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Business Plan or Bust! is a terrific tool for would-be entrepreneurs considering starting their first small business. It addresses the needs of intelligent, diligent people who have specialized expertise but little systematic planning experience. The author red-flags other programs which characterize entrepreneurship as a get-rich-quick endeavor. Self-employment is instead touted as a realistic opportunity to make a living on one’s own terms, predicated on stacks of old-fashioned homework, involving always a risk of failure. "An entrepreneur is a twisted individual who will work 15-hour days at minimum wage to avoid taking a real job at $20 per hour."
Dan Boudreau is a two-time Entrepreneur of the Year nominee with twenty-five years in business planning, as a sole proprietor, employer, trainer, and gatekeeper of development funds for agencies in British Columbia. The book’s examples aren’t hypothetical, they’re steps Boudreau took creating the book sales-centered plan for his company, Macrolink Action Plans, Inc. He educates others based on previous ventures, which included impressive profitability in tree-planting and training, and one painful bankruptcy, which led to views of government regulators as “parasites” and legally sanctioned “gangsters.” He learned the hard way—regulators and lending institutions are least troublesome to those who learn the rules and don’t attract attention through noncompliance. One person can’t beat the combine, or as the man colorfully puts it, “If you get into a pissing match with a bank, you had best have a change of clothes.”
This book and its ancillary tools primarily target Canadians and Americans who are considering launching small service-industry businesses. Focused but lively, complete but comprehensible, Business Plan or Bust! is exactly the right prescription for people with a great concept and little idea of how to proceed. An excellent value.
No matter how well-intentioned your business idea, things can go horribly wrong. When I vaulted into my first business in 1980, I hoped to be a successful, positive force for those around me, and an asset to my community. Seven years later, the day I declared bankruptcy, I felt crushed, enslaved, and worthless. Not the glory I’d envisioned.
So, you’ve gone to all the effort to get your venture off the ground and survived the start-up phase. Aside from the fact that you’re too busy to socialize much, or take holidays, your business appears to be thriving. In your circle of friends you might even be a bit of a hero.
Congratulations might be in order. In starting a business, you’ve achieved something that many people dream about but never do. But are things as rosy as they seem?