Cover image for The McGraw-Hill guide to starting your own business : a step- by-step blueprint for the first-time entrepreneur
The McGraw-Hill guide to starting your own business : a step- by-step blueprint for the first-time entrepreneur
Harper, Stephen C.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : McGraw-Hill, [1991]

Physical Description:
xiv, 203 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
General Note:
Includes index.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
HD62.5 .H3734 1991 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf

On Order



This is a concise guide to starting a business, which puts the emphasis on the business plan and helps the first-time entrepreneur set clear objectives and map out realistic means to achieve them - for example: how to get a new business on a sound legal footing; how to select the right target market; how to develop a product or service strategy and a pricing strategy; how to determine the initial capital requirements and how to project the financial status for the first five years.

Author Notes

Stephen C. Harper, Ph.D., is president of the management consulting firm Harper and Associates, Inc., and Distinguished Professor of Entrepreneurship at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. He has spent the last 30 years helping entrepreneurs beat the odds through his books, seminars, and consulting, and he was honored for his outstanding service by the U.S. Small Business Administration

Reviews 1

Library Journal Review

In this guide Harper, head of his own management consulting firm, discusses the aspects of becoming an entrepreneur practically and realistically. He covers choosing the type of business; writing the business plan; advertising; financing; and franchising. Included also is the Entrepreneurial Qualities Self-Test designed to measure potential skills. Harper also cites and describes additional sources of information such as the U.S. Industrial Outlook , published annually by USGPO, and Wilson's Business Periodicals Index . Along with Lyle Maul and Dianne Mayfield's Entrepreneur's Road Map ( LJ 9/1/89) and Sharon Kahn and Philip Lieff's 101 Best Businesses To Start ( LJ 7/88), this book will provide a good ``first step'' for would-be entrepreneurs. Recommended to public libraries.-- Lucy Heckman, St. John's Univ. Lib., Jamaica, New York (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Fred DeLuca
Lessons for Starting Your Own Businessp. xi
Prefacep. xv
Acknowledgmentsp. xvii
Introductionp. 1
Part 1 Prerequisites for Start-Up Survival and Successp. 5
Chapter 1 Creating a New Businessp. 6
Can You Beat the Odds?p. 7
Don't Be One of the Losersp. 8
Prerequisites for Start-Up Survival and Successp. 9
Key Entrepreneurial Qualitiesp. 9
Conclusion: Starting a Business Is Survival of the Fittestp. 15
Entrepreneurial Qualities Self-Test: Part 1p. 16
Chapter 2 Identifying New Business Opportunitiesp. 19
An Opportunity Can Be Found within Every Problemp. 19
Creating Customersp. 19
Maintaining Customersp. 21
Are There Any Opportunities Left for New Businesses?p. 21
Find Gaps in the Marketp. 22
Yes, There Are Opportunities!p. 26
What Kind of Business Should I Start?p. 26
Entrepreneurial Qualities Self-Test: Part 2p. 47
Scoring Breakdown for Question 8p. 48
Notesp. 49
Part 2 Preparing Your Business Planp. 51
Chapter 3 The General Overview and Legal Structurep. 52
The Executive Summaryp. 54
Overview of the Business Conceptp. 55
The Objectives for the New Businessp. 55
The Legal Form of Organizationp. 56
Profile of the Management Team and Organization Chartp. 64
Description of the Market(s) to Be Served and the Location of the Businessp. 67
Basis for Financing the Businessp. 69
Timetable for Establishing the Businessp. 71
Exit Strategyp. 73
The General Overview Helps You Think Things Throughp. 74
Chapter 4 Selecting the Right Target Marketp. 75
Studying the Industryp. 76
Analyzing the Marketp. 77
Competitive Analysisp. 78
Identifying Your Prospective Customersp. 82
Putting Together the Customer Profilep. 88
Chapter 5 Product and Price Strategyp. 92
Product-Service Strategyp. 93
Pricing Strategyp. 100
Chapter 6 Promotional Strategy and Physical Distribution Strategyp. 108
Promotional Strategyp. 108
Physical Distribution Strategyp. 117
Be Prepared to Change Your Marketing Mixp. 122
Chapter 7 Determining Your Initial Capital Requirementp. 123
Determining Your Initial Capital Requirementp. 123
Step 1 Estimating the First Year's Salesp. 126
Identifying Your Cash Outlaysp. 131
Step 2 Estimating Monthly Cash Outlaysp. 132
Step 3 Identifying Starting Costs That You Have to Pay Only Oncep. 140
Step 4 Completing the SBA Worksheetp. 144
Proceed with Cautionp. 146
Chapter 8 Projecting Your Financial Status for the First Yearsp. 147
Profit Planning: Conducting Cost-Volume-Profit Analysisp. 148
Cash Flow Projectionsp. 155
Preparing Your Pro Forma Financial Statementsp. 158
Preparing Your First Calendar-Year-End Balance Sheetp. 162
Running the Numbers Is an Essential Part of the Business Planp. 167
Part 3 Sources of Funding, Alternatives to Starting from Scratch, and Entrepreneurial Do's and Don'tsp. 169
Chapter 9 Sources of Fundingp. 170
"Show Me the Money!"p. 170
Fact 1 Few Entrepreneurs Have All the Money They Needp. 170
Fact 2 Entrepreneurs Have to Be Willing to Accept Risksp. 171
Fact 3 Don't Expect to Get a Loan from a Bankp. 171
Fact 4 Take a Good Look at Yourself ... Are You Credit/Investment-Worthy?p. 172
Fact 5 Sometimes You Have to Give Up Something to Get Somethingp. 172
Fact 6 Raising Money Takes Considerable Timep. 173
Fact 7 You Will Need to Be a Salesperson to Get Fundingp. 173
Fact 8 Raising Funds Also Takes Resiliencep. 173
Fact 9 Not All Money Is Alikep. 173
Fact 10 You Need an "F-Plan."p. 174
Developing the F-Plan for Your Venturep. 174
Bootstrapping: Proactive Ways to Raise and Conserve Cashp. 175
Bootstrapping Techniquesp. 176
Funding Sources Come in All Shapes and Sizesp. 178
Criteria That Banks Use When Considering a Loan Requestp. 188
Other Factors to Consider When You Seek a Loanp. 197
Conclusion: Anita Roddick Was Right--Finding Funding Can Be a Real Challengep. 197
Notesp. 199
Chapter 10 Buying an Existing Businessp. 200
Sometimes It's Better Not to Start from Scratchp. 200
Why Buy an Existing Business?p. 201
Some Businesses Are for Sale, Others Can Be Boughtp. 203
Buyer Beware: All That Glitters May Not Be Gold!p. 204
Guidelines for Analyzing a Businessp. 206
The Book Value Approach to Valuing a Businessp. 207
The Capitalization-of-Earnings Approach to Valuing a Businessp. 209
The Cash Flow Approach to Valuing a Businessp. 214
Valuation May Be a Hybrid of Various Approachesp. 215
Closing the Sale: Don't Forget Your Accountant and Your Attorneyp. 215
Notesp. 217
Chapter 11 Acquiring a Franchisep. 218
Buying Someone Else's Formula for Successp. 218
The Benefits of Buying a Franchisep. 219
The Drawbacks of Buying a Franchisep. 220
Finding the Right Franchise Opportunityp. 225
Checking Out the Franchisersp. 228
Look before You Leapp. 230
Epilogue: Entrepreneurial Do's and Don'tsp. 231
Take a Good Look at Yourself, Your Life, and What Is Driving Youp. 232
Time: You Will Never Have Enoughp. 233
Preparation: Stack the Odds in Your Favorp. 234
Management: Who Ever Said It Would Be Easy?p. 235
The Business Plan: The Mental Journey Must Precede the Physical Journeyp. 238
Strategy: How Do You Plan to Gain Sustainable Competitive Advantages?p. 239
Human Resources: Your Business Will Be Only as Good as Your Peoplep. 240
Legal: It's a Minefield Out There!p. 241
Financial Side: Money Is like Oxygen--You Need It to Livep. 241
The Business Opportunity: Analyze the Marketplace and Do the Right Marketingp. 242
Suppliers: You Can't Live without Themp. 243
Closing Pointsp. 244
Appendix Sources of Helpful Informationp. 245
Indexp. 248