Just Bidding Around

Words To The Wise

How do you raise funds to launch or expand a business? Addressing that question from distinct perspectives are two new books from insiders: 2000 Financing Start-Ups (Harcourt Brace Professional Publishing, $139, 800-831-7799) and The SBA Loan Book (Adams Media Corp., $12.95, 800-872-5627).

2000 Financing Start-Ups may be the most comprehensive and informative book ever written on the subject. Authors Robert Brown and Alan S. Gutterman, international attorneys who have worked closely with start-ups for many years, reveal practical strategies for finding and securing financing and guide entrepreneurs through the entire funding process. The 600-page tome helps you zero in on the amount of funding needed, develop an effective business plan, find alternative financing sources, value a business, negotiate terms, and ensure compliance with federal and state regulations.

Brown and Gutterman explain in their book that it was designed to help readers "understand what it takes to raise money. Its focus is small businesses operating in the corporate form, since most lenders and investors will insist on a corporate structure." They go on to describe financing instruments and provide an overview of related regulations and laws. Then they discuss the specifics of all types of financing, including internal funds, vendor financing, strategic partners, private loans, commercial loans and leases, government funding programs, private primary transactions (such as sales to a small group of private or institutional investors and venture capital financing), and public offerings.

The financing guide comes with a CD-ROM that, like the book, includes a sample business plan and other documents, as well as listings of and useful details on thousands of venture capital firms, banks and SBA offices nationwide.

If you're put off by the magnitude or price of 2000 Financing Start-Ups, or if your sights are set on an SBA-backed loan, consider Charles H. Green'sThe SBA Loan Book. Green enlightens readers by painting a clear picture of the government agency and its financing options. And, as a veteran banker, he provides unique insight on dealing with lenders. Now vice president of the Bank of Commerce in San Diego, the author has held executive positions with three other banks and a venture capital firm over the past 20 years.

The 200-page handbook, subtitled How to Get a Small-Business Loan, Even With Poor Credit, Weak Collateral and No Experience, uses plain English to uncover the lender's decision-making process, at the same time acknowledging that perseverance is the ultimate key to SBA funding. In the short time it takes to read The SBA Loan Book, you'll learn how to fill out a loan application, explain extraneous circumstances, and improve your odds of getting a loan--or know what to do in the event the lender still says no.

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