manage student plans with the streamlined sample plans included in the Academic Edition.

Why choose Business Plan Pro?

The academic edition of our business plan software makes it easy to teach and learn business planning.

  • Easy step-by-step process
  • 68 sample plans for guidance
  • Complete, integrated financials
  • Real-world forecasting tools
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Business Plan Pro Premier Edition
Palo Alto Software
$199.95 $159.95

Business Plan Pro Premier Edition

Create a comprehensive, professional business plan that you can use now, to attract investors, and then continue to use to manage and grow your business.

All the great features of the Standard Edition, PLUS!
Business Plan Pro Premier includes everything you'll find in the Standard Edition. Some of the most popular features include:
500+ sample plans
Automatic charts and graphs
Built-in financial formulas
Expert help and advice
9,000+ industry profiles
With the Premier Edition, you get everything that makes Business Plan Pro ideal for writing a business plan, plus additional tools to help you manage and grow your business.

 

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Business Plan Pro Standard Academic
Palo Alto Software
$49.95

Business plan software for educational use

Business Plan Pro Academic Edition is the most popular business plan software in academia, used and respected at thousands of colleges and universities around the world. It allows instructors to focus on teaching business planning and students to focus on writing their business plans.

Textbook integration

Prentice Hall bundles Business Plan Pro with several of its top textbooks on entrepreneurship and management, including:

  • Barringer, Entrepreneurship: Successfully Launching New Ventures (2nd Edition)
  • Barringer, Preparing Effective Business Plans: An Entrepreneurial Approach (1st Edition)
  • Scarborough, Zimmerer, and Wilson, Effective Small Business Management (9th Edition)
  • Robbins and Coulter, Management (9th Edition)
  • Wheelen and Hunger, Strategic Management and Business Policy (11th Edition)

60+ sample plans included

Get inspired with examples of complete business plans. Each sample plan can be edited directly in Business Plan Pro and used to jump-start your own plan. Instructors can easily manage student plans with the streamlined sample plans included in the Academic Edition.

Why choose Business Plan Pro?

The academic edition of our business plan software makes it easy to teach and learn business planning.

  • Easy step-by-step process
  • 68 sample plans for guidance
  • Complete, integrated financials
  • Real-world forecasting tools
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Business Plan Pro Standard Edition
Palo Alto Software
$99.95

Writing your business plan just got easier

We admit it. Writing a great business plan isn't exactly a breeze. But just like anything else, it's way easier when you are using the right tools. Business Plan Pro is packed with the features and advice you need to forget your fears and write your plan with the confidence of an expert. And to get expert results!

500+ sample plans

Say goodbye to writer's block and hello to getting your plan done quickly. Easily find, read, and edit more 2,000 samples and examples. Business Plan Pro software comes with more than 500 complete sample business plans for all sorts of company types.
The exclusive Sample Plan Browser lets you quickly find the plan that meets your needs. Then you can write up the plan in your own words (step-by-step guidance makes it a snap!). Or simply edit the text found in any of the real working sample plans. Every single plan can be opened and edited in Business Plan Pro to give you the jump-start you need.

Let the software do the math

Just plug in your numbers and the calculations are done for you. Now you have instant access to business planning calculations, and an explanation of every financial term. Only Business Plan Pro offers powerful, integrated financial and spreadsheet support.

A planning expert at your side

Tim Berry is the recognized authority on business planning. An expert business planner and principal author of Business Plan Pro, his advice and expertise guides you through every step of creating your business plan. He's a best-selling author and prolific writer, whose blogs can be found at TimBerry.com, Bplans.com, Amex Open Forum, and others. Using Business Plan Pro is like having Tim sitting next to you while you write your business plan.

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Business Plan Pro UK Edition
Palo Alto Software

How to write a business plan
We admit it. Writing a great business plan isn't exactly a breeze. But just like anything else, it's way easier when you are using the right tools. Business Plan Pro UK is packed with the features and advice you need to forget your fears and write your plan with the confidence of an expert. And to get expert results!

Examples at every step
With over 500 sample plans included in the software, you've got examples to help you write every part of your plan.
Say you're not sure what your Market Needs section should say. No problem - just click the Examples tab and view a handful of Market Needs descriptions. Insert an example that works for you, or just get a sense of direction for writing your own. No more wondering if you're doing it right.
Let the software do the maths
Just plug in your numbers and the calculations are done for you. Now you have instant access to business planning calculations, and an explanation of every financial term. Only Business Plan Pro UK offers powerful, integrated financial and spreadsheet support.


Easy to follow instructions
Wherever and whenever you need help, Business Plan Pro UK offers complete instructions for every topic and table in your business plan.

Business Plan Writing
Palo Alto Software

Professional business plan consulting you can afford
Get your business plan done today with expert business consultants by your side. Consulting firms can cost a fortune, but now you can get great business ideas and assistance from a seasoned planning professional, without breaking the bank.
Contact us to learn more: 888-498-6133

What is The Master Planner?
When you don't want to go it alone and want an affordable, reliable, expert to go with you through the process from conception to completion, you need the Master Planner. The Master Planner includes Business Plan Pro Premier Edition, the best-selling software solution for writing a comprehensive, professional business plan. The award-winning software is combined with the expertise of trusted business planning consultants who've created thousands of successful business plans for a huge range of businesses.
Kick off your planning process
Your Master Planner engagement starts with a comprehensive questionnaire provided to you by your personal business planning expert. Your answers to the detailed questions about your business will be used to form the structure of your business plan.


Contributions from a professional planner
Plan creation and format
After you return your completed questionnaire, your business planning consultant gets to work. First, they create the outline of your plan. Then, putting their business planning expertise to work for you, they'll format your answers into professional quality business writing. They know how to write business plans and what lenders and investors expect, and they'll make sure your plan meets those expectations.
Market research
They continue to contribute by completing one of the most time-consuming pieces of a business plan - the market research. Just finding the right information and presenting it accurately in your plan can be a real challenge. But you don't have to worry about that, because your business planning consultant takes care of all the market research for you! It'll be comprehensive and professional - just what you need to impress any audience.
A complete, custom business plan
When your business planning consultant is done with their part, they send you a customized Business Plan Pro file. You simply open it in your software and finish off your plan, with the confidence that comes from knowing you've got an expert on your side. You don't have to worry about what to include, because your consultant has already formatted your plan for you, filled in much of the content, and will check it over with you when you're done.


You actually can buy peace of mind
To end your Master Planner engagement, you send your completed business plan back to your consultant. Then you'll work together to make sure all the t's are crossed and the i's are dotted, and that your plan is ready to present. You'll get the feedback and suggestions you need to make your plan the best it can be. They'll even check over your financials for you.
You end up with peace of mind and a business plan that you'll be able to show to any bank, lender, or investor.
Call (888) 498- 6133 for more information or to get started now!

Creating a Successful Business Plan Guide
Palo Alto Software
$49.00

Creating a Successful Business Plan

Want to creat a successful business plan? Our startup guide will provide you with a clear roadmap to success. Available with or without our award-winning business plan software, the Creating a Successful Business Plan Startup Guide will put you on the fast track to small business success!

Planning for success in today’s fast-paced competitive world takes a lot of preparation, research and dedication. Whether you’re a seasoned business professional or an aspiring entrepreneur, a business plan is a must for getting financing to start or expand your business. And it provides you with a road map you can use to get and stay in the fast lane to success.

Filled with practical advice, easy-to-use how-to lists and forms, and step-by-step guidance, this guide offers you a proven blueprint for creating a high-impact business plan that will win you the financing and support you need, without the guesswork. In addition to the basics of a business plan, what essentials to include, the different types of plans and which type is best for you, you’ll also learn how to:

You'll even get a sample business plan to use as a guide and ensure you're on the right track. Order your guide today learn how to create the kind of powerful business plan that will carry you down the road to business success.

  • Identify, define and determine the best methods for reaching your business goals
  • Describe your company’s product or service in a way that sets you apart from the competition
  • Tailor each part of your business plan to the various needs of bankers, venture capitalists, partners, suppliers, accountants, lawyers and customers
  • Avoid common mistakes that can spell the difference between success and failure
  • Critique your plan for winning results

Excerpt from this guide

Why you absolutely need a business plan

A business plan is a written description of your business’s future. That’s all there is to it—it's a document that tells what you plan to do and how you plan to do it. If you jot down a paragraph on the back of an envelope describing your business strategy, you've written a plan, or at least the germ of a plan.

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Duct Tape Marketing by John Jantsch
John Jantsch
$14.99

Extend your marketing plan with practical tips from marketing guru John Jantsch in the companion book to his popular Duct Tape Marketing blog.

Duct Tape Marketing is a small business marketing roadmap, a collection of proven tools and tactics that shows small business owners exactly what to do to market and grow their businesses.

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Email Center Pro
Palo Alto Software

Want to wow your customers? Respond to their emails quickly and accurately. Email Center Pro lets your team handle a huge email load in record time, and gives you the oversight you need to make sure they're getting it right. Your customers will see you at your best, no matter how busy you are.

Accelerate your service
Send faster, better responses to your customers and spend less time answering email. Make sure every email is answered the right way, every time.

Save time and get organized
No more wondering if messages have been answered or who responded to what. Smart, efficient email handling is the secret to customer service success.

Powerful email metrics
Get new insight into your email work flow. When are you busiest? What's your average response time? Get ready to brag about your service quality.
 

 

Financing Your Small Business Guide
Palo Alto Software
$49.00

Financing Your Small Business

Want to finance your small business Our startup guide will provide you with a clear roadmap to success. Available with or without our award-winning business plan software, the Financing Your Small Business Startup Guide will put you on the fast track to small business success!In today's competitive business market, finding funding for starting or expanding a business can be a real challenge. In fact, fewer than 40 percent of entrepreneurs seeking funding each year actually get it. This must-have guide improves those odds by revealing over 101 sources of capital including:

  • Common sources of start-up funding
  • SBA-Guaranteed Business Loans
  • Community development financial institutions
  • Initial Public Offerings (IPOs)
  • 401(k) financing
  • Business incubators
  • Reverse mergers
  • Venture capitalists
  • And many more

In addition to in-depth explanations of each type of funding and source, we’ll help you choose which type of funding is best for your unique needs and give you expert advice and proven strategies for preparing first-rate loan requests that get results. We've even included a state-by-state index of banks friendly to new and existing small businesses.

Order Financing Your Small Business today and dramatically improve your odds of getting the funding you need to start or grow your business.

Excerpt from this guide

If you are starting a business, it's your baby.This idea may leave you feeling simultaneously liberated and inspired. But it also has an edge. Specifically, if it's your baby, it's also your obligation to finance it beyond the "I've got an idea" stage. How about the entrepreneur who wants to raise $25,000 from outside investors to start a restaurant? It's unlikely he will succeed in getting people to reach for their checkbooks.

Why not? First, if the would-be restaurateur can't scratch together $25,000 out of his own resources or credit, it's highly unlikely that an investor would view him or her as having the kind of chutzpah needed to make a go of it in the restaurant business.

Second, and more to the point, if this entrepreneur can raise these funds from his own resources but did not want to for fear of losing them, then any investor is sure to ask, "If you won't take a chance on this, why should I?"

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How to Become a College Planning Consultant
Palo Alto Software
$49.00

How to Start a College Planning Consultant

Want to become a college planning consultant? Our startup guide will provide you with a clear roadmap to success. Available with or without our award-winning business plan software, the College Planning Consultant Startup Guide will put you on the fast track to small business success!

The number of graduating high school students submitting college applications has risen steadily in the past 10 years. What hasn’t risen much, though, is the number of college consultants available to help those kids make one of the most important decisions of their young lives. That makes this the perfect time for you to launch a career as a college consultant.

This guide gives you all the practical information you need to enter this dynamic profession. Besides being filled with insider information from industry experts and practicing college consultants who have thriving businesses of their own, this guide contains valuable tips and useful advice on:

  • Utilizing demographics to market your business
  • Setting fees in a competitive market
  • Using free resources to land new business
  • Equipping a home office
  • Building an informative website
  • Handling day-to-day operations
  • Managing the finances
  • And much, much more

Many college consultants operate their businesses out of a home office, and there’s no need for employees, expensive tools, or extensive training. All of this keeps your overhead low and the ultimate return on your investment high.

With nearly 16 million college-bound kids in the academic pipeline, this is a great time to turn your interest in academia into a rewarding career. Purchase your guide today.

Excerpt from this guide

Busy lifestyles have spawned them. More than 4,100 institutions of higher learning have made them possible. Nearly 16 million students have created a demand for them. And now you can take advantage of today's evergrowing need for college admissions/ financial aid consulting services by throwing your hat—or shall we say mortarboard?— into this interesting and rewarding arena.

Today's college planning consultants—used interchangeably in this book with educational consultants or college admissions/ financial aid consulting professionals—offer a wide array of valuable services to students and their parents. For instance, they help steer students during their high school days to the academic, extracurricular and athletic pursuits that will increase their chances of being admitted to the college(s) of their choice. They help them wade through the mounds of paperwork necessary to apply for both admission and financial aid, and they make sure the forms are submitted on time. They also specialize in helping at-risk students, learning-disabled students and other nontraditional students achieve their highest potential.

In extreme cases, they may even help save lives, which may sound dramatic until you consider that placing at-risk young people firmly on the path to college success truly can help them avoid making bad lifestyle choices that could negatively impact the rest of their lives.

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How to Become a Personal Concierge / Shopper
Palo Alto Software
$49.00

How to Start a Personal Concierge / Shopper

Want to start a personal concierge / shopper? Our startup guide will provide you with a clear roadmap to success. Available with or without our award-winning business plan software, the Personal Concierge / Shopper Startup Guide will put you on the fast track to small business success!

Personal assistants aren't just for the rich and famous anymore. More and more people are willing to pay good money for personal services that help make their lives easier. Our guide will show you how to get started in two high-paying and exciting personal service businesses: personal concierge and personal shopper.

As a personal concierge, clients will hire you to plan trips, make dinner reservations, get concert tickets, pick-up dry cleaning and myriad other errands they simply don't have time to do themselves. Love to shop? Become a personal shopper and get paid to shop for gifts, fashions and just about anything else people buy. Some personal shoppers even act as wardrobe consultants to celebrities.

Startup is easy. Overhead is low. And you can even work out of your home. All you need to get started is a phone, some business cards, and this essential guide. It teaches you everything you need to know, including:

  • Making the right contacts to find great business and individual clients
  • Using the internet to make your job easier
  • Building loyalty among clients and getting glowing referrals
  • Choosing what services to offer and setting fees
  • What it takes to gain the competitive edge

Whichever path you choose, our guide is your key to success. You’ll learn everything you need to know to start and run your new business. Sample forms, additional resources, checklists and work sheets guide you through every step of the startup process, putting you on the road to success in your own concierge business today!

Excerpt from this guide

Concierges have been around in one form or another for centuries, but the personal concierge burst onto the scene only in the late 1990s. Today, more people have less time for everyday tasks, and many of them rely on personal concierges for everything from walking the dog to getting dinner on the table. There are few tasks a personal concierge won't tackle, as long as the chore is legal, of course.

Although personal concierge services really just came about in the last decade, the number of companies that serve time-starved clients is mushrooming, right along with customer demand for such businesses. One San Francisco-based concierge business saw its client base double in 2002 and continued to grow up to 50 percent annually for several years after that. Some 2,000 miles away, a Chicago concierge firm that began with 25 clients in 2003 grew to serve more than 85 clients in just a couple of years.

In this chapter, we'll explore the new trend toward personal concierge services as well as the history of the concierge profession.

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How to Become a Wedding Consultant
Palo Alto Software
$49.00

How to Start a Wedding Consultancy

Want to become a wedding consultant? Our startup guide will provide you with a clear roadmap to success. Available with or without our award-winning business plan software, the Wedding Consultant Startup Guide will put you on the fast track to small business success!

Although it's difficult to put an exact number on how many wedding consultant businesses there are nationwide, the best guess is approximately 10,000, according to Gerard Monaghan, president of the Association of Bridal Consultants (ABC). Monaghan says that although no one formally tracks these figures, his estimate is based on the number of people who pay for memberships to the various professional associations as well as the number of people on mailing lists available from list brokers.

According to Monaghan, one out of every eight retail dollars is spent on wedding-related products and services. That makes the wedding industry a $42 billion business, although some estimates put that figure as high as $70 billion. Part of the reason for the big bucks spent on a dream wedding is that there are often six wage earners funding the event: the bridal couple, the bride's parents and the groom's parents. This has driven the cost of the average wedding up over the years. Robbi G.W. Ernst III, president of June Wedding Inc., an association for event professionals, says the average cost of a wedding in the United States is now around $17,500 for 125 to150 guests. However, the average cost of a wedding can be $35,000 or more in larger metropolitan areas, where incomes are higher and services are more expensive.

This industry outlook sets the stage for success for both new and established wedding consultants. According to Ernst, a novice consultant who coordinates 10 weddings a year and charges the industry's standard fee of 10 to15 percent per event can expect to gross $17,500 to $26,250 in sales. A more experienced consultant who handles 40 weddings a year can earn $70,000 or more.

Excerpt from this guide

Once upon a time on a perfect summer day, guests in colorful wedding finery filled an old cathedral. The fragrance of dew-kissed blossoms wafted through the air as soft organ music played. A radiant bride walked up the aisle on the arm of her father to meet the handsome groom waiting at the altar...

Fairy tales like this do come true. Now more than ever, wedding consultants are making them happen. In the last decade, the need for professional wedding consultants has grown exponentially. Today, women are often simply too busy juggling the demands of their professional and personal lives to oversee the details necessary to create the wedding of their dreams. This has created an enormous opportunity for anyone considering becoming a wedding consultant.

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How to Become an Information Consultant
Palo Alto Software
$49.00

How to Start an Information Consultancy

Want to become an information consultant? Our startup guide will provide you with a clear roadmap to success. Available with or without our award-winning business plan software, the Information Consultant Startup Guide will put you on the fast track to small business success!

If you have a computer, modem and printer, you're already on your way to becoming a highly paid, high-tech researcher. Corporations, law firms and even other small businesses often need hard-to-find information, but don't have the time or personnel to find it. That's where you come in:

As an information consultant, companies pay you to search online services and databases, dig through libraries, access government archives, and locate experts over the phone.

Best of all, thanks to the vast amount of information available on the internet, you can conduct the majority of your research from the comfort of your own home.

This guide is ideal for a home based business. Order today. Add our e-Business guide to your order, and learn how to take your business online.

Excerpt from this guide

Information consultant. It kind of sounds like someone James Bond would consult to find the location of stolen secret government documents, doesn’t it? Bond slips you an envelope full of money, and you hand him a computer disk labeled “For Your Eyes Only,” with all the information he so desperately needs but couldn’t find himself. The country is saved, and you’re off to the bank to make a deposit.

While the real life of an information consultant may not have all the cloak-and-dagger stuff, who wouldn’t trade that excitement for the ability to do all the sleuthing from the comfort your own home—with the same trip to the bank at the end?

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How to Start a Bar / Club
Palo Alto Software
$49.00

How to Start a Bar / Club

Want to start a bar / club? Our startup guide will provide you with a clear roadmap to success. Available with or without our award-winning business plan software, the Bar / Club Startup Guide will put you on the fast track to small business success!There are few businesses as glamorous as owning a bar or club. You'll be the proprietor of the establishment where people meet, greet, eat and drink. It'll be a home away from home for some of your customers, and you'll be the ruler of this social roost.

The profit potential for bars is incredible. By taking a $20 bottle of liquor, and selling it an ounce at a time for $1.50 and up, you can make as much as $192 per bottle. That's a whopping 800 percent return on your investment!

Owning your own bar or club can mean long hours, meticulous attention to detail, giving up vacations and weekends, and sometimes dealing with unruly customers. But if you have a clear vision, do your homework, and learn the ins and outs of the business, it can also translate into a rewarding and financially successful enterprise. If you're friendly, outgoing, like people and have good business sense, you're already well on your way.

Our step-by-step guide will help you turn your dream into a moneymaking reality. We cover the several types of bars you can open--neighborhood bar, sports bar, brewpub, wine or martini bar, and nightclub--and how to get those bar stools filled with happy customers. The author explains step by step everything you need to know before opening your doors. Topics covered include how to:

  • Research your target market
  • Find the perfect location
  • Hire a knowledgeable staff
  • Navigate the red tape that accompanies serving alcohol and food
  • Understand the logistics of inventory and equipping your bar
  • Compete with other bars and nightlife venues
  • Keep your clients entertained--and get them to make more purchases--once they're in your bar
  • And much more!

We share insider tips to increase your bottom line and make your venture a success. This easy-to-use guide also includes useful sample forms, cost-cutting ideas, common mistakes to avoid, and additional resources, plus step-by-step instructions, checklists, and work sheets that will guide you through every aspect of the start-up process. Order this book today and start living your dream.

Excerpt from this guide

Cheers! L'Chaim! Salud!

Friends, laughter, celebrations, entertainment—fun! These are the things that might come to your mind when you think about owning your own bar as you imagine rooms filled with friendly conversation, music and people enjoying themselves. If you’re thinking of opening a sports bar, you might envision an exciting game on big-screen TVs with everyone cheering and having a great time. Owning a bar sounds like the perfect life to many potential entrepreneurs, but it’s not always fun and games behind the scenes. Owning a bar/club can mean long hours, meticulous attention to detail, giving up vacations and weekends, and sometimes dealing with unruly customers. But if you have a clear vision, do your homework and learn the ins and outs of the business, it can also translate into a rewarding and financially successful enterprise.

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How to Start a Bed and Breakfast
Palo Alto Software
$49.00

How to Start a Bed and Breakfast

Want to start a bed and breakfast? Our startup guide will provide you with a clear roadmap to success. Available with or without our award-winning business plan software, the Bed and Breakfast Startup Guide will put you on the fast track to small business success!

Do you enjoy meeting new people and sharing experiences? Are you willing to open your home to others? Then you should consider a career as an innkeeper.

Clear, concise, proven startup advice: We consulted with scores of entrepreneurs already running successful B&B's, and collected their secrets, tips and hints for success to pass on to you in this step-by-step guide.

While no two B&B's are identical, they share certain basic startup and operating principles--and this guide covers them all.

If you already own a home, we show you how to convert it into an inn. If not, we show you how to find the right location and how to purchase property. You also learn about licensing and financing, how to run a restaurant, how to hire personnel and more.

There's even a section that walks you through a typical day at a B&B so you know exactly what to expect.

This guide makes an ideal homebased business.

Excerpt from this guide

A romantic room for two in a historic home, aglow with the patina of lovingly restored antiques, the luster of fine china and the sparkle of silver. A fire crackles in the hearth and the rich scents of fresh coffee and homemade cinnamon rolls waft up from the kitchen. It’s the picture most people conjure when they consider a stay at a bed and breakfast. And it's an accurate portrait.

But not the only one. Bed and breakfasts lodging with a twist—are typically found in historic homes, from Revolution-era townhouses to Queen Anne mansions to Craftsman bungalows. But B&Bs also occupy such nontraditional buildings as colonial taverns, Gay ’90s schoolhouses, Roaring ’20s banks, Victorian lighthouses and a panoply of other structures steeped in history and romance. And you’ll discover wonderful bed and breakfasts in modern Manhattan highrises, on working dairy farms and cattle ranches, and in many a new home perched beside a river, lake or the sea.

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How to Start a Business Course
Tim Berry

Take this course if you are...

  • An entrepreneur
  • Thinking about starting a business
  • In the process of starting a business
  • Writing a business plan
  • Growing your business
  • Marketing your business
  • Need help understanding the financials of your business
  • Pitching your business to a bank or investors

You will learn...

  • What it means to be an entrepreneur
  • The basics you need to succeed in business
  • The starting cost you will need for your business
  • To understand your target market and how best to identify them
  • How to create a successful marketing strategy and reach your customers
  • The best ways to present your business to investors
  • What you should include in your business plan to secure funding
  • The benefits and costs associated with having an online presence
  • How to build the best team to run your business
  • What your break-even point is and how you reach that point
  • How to handle the financials of your business, like estimating sales, the difference between cash and profits, and more.

Tim Berry is the founder of Palo Alto Software, makers of the top selling business plan software in the world. He is also the founder of Bplans.com, co-founder of Borland International, author of several best-selling books on business planning, and has a Stanford MBA.

Tim has spent his entire career focused on entrepreneurship and business planning. As a consultant Tim has helped businesses such as Apple, Autodesk, and McDonalds with their business planning.

As an entrepreneur, he started a company from nothing and grew it to own 70% market share without any outside investment. As an educator, Tim taught entrepreneurship at the University of Oregon for 11 years.

In 2001 Tim won the USASBE (United States Association of Small Business and Entrepreneurship) Corporate Entrepreneur of the Year award and a USASBE award for teaching. His books have been published by Harcourt Brace, McGraw-Hill, Dow Jones-Irwin and Entrepreneur Press.

This course contains...

  • 12 chapters
  • 40 video tutorials
  • 14 articles
  • Slide notes for all chapter videos
  • Downloadable business plan outline
  • Downloadable financial worksheet

Course Outline:

  1. What is Entrepreneurship?
  2. Concept Kick Start
  3. Business Basics
  4. Know Your Market
  5. Marketing Strategy
  6. Basic Financials
  7. Forecast Sales & Expenses
  8. Getting Financed
  9. Building a Team
  10. The Web
  11. Cash and Taxes
  12. Plans and Pitches
How to Start a Car Wash Business
Palo Alto Software
$49.00

How to Start a Car Wash Business

Want to start a car wash business? Our startup guide will provide you with a clear roadmap to success. Available with or without our award-winning business plan software, the Car Wash Business Startup Guide will put you on the fast track to small business success

There are a lot of things people like to do with their weekends--and for most, washing their cars is a chore not included on that list. But there are more than 100 million cars and trucks on the road that still need care, and that's where your cleaning expertise comes in.

Statistics show that today's car owners are serious about their investments, holding on to their automobiles longer and taking better care of them, including keeping them spic-and-span.

Our jam-packed guide walks you through the four different types of car washes you can start--full-service, self-service, automatic rollover and exterior conveyorized--and covers the pros and cons of each so you can determine which is best for you.

You also learn the startup costs of each, as well as the equipment needed, the administrative tasks involved in daily operations, the personnel needed to staff your business, and what it's like to run a car wash on a day-to-day basis. We also help you find innovative ways to promote your business so you've got a line of cars just waiting to get in, plus how to write a business plan to put you on the road to success.

How to Start a Car Wash Business

Want to start a car wash business? Our startup guide will provide you with a clear roadmap to success. Available with or without our award-winning business plan software, the Car Wash Business Startup Guide will put you on the fast track to small business success!

There are a lot of things people like to do with their weekends--and for most, washing their cars is a chore not included on that list. But there are more than 100 million cars and trucks on the road that still need care, and that's where your cleaning expertise comes in.

Statistics show that today's car owners are serious about their investments, holding on to their automobiles longer and taking better care of them, including keeping them spic-and-span.

Our jam-packed guide walks you through the four different types of car washes you can start--full-service, self-service, automatic rollover and exterior conveyorized--and covers the pros and cons of each so you can determine which is best for you.

You also learn the startup costs of each, as well as the equipment needed, the administrative tasks involved in daily operations, the personnel needed to staff your business, and what it's like to run a car wash on a day-to-day basis. We also help you find innovative ways to promote your business so you've got a line of cars just waiting to get in, plus how to write a business plan to put you on the road to success.

Excerpt from this guide

You’ve probably never stopped to think about where your local car wash fits into the grand scheme of the car wash industry. The only thing you know is that when your car gets dirty you need to wash it, and the closest place to get that done is probably where you go.

Maybe you’ve spent some time considering opening a car wash business of your own while waiting in line for a wash on a bright and sunny Saturday morning. You’ve probably seen a dozen or more cars in queue, with each owner paying between $5 and $10 for a wash that they may not even be totally satisfied with. If you're like many entrepreneurs, you may have started doing some quick math in your head—projecting what the car wash owner is probably making in one month, then one year. Maybe you even thought "Boy, this place is a cash cow!"
 

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How to Start a Child Care Service
Palo Alto Software
$49.00

How to Start a Child Care Service

Want to start a child care service? Our startup guide will provide you with a clear roadmap to success. Available with or without our award-winning business plan software, the Child Care Service Startup Guide will put you on the fast track to small business success!

One of the biggest challenges facing working parents today is caring for their children. With more and more parents needing someone to watch over their kids, the market for child-care services is growing. If you enjoy working with kids, a child-care service is one business you’re sure to find very rewarding, both financially and personally.

Whether you want to start a family-style child-care center in your home, a large center at a commercial site or a niche business like child transportation, our guide has got you covered. Loaded with proven strategies, valuable information and insider tips from business experts and successful child-care service owners, it tells you everything you need to know to start, run and grow your own lucrative child-care business, including:

  • Legal and insurance concerns
  • Facility location and set up considerations
  • Security issues
  • How to establish and revise rates
  • Hour and policy considerations
  • Records to obtain from parents

You'll also get first-hand testimonials from child-care providers along with handy worksheets, checklists and forms to help you reach your goals. The sooner you get your guide, the sooner you can get starting building your own successful business. If you enjoy working with children, this is the guide for you!

Excerpt from this guide

One of the biggest challenges facing working American parents today is caring for the children. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, only 13 percent of all families fit the traditional model of husband as wage-earner and wife as homemaker. In 61 percent of married-couple families, both husband and wife work outside the home. Six out of every 10 mothers of children under age 6 are employed, and the labor-force participation of women in their childbearing years continues to expand. As the number of working parents in America rises, so will the demand for child care.

Another issue that has an impact on child-care issues is the new, 24-hour global market. Occupations with a high number of employees working nights and weekends—such as janitorial, hospitality, customer service and technical support—are experiencing substantial growth, and workers in these fields are finding obtaining quality child care an even greater challenge than their 9-to-5 counterparts.

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How to Start a Cleaning Service
Palo Alto Software
$49.00

How to Start a Cleaning Service

Want to start a cleaning service? Our startup guide will provide you with a clear roadmap to success. Available with or without our award-winning business plan software, the Cleaning Service Startup Guide will put you on the fast track to small business success!

Households are not the only places that require a thorough cleaning—so do offices, retail locations, and other businesses. The list doesn’t end there—if it can be cleaned, chances are people will pay you to clean it. That's why few industries can claim the variety and depth of opportunities that professional cleaning can. And the vast majority of dual-income families use cleaning services, which means your market is huge.

Most cleaning service businesses can be operated on either a part-time or full-time basis, either from home or from a commercial location. The best part is, you can build an extremely profitable business that will generate revenue very quickly with little initial investment!

This in-depth guide shows you how to start three of the most in-demand cleaning businesses—residential maid service, commercial janitorial and carpet/upholstery cleaning—and offers invaluable insights on:

  • Current statistics and trend forecasts that keep you ahead of the curve
  • The ins and outs of finding customers
  • New ideas for hiring and training employees
  • What equipment and supplies you’ll need (and where to find them)
  • How to use technology to make your business competitive
  • Up-to-date legal, tax and insurance requirements
  • How to avoid common pitfalls
  • Surefire tips for growing your business

It also contains answers to frequently asked questions, an appendix of additional resources, and checklists to guide you through each step of the startup process. If you want to start your own successful cleaning business, take your first steps with our startup guide.

Excerpt from this guide

If it can get dirty, chances are someone will be willing to pay you to clean it. And that’s why few industries can claim the variety and depth of opportunities that professional cleaning can.

The cleaning industry has two primary market groups: consumer and commercial. The consumer arena consists primarily of residential maid services, along with carpet cleaners, window cleaners and a variety of other cleaning services required on a less-frequent basis. The commercial arena is dominated by janitorial services, which typically provide a wider range of services than maid services, along with other cleaning companies, such as carpet and window cleaners, that target businesses rather than individual consumers. While it’s recommended that you decide on a niche and concentrate on building a business that will serve your chosen market, it is entirely realistic to expect to be able to serve multiple markets successfully.

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How to Start a Coaching Business
Palo Alto Software
$49.00

Turn your passion for life into a fulfilling, lucrative career as a motivational coach. Whether you want to inspire others to go after their dreams, achieve their business goals or better manage their everyday life, Entrepreneur gives you the steps you need to get started.

This hands-on guide shows you how to launch your own successful coaching company, helping clients with life, motivation and business. Learn step by step how to establish your business, position yourself as an expert, attract clients and build revenue. Our experts provide real-life examples, sound business advice and priceless tips to put you on your way to making a difference- and making money.

Learn how to:

  • Set up your business with minimal startup investment
  • Develop your coaching expertise
  • Build a business brand that gets noticed
  • Capture clients by showing them you're worth their money
  • Price your service
  • Advertise and publicize to attract more clients
  • Boost profits by expanding your business

You already have the motivation and the passion - this guide shows you how to share it with others and make a profit!

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How to Start a Coin-Op Laundry
Palo Alto Software
$49.00

How to Start a Coin-Op Laundry

Want to start a coin-op laundry? Our startup guide will provide you with a clear roadmap to success. Available with or without our award-winning business plan software, the Coin-Op Laundry Startup Guide will put you on the fast track to small business success!

The problem with most high-profit businesses is that you spend so much time on the job that you have little free time to enjoy the fruits of your labor. But coin-operated laundries are different. They’re low-maintenance, recession-proof, and you can make as much as $200,000 a year working only part-time hours. But you have to know what you’re doing. And with our guide, you will.

You’ll get an in-depth overview of the industry — where it’s been and where it’s likely to go — and learn everything you need to know before launching your own self-serve laundry business including:

  • New ideas for marketing your laundry
  • An expanded section on hiring and training attendants
  • Updated information on card systems
  • Recent advances in laundry equipmen
  • The latest on laws and regulations concerning laundries
  • More ways to combine a laundry with other businesses

You’ll also get first-hand advice from successful coin-op laundry owners on how to create an inviting atmosphere that will draw customers in and keep them coming back.

Clean clothes are a necessity, not a luxury. People are going to use laundromats no matter how the stock market is performing. So if you’re looking for an easy-to-run business that will keep the cash flowing no matter how the rest of the economy is doing, you’ve found it.

And while you're at it, why not order our Vending Business guide, too? It makes an ideal companion business and it's a great way to augment your income.

Excerpt from this guide

The coin-operated laundry industry has undergone a revolution. No longer dingy, unsafe, boring places that customers must endure on a weekly basis, laundromats are becoming fun and attractive multiservice centers that customers enjoy visiting. "The industry is now getting a facelift," says Brian Wallace, president and CEO of the Coin Laundry Association, a national association for self-service laundry owners. "There's a trend toward coin laundries being more comfortable for the customer." The newer laundries have snack bars, a place to leave off and pick up dry cleaning, and video games. Some of them don’t even use coins. Instead, customers use swipe cards that subtract the cost of the wash or dry, much like a phone card or debit card. Many laundry owners also employ attendants to keep an eye on the store and help customers use the equipment.

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How to Start a Consulting Service
Palo Alto Software
$49.00

How to Start a Consulting Service

Want to start a consulting service? Our startup guide will provide you with a clear roadmap to success. Available with or without our award-winning business plan software, the Consulting Service Startup Guide will put you on the fast track to small business success!Consulting is big business these days. And it’s an excellent way to turn your knowledge and experience into big bucks. Whether you’re a computer whiz, a business expert or a fundraising dynamo, your special skills are in high demand. Capitalize on your talents by offering them to businesses ranging from small start-up firms to Fortune 500 corporations—at a price! Many consultants make $1,500 or more a day!

No matter what your area of expertise, our guide will tell you everything you need to know to start your own successful consulting business. In addition to overviews of 20 top consulting businesses, it provides practical solutions and proven strategies to help you get your consulting service off the ground. In this step-by-step guide, you'll discover how to:

  • Assess your skills
  • Define your market
  • Find and keep clients
  • Obtain licenses
  • Set rates
  • Monitor cash flow
  • Hire staff
  • Use the internet to boost business
  • Prepare contracts, agreements and reports
  • And more!

Whether you're a retired professional seeking a second career, a corporate consultant ready to get out on your own, or just want to be your own boss, our guide is an invaluable resource for making your dream of professional independence come true. Order yours today!

Excerpt from this guide

What is a consultant? The dictionary defines a consultant as “an expert in a particular field who works as an advisor either to a company or to another individual.” Sounds pretty vague, doesn’t it? But unless you’ve been in a coma for the past decade, you probably have a good idea what a consultant is.

Businesses certainly understand what consultants are and what their value is. According to the online statistical source Biz-Stats.com, U.S. businesses spent nearly $28 billion on consulting services in 2003, while Plunkett Research Ltd. reports that worldwide consulting revenues were $115 billion. And since at least 60 percent of all businesses use independent contractors such as consultants (according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics), you can see that the market is wide open for new consultants in virtually every industry.

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How to Start a Crafts Business
Palo Alto Software
$49.00

How to Start a Crafts Business

Want to start a crafts business? Our startup guide will provide you with a clear roadmap to success. Available with or without our award-winning business plan software, the Crafts Business Startup Guide will put you on the fast track to small business success!

If you're creative and enjoy working with your hands, a crafts business could be your path to financial independence. With a minimal investment, you can start grossing up to $100,000 a year doing something you love.

This guide starts with an overview of the industry, looks at some specific crafts businesses, and then walks you through the step-by-step process of setting up and running your new venture. You learn about basic requirements and startup costs, daily operations, and what to do when things don’t go according to plan. You gain a solid understanding of the sales and marketing process, as well as how to track and manage the financial side of your business. Throughout the guide, you hear from crafters who have built successful operations and are eager to share what they learned in the process.

This guide makes a great homebased business. Add our e-Business guide to your order, and learn how to take your business online.

Excerpt from this guide

In this book, craft refers to any handmade item that can be given as a gift or sold—and if you've attended a crafts fair, you may have been surprised by what craftspeople sell and what people are willing to buy. The unpredictability of the crafts market is one of the intriguing and challenging aspects of the business.

In Craft Today: Poetry of the Physical, Paul J. Smith writes, "In its broadest sense craft refers to the creation of original objects through an artist’s disciplined manipulation of material. Historically craft was identified with producing objects that were necessary to life. Modern industrialized society eliminates the need to make by hand essentials for living. The term craft now must be defined in the context of a society that focuses on greater efficiency by technological achievement."

The question of whether crafts are art or a separate medium may never be definitively answered. In The Crafts of the Modern World, Rose Slivka writes, "Throughout their long history, crafts have produced useful objects which are later considered fine art. Time has a way of overwhelming the functional value of an object that outlives the men who made and used it, with the power of its own objective presence—that life-invest quality of being that transcends and energizes. When this happens, such objects are forever honored for their own sakes—they are art."

Of course, for someone wanting to start a crafts business, the question of whether the products are art may not be particularly important. A more critical question is whether you can make money.

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How to Start a Fashion Accessories Business
Palo Alto Software
$49.00

How to Start a Fashion Accessories Business

Want to start a fashion accessories business? Our startup guide will provide you with a clear roadmap to success. Available with or without our award-winning business plan software, the Fashion Accessories Business Startup Guide will put you on the fast track to small business success!

A billion-dollar industry, fashion accessories offer a world of business possibilities for stylish entrepreneurs like you! From jewelry and handbags to scarves and hats, Entrepreneur covers the hottest accessories businesses within the flourishing fashion industry.

Learn how to create and sell your own accessories, buy wholesale accessories for resale, or establish your own online or traditional store! Providing insider advice, tips, and tricks along the way, our expert fashionistas take you step by step and show you how to discover your specialty, establish your business, set up your home workshop and office, manage your finances, and much more!

  • Choose from popular fashion accessory niches— handcrafted jewelry, handbags, belts, scarves, and hats
  • Discover the right sales avenue for your products
  • Outfit your home workshop and office with the right tools and supplies
  • Partner with retailers and designers to boost brand recognition
  • Efficiently manage inventory and supplies for easy order fulfillment
  • Boost profits by expanding and cross-marketing your product line
  • And more

Excerpt from this guide

Fashion accessories command 10 percent of the overall fashion market, or $30 billion, according to the Accessories Council, an organization dedicated to raising awareness of and demand for fashion accessories. Fashion accessories include everything from footwear and handbags to jewelry and watches, gloves and scarves, hats and headbands, belts and ties, wraps and anything else people use to polish their look and create their own style.

This book provides the advice and background you need to start a hip and trendy fashion accessories business. The businesses featured in this book are grouped into three categories: handcrafted jewelry; handbags and tote bags; and belts, scarves and hats. But it’s not unusual in this industry to find accessories businesses that carry a mix of products, particularly when they're sold in a brick-and-mortar or virtual store. However, because it's hard work launching a new business and because product categories have their own unique characteristics, demands and sources, it's really recommended that you initially focus on a single product line. As you become more familiar with business operations like production, inventory management and sales, you can entertain the idea of expanding and cross-marketing your product line.

While this book covers advice on how to start a brick-and-mortar retail operation, it's recommended at this stage of your fashion career that you start your business as a homebased virtual or wholesale operation. When you’re trying to adjust to a new career with its unfamiliar demands, it's important to keep things as simple as possible, and running a retail store, overseeing employees and managing vast inventories while still trying to have a personal life is a tall order.

There's another important reason to start as a homebased business: You can get underway with a fairly low investment of capital. Since low and unpredictable cash flow are major challenges faced by new business owners, challenges that have been known to sink even the most intrepid entrepreneur, keeping your expenses as low as possible improves your chances of success.

Turn your passion for fashion into a successful business today!

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How to Start a Freelance Writing Business
Palo Alto Software
$49.00

How to Start a Freelance Writing Business

Want to start a freelance writing business? Our startup guide will provide you with a clear roadmap to success. Available with or without our award-winning business plan software, the Freelance Writing Business Startup Guide will put you on the fast track to small business success!

Are you ready to free yourself from commuter traffic, office hours and boring writing projects? Then it's time to take your writing career into your own hands-and start your professional freelance writing business! One of the fastest and least expensive homebased businesses to start, the business of freelance writing lets you turn your writing talent into professional independence-set your own hours, choose your own projects and take charge of your income! This complete guide arms you with all you need to know to not only start your freelance writing business but to make sure it's a success. Learn how to:

  • Start your business instantly and for little money
  • Operate your business using freelance business basics and rules
  • Choose your writing niche
  • Use your writing expertise to advertise and find clients
  • Increase your income by improving your writing skills and expanding your client base
  • Start your freelance writing business today-and begin earning income tomorrow!

Excerpt from this guide

Imagine opening a business that takes very little money to start. You can work in your pajamas, if you want. You do most, if not all, of your work from your own home. You choose your work hours.

Welcome to the world of freelance writing! Here's a business opportunity that offers all of the above, plus many other benefits. You operate your own business, choose assignments, get your work done, and collect your fees. The trip to the bank always makes you smile.

The world of freelance writing is wide, competitive and open. One of its benefits is the ease of getting started. No matter in what area you choose to work, you can quickly offer your services as a freelancer.

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How to Start a Freight Brokerage Business
Palo Alto Software
$49.00

How to Start a Freight Brokerage Business

Want to start a freight brokerage business? Our startup guide will provide you with a clear roadmap to success. Available with or without our award-winning business plan software, the Freight Brokerage Business Startup Guide will put you on the fast track to small business success!

Although the United States may be shifting from a manufacturing to an information-based economy, there will never be a time when goods don't have to move. And since the majority of goods shipped in the United States are sent by truck, the role of freight broker is a crucial one: Without freight brokers, most of those goods would end up sitting in a warehouse or on the docks and never get to their final destinations.

As a freight broker, you can make good money, right from your home, matching carriers with shippers for a fee. It's a very easy business to start--there's no special training or knowledge of the shipping industry needed. And equipment costs are minimal--all you really need is a computer, a phone and a fax machine. Our guide will do the rest. We'll show you how to:

  • Locate startup funds and set your prices
  • Understand the legal documents you'll be dealing with
  • Find carriers and shippers
  • Market your services
  • Build your client base
  • And much more

Freight brokers fill a critical need in the United States, and there's always room in the industry for someone who can offer reasonably priced, dependable service.

Excerpt from this guide

The transportation industry in general and the trucking industry specifically are critical to the economic and social survival of local communities, the country and, indeed, the entire world. Think about the times major transportation systems have failed, either because of mechanical problems, natural disasters or labor conflicts. When cargo can’t move, the repercussions are serious and widespread. Store shelves are emptied, perishable goods spoil, factories are shut down, workers are idled—the list goes on.

The United States may be shifting from a manufacturing to an information-based economy, and technology is certainly impacting every business, but there will never be a time when goods do not have to move.

"Logistics professionals in the United States—shippers, intermediaries and carriers—have transformed the way we do business," says Robert A. Voltmann, executive director and CEO of the Transportation Intermediaries Association (TIA) in Alexandria, Virginia.

"In the process, our national economy has been transformed as well. Transportation has become a strategic asset. Inventory is now stored in motion as we have been able to move to just-in-time delivery. More goods are being moved and with more efficiency and reliability than ever before."

Take a look around your home or office. It's highly unlikely that you have much—if anything at all—that didn't reach you either entirely or partially by truck. The size and scope of the motor freight industry can be overwhelming. The good news is that there’s plenty of room for you.

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How to Start a Gift Basket Service
Palo Alto Software
$49.00

How to Start a Gift Basket Service

Want to start a gift basket service? Our startup guide will provide you with a clear roadmap to success. Available with or without our award-winning business plan software, the Gift Basket Service Startup Guide will put you on the fast track to small business success!

Are you a creative person who likes to give every gift an extra-special touch? Then a gift-basket service is the perfect homebased business for you. In today's fast-paced world, few people have time to find that gift that's just right. Both corporate customers and individuals have found gift baskets to be the ideal solution, creating a rapidly growing market that means big profits for you.

Startup is easy: There are few equipment requirements and no need for a retail store, so starting it from home, full or part time, is ideal And you can set your own hours and workload.

Best of all, gift baskets are fun to create and practically sell themselves. Order your guide now!

Excerpt from this guide

Although gift baskets are one of today’s hottest businesses, with steady growth expected to continue well into the foreseeable future, they’re not at all new. In fact, gift baskets have been a traditional form of gift giving ever since humans figured out how to weave baskets. Throughout history, baskets filled with fruit, nuts, wild game and other foodstuff, flowers and other material tokens have been presented as a sign of affection or a gesture of goodwill. The contents could be consumed, and the container then used for cooking, storing and transporting food, or for some other practical or decorative purpose. It was a gift that had great value and essentially no waste.

Add e-Business to your order, and learn how to take your business online.

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How to Start a Grant Writing Business
Palo Alto Software
$49.00

How to Start a Grant Writing Business

Want to start a grant writing business? Our startup guide will provide you with a clear roadmap to success. Available with or without our award-winning business plan software, the Grant Writing Business Startup Guide will put you on the fast track to small business success!

Thanks to funders like the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, grant writing is a growing industry and a vital service needed by nonprofit organizations. Order this guide and learn how to use your existing talents to get started as a grant writer—earning not only big profits but the priceless satisfaction that comes from helping laudable causes find funding.

Grant writing is a craft that can be cultivated and mastered, and we show you how. You learn the main elements of a grant proposal, how to identify a need and propose a solution for foundations, where to look for grant funders, and what tactics to use to approach them.

Learn everything you need to know to get started in this lucrative industry with step-by-step guidelines, including:

  • Who needs grants
  • Types of funders
  • Finding grants
  • Understanding a funders’ guidelines
  • A to Z of the grant proposal
  • Effective grant-writing techniques
  • How to confidently run your business

If you enjoy delving into research, have great writing and speaking skills, and can passionately communicate the missions of organizations you believe in, you could have a bright future as the owner of a grant writing business. This guide gives you a one-of-a-kind grant-writing toolkit and shows you how to use it to win funding.

Whether you’d like to write full or part time, this guide’s top-to-bottom look at the field ensures you start like a seasoned pro.

Excerpt from this guide

Skilled grant writers are one of the most in-demand professionals today. They work as independent contractors, full- or part-time development officers, and freelancers. Prompted by the increasing demand to find new sources of funding, nonprofit agencies are always looking for help to identify these sources and take on grant-writing projects. Virtually every nonprofit needs a skilled grant writer, and there are hundreds of thousands of nonprofits currently in operation in the United States alone. Internationally, there are many more. This is a great time to start your own grant-writing business or to become a freelance grant writer.

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How to Start a Graphic Design Business
Palo Alto Software
$49.00

How to Start a Graphic Design Business

Want to start a graphic design business? Our startup guide will provide you with a clear roadmap to success. Available with or without our award-winning business plan software, the Graphic Design Business Startup Guide will put you on the fast track to small business success!It's time to make your mark in the world of graphic design. There's no doubt you've imagined it-placing your name and logo on business cards, taking creative control and being your own boss. Why not turn your fantasy into reality?

Whether you want to start a part-time graphic design business, a full-time operation or build a substantial company with a full staff of graphic designers, everything you need to get started is at your fingertips. Learn the basic requirements, startup costs, day-to-day operations and even what to do when things don't go as planned. Industry experts and successful graphic designers share what they've learned and give you the motivation and priceless tips and tricks to help you reach success. Learn how to:

  • Discover your market and their needs
  • Choose a business environment that works for you
  • Create a business brand that gets noticed
  • Write a marketing plan that captures clients and creates referrals
  • Develop profitable client relationships
  • Set your fees
  • Boost profits by expanding your specialty or your business
  • Combine your creativity with Entrepreneur's expert advice-and design your own successful graphic design business today!

Excerpt from this guide

The BLS says that "the employment of graphic designers is expected to grow about as fast as average for all occupations through the year 2014, as demand for graphic design continues to increase from advertisers, publishers and computer design firms. Among the five different design occupations, graphic designers will have the most new jobs. However, graphic designers are expected to face keen competition for available positions. Many talented individuals are attracted to careers as graphic designers. Individuals with a bachelor’s degree and knowledge of computer design software, particularly those with website design and animation experience, will have the best opportunities."

The opportunities for graphic artists and designers "should increase because of the rapidly expanding market for web-based information and expansion of the video entertainment market, including television, movies, video, and made-for internet outlets. Graphic designers with website design and animation experience will especially be needed as demand for design projects increases for interactive media—websites, video games, cellular telephones, personal digital assistants (PDAs), and other technology. Demand for graphic designers also will increase as advertising firms create print and web marketing and promotional materials for a growing number of products and services."

There has been a trend to outsource some design work. Based on information from the BLS, in recent years, some computer, printing, and publishing firms have outsourced basic layout and design work to design firms overseas. This trend is expected to continue. It could have a negative impact on employment growth for lower level, technical graphic design workers.

The good news is that most higher-level graphic design jobs are expected to remain in the United States.

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How to Start a Hair Salon / Day Spa
Palo Alto Software
$49.00

How to Start a Hair Salon / Day Spa

Want to start a hair salon / day spa? Our startup guide will provide you with a clear roadmap to success. Available with or without our award-winning business plan software, the Hair Salon / Day Spa Startup Guide will put you on the fast track to small business success!

Succeed with style! Hair salons and day spas across the country are making as much as $300,000 a year — and you can, too. Whether you want to start a small salon out of your home or open a full-service day spa, this guide will show you exactly how to succeed.

You don't even have to be a stylist. If you’ve got strong business skills, you can open a salon/spa, rent space to stylists, message therapists and nail artists, then sit back and rack in the cash. Inside our guide you'll find:

  • Analyze the market, write a business plan and advertise effectively
  • Establish a website to spread the word and bring in more revenue
  • Increase sales with no extra effort by applying simple upselling techniques
  • Keep track of your finances with ready-to-use work sheets

Professional industry experts share inside information and invaluable advice, revealing how they have been successful in this lucrative business, and more importantly, how you can be successful, too.

Attractive hair, newfound energy and a revitalized appearance are always in style, no matter what ups and downs await the economy. Whether you love styling hair or prefer managing personnel, you'll find that it pays to help people look good and feel great. This guide will show you the profitable way of making someone’s day. Order today and get started on the path to success!

Excerpt from this guide

Since the dawn of the new millennium, the stock market has been in a freefall and the economy has been in the doldrums. But it was a good time to start a hair salon and day spa—and it still is today.

According to BizStats.com, an online small-business statistics source, in 2002, there were 1.4 million personal care services in the United States, 313,000 of which were beauty salons. The salon service industry alone had revenues of $55.9 billion, up 3.2 percent from the previous year, while salon product sales rose 3.8 percent to $5.5 billion. How was it possible for a service sector like the beauty industry to grow given the state of the economy? No doubt because many of the services offered by salons simply cannot be duplicated at home—or at least not duplicated well. In addition, in an age where people freely shell out $59.95 a month for unlimited cellular service or hundreds of dollars to lease the latest SUV model with the most bells and whistles, the price of a haircut probably doesn’t seem very high considering the lift it can give your spirits. Also, the baby boomers, who now constitute the largest population segment in America, are more than willing and are financially able to spend money on any personal care service they perceive will make them look younger and more attractive. No doubt as a result of their driving desire for a youthful appearance, the hair color segment of the salon industry continues to grow, according to Professional Consultants and Resources, a Plano, Texas, marketing and consulting firm. Coloring alone brought in $10.4 billion for the beauty industry in 2002.

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How to Start a Home Design Service
Palo Alto Software
$49.00

How to Start a Home Design Service

Want to start a home design service? Our startup guide will provide you with a clear roadmap to success. Available with or without our award-winning business plan software, the Home Design Services Startup Guide will put you on the fast track to small business success!

It's estimated that more a million homes undergo a major renovation or remodel every year. In fact, in 2005 alone, homeowners spent more than $275 billion (that’s billion, with a “b”) on home improvement--and that number is expected to grow significantly over the next few years. The result? The home design and improvement industry is hotter than ever, creating plenty of opportunities for entrepreneurs in this booming field.

Our guide offers you an easy-to-follow blueprint for starting five of the most in-demand home design/improvement services: interior design, home staging, professional organizing, building preservation/restoration and faux painting.

We help you decide which service best compliments your talents, then we walk you step-by-step through every aspect of setting up and running your new venture, from attracting clients to finding schools and professional organizations that can help you tool-up your skills.

Startup costs are minimal, you can operate any of these businesses out of your home--and you can often get up and running with tools and materials you already have. Order this guide today, and learn how to create your own design for success.

Excerpt from this guide

There’s a good reason why cable TV networks like HGTV, The Learning Channel and DIY Network have such a huge following from coast to coast: The home design and improvement industry is hot, hot, hot and is showing no signs of cooling off. There may be no better time than the present to tool up your skills and fire up your enthusiasm for a career in this creative and fulfilling field.

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How to Start a Home Inspection Service
Palo Alto Software
$49.00

How to Start a Home Inspection Service

Want to start a home inspection service? Our startup guide will provide you with a clear roadmap to success. Available with or without our award-winning business plan software, the Home Inspection Service Startup Guide will put you on the fast track to small business success!

If you have construction experience or are simply handy around the house, a home inspection service is the homebased business for you.

As a home inspector, you can earn $500 to $800 a day examining the interiors and exteriors of homes and giving potential home buyers objective, informed evaluations.

Our guide shows all the steps to starting out, including where to get the proper training, how to identify lucrative markets, tips for working out of your home, how to market your business and more.

Order your startup guide and ride the housing boom to financial success. This guide makes an ideal homebased business.

Excerpt from this guide

If you picked up this book, you’re probably either considering a career in the home inspection industry, or maybe you’re just curious about the field. In either case, we’ll explore what it takes to make it in this relatively new, but flourishing field. Flourishing because, as of this writing, there is a housing boom in the United States. The U.S. Census Bureau recently reported that sales of new, single-family homes totaled 940,000 units in just one quarter. With so many new homes being built, and with so many homeowners becoming more informed about their home purchases, you guessed it, many will opt for a home inspection before buying. That’s good news for anyone considering getting into this field.

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How to Start a Mail Order Business
Palo Alto Software
$49.00

How to Start a Mail Order Business

Want to start a mail order business? Our startup guide will provide you with a clear roadmap to success. Available with or without our award-winning business plan software, the Mail Order Business Startup Guide will put you on the fast track to small business success!

Thanks to the boom in online shopping, mail order businesses are more profitable than ever before—and this updated startup guide shows entrepreneurs everything they need to get started.

If you want to work from home, running a lucrative business that costs little to start and requires no specialized skills, mail order may be for you. Working from a kitchen table, you can take orders, process payments, and dispatch shipments picked up by a parcel service from a remote warehouse run by yet another vendor.

This exclusive guide to mail order takes you step by step covering every aspect of startup and operations, including hard-won advice and helpful hints from successful mail order entrepreneurs. Learn how to:

  • Stay on top of market and industry trends
  • Choose products that sell
  • Set your pricing and other policies
  • Fulfill orders
  • Build an internet presence
  • Create a winning catalog or brochure
  • Choose a high-response mailing list
  • Use the best resources and tools in the industry

Busy families no longer need to take the time to run to the mall and shop for the perfect item. They simply click their mouse and have their treasures delivered from any corner of the country right to their doorstep. Shopping has never been so convenient and the opportunity for starting and running a successful mail order business has never been so great!

Excerpt from this guide

Mail order offers the option of starting as a part-time business, which allows you to get your feet wet without jumping into the pool. In fact, many direct marketers insist that moonlighting is the wisest way to go. John Schulte, chair of the National Mail Order Association (NMOA), believes traditional and internet-based mail order are the last frontiers for the little guy. “You can find ways to make things happen part time from your kitchen table,” says Schulte.

Competition in the mail order biz is tough. But if you start out part time, you can allow yourself on-the-job training without on-the-job financial anxieties. And if you don’t want to sever the ties with your full-time employer until you know you can make it on your own, mail order is an ideal business for you.

What else makes mail order shine for the startup entrepreneur? You don’t need a lot of inventory. You can sell merchandise through a drop-ship arrangement. No, we aren’t suggesting that you parachute goods to customers like in the Berlin Airlift. Drop shipping is an arrangement in which a third party, such as a manufacturer or wholesaler, sells you the merchandise while keeping it in their warehouse until you make the sale. Then it is shipped from them to your customer. Or you can start out with one product or service, rather than go the L.L. Bean 16,000-products route, and keep your inventory manageable as you grow.

Keep in mind that mail order lends itself to services as well as merchandise. You can offer everything from antique appraisal to desktop publishing to genealogical research—and for most services, your inventory list will be minimal.

Yet another mail order plus: You don't need to ship the product until your customer's check or credit card clears the bank. Unlike your store-bound retail colleagues, you've got no bounced-check worries.

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How to Start a Medical Claims Billing Service
Palo Alto Software
$49.00

How to Start a Medical Claims Billing Service

Want to start a medical claims billing service? Our startup guide will provide you with a clear roadmap to success. Available with or without our award-winning business plan software, the Medical Claims Billing Service Startup Guide will put you on the fast track to small business success!

The world of medical treatment has changed dramatically in the past few years. Doctors are overwhelmed by the maze of complicated claim forms and insurance policy procedures. They need time to focus on their patients, but with complicated billing procedures from private and government-administered insurance companies, HMOs and PPOs, they're often having to worry about whether they'll ever get paid for the services they provide. And this is where you come in: There's a growing need for outside help--a need that you can easily fill, working from your home.

As a medical claims biller, you can earn a good income managing claims for doctors and other health-care specialists. There's no special training or experience needed, and start-up costs are minimal. All you really need is a computer, a printer, a modem and claims processing software.

It's an ideal \"starter\" business because you decide its size and scope. You can specialize in certain fields--chiropractic, pediatric or dentistry, for example--and determine exactly how many health-care professionals you want to accept as clients.

In this guide, we'll help you create the medical-claims billing business that best suits your needs. You'll learn about the different ways you can specialize, the health organizations you'll be dealing with, terminology to help you get a head start, and the software that will make you a doctor's best friend.

Excerpt from this guide

This chapter explores the burgeoning field of medical billing, or medical claims processing, from passé paper claims to progressive—and profitable—computerized billing.

Think of this chapter as an investigative report—like those TV news magazine shows but without the commercials. We will explore the phenomenal growth of the medical billing field and the secrets of America’s health-care billing industry.

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How to Start a Personal Training Business
Palo Alto Software
$49.00

How to Start a Personal Training Business

Want to start a personal training business? Our startup guide will provide you with a clear roadmap to success. Available with or without our award-winning business plan software, the Personal Training Business Startup Guide will put you on the fast track to small business success!

Personal trainers aren't just for the rich and famous anymore. More and more regular folks are turning to them for help getting in shape. As a result the fitness industry is booming and there's a tremendous demand for personal trainers. Our guide shows you how to make a healthy living meeting that demand.

We start with an overview of the personal training industry, then we take a look at the market, who is using personal trainers and why, and what services trainers are offering. Then we go through the step-by-step process of setting up and running your new venture. You learn about basic requirements and startup costs, day-to-day operations, and what to do when things don't go according to plan. You gain a solid understanding of the sales and marketing process, as well as how to track and manage the financial side of your business. Through the book, you hear from industry experts, as well as personal trainers who have built successful operations and are eager to share what they've learned in the process.

Excerpt from this guide

There has never been a more exciting time to be involved in the fitness industry. The opportunities for qualified professionals who also understand how to run a business are virtually unlimited.

Take a look around. Obesity is an epidemic. People of all ages are spending too much time in front of computers and televisions, and this increasingly sedentary lifestyle is taking a tremendous toll on their health. The good news is that baby boomers and even senior citizens are seeing the value of getting in shape and are doing something about it. Parents are looking for ways to provide positive role models for their children. Doctors and managed care organizations have recognized that diet and exercise are an important part of keeping people healthy and avoiding unnecessary health-care costs. Even companies are realizing that healthy, fit employees are more productive. These are all reasons why more and more people are turning to personal trainers to help them develop, implement and stick to a fitness program.

Order this guide today!

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How to Start a Restaurant and Five Other Food Businesses
Palo Alto Software
$49.00

How to Start a Restaurant and Five Other Food Business

Want to start a restaurant and five other food business? Our startup guide will provide you with a clear roadmap to success. Available with or without our award-winning business plan software, the Restaurant and Five Other Food Businesses Startup Guide will put you on the fast track to small business success!

Restaurant sales are expected to hit $511 billion this year. More people than ever are dining out. Average Joes are becoming \"foodies\" after exposure to the celebrity chefs and exotic ingredients on TV's Food Network. Busy consumers don't have the time or inclination to cook--they want the flavor of fresh bread without the hassle of baking. They want tasty, nutritious meals without dishes to wash. More and more singles, working parents and seniors are demanding greater convenience in buying their meals and are turning to operations that provide that convenience. As you can see, there's never been a better time to open up your own restaurant.

In this extensive guide, you learn the latest food trends, what the competition looks like, how to research your potential customers, the basics of setting up a dining room and kitchen, how to find a great location, how to leap over regulatory hurdles in the industry, and how to find the best people to staff your business.

Here’s everything you need to consider when starting your own restaurant, pizzeria, coffeehouse, delicatessen, bakery, or catering business. Among the many topics covered are:

  • Set-up equipment
  • Inventory
  • Staffing
  • Legal structure
  • Location
  • Permits
  • Sanitation
  • Marketing
  • Financial management

This guide is fully updated with the newest trends in menu items, décor and themes, plus recent market statistics and forecasts. Interviews with successful eatery owners show how others have made their food business dreams come true. So whether you decide to keep it simple with a sandwich-and-salad operation, dazzle event guests with your catered cuisine, create a cozy neighborhood java joint, or make a splash with a four-star bistro, we've got the information you need to be a success.

Excerpt from this guide

As increasing numbers of consumers want to either dine out or take prepared food home, the number of food-service operations has skyrocketed from 155,000 about 25 years ago to nearly 800,000 today. But there’s still room in the market for your food-service business.

Shifting demographics and changing lifestyles are driving the surge in food-service businesses. Busy consumers don’t have the time or inclination to cook. They want the flavor of fresh bread without the hassle of baking. They want tasty, nutritious meals without dishes to wash. In fact, the rise in popularity of to-go operations underscores some clear trends in the food-service industry. More and more singles, working parents and the elderly are demanding greater convenience in buying their meals and are turning to operations that provide that convenience.

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How to Start a Retail Store
Palo Alto Software
$49.00

How to Start a Retail Store

Want to start a retail store? Our startup guide will provide you with a clear roadmap to success. Available with or without our award-winning business plan software, the Retail Store Startup Guide will put you on the fast track to small business success!

Newly updated & revised! Wal-Mart. Lowe’s. Whole Foods Market. The Gap. All these mega-chains started with one neighborhood location and grew to be retail giants. And there’s always room for more. If you have a knack for spotting trends, a retail store could be your ticket to the top—and our guide is the place to start.

We give you the inside scoop on how to start and run a retail business. You’ll learn what works, what doesn’t, and how to avoid the common pitfalls that sink many would-be retailers. Plus, you get a bonus section featuring an in-depth look at how to start three of the most popular types of retail businesses: the clothing boutique, the specialty food store and the gift shop.

You'll also meet successful retailers and retail experts from across the country who’ll share with you proven tips and advice for hitting it big in this dynamic industry. Could the small store you start today be the next big retail chain success story? Order our guide and find out.

Whether you want to be the next retail giant or open a small boutique, this essential guide covers everything you need to know. Successful retailers and retail experts nationwide divulge their proven tips and advice on topics such as:

  • Selecting merchandise that will fly off the shelves
  • Designing your store to welcome customers and encourage purchases
  • Day-to-day operations, from running the cash register to computing daily profits
  • Tracking inventory and preventing theft
  • Hiring great employees and training them to provide stellar customer service
  • Setting prices to maximize profits
  • And more!

Each chapter is divided into manageable sections on every aspect of starting and operating a retail product or service business. We even included some brainstorming questions to ask yourself to stimulate creative solutions to the particular problems you may face.

Could the small store you start today be the next big retail chain success story? Order our guide and find out.

Excerpt from this guide

The retail industry provides an exciting way of life for the more than 24 million people who earn their livelihood in this sector of the U.S. economy. Retailers provide the goods and services you and I need—from food, auto parts, apparel, home furnishings, appliances, and electronics to advice, home improvement, and skilled labor. Let’s take a look behind the scenes at the many facets of this exciting business.

Retailing is one of the fastest-growing segments of the economy. As one of the nation’s largest employers, the retail industry provides excellent business opportunities for you. At least one-third of the 500,000 or so new enterprises launched each year are retail operations. The entrepreneurs behind these ventures risk their capital, invest their time and make a living by offering consumers something they need or want. You’ll meet several of them in this guide and learn how they created a niche for themselves.

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How to Start a Seminar Production Business
Palo Alto Software
$49.00

How to Start a Seminar Production Business

Want to start a seminar production business? Our startup guide will provide you with a clear roadmap to success. Available with or without our award-winning business plan software, the Seminar Production Business Startup Guide will put you on the fast track to small business success!

Every year countless people pay to attend seminars to learn how to do everything from manage stress to use a computer. Regardless of the topic, people who promote these seminars are making tremendous amounts of money--and you can, too.

Seminar promotion offers you two paths to business success: If you're already a public speaker, you can turn your expertise into profits by promoting yourself, or, if you'd rather stay behind the scenes, you can organize and promote seminars by other speakers.

Either way, this guide shows you how to plan seminars from start to finish. You learn how to:

  • Test market topics
  • Negotiate great deals on hotels and conference rooms
  • Promote yourself or other speakers with almost no cash investment.
  • Attract audiences to fill your venue
  • Stay organized in the midst of juggling numerous tasks
  • And more

This guide makes an ideal home-based business. Add our Online Learning Guide, and learn how to take your seminars online.

Excerpt from this guide

The seminar business is big these days, in demand by individual consumers, organizations, associations, small businesses and giant corporations alike. And although it’s a fairly young industry, having really come into its own within the last two decades, it’s primed for continued growth and success.

This chapter explores the flourishing seminar business—a sort of in-your-lap TV news magazine report without the commercials. We’ll delve into the steadily rising economic success of the field, dip into its secrets and—unlike any TV news magazine—help you decide whether it’s the business for you!

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How to Start a Senior Care Service
Palo Alto Software
$49.00

How to Start a Senior Care Service

Want to start a senior care service? Our startup guide will provide you with a clear roadmap to success. Available with or without our award-winning business plan software, the Senior Care Services Startup Guide will put you on the fast track to small business success!

The senior population is increasing at nearly twice the rate of the general population. Almost 6.5 million seniors need assistance in their daily activities--and this number is expected to double by 2020. The result is an urgent need for senior services--and a terrific opportunity for you.

Our guide is your key to getting into this lucrative and growing market. We tell you everything you need to know to start six of the most in-demand senior care services--adult day-care center, senior relocation, home care or home health-care, senior concierge, senior transportation and senior travel service.

We help you decide which service best compliments your talents and demographics, then we walk you step-by-step through every aspect of setting up and running your new venture. Starting a senior service business can be tremendously rewarding, both financially and personally. Find out for yourself--order your guide today.

Excerpt from this guide

The trends reveal an abundance of new opportunities for entrepreneurs who want to combine caring with nurturing. Baby boomers—members of the generation born between 1946 and 1964—are approaching 60. By the year 2020, 1 in 4 people in the United States will be over the age of 65. The elderly population is increasing at nearly twice the rate of the general population—the 85-plus segment will swell more than 33 percent by 2010. The evolving needs of older generations are having a major influence on what resources are necessary to prepare for the social and economic impact of the "senior boom." Considering starting a business serving this market? Then you must know how urgent the need is for senior services.

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How to Start a Staffing Service
Palo Alto Software
$49.00

How to Start a Staffing Service

Want to start a staffing service? Our startup guide will provide you with a clear roadmap to success. Available with or without our award-winning business plan software, the Staffing Service Startup Guide will put you on the fast track to small business success!

In today’s competitive business market, many companies are turning to staffing services to help them find qualified temporary and permanent employees. As a result, staffing services have become a $61.8 billion a year industry. Our guide shows you how to carve off a piece of this lucrative market for yourself.

The new world economy is tough on job security. Hordes of skilled, experienced, motivated workers are flooding the market, looking for work. And lots of merged and downsized companies now outsource the work that used to be done by permanent employees. The bright side? It’s prime time for the staffing professional.

Staffing services not only help businesses by finding great workers for them but also by taking care of payroll, government regulations, insurance and more. If you think you'd enjoy playing matchmaker between companies and prospective employees, you need this guide. It’s packed with tips, advice and information to help ensure your success, including:

  • Facilities staffing—placing employees in long-term or indefinite-length assignments
  • Industrial staffing—specializing in manual laborers, food handlers, cleaners, assemblers, drivers, tradespeople, machine operators, etc.
  • Office/clerical staffing—focusing on secretaries, receptionists, administrative assistants, word processing and data-entry operators, etc.
  • Temporary staffing—supplying client companies with workers on a short-term basis
  • Temp-to-perm staffing—offering clients a convenient way to try out temporary workers for permanent positions

The guide also includes a look at what a typical day is like at a staffing company, profiles of successful staffing service owners, and forms and checklists to help you ensure all your ducks are in a row.

No matter what the economy, staffing is always a necessary business service. If you’re organized, good with people and want to start a business that will generate big profits in good times or bad, this guide is for you. Order yours today!

Excerpt from this guide

This chapter focuses on the staffing industry and its niche markets. We’ll tell you how some owners of staffing services got into the business, and we’ll help you figure out if this kind of work is a good choice for you. Finally, we’ll discuss the rewards and challenges of the industry and provide suggestions for conducting your own market research.
Learn what staffing services are all about and why the industry, which saw explosive growth during the 1990s but suffered during the recent economic slowdown, now seems poised for growth.

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How to Start a Travel Service
Palo Alto Software
$49.00

How to Start a Travel Service

Want to start a travel service? Our startup guide will provide you with a clear roadmap to success. Available with or without our award-winning business plan software, the Travel Services Startup Guide will put you on the fast track to small business success!

Whether the economy is up or down, people always want and need to travel—for a business meeting, a family vacation or just to enjoy some much-needed R&R. The travel industry generates $3.4 billion daily. That's a lot of people who need help with their travel plans! Although many of these travelers use online travel sites to research and plan their trips, many others continue to rely on travel agents who have the expertise and insider knowledge to find the best deals. And guess what? There aren't enough travel agents to go around. That means now is the perfect time for you to launch your own business as a travel agent.

Our comprehensive guide is packed with all the information you need to know about five lucrative ways to get in on the travel services industry: homebased travel service, specialty/niche travel service, corporate travel service, franchise travel service, and independent contracting for a larger travel agency. Filled with insider information from industry experts and successful travel service operators, this guide contains valuable tips and useful advice on:

  • How to keep up with the newest travel trends, like extreme tours, safaris, cruises, eco-friendly tours and more
  • Surefire techniques for using the internet to attract new clients and make sales
  • How to become an expert in a niche market: seniors, people with disabilities, student group and others
  • How to minimize security risks and deal with client emergencies
  • Budgeting strategies when working on commission, plus techniques for increasing your profits
  • How to make your tour packages different—and better—than the competition’s

You also get step-by-step instructions, checklists and work sheets to guide you through each stage of the startup process, plus a list of hundreds of valuable resources to help you.

You don't need a lot of money to get started, either. These businesses can be launched for as little as $1,200, without any employees. You can operate out of your home, from a corner of the den or a spare bedroom. Best of all, you’re in complete control. You can devote as little or as much time to the business as you want…and that means the sky’s the limit!

What are you waiting for? There’s a whole world out there waiting to be explored! Buy your Travel Services guide today.

Excerpt from this guide

Downturns in the economy can't stop it. Weather conditions can't shut it down—at least, not for long. Even the catastrophic events of 9/11 couldn't derail it. It, of course, is the travel industry, and while the economy and unforeseen incidents that tragic day in September have tended to slow down the pace of travel, the industry continues to enjoy robust activity despite challenges that are enough to send other industries into tailspins. No doubt that's because people will always want or need to go places, whether it's to a business meeting or conference, to spend the holidays with Grandma in another state, or just to enjoy some much deserved R&R.

This overall need to travel that's shared by average citizens and corporate denizens alike means that this is an excellent time to launch a travel services business. A significant part of the reason is simply because the field isn’t overpopulated. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are 88,000 travel agents, while the Airlines Reporting Corporation (ARC) says there are 19,000 ARC authorized retail agency locations. In addition, a CreditSuisse First Boston report estimates there are 15,000 to 20,000 homebased travel agents, a figure that is expected to rise to about 40,000 by 2010. Even if the trend that's developing in homebased travel services does materialize, there still aren't a lot of travel agents to go around, especially when you consider that the 300 millionth American was born in 2006.

What's more, these opportunities for success in the travel industry exist despite the proliferation of online travel services like Priceline.com and Hotwire. While some people do take the time to painstakingly research their own itineraries and make their own reservations, many others continue to rely on travel agents who have the knowledge and insight to find the best deals and connections because they don't have the time or simply don't want to do it themselves.

And make no mistake about it: The travel industry is huge. Research by the Travel Industry Association of America (TIA) indicates that the travel and tourism industry generates $1.3 trillion in economic activity in the U.S. every year. That's equivalent to $3.4 billion a day, $148 million an hour, $2.4 million a minute and $40,000 a second. No wonder the opportunities for aspiring travel services business owners abound.

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How to Start a Vending Business
Palo Alto Software
$49.00

How to Start a Vending Business

Want to start a vending business? Our startup guide will provide you with a clear roadmap to success. Available with or without our award-winning business plan software, the Vending Business Startup Guide will put you on the fast track to small business success!

Americans feed vending machines more than $22 billion each year for sodas, candy, coffee and other quick snacks. That's a nice chunk of change--and our Vending Business guide shows you how you can get in on the action.

Vending gives you an ideal way to ease into your own business. Maintenance is minimal--in fact, the biggest part of the job is collecting your money: You can start part time, working out of your home by placing a few machines in local businesses. Then, as your customer base increases, invest in more machines and grow your company as large as you like.

We show you all the tricks of the trade, including how to best place your machines, where to get supplies to fill 'em up, where to buy new machines at a discount, and how to manage your accounting. With new games and coin-operated entertainment being introduced all the time, new moneymaking opportunities are opening every day. Don't miss out. Order now!

Excerpt from this guide

Before investing time, energy, money and, most important, yourself in any business, it’s just plain good sense to know something about what you’re getting into. History, current issues and future trends all impact the steps you take toward becoming a successful entrepreneur.

And in the case of this book, it’s also important to know who’s giving you the advice. Do they have similar backgrounds? Are their towns similar to yours? How do their businesses compare to the one you’re planning to start?

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How to Start a Virtual Assistant Service
Palo Alto Software
$49.00

How to Start a Virtual Assistant Service

Want to start a virtual assistant service? Our startup guide will provide you with a clear roadmap to success. Available with or without our award-winning business plan software, the Virtual Assistant Service Startup Guide will put you on the fast track to small business success!

From voice-mail services to business plan writing, newsletter publishing, report preparation and more, companies and individuals everywhere need assistance with their projects. This guide shows you how you can be the provider of nearly 50 different types of in-demand services from wherever you are—and reap the major financial rewards of doing so.

You get a special look at each service: what it involves, how to provide it, and how to set your business apart in the process. But no matter what services you’d like to offer, this guide also gives you the ins and outs of everything you need to be a success, including:

  • Building your business plan
  • Defining your target market
  • Choosing your location (homebased or otherwise)
  • Choosing the right equipment
  • Establishing your business structure
  • Startup economics (how much you’ll need, how to price your services and more)
  • Financial management and daily operations

This guide shows you how to break in with dozens of existing opportunities and how to expand once you do. The best part is—your services will always be a necessity, and your clients, employees and projects can be located anywhere. We give you coveted tips to help you take advantage of newly emerging industry trends.

The bottom line is that the industry is big, the opportunities keep growing, and it doesn’t take much to get started—just the know-how and savvy instruction that come with this easy-to-follow guide. Order today to launch your business!

Excerpt from this guide

The business support industry has changed radically in the past several years, and many of the entrepreneurs we've interviewed said that the business they built originally looks almost nothing like what it has become. Even more, each one had difficulty forecasting how the industry will change in the next 10 years because it is so dynamic. We surveyed 40 members of the Alliance for Virtual Businesses and interviewed a few of them further so we could give you current information, feedback, and statistics about how they entered the industry, built their business, and how they continue to tailor their services and skills to make their businesses thrive.

There are many terms for this type of business from "administrative support services," "office support services," and for many, "virtual assisting services." No matter what title you apply to this business, it still doesn’t fully explain the vast scope of services you can offer since these businesses now offer everything from desktop publishing, web design, and many more sophisticated and talented service packages. Given the growth of the industry in the past several years and the trends for even greater growth, it’s easy to assume that the more flexible you are in your ability to customize your services, the better you will do.

The size of the market for business support services is difficult to estimate for a number of reasons—primarily because the U.S. Bureau of the Census mixes other types of businesses with business support services. Also, the providers, services, and customers are constantly evolving with technological advances. Many of our surveyed experts are talking about using remote desktop access to conduct virtual meetings, using Voice over IP to teleconference, and using online meeting rooms and online conferences.

Keep in mind that this is a professional service business and your services are always going to be needed. Depending on your specialty, seasonal fluctuations may vary, but if you offer a portfolio of services, most likely one service demand will complement a slowdown in another. We will cover the vast variety of services you can offer and think about which services will balance each other and how you can gain the knowledge and training necessary to truly be a specialist in each area.

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How to Start a Wedding Service
Palo Alto Software
$49.00

How to Start a Wedding Service

Want to start a wedding service? Our startup guide will provide you with a clear roadmap to success. Available with or without our award-winning business plan software, the Wedding Services Startup Guide will put you on the fast track to small business success!

With weddings becoming larger, costlier, and more complex every day, more couples are turning to professional wedding services for help.

That's where you come in. From planning the bride and grooms' big day--whether it's a traditional, specialty or \"green\" wedding—to selling the dreamy bridal gown and wedding accessories through a virtual or brick-and-mortar retail store, this book provides the advice you need to start one of four types of wedding service businesses that are in demand today: Wedding consulting and specialty wedding consulting for destination (think Hawaii or Europe) and green weddings (for today's eco-conscious couples), retail bridal salon and wedding accessories/gift store, and online pre-owned wedding gown store and online wedding accessories/gift item store.

With the exception of the bridal salon, all these businesses make ideal homebased or part-time ventures, you don't need employees, and startup costs are extremely low. You don't even need any costly special equipment.

All you need is our Wedding Services guide. It tells you everything you need to know about the business end of starting a wedding business—from finding suppliers and customers to marketing and pricing your services.

Wedding businesses of all kinds are more in demand than ever today, thanks to the ever-burgeoning American wedding industry, which topped out at $72 billion in a recent year. For the bride, the wedding day is usually the romantic culmination of a lifelong dream. For the savvy entrepreneur, it's an opportunity to fulfill a dream of another type—the dream of successful business ownership. Order your guide today!

Excerpt from this guide

A whisper of silk, the shimmer of satin. Succulent hors d'oeuvres and ganache-glazed confections. They’re all part of the American wedding experience, a thrilling rite of passage that takes place in some shape or form more than 2.4 million times every year in the United States. For the bride, the wedding day is usually the romantic culmination of a lifelong dream. For the savvy entrepreneur, it's an opportunity to fulfill a dream of another type — the dream of successful business ownership.

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How to Start a Wholesale Distribution Business
Palo Alto Software
$49.00

How to Start a Wholesale Distribution Business

Want to start a wholesale distribution business? Our startup guide will provide you with a clear roadmap to success. Available with or without our award-winning business plan software, the Wholesale Distribution Business Startup Guide will put you on the fast track to small business success!

When it comes to getting goods from the thousands of product manufacturers into the hands of consumers worldwide, the role of wholesale distributor is a crucial one because neither manufacturers nor the businesses that buy their products for resale could survive without them.

Not quite sure what wholesale distributors do? Quite simply, they're middlemen--they buy products from manufacturers, then sell them to retailers at a profit. The good news is, with millions of products on the market and new items being introduced every day, this field has plenty of room for growth. And this guide tells you everything you need to know to take advantage of that growth. We show you how to:

  • Determine your operating costs
  • Raise startup funds
  • Find manufacturers and retailers interested in your services
  • Negotiate the best deals
  • Get product \"exclusives\"
  • Learn insider secrets for overcoming the competition
  • And more

If you have excellent people skills, a background in sales and operations, and are able to understand customer needs and how to serve them well, you could make a success of a wholesale distribution business. Find out how by ordering your guide today.

This guide also makes an ideal companion for our Freight Brokerage and Import/Export Business guides.

Excerpt from this guide

So you want to start a wholesale distributorship. Whether you’re currently a white-collar professional, a manager worried about being downsized, or bored with your current job, this may be the right business for you. Much like the merchant traders of the 18th century, you’ll be trading goods for profit. And while the romantic notion of standing on a dock in the dead of night haggling over a tea shipment may be a bit far-fetched, the modern-day wholesale distributor evolved from those hardy traders who bought and sold goods hundreds of years ago.

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How to Start an Automobile Detailing Business
Palo Alto Software
$49.00

How to Start an Automobile Detailing Business

Want to start an automobile detailing business? Our startup guide will provide you with a clear roadmap to success. Available with or without our award-winning business plan software, the Automobile Detailing Business Startup Guide will put you on the fast track to small business success!

What began as a small cottage industry in Southern California has blossomed into a thriving nationwide business where people just like you are earning big bucks.

Auto detailers go over a car in detail, waxing and polishing the paint, chrome and wheels and thoroughly cleaning the seats and upholstery until the car has a like-new showroom shine. Startup costs are minimal, which makes auto detailing a terrific business if you're an entrepreneur on a shoestring budget.

Plus, there are two ways to make money: First, by detailing cars in volume still in the dealers' showrooms. Second, by detailing private parties' cars. If you like cars (and working for yourself), an auto detailing service may be the business for you.

This guide makes an ideal homebased business.

Excerpt from this guide

When it comes to an industry with wide-open opportunities for enterprising small-business owners, auto detailing ranks right up there with the best of them. And it's no wonder that Americans’ passion for cars, coupled with busy, fast-paced lifestyles that leave them with little time to take care of those vehicles properly, has created an environment rife with potential for today’s aspiring detailer. Just consider this: A recent survey by carlove.org indicated that 84 percent of American car owners love or like their cars, but only 15 percent of those take excellent care of the object of their affection. Does that mean the other 69 percent could be your customers? You bet! In fact, the 2002 International Carwash Association Study of Consumer Car Washing Attitudes and Habits showed that 42 percent of exterior carwash customers would wash their cars more often if they were offered a “portering” option (12 percent), if they had more time (17 percent), or if it took less time (13 percent). A professional detailer can meet all these requirements.

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How to Start an eBay Business
Palo Alto Software
$49.00

How to Start an eBay Business

Want to start an ebay business? Our startup guide will provide you with a clear roadmap to success. Available with or without our award-winning business plan software, the eBay Business Startup Guide will put you on the fast track to small business success!

eBay has changed the way the world shops. Here's your chance to get in on this retail phenomenon--and it's simple and inexpensive to get started.

All you need is a computer, a digital camera and products to sell--and you're well on your way to reaching eBay's $2 billion global marketplace. You can sell almost anything on eBay, from the familiar to the exotic. And you can do it any time of the day or night, making this a great business to start part time.

This guide tells you everything you need to know to start your own retail business, or if you already own a business, expand it nationwide, or even internationally. You learn:

  • All about the different types of ebay listings
  • The most profitable items to sell online
  • How to use eBay tools to boost your business
  • Insider secrets from successful eBay entrepreneurs

Every day, millions of items are bought and sold on eBay. Use this guide, and you can become one of the many mega-successful eBay PowerSellers.The thrilling and lucrative world of selling on eBay is within your reach.

Excerpt from this guide

The goal of this book is to teach you how to build a profitable business selling on eBay—and the most important word in this sentence is “profitable.” Making sales on eBay is simple, and you can learn how to do that by just browsing the site. But if you’re serious about your business, then the point of selling on eBay is to make a profit.

Before we get into the nuts and bolts of successful eBay selling, let’s take a look at how this opportunity came to be.

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How to Start an Event Planning Service
Palo Alto Software
$49.00

How to Start an Event Planning Service

Want to start an event planning service? Our startup guide will provide you with a clear roadmap to success. Available with or without our award-winning business plan software, the Event Planning Service Startup Guide will put you on the fast track to small business success!

Are you the one who always organizes family get-togethers, birthday parties, evenings out with friends or school events? Are you detail oriented, enjoy social events and have a great imagination? Then you have what it takes to be a highly-paid event planner! Let this easy-to-use guide help you find a lucrative outlet for your creative party-planning talent!

You’ll learn the tools and strategies you need to launch and grow a successful business planning events of all kinds — from weddings, private parties and sporting events to corporate events, meetings and conferences. You’ll also learn how to:

  • Conduct market research to discover the most profitable niche in your region
  • Determine your start-up costs and find funds to launch your business
  • Organize yourself so you can easily handle multiple projects
  • Hire part- and full-time employees
  • Market your services to bring in the business
  • Expand your offerings to offer complete party packages
  • And much more!

Learn how to bring in more money by specializing in certain of types events. Get the inside scoop from successful event planners and gain valuable insights from their experience.

Getting started is easy—all you really need is a computer, a phone and your imagination. You can run your business from your home. With gross profits averaging 30 to 40 percent, you can easily earn six figures a year planning and conducting events—and have a blast in the process. If you're looking for a flexible schedule, a wide variety of responsibilities and new adventures every week, event planning is the business for you.

Excerpt from this guide

Since you have opened the book to this page, you probably either have an event planning business or are considering starting one. In either case, read on as we take a general look at what event planners do and why they do it. Is event planning for you? We’ll cover that, too. Finally, this chapter provides an overview of the special events industry and a sampling of ideas for conducting your own market research.

If you'd like to make an excellent living doing something you enjoy, order your guide today.

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How to Start an Executive Recruiting Service
Palo Alto Software
$49.00

How to Start an Executive Recruiting Service

Want to start an executive recruiting service? Our startup guide will provide you with a clear roadmap to success. Available with or without our award-winning business plan software, the Executive Recruiting Service Startup Guide will put you on the fast track to small business success!

Companies are constantly searching for talent. As an executive recruiter (also known as a headhunter), you'll help both companies and people connect--and collect a nice fee in the bargain.

This guide shows you everthing you need to get started. How to get search assignments, where to find canidates, and what questions to ask both parties.

In addition to a healthy income, most executive recruiters get a great deal of satisfaction out of helping others build their careers.

Excerpt from this guide

We all keep hearing about how frequently workers now change jobs, so it should come as no surprise that executive recruiters (those folks also known as headhunters) are rapidly increasing in numbers. The more people change jobs, the more work there is for recruiters. Unfortunately, the business can also be terribly competitive.

In this chapter we’ll give you an idea of what the executive recruiting business is all about. We’ll start with an overview of the industry, including how much money a recruiter can expect to make and what the competition is like. We’ll also look back at how this business got started and take a peek into the future.

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How to Start an Import/Export Business
Palo Alto Software
$49.00

How to Start an Import/Export Business

Want to start an import/export business? Our startup guide will provide you with a clear roadmap to success. Available with or without our award-winning business plan software, the Import/Export Business Startup Guide will put you on the fast track to small business success!

Importing and exporting are trillion-dollar industries—but that doesn’t mean they’re just for big business. In fact, small businesses make up about 96 percent of the field. Get your share of an ever-expanding economy with the essential advice in this bestselling guide.

As a top import/export agent, you can net a healthy six-figure income by matching buyers and sellers from around the globe, all without leaving home. You don't need any specialized training or experience to succeed--this guide teaches you everything you need to know to become an import/export professional. We even include overviews of 16 foreign markets to help you get up and running--and making money--quickly.

This guide is loaded with valuable insights and practical advice for tapping into lucrative global markets. It covers every aspect of the startup process, including:

  • How to collect money from overseas transactions
  • Using the internet to simplify your transactions
  • How the government can help you find products and customers
  • Essential trade law information to keep your business in compliance
  • How to choose a customs broker
  • Proven methods for finding contacts in the United States and abroad

Tricks of the trade from successful importers and exporters and hundreds of valuable resources help you become a player in the exciting world of international business. Order today!

Excerpt from this guide

International trade is one of the hot industries of the new millennium. But it’s not new. Think Marco Polo. Think the great caravans of the biblical age with their cargoes of silks and spices. Think even further back to prehistoric man trading shells and salt with distant tribes. Trade exists because one group or country has a supply of some commodity or merchandise that is in demand by another. And as the world becomes more and more technologically advanced, as we shift in subtle and not so subtle ways toward one-world modes of thought, international trade becomes more and more rewarding, both in terms of profit and personal satisfaction.

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How to Start an Information Marketing Business
Palo Alto Software
$49.00

How to Start an Information Marketing Business

Want to start an information marketing business? Our startup guide will provide you with a clear roadmap to success. Available with or without our award-winning business plan software, the Information Marketing Business Startup Guide will put you on the fast track to small business success!

A six-figure income from information? Yes! It sounds easy because it is. You've got information that millions of others are looking for and now you can learn how to package, price and sell it.

The experts at Entrepreneur take you step by step, jumpstarting your thinking about your area of expertise and showing you how to convert it into a high-demand information product. Following the example set by today's most successful information marketers, you learn the ins and outs of running your own information marketing business using proven strategies and effective marketing techniques. Whether looking for a side business or a full-time venture-information marketing is a flexible, lucrative business that you can start any time, and everything you need is right here.

  • Choose from a wide range of information products or discover what information you already have to sell
  • Capture the perfect market-one that is looking for your product
  • Determine your selling price
  • Learn from real-life success stories
  • Get started right away with a listing of dozens of information-marketing resources and vendors
  • Everything you need to know to create your own information product is already inside you. Now, let Entrepreneur help you turn it into big profits!

Excerpt from this guide

There have never been greater, more diverse, more lucrative opportunities for everyone—from very experienced, successful entrepreneurs to rank beginners—in the field of information marketing.

Information marketing is responsive to and fueled by the ever-increasing pressure on people’s time. Businesspeople and consumers alike need information provided to them in convenient forms, and in some cases, need an extension of it; methods and strategies that might merely have been taught to them 10 years ago are now done for them.

The information industry encompasses products such as traditional books, audio programs, videos, or DVDs that you might buy in a store, from a catalog, or online; magazines; newsletters; e-books; membership websites; teleseminars and webinars; telecoaching programs; and seminars and conferences—and combinations thereof. The possible topics are almost endless. People are buying information on every imaginable topic, from better sex, to teaching parrots to talk, to gardening, to investing in real estate foreclosures, to running businesses. Information marketing, then, is about identifying a responsive market with high interest in a particular group of topics and expertise, packaging information products and services matching that interest (written and/or assembled by you, by others, or by both), and devising ways to sell and deliver it. If you can name it, somebody is packaging and profitably selling information about it.

In the last 30 years, information marketing has gone from mail order to the much bigger, broader, and hugely profitable arena of opportunities it is today. People now routinely go from zero to $10,000 to even $100,000 a month and more, in just a matter of months.

Information marketers do not have any special talent, secret knowledge, or remarkable skill. Everything you need to get started is between the covers of the book you are holding right now.

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How to Start an Internet Service
Palo Alto Software
$49.00

How to Start a Net Service

Want to start a net service? Our startup guide will provide you with a clear roadmap to success. Available with or without our award-winning business plan software, the Net Services Startup Guide will put you on the fast track to small business success!

Detailing four popular Internet services businesses, this innovative guide shows aspiring online entrepreneurs how to take their enthusiasm for the Internet and turn it into a lucrative business. Our experts take online enthusiasts step by step, and teach them how to take the basics of building a business, including writing a business plan, conducting market research, advertising, and generating publicity, and apply them to an Internet service. Interviews with successful online business owners provide insider tips for attracting visitors, and exclusive techniques for generating income from advertisers, promotions, and affiliate links. This cutting-edge guide provides everything online enthusiasts need to know to start a profitable online service venture.

Provides easy-to-follow, step-by-step guidance for starting an online business within one of four popular online services. Serves as a complete startup resource covering business ideas, business establishment, operations, personnel, finances, advertising and more.

Includes the latest technology solutions to keep readers on the cutting edge of internet business Offers real-life stories, examples, tips and advice from online entrepreneurs and experts

If you've ever looked at a cool website or an interesting online service and thought, \"I could have started that company, if only I knew how,\" you're on your way to starting your own online business!

Excerpt from this guide

With such a large and varied internet audience, there's still plenty of room for new internet businesses. The widespread adoption of high-speed internet access is especially important to note: The use of broadband is one of the driving factors behind a new wave of internet technologies—and companies that take advantage of those technologies. Often referred to as Web 2.0, this new era of internet innovation is driven by user-generated content. The web is no longer on a par with newspapers or TV; it's not a collection of static pages that users read or shows that they watch. In today's 2.0 world, the web is interactive. Users generate content and share it with others. Users take content from one site and mix it with content from another site, only to post the result on a third site.

Consider the site many consider to be the epitome of success in the Web 2.0 world: YouTube, which allows almost anyone to upload a video and share it with the world. Viewers can then interact with the video by adding their comments or posting it on their own blog, social networking page or personal website. Created in early 2005, YouTube was acquired in late 2006 by Google. The price? $1.65 billion. Yes, that’s billion, as in one thousand million dollars.

Your company may not make billions of dollars, but—clearly—there’s money to be made on the internet.

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How to Start an Online Business
Palo Alto Software
$49.00

How to Start an Online Business

Want to start an online business? Our startup guide will provide you with a clear roadmap to success. Available with or without our award-winning business plan software, the Online Business Startup Guide will put you on the fast track to small business success!

This guide is packed with everything you need to know to launch a successful online venture.

Plus, along the way you learn the secrets of some of today's most successful cyber entrepreneurs, including NetFlix's Reed Harris, Autobytel's Rick Post, Proflowers' Jared Polis, Newegg.com's Howard Tong and many others.

This is great way to start a retail business without spending a ton of cash, or if you already have an established business, a website offers you an extremely cost-effective way to reach millions of additional customers. Either way, the internet offers tremendous opportunities for success, and our guide is the place to start.

Excerpt from this guide

This is it—your chance to strike it very rich because suddenly, the Internet has changed all the rules. For a half-century, the big players in business, from IBM to Exxon, dominated the game, leaving little room for newcomers to move to the top of the heap. Then in 1994 a little start-up named Netscape introduced a Web browser, and the race for cash was on. Amazon, eToys, Wine.com, e-Trade, Motley Fool, ChannelPoint, Monster.com—today, they are billion-dollar businesses, but where were they five years ago? Out of nowhere these companies, and hundreds more, have emerged to challenge the gods of commerce. They are succeeding because the new rules favor small companies that are flexible, smart, tough and ultra-quick to react to changing market conditions.

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How to Start Floral Businesses
Palo Alto Software
$49.00

How to Start a Floral Business

Want to start a floral business? Our startup guide will provide you with a clear roadmap to success. Available with or without our award-winning business plan software, the Floral Businesses Startup Guide will put you on the fast track to small business success!

There's a lot to consider in a floral business—but it’s fast and easy to learn with the step-by-step instructional format of this guide. You get a look at the industry from top to bottom, helping you create a plan of action to get your business up and running and on the path to success.

We show you the different types of floral businesses you can start, from retail or wholesale flowers to wholesale floral supplies, so you can determine which one fits your passions and goals. And in no time you’ll know everything there is to owning a floral business like an experienced insider, including:

  • Determining where your customers are
  • Handling the accounting and bookkeeping
  • Legal/insurance considerations
  • What it will take to outfit your shop
  • Finding your flower suppliers and establishing accounts
  • Professional credentials and training to obtain
  • Developing a marketing plan and promoting your services

This guide will also advise you on countless customer service secrets that will make your business work and grow. You also learn how to provide your customers with exactly what they want and be able to expand your revenue in the process.

Just think, for a small investment, you’ll have the industry’s experts by your side, showing you the whole business in a way that's broken down in easy-to-understand terms.

Excerpt from this guide

One of the two most important aspects to any business startup is how to get your market to know you exist (Chapter 10). But even before you get to that point, you need to determine if there is in fact a market for the type of floral business you are considering in the area in which you are considering. Your market research is going to depend on what kind of floral business you want:

* Retail florist shop, including deliveries
* Wholesale floral business, where retail florists come to you for their supplies
* Full-scale greenhouse where you sell cut flower arrangements as well as live plants, maybe even to the point of being called a nursery, which usually implies you grow the live plants as well

* Farmer's market, pick-your-own, or at-the-source flower sales

Once you decide on the floral business you want, you need to determine where you might like to do that. Then, you can research whether the market is already covered in that area. Check the Yellow Pages, do an online search, and by all means drive around. Talk with the local funeral home and wedding planners to find out where their customers make their flower purchases. Be sure to tell them you are thinking about starting a florist business.

If you are considering a wholesale operation, get a list of potential customers in the market range you plan to cover and start calling—would they purchase from you if you opened a wholesale floral supplies business? What kinds of things do they purchase? What do they find hard to get? What would they like to purchase? What services would they like you to provide?

Once you determine that you could enjoy a certain type of florist business and there is a market you can service in a given area, it's time to think about setting up shop.

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How to Start Kid-Focused Businesses
Palo Alto Software
$49.00

How to Start a Kid-Focused Business

Want to start a kid-focused business? Our startup guide will provide you with a clear roadmap to success. Available with or without our award-winning business plan software, the Kid-Focused Businesses Startup Guide will put you on the fast track to small business success!

Are you a kid at heart, or do you enjoy spending time with children? A kid-related business may be the perfect fit for you—and now's a great time to start one. The population under age 18 is growing: By 2020, there are expected to be 80 million children in the United States. And parents and grandparents are spending more money than ever on their children and grandchildren. Not only that, but kids themselves are spending record amounts of their own money—to the tune of $155 billion a year!

What's your dream? A kids' party planning business where you can cash in on the popular Sweet 16 and Quinceanera trends? A kids' gift and bath products business, or an educational toys and games business? Perhaps a kids' plus-size clothing business to stake your claim in this vastly underserved market, or a kids' cooking school? We cover it all in our comprehensive guide, filled with insider tips from industry experts as well as first-hand information from entrepreneurs who run successful kids businesses.

Our guide tells you everything you need to know to start a lucrative kids business, including:

  • The 5 best sales channels for your products
  • Secrets of pricing your products and services to maximize profits
  • How to protect your investment—from trademarks to patents
  • Tips for equipping your business without breaking the bank
  • Creative location options
  • Smart ideas for marketing your business
  • Advice on managing your business finances
  • Handling day-to-day operations
  • And much more!

You also get step-by-step checklists and work sheets to guide you through each stage of the startup process, plus a list of hundreds of valuable resources to help you.

You can start these businesses for as little as $3,000, and all of them can easily be run from home. The sooner you get your guide, the sooner you can start building a successful business. So order your Kids Businesses guide today!

Excerpt from this guide

There's no shortage of potential customers in this industry: According to the Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics, more than 73 million children under age 18 live in America, and this number is growing every year. Birth rates in the late '80s and '90s were the highest recorded since the end of the famed baby boom in 1964. By 2020, the number of children is projected to reach 80 million and to account for approximately 24 percent of the U.S. population.

The size of the kids' population is good news. So is the fact that parents and grandparents are spending more money than ever on children. Most compelling of all, however, is the surge in kids' own purchasing power.

Because of changes in the social and family roles of children, recent decades have seen sharp increases not only in kids’ direct spending but also in their influence on household spending.

In the 1960s, an era when kids were largely expected to be "seen and not heard," children influenced an estimated $5 billion of their parents’ purchases. Kids now influence upwards of $500 billion in household spending, including food, toiletries, and a host of other items (even the family car!) outside the traditional realm of kids' products.

So how much do kids spend on products for their own use? According to research conducted by American Demographics magazine, 4-to-12-year-olds spend more than $40 billion, while teenagers (ages 12 to 19) spend $155 billion of their own money. There’s no question children have more money of their own than ever before—and businesses know it. Children today are the subjects of an unprecedented marketing blitz, not only on TV, but also in school. According to the American Psychological Association, Madison Avenue spends more than $12 billion a year on marketing to children. Child psychologists estimate that the average child sees 40,000 advertisements each year, and that the average 3-year-old can identify 100 brand logos.

What does this mean to you? Children are savvier consumers than ever before.

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How to Start Lawn Care / Landscaping Services
Palo Alto Software
$49.00

How to Start a Lawn Care / Landscaping Service

Want to start a lawn care / landscaping service? Our startup guide will provide you with a clear roadmap to success. Available with or without our award-winning business plan software, the Lawn Care / Landscaping Services Startup Guide will put you on the fast track to small business success!

Like working outdoors? Love nature? Then a lawn care or landscaping business is your chance to rake in plenty of green, while doing something you enjoy. Whether it's just picking up a few residential yards to make some extra money, or contracting with commercial office parks or apartments for the big bucks, you can quickly be on your way to earning the income you desire.

Our guide is packed with practical, real-world instruction, tips and insider secrets for starting a lawn care or landscaping service. We’ll help you choose which business is best for you and walk you step-by-step through everything you need to know to get started and start reaping the rewards, including:

  • How to target your market
  • What equipment you’ll need
  • How to hire and manage employees
  • Record-keeping and accounting
  • Where to find working capital
  • How to estimate jobs
  • And more

You'll also get pointers and words of wisdom from successful lawn care and landscaping business owners who’ve made their personal dreams of prospering in a business they love come true.

Startup costs are relatively low and there's practically no overhead. You can set up your office in your own home and make your own schedule—you devote as little or as much time to the business as you’d like. And once you invest in the necessary tools of the trade, you’re ready to go! Order your guide today, and start reaping the rewards.

Excerpt from this guide

When you think back to the long, lazy summers of your youth, chances are your recollections are full of achingly nostalgic memories like an oversized tire swing under a big shady tree. Tall frosty glasses of lemonade wreathed in pearls of moisture. Crickets and tree frogs throatily singing their sweet night song. And the high-pitched whine of lawn mowers carrying on the warm summer breeze.

If you’re like a lot of people, you were trudging along behind one of those mowers back then, pushing with all your might and sweating profusely, just so you could make a few bucks to buy some baseball cards or a really cool bike. You may have occasionally mowed down a few pansies or zebra-striped a lawn, but you sure were proud when the homeowner came to the door, surveyed your handiwork, and forked over the agreed-upon fee.

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How to Start Pet Businesses
Palo Alto Software
$49.00

How to Start a Pet Business

Want to start a pet business? Our startup guide will provide you with a clear roadmap to success. Available with or without our award-winning business plan software, the Pet Businesses Startup Guide will put you on the fast track to small business success!

Americans love to pamper their pets. It's estimated that we spent nearly $36 billion on our cats, dogs, birds, fish, horses and other pets last year alone! And that number is expected to grow, continuing the decade-long trend of increased spending on pets. This means if you love pets, there are plenty of opportunities for you to turn your passion into a profitable and rewarding business.

Our guide gives you practical, real-world advice, tips and insider secrets for starting five of the most in-demand pet-product and pet-care services, including pet sitting/dog walking, dog training, pet grooming, pet-food/treat sales and upscale pet products.

We walk you step-by-step through every aspect of setting up and maintaining a thriving business including:

  • Getting funding
  • Finding suppliers and products
  • Equipping your business
  • Attracting—and keeping—customers
  • Pricing competitively
  • Taking your business online
  • Keeping records
  • And much, much more

You'll also hear from industry experts, as well as fellow entrepreneurs who’ve built successful operations and are eager to share what they've learned in the process.

Startup costs are fairly low. You can operate most of these businesses out of your home -- two can even be strictly internet-based to really keep expenses low. And all of them can be launched and run profitably without employees. If you’re fascinated by all things furred, feathered and finned, this is the guide for you. Order yours today.

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When you think back to your childhood, is there a warm and fuzzy memory of a four-footed or winged companion in whom you confided your deepest secrets? Do you gaze into pet-store windows and vicariously tickle the puppies under the chin? Or have you ever considered buying a sweater for your horse, some galoshes for your cat, or some Armor All for your armadillo? If so, then you understand what it means to be a pet lover—and that’s probably why you’re interested in starting a career in the pet-care industry.

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Hurdle: The Book on Business Planning
Tim Berry
$19.95

This companion book to Business Plan Pro uses a practical approach to teach the finer points of business plans and startups.

Many people mistakenly believe that the business plan is a "hurdle" that only MBAs can clear. This is not true. Entrepreneurs with good ideas come from everywhere, with all types of backgrounds. We created this book to help encourage people to empower themselves and to learn the process of business planning to better accomplish their business goals.

Learn how to develop a complete business plan with text, tables, and charts, in simple understandable steps. Understand business numbers, from profit and loss to cash flow to balance sheet and ratios, all laid out in simple terms with practical examples.

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Market Reports
Palo Alto Software

Back up your plan with real-world data

 

  • Support your business planning with research data

  • Accurate financial comparisons for your industry

  • Impress banks and investors with real-world market data

  • Determine what your business is worth

  • Access five years of financial statements

This data will help convince bankers and investors that you understand your industry, your local business conditions, and your realistic profit/growth opportunities.

Here are three great reasons to invest in market research:

  • Create a stronger business plan with compelling, accurate financial comparisons for your industry.
  • Impress lenders and investors to improve your chances when applying for loans, opening new accounts, or working to fund your business.
  • Understand your competition by seeing how other local companies in your industry are doing financially.

 

Our reports are available for nearly 1,000 industry-specific SIC codes. Depending on the volume of data available, you may even be able to zero in on a particular sales range.

You can also limit the scope to match your geographic focus. We have reports at the U.S. national, state, and county levels. (Sorry, we do not have international reports.)

At the county level, more than 3,000 U.S. counties are currently represented.

Marketing Plan Pro Academic Edition
Palo Alto Software
$79.95

A specially priced academic edition of our popular marketing plan software is available for student and academic use. Focus on your plan and not the mechanics behind it with a tool that includes step-by-step guidance, complete spreadsheets, and more.

Marketing software for education

Marketing Plan Pro Academic Edition is the most popular marketing plan software in academia, used and respected at thousands of colleges and universities worldwide. The software allows instructors to focus on teaching marketing planning and students to focus on writing their marketing plans.

Textbook integration

Marketing Plan Pro Academic Edition is bundled with many of Prentice Hall's top marketing textbooks:

  • Kotler and Armstrong, Principles of Marketing
  • Armstrong and Kotler, Marketing: An Introduction
  • Solomon, Real People, Real Choices
  • Kotler and Keller, Marketing Management
  • Kotler and Keller, A Framework of Marketing Management
  • Wood, Marketing Plan Handbook

The combination of textbook and software reinforces key concepts and makes it easier to teach and learn the essentials of marketing planning.

70+ sample plans included

Get ideas for your own plan with dozens of complete marketing plan examples. Each sample plan can be edited directly in Marketing Plan Pro and used as a starting point for your own plan.

Why choose Marketing Plan Pro?

With expert guidance and examples at every step, Marketing Plan Pro Academic Edition makes it easy to learn the planning process and produce a complete marketing plan.

  • Easy step-by-step process
  • Complete, preformatted marketing budget spreadsheets
  • Powerful plan vs. actual analysis tools
  • 60-day money back guarantee

What's different for academic use?

The academic edition is based on Marketing Plan Pro 9.0, which is a more formal and academically oriented product than the new Sales & Marketing Pro edition.

The academic marketing plans include a watermark in the footer that says "Academic Edition." This allows instructors to easily manage their students and the marketing plans they produce.

Philip Kotler — author of the decade's most prestigious marketing book, Marketing Management — highly recommends Marketing Plan Pro Academic Edition as the preferred choice to create a marketing plan.

Additional teaching tools

Beyond the software itself, Marketing Plan Pro Academic Edition comes with additional tools to enhance your teaching experience, including On Target: The Book on Marketing Planning by Tim Berry and Doug Wilson, 22 Immutable Laws of Branding by Al and Laura Ries, and more.

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Marketing Your Small Business Guide
Palo Alto Software
$49.00

Marketing Your Small Business

Want to market your small business? Our startup guide will provide you with a clear roadmap to success. Available with or without our award-winning business plan software, the Marketing Your Small Business Startup Guide will put you on the fast track to small business success!

You're great at what you do. Your customers and clients are crazy about the products or services you provide. But unless you specialize in marketing, you could probably use a little help in that department. Whether you’ve been in business three days or three decades, this guide gives you the marketing firepower you need to satisfy your customers, attract prospects, boost your profits and blast the competition.

You get step-by-step guidance through the essentials of marketing and sales strategies, customer database marketing, advertising, public relations and budgeting, with no jargon — just the facts and information you need to get the job done. Plus you learn how to:

  • Stand out from your competition in an overcrowded marketplace
  • Avoid the ups and downs of the market by attracting clients consistently
  • Attract lucrative clients that will generate explosive income
  • Avoid big marketing mistakes small-business owners make
  • And much more

Packed with powerhouse marketing tactics and tips for making big profits from your small company, this guide is your key to achieving your business goals, without spending a ton of money.

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If you can develop true marketing vision, you’ll transform your business. You’ll establish a tight bond with your customers that will be impossible for your competitors to break.

Look around us in turn-of-the-millennium America. The marketing concept is the dynamo of our consumer culture: It’s the realization that pleasing the customer is central to business success. The success of marketing is a large part of why we and the rest of the developed world enjoy the abundance that we do.

We tend not to realize the enormous impact marketing has made on us, and it’s easy to forget that marketing, the careful union of the consumer’s needs and the products and services that satisfy those needs, has not always existed as it does today. We are very fortunate. We enjoy high-quality and affordable foods and exotic taste treats from around the world. For a modest expenditure, we can buy electronics unimaginable a generation ago. Through books, magazines, television and the Internet, we browse in an evening more information than Horatio ever dreamt of in his philosophy. Marketing is one of the key catalysts of this abundance.

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On Target: The Book on Marketing Plans
Tim Berry and Doug Wilson
$19.95

Practical resources to write a marketing plan are difficult to find. On Target: The Book on Marketing Plans offers an excellent solution. On Target takes you through the process of writing an effective marketing plan from the initial concept to full implementation.

The right tools will enable you to create a marketing plan that will effectively use your resources to attain your marketing goals and objectives. On Target helps you develop a marketing strategy with focus. It guides you through the process of assessing your market, your environment, and your competitors. It will add reality and practicality to your marketing plan.

On Target also assists you in gathering marketing data, establishing your product position, forecasting sales, testing your assumptions, and making tactical decisions to support your strategy and accomplish your goals. This comprehensive approach is a great formula for your marketing success.

The value of your marketing plan will be realized when its successful implementation produces your stated results, and On Target will get you there.

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Sales and Marketing Pro
Palo Alto Software
$179.95

Close more sales or get your marketing messages in front of the right people. From seasoned sales teams looking for an edge to small business owners who need to do it all, Sales and Marketing Pro is the solution to help you grow your business like crazy!

Create marketing plans that work
A good marketing strategy is a must. Craft a winning marketing plan to focus your efforts, implement your ideas, and track your results.

Plan with a pro by your side
Expert advice is built into Sales and Marketing Pro, to guide you through crafting your plans and putting your campaigns into motion

Find new customers
Great marketing is more than ideas. It's about getting the right message in front of the right people at the right time. And it's easier than you think.

Plan your sales strategy
Track your key accounts, figure out how to turn leads into customers, and even forecast your commissions with professional sales planning and management tools.

Forecast for success
Sales forecasting and budgeting doesn't have to be a chore. With the right tools, it's easy to create projections and budgets and track your performance.

Wow your audience
Sometimes you have to *sell* your plan to your team. With Sales and Marketing Pro, you'll create impressive presentations that will win their support.

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Selling Your Products Guide
Palo Alto Software
$49.00

Selling Your Products

Want to sell your products? Our startup guide will provide you with a clear roadmap to success. Available with or without our award-winning business plan software, the Selling Your Products Startup Guide will put you on the fast track to small business success!

Got a great idea for a new product? Have an existing product you think is a winner? Turn it into a moneymaking business! Our guide is the place to start. It guides you step-by-step you through getting your product or idea into the marketplace — without losing your shirt!

You'll learn what every entrepreneur needs to know about developing a prototype for market testing, creating a step-by-step product-to-market strategy, finding financial help and more. You'll also get proven tips and guidance for selling your products in nine different markets — from fairs and home shopping networks to the Internet.

With more funding, licensing, and outsourcing options available, it's easier and cheaper than ever to get your product on the shelves. So why wait? Whether you're an experienced inventor who wants to sell more of your creations, or an eager entrepreneur with a million-dollar idea, this guide will put you on the fast track to financial success. Order yours today.

Excerpt from this guide

I've worked with inventors for over 20 years, and most of the successful ones have created and developed their products on their own and love being independent. “Being my own boss” is the answer I usually get when I ask them what they like best about being an inventor. Indeed, the independent “eccentric” inventor—embodied by everyone from Thomas Edison to Doc Brown in the “Back to the Future” movies—has been lionized in American culture, and it’s an image that has strong attraction today for most inventors. But in fact, successful inventors are not Lone Rangers—which, for inexperienced inventors, should be regarded as a good thing. I’ve talked to interviewing more than a hundred successful inventors over the last five years, and we found that they frequently don’t have a lot of business management experience, don’t have any more money than the average person, and typically have never tried to introduce a product before. The key moment in their invention process has been when they recognized their shortcomings and sought help from other people. That help is exactly what they need to succeed, and it can come in hundreds of forms, such as these:

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Starting Your Own Business Guide
Palo Alto Software
$49.00

Starting Your Own Business

Want to start your own business? Our startup guide will provide you with a clear roadmap to success. Available with or without our award-winning business plan software, the Starting Your Own Business Startup Guide will put you on the fast track to small business success!Whether you're just thinking of starting a business, have taken the first steps, or already have your own business, this comprehensive, easy-to-understand guide can help ensure your success. It walks you through every aspect of the start-up process — from evaluating your business ideas to laying the groundwork to day-to-day operations.

Written in a friendly, down-to-earth style, Starting Your Own Business makes it easy to understand even the most complex business issues so you can reach your goals and enjoy the rewards of owning your own business. It's like having your own personal startup expert to answer your questions every step of the way. Inside you'll find:

  • How to evaluate your business idea for success potential
  • What licenses you’ll need for your new venture
  • Where to find financing for your business
  • How to conduct marketing research
  • Tips and guidance for creating winning business and marketing plans
  • And much more

Featuring an easy-to-navigate format loaded with work sheets, tip boxes, charts, graphs and plenty of practical, hands-on techniques so you can get started right away, this is the only business start-up book you’ll ever need. Take the first step to making your dreams reality.

Excerpt from this guide

Entrepreneurship is a journey, and you’ve taken the first step. And what a step that is—buying this book may be the smartest thing you’ve ever done. OK, I may be exaggerating some, but I’m serious about the impact Starting Your Own Business can have on your life. People come up to me at trade shows and meetings to tell me how this book or Entrepreneur magazine has changed their lives. As the editorial director of Entrepreneur magazine, I’ve been covering entrepreneurship for more than 25 years now, and I can honestly say I have met few entrepreneurs who are sorry they took the leap into business ownership. Most have succeeded (though not necessarily at the business they initially launched); a few have returned to life as employees. But almost no one regrets the journey.

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The e-Business Primer by J.A. Hoffman
J.A. Hoffman (e-book)
$30.00

As a business owner, you know how important an Internet presence is in today's business world. To develop and implement a successful business website, you need to understand your business focus, identify your niche, effectively market your site, serve your customers, and identify the skills you'll need to manage your online business for the long term.

All of these issues are part of the "plan, develop, market and manage" philosophy found in The e-Business Primer, the Internet's first comprehensive guide to e-business planning. Each chapter discusses a component of the e-business planning process and features worksheets that you can use to create your own e-business plan. Once you have read the chapters and completed the worksheets, your e-business plan is complete and ready for implementation.

Avoid making potentially costly mistakes in your Internet strategy — the kinds of mistakes that can be costly in terms of time, money and loss of customer goodwill. Each of The e-Business Primer's five chapters covers an essential element of the e-business planning process.

The e-Business Primer Table of Contents:

Chapter 1: Getting Started

This section takes you through the e-business decision-making process, covering understanding e-business and e-commerce and how to choose your best option, understanding the technology, developing your business focus and identifying your e-business requirements.

Chapter 2: Marketing

You'll learn how to define your target market and customer, what your online and offline marketing options are and how to use them, research strategies that will optimize your marketing efforts and case studies that show how poor marketing strategies were the key component in the failure of some of the best funded dot-coms.

Chapter 3: Development

You won't learn HTML--it's not an effective use of your time as a business owner--but you will learn how to hire a Web developer, the five elements that should be on EVERY business website and how to ensure that your website is available 24x7.

Chapter 4: Customer Service

You could have the best website on the Internet, but if you don't treat your customers right, you won't have them for long. In the super-competitive world of the Internet, having an effective customer service strategy is the key to e-business success and Chapter Four covers that process, as well as quality control, customer relationship management and the concept of micro service.

Chapter 5: Managing Your e-Business

Is your website making money for your business, or is it just another expense? Learn how to manage your website, calculate ROI and effectively manage your e-business.

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The Plan-As-You-Go Business Plan
Tim Berry
$19.95

The premise behind business planning guru Tim Berry's popular plan-as-you-go method is simple:

You should plan for your company's sake, not for planning's sake.

Berry invites you to block all thoughts of overwhelming, traditional, formal, cookie-cutter business plans and embrace an easier, more practical, modern business plan — the plan that evolves with your business and allows you to start building your business now.

Recommended by business experts

Small Business Trends: "In The Plan-As-You-Go Business Plan, you have no formal processes to learn, no special methodologies to master. Just practical advice that will inspire you to get going and make your business a success. Tim Berry shows us how our businesses can be all we dream of them becoming." —Anita Campbell, Editor

The Small Business Advocate: "Only the father of business planning could forge classic planning fundamentals and 21st century realities into a new planning alloy. Tim Berry is that person and this book delivers that alloy upon which you can build your business." —Jim Blasingame

Duct Tape Marketing: "Planning — the small business equivalent of dental work? Maybe, but not if your plan is a tool-a flexible, modular, guiding light of a tool. Tim Berry's The Plan-As-You-Go Business Plan is that kind of business power tool. Let it guide your vision and then just remember to floss!" —John Jantsch

Escape from Cubicle Nation: "The Plan-As-You-Go Business Plan is exactly what my clients need. It is adaptable, comprehensive, understandable and educational. And I can think of no better guide than Tim Berry to help us create successful 21st century businesses." —Pamela Slim

About the author

Tim Berry is the founder and president of Palo Alto Software, the company behind Business Plan Pro, the country's bestselling business plan software, of which he is the principal author. He's also written three other books on business planning and is a popular blogger and speaker on the topic of business plans.

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