When I saw the theme for IVAA's summer newsletter, Business Planning 2010, I thought "I don't know anything about this topic. Maybe I should skip this month." As I thought about it, I came up with the idea of comparing the different books on creating business plans. So, I logged in to the library and put just about all the business plan books on hold and started reading.
I have learned a great deal about writing business plans from this adventure. Most importantly, I have learned that business plans are not scary. Business plans are basically resume's for companies. My favorite definition of a business plan is "A good business plan contains dreams and ideas backed by facts and figures in a standardized format." (Sharon L. Fuller, How to Write a Great Business Plan for Your Small Business in 60 Minutes or Less)
Rather than tell you which book to read, I made a table comparing the books. The category "Page design" is rated on a scale of 1 to 5. A one means "it's easy to look at these pages, find what I need, and I didn't have to squint. The formatting of the book is excellent." A rating of five means "The formatting of this book makes it difficult to read and detracts from the content." The category "Depth of detail" refers to how in depth the book covered topics. A rating of 1 means "This book goes into great detail on exactly what a X is, how to read it, and how to make it." A rating of 5 means that the book glosses over some of the topics and just gives a basic definition. A check mark means that the book covers the topic; a dash means the book did not cover the topic. (Click on the image to see a larger version.)
This article was originally written for IVAAcast.