Sutton (Start Your Own Corporation, 2012) provides a handbook for entrepreneurs on the secrets behind successful business plans.
Businesses often start with a flash of inspiration for a product or service. According to the author, the difference between a good idea and a prosperous business is a well-written business plan. At its most basic level, a business plan helps organize an entrepreneur’s thoughts, Sutton writes; at its highest level, it provides a tightly structured outline of what the business will accomplish, how it will be funded and its requirements for long-term success. Sutton’s provides advice on how to establish a vision for what the business will do, how to gauge the potential company’s competition and how to find funding. “Ideally, a business plan is the intersection of everything inside the business (costs, products, services, personnel, etc.) and everything outside the business (competition, market trends, political forces, etc.).” The book provides several examples of how structured plans have helped individuals understand their opportunities and challenges and, as an example, also supplies a detailed plan of a potential restaurant. The author writes with authority, giving concrete reasons behind each section of a plan, but offers plenty of encouragement along the way, motivating readers to undertake what is essentially a soul-searching exercise as well as a financial one. Sutton is also objective and truthful when highlighting the pitfalls that entrepreneurs may encounter. He reminds business owners that once a business is up and running, it’s essential to consult the original business plan from time to time to ensure they are achieving their original goals.
A wide-ranging, detailed primer for potential entrepreneurs.