Even before the recent credit crunch, books on raising money were a popular genre. But Joseph Mancuso's How to Get a Business Loan (Random House, 1993, $45, packaged with Andrew Tobias's Managing Your Money software) is one of the most readable treatments we've seen in years.

Mancuso, founder of the Center for Entrepreneurial Management, in New York City, offers good, sharp advice on how to win and maintain the confidence of lenders. And he spices the book with personal insights into creating strong business plans and avoiding personal guarantees.

His starting point is that "it's technically impossible to give a banker too much information." Beyond that, the secret is building relationships with the banker and the bank. How? Through a variety of techniques -- everything from referring new business to the bank to seeing the banker socially. Since turnover in banks is legendary, he advises getting to know people throughout the organization. As Mancuso puts it, "You never know who will end up on your next loan committee."

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