The entrepreneurial quest for financing has spawned a relentless stream of resources that promise success in raising capital. Few deliver, but these three exceptions do an excellent job of covering different aspects of financing:
· The Financing Sources Databank (DataMerge, 800-580-1188) is an up-to-date computerized data bank that lists about 2,500 financing sources of all varieties. In a crowded marketplace, this data bank has much to recommend it: a relatively low price of $139, with updates available every four months for just $50 apiece; listings that have screened out lenders who charge hefty up-front fees or follow other dubious business practices; and truly simple operating instructions.
· The Ernst & Young Guide to Financing for Growth, by Daniel R. Garner, Robert R. Owen, and Robert P. Conway (John Wiley & Sons, 908-469-4400), three Ernst & Young partners, does a comprehensive job of scanning the finance universe and explaining the pros and cons of just about everything. There's enough useful information here to justify any business owner's investment of $14.95 and a weekend's time to learn about all the money options.
· Raising Capital: How to Write a Financing Proposal, by business consultant Lawrence Flanagan (Oasis Press, 800-228-2275), is dry but practical as it tells entrepreneurs everything they ever wanted to know (and more) about the intricacies of proposal writing, all for $19.95.* * *