How to Evaluate and Profit
from a
Business Opportunity

The Entrepreneur's Guide

 

“How to Evaluate and Profit from a Business Opportunity – The Entrepreneur’s Guide” is an introductory “how to” manual for taking profitable advantage of business opportunities, (Midwest Book Review - June 2006.) This book is the ultimate resource for anyone who has thought of buying or starting a business. This easy-to-read guide covers all aspects of evaluating a business opportunity and making a business profitable (see the Table of Contents at the end of this section) by drawing on the author’s extensive and varied business experience. (See the complete list of Art’s business experience at the end of the section on his background.) Stories and examples of what to do and what not to do from Art’s personal experience show you how to do it and why.

The Midwest Book Review concluded its comments by stating, “… this book is highly recommended reading, especially for novice entrepreneurs searching for a new and progressive career…”

The book is written in two parts: what you need to know to successfully buy or start a business, and the secrets to making a business profitable. The self-assessment chapter takes you through an evaluation process, which helps you decide what type of business might best suit your needs. Other chapters show you how and where to find the necessary resources, how to define the opportunities, and how to understand the information you are likely to receive as you focus on specific situations. This section also helps you understand the role others play in your decision-making process as well as provides tips on how to use these professionals. The final chapter guides you in making the decision, handling the negotiations and acquiring the business.

Part two is all about making your business profitable. Individual chapters include understanding and using leverage, how to capitalize your business, and how to use your financial records to make your business even more successful. You’ll learn the value of cash as compared to profits. You’ll also learn why Art feels people are the business’ most important resource. You’ll discover the difference between sales and marketing. You’ll learn why you must pay yourself what you’re worth and if you aren’t really contributing to the growth of the business – you should fire yourself. This section also guides you in developing an exit strategy.

 


Table of Contents

Part I: EVALUATING AN OPPORTUNITY
It starts today – you will find your future

Chapter                                    Page

1. Think like an entrepreneur ............... 3
Evaluating an opportunity is like dating;
profiting from one is like finding the perfect relationship

3. Resources ............................... 27
Don’t forget the First National Bank of Nana

5. An existing business or start one? ...... 41
Is the glass half full or half empty?

7. Retailing ............................... 57
Cha-ching! You take one off the shelf and ring the cash register

9. Service ................................. 73
The happier you make the customers, the more they pay

11. Professional service ................... 89
No matter how you cut it, it's still trading hours for dollars

13. Patents and other assets ............... 99
Gems to discover, if you don't mind digging

15. Match the physical facility
with the business ......................... 111
Tell me again why a scrap metal business
needs its executive offices in a high-rise
office building downtown.

17. Study the competition ................. 127
Monkey see - monkey do, monkey no see, monkey no do

19 Buy with one eye on selling ............ 141
That's when you cash the really big check

  Chapter                                    Page

2. Know yourself ........................... 11
To thine own self be true

4. Define the opportunity .................. 35
"I can’t define it, but I’ll know it when I see it"

6. How does the opportunity make money? .... 49
"I'm an athletic contest repair mechanic."
"Oh, you fix sporting events."

8. Manufacturing ........................... 65
You either make a big one from small ones or small ones from a big one

10. Real estate ............................ 81
They aren’t making any more land

12. Someone's great idea ................... 93
If it's so great,
why aren't they keeping it for themselves?

14. A franchise could be right ............ 105
Millions and millions have been sold -
hamburgers and franchises

16. Understanding the information provided .117
The devil is in the details

18. Business advisors, CPAs, and other professionals ............................. 133
Yes, but have they ever actually bought and run a business?

20. Making the decision ................... 149
You're ready - it's time

Part II: PROFITING FROM AN
OPPORTUNITY
Okay - let's get to work

21. Controlling the opportunity ............ 161
OPM (other people's money) and good documents

23. Capitalizing the business .............. 173
"I'll take an eighth of your eighth and throw in a hundred grand." Phil Harris and Chill Wills in The Wheeler Dealers"

25. Profit is a term created by the IRS .... 193
"Show me the money!" Cuba Gooding to Tom Cruise in Jerry McGuire

27. Pay yourself what you’re worth ......... 207
The waiters make more in tips than the owner makes

29. Control fixed costs .................... 225
Never own anything that eats

31. Exiting the business ................... 237
It will happen. Plan for it

Chronology of business experience .......... 245
What's better - twenty years of experience or
one year of experience twenty times?

  22. Leverage ............................... 167
You can leverage time, talent, information,
skills, experience, - and money

24. Success through financial records ...... 181
Without a map you won't know how you got here
and you won't know how to get there.

26. People make it happen .................. 199
"Give a man a fish, he eats for a day; teach a man to fish and he feeds himself for life."

28. Marketing .............................. 217
Is what makes a prospect say,
"I'm interested - tell me more."

30. Opportunities within ................... 231
an opportunity
Look up - down - and sideways

The Final Word ............................. 243
Your turn - and how to reach me

Index ...................................... 251
I know it's in here somewhere

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