Business Development is one of those rare books that wastes little time in getting to the point: helping people make sense of United States Government Contracting. The goal of the book is “to assist those of you wanting to take that step of gathering all the business documentation required to get certified.” McNeal’s straightforward and practical writing style is refreshing. Her book is basically a how-to manual for writing government grant proposals.
McNeal begins the book with a personal testament as to how much time her first business package took. She even offers the tongue in cheek explanation that “with dedication perseverance no job and no life after 5 p.m. the LGMBizPak can be prepared within thirty—ninety days.” The author has used this method herself and thus knows that it can work. Readers who have tried other grant writing sources may be more interested after reading that the author has actually used this book.
Writing a government grant proposal can be intimidating but the format of this book should help to alleviate some fears and encourage readers. Business Development is divided into three sections. In “Documentation Preparation” the author provides each step from how to begin through what constitutes a disabled veteran business or a woman-owned business. One of the best things the author does is provide definitions of business terms with which many lay readers might not be familiar. The first section also includes a page that brings together all the general information a company needs to complete certification registration applications and proposals. The second section encompasses the actual application selection state and federal level small business certification federal registration nonprofit required forms and other related topics. In the state level section the author includes the Web addresses for all the small business certification centers from Alabama to Wyoming.
The chapters that follow cover topics including city county state and federal grants; financial projections; and personal networking.
The book could have been improved by including examples of such pieces as the Research Proposal and Letter of Intent. The author does an excellent job of describing each piece that should be included but someone writing a proposal for the first time would benefit from seeing more samples from successfully submitted proposals.
Business Development offers a practical tool full of useful information for the beginner as well as the seasoned professional wanting to obtain a government contract.