Finance Without Fear:
A guide to creating and managing a profitable business
Finance Without Fear is a straightforward, step-by-step guide to understanding the basic principles of business finance and to
using essential business documents (cash-flow statement, profit and loss statement, balance sheet) to launch and run a startup.
According to the authors, the book is for would-be entrepreneurs who are too intimidated by finance to launch a business, or
who charge ahead without sufficient knowledge of the requisite tools and end up floundering. Finance books, they say, are
too often written in cryptic “accountant-speak” that leaves the non-MBA feeling bewildered and overwhelmed.
Dolan-Heitlinger and Hettinger, by contrast, tie their subject matter to real-world examples, using clear, jargon-free language. They discuss each item in a financial statement, and discuss its significance via three case studies: a cottage-industry artisan turned small manufacturer; a boutique retailer; and a small-scale service provider. They then show how financial statements are used to gauge a business’s health, growth rate, and attractiveness to lenders and investors.
Throughout the book, the authors keep their discussion of financial tools well-grounded in context. For example: What metrics are most relevant to a customer-centric business versus an operational-centric one? What are acceptable growth benchmarks for specific types of businesses?
Finance Without Fear solidly accomplishes its goal — clearly explaining how to analyze financial statements and use the resulting knowledge to grow and nurture a fledgling business.