The Business Plan

For Entrepreneurs

For High Tech

Hi-Tech Helpers

More Incubators

Getting Started: Cutting Red Tape

Filing Forms From the State Website

Corrections or additions?

Getting Started: Tactics

These articles by Teena Chandy were published in U.S. 1 Newspaper on January 6, 1999. All rights reserved.

From his A&M Farm and Garden Center in Robbinsville,

Bob Marcinkus delivers more than 1,000 varieties of flowers

and plants to addresses ranging from Delaware to Connecticut. This

year the mums at Rockefeller Center are from A&M, and his other customers

include AT&T and Arco Petroleum.

This family business began as a roadside vegetable stand in 1953.

But when Marcinkus entered the business and decided to grow flowers,

he leveraged help from the United States Small Business Administration


After extensive research, which included flying to Canada and visiting

more than 50 greenhouses, he approached the SBA in 1996 to obtain

an SBA 504 loan to construct a greenhouse. By February 1997, A&M had

a fully operational hi-tech Ridge Vent Glass Greenhouse.

America’s 22 million small businesses employ more than 50 percent

of the private workforce and generate more than half of the nation’s

gross domestic product. The survival rate of new small businesses,

contrary to what a lot of people think, is more than 50 percent, according

to Bruce Kirchhoff of the New Jersey Institute of Technology. So if

you have a dream, pursue it. Go ahead and build the kind of business

you always wanted to work for.

But you cannot build a business without money. This is true for businesses

in the process of growing as well. The Small Business Administration

(SBA) might be able to help. Apply for a business loan at your bank.

If financing is unavailable on reasonable terms, ask the bank to submit

your loan application to the SBA for consideration. The SBA does not

offer direct loans but offer loans through financial institutions.

Most small businesses are eligible and nearly all banks participate

with SBA. SBA programs become valuable when collateral is weak and

a longer repayment term is needed.

But you have to convince them that your business is worthy of a loan.

A business plan is your first step.

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The Business Plan

One way to write an excellent business plan is to get

The Biz Planner, a workbook and matching spreadsheet template

diskette that sells for $10. Developed by Herb Spiegel and his colleagues

at the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at Mercer

County Community College, it includes templates for five statements:

the annual income projection, the three-year income projection, cash

flow statement, balance sheet, and the statement on the use of funds.

In the narrative fill in the blanks section on competition, for instance,

you are asked a series of pretty simple questions. List your five

nearest competitors and if their business is steady, increasing, or

decreasing. List up to five reasons how their operations are similar

to yours. List how your business and their business will be different.

The Biz Planner includes a disk of templates for creating the five

basic financial statements on Excel or Lotus. The Small Business Feasibility/Planning

Workbook which includes the BizPlanner is $15. The Small Business

Glossary for those who are new to the world of business is $5 and

the SBDC’s Doing Business in the State of New Jersey is available

free of cost. You can pick them up at the SBDC at Mercer County Community

College or at Trenton Business and Technology Center. To order

call 609-586-4800, extension 3469, or mail remittance to: MCCC-SBDC,

Box B, Trenton, NJ 08690. Add $5 if you are requesting it by mail.

To succeed at obtaining a loan, Spiegel says that you must "absolutely

plan and research, and plan again and research again. The bottom line

is that it is your money and time invested in the process of going

for an SBA loan. Nobody ever suffered from too much information about

their project." The SBDC website (

developed by Spiegel, is a comprehensive source of information about

the SBA and the services provided by the SBDC.

Another way to get beyond the business plan stage is to hire a consultant.

If you have the money, the SBDC can refer you to a competent but reasonable

business-plan consultant. Or you can attend Mercer County Community

College’s Small Business Entrepreneurial Certificate Program.

It deals with the "nitty-gritty of running a business," says

Spiegel. A $50 five-session course, Developing Your Business Plan

will be taught Thursdays, starting March 4 or April 29, at 6:30 p.m.

Call 609-586-9446.

Enrolling at the New Jersey Economic Development Authority’s Entrepreneurial

Training Institute (609-292-4890) is another way to accomplish

the writing of your business plan. In an eight-week session ($165

includes course materials), new and prospective entrepreneurs learn

how to operate a business and, at the end, they present their business

plans to a panel of sponsors.

If you have a good business plan, a good idea, and some equity, the

bank or the Economic Development Authority (EDA) will be glad to talk

to talk to you about putting together a loan, says Caren S. Franzini,

executive director of the EDA. The EDA looks more kindly on those

who have taken courses so that they understand what is involved. Courses

like those offered by the EDA gets you started on writing your business

plan with realistic projections on how you would repay a loan.

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For Entrepreneurs

New Jersey Entrepreneurial Network, 600 College Road East,

Suite 4200, Princeton 08540. Robert Frawley, president. 609-987-6656;

fax, 609-987-6651. Home page: http://www.njen.-com.

Monthly meetings are on first Wednesdays, noon to 3 p.m., September

through June, at the Princeton Forrestal Hotel, College Road East.

Cost: $30 or $35 at the door.

Dubbed "the engine," the New Jersey Entrepreneurial Network’s

luncheon buffets are considered the very best on the entrepreneurial

circuit. The cost is $30 for those pre-registered or $35 at the door.

Call 609-279-0010 for information or to register and be on the attendees

lists distributed at the meetings. E-mail

to request to be on the E-mail notification list.

One key mission of the NJEN is to provide contacts and information

about financing and growing technology-based companies in the Garden

State and the mid-Atlantic region. "This is the place to come

and meet investors, successful entrepreneurs, lawyers, accountants,

and others who can help an entrepreneur grow his or her business,"

says Dan Conley, NJEN’s director. Conley has a financing business,

Silicon Garden Angels + Investors Network (732-873-1955).

"Most speakers are venture capitalists, investors and successful

entrepreneurs who want to help educate and assist others," says

Conley. NJEN is sponsored by Smith, Stratton, Wise, Heher & Brennan,

attorneys for emerging companies. Upcoming meetings:

"Venture Capital Panel," moderated by Jim Gunton,

vice president, Edison Venture Fund. Wednesday, February 3.

"Successful Funding Strategies," Wednesday, March


"The Path to Market — How to Get Sales," Wednesday,

April 7.

"New Jersey Resources: all the advice, services, and financing

alternatives available to small businesses from the state," Wednesday,

May 5.

Networking reception, Wednesday, June 2

New Jersey Entrepreneurs Forum, Box 313, Westfield 07090.

Jeff Milanette, president. 908-789-3424; fax, 908-789-9761. E-mail:

Dinner meetings are on second Thursdays, 6:45 p.m., September

through June, at McAteers, Easton Avenue, Route 527 in Somerset, just

south of Route 287’s exit 10. Cost: $45 at the door. Attendees receive

many valuable tools and material as take-aways to further their capitalism.

The Forum’s mission is to educate and help entrepreneurs flourish.

It hosts the "Entrepreneurs University" to help teams grow,

refine their business plan, recruit talent and advisors, cross-train,

develop their financing strategy and help capitalize their companies.

Jeff Milanette, NJEF’s president, is a principal with Innovative Partners

Inc. Upcoming meetings:

"Protecting Your Intellectual Property: inventions, new

technology processes, computer software, and Internet-related issues,"

A. Jared Silverman Esq. and Diane Frenier and Douglas Worthington,

both of Smith, Stratton et al, Thursday, January 14.

"What Venture Capitalists Want: How to be an Extraordinary

Entrepreneur," Thursday, February 11.

"Venture Fair Workshop," Thursday, March 11.

"Crunching Numbers," Thursday, April 8.

"Virtual vs Traditional Companies," Thursday, May


"Alumni Success Stories," Thursday, June 10.

Venture Association of New Jersey, Box 1982, Morristown

07962-1982. Jay W. Trien CPA, president. 973-631-5680; fax, 973-984-9634.

E-mail: Home page:

Monthly forum for stimulating interaction among business leaders

and investors, also 973-267-4200, extension 193.

The Venture Association of New Jersey is the largest networking group

in the state and boasts an impressive cadre of sponsors and entrepreneurial

service provider specialists (funding intermediaries). Visitors are

advised to come early to the monthly luncheon meetings, scheduled

on third Tuesdays from noon to 2 p.m. at the Governor Morris Hotel,

now the Westin, on Route 510 in Morristown. Meetings are $45 or $55


"When There Are Stars in Your Eyes, Why Prepare for Chapter

11," attorney David Raven, Ted Kompa of Business Alliance Capital,

and Fred Rice, Nauset Business Evaluation. Tuesday, January 19.

Also February 16, March 16, and April 20. Register by calling

Clara Stricchiola, of the accounting firm, Trien Rosenberg "Cyber


The VANJ has an electronic offspring, the New Media Association

of New Jersey ( which runs a monthly

evening networking event called CyberPub, on third Thursdays from

7 to 9 p.m., also at the Westin.

Business Owners Institute, 676 Route 202/206 North, Bridgewater

08807. Al Warr, director. 908-526-1500; fax, 908-526-1501. Home


It operates operating countrywide assisting businesses at any

stage of growth and development, including start-up, fund raising,

and tax problems — employing client referrals, meetings, seminars,

presentations and other means of assistance.

Employers Association of New Jersey, 799 Bloomfield Avenue,

Suite 312, Verona 07044-1399. John Sarno, executive director. 609-393-7100;

fax, 973-239-0904. Home page:

A nonprofit association that provides employee relations services

including salary and wage benchmark data.

Rutgers Family Business Forum, 41 A Gordon Road, Livingston

Campus, c/o Center for Applied Psychology, Box 5062, New Brunswick

08903-5062. David Niemeyer, director. 732-445-7504; fax, 732-445-7970.


A member organization that addresses issues unique to family-owned


Small Business Survival Group, Box 3119, Princeton 08543.

Will Grondski, president. 609-419-9094; fax, 609-419-9095. E-mail: Home page:

Meetings on second and fourth Thursdays at 9 a.m. at The Daily

Plan It to help small businesses and entrepreneurs achieve goals.

Young Entrepreneurs Organization, 510 Horizon Center,

Robbinsville 08691. Cynthia Angelini, administrator. 609-584-9000;

fax, 609-584-9575. Home page:

An international organization for owner/operators under 42,

with meetings open only to members.

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For High Tech


Biotechnology Council of New Jersey Inc., 160 West State

Street, Princeton House, Trenton 08608. Debbie Hart, director. 609-890-3185;

fax, 609-581-8244. E-mail:

Membership organization aiming to create a positive climate

for the state’s biotechnology industry.

International Internet Association LLC, 25 Rosewood Court,

Princeton Junction 08550. Robert J. Britting, CEO and president. 609-720-1722;

fax, 609-720-1723. E-mail: Home page:

A forum and single source organization representing the interests

of high-tech programming and Internet professionals for both retail

and high-tech companies. Also

New Jersey Technology Council, 500 College Road, Suite

200, Princeton 08540. Maxine Ballen, president. 609-452-1010; fax,

609-452-1007. E-mail: Home page:

A statewide group that provides recognition, networking, information,

and services for the state’s technology businesses.

Having acquired more than 450 members in less than three years,

the NJTC has the reputation of being the largest and fastest growing

entrepreneurial group on the Atlantic seaboard. "It hosts interesting

and valuable meetings covering all aspects of commerce and enterprise,"

says Conley. "The NJTC is the primary vehicle for the New Jersey

Venture Fair, an annual event organized for many years by the NJTC’s

president, Maxine Ballen."

The NJTC also organizes and runs the New Jersey Capital Conference

(scheduled this year for January 29), the New Jersey Public Company

Showcase, the New Jersey Software Forum (2Q99), and most

recently, a Utilities Communications and Deregulation Convergence

Conference, set for January 21 at the Princeton Plasma Physics

Laboratory. Upcoming meetings:

"Employee Compensation for Technology Companies,"

David L. Sears of D.L. Sears, and Natalie Brooks of Raymond Karsan

Associates. $30. Tuesday, January 12, 5 p.m. At Dendrite International,

1200 Mt. Kemble, Morristown.

"Doing Business on the Internet, Part I," Charles

Levin of Pathfinder Consulting Group LLC, $175 or $300 for two half-day

sessions. Tuesday, January 19, and Tuesday, February 2, 8:30 a.m.

At 500 College Road East.

"Where Utilities, Communications, and Deregulation Converge,

conference, $200. Thursday, January 21, 8 a.m.

"Maximizing Insurance Coverage for Year 2000 Problems,"

Philip Sellinger and David Jay of Sills Cummis Zuckerman et al. $30.

Tuesday, January 26, 8 p.m. At Somerset Hills Hilton, 200 Liberty

Corner Road, Warren.

"1999 Healthcare Forecast," Michael Hathaway of PricewaterhouseCoopers

and Gordon Schatz of Reed Smith Shaw & McClay. $45. Wednesday,

January 27, 4 p.m. At JFK Conference Center, 70 James Street, Edison.

"Capital Conference ’99." Scott Baxter, president

and CEO, Icon CMT. Corp., keynote. Panels on state tax credits, private

equity, sales and mergers as exit strategies, IPO outlook, financing

technology companies, growth by acquisition, and joint ventures/strategic

partnering. $140. Friday, January 29, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. At NJHA

Conference Center.

"Electronic Deliverables — Is Your Company Up to the

Task?" $30. Environmental Industry Track. Wednesday, February

3, 4 p.m.

High Tech Heroes breakfast honoring John Bailye, president

and CEO, Dendrite International Inc. Friday, February 5, 8:30 a.m.

"Y2K: Business Issues that All Companies Should Anticipate

and Address," Software Industry Track. Tuesday, February 9,

5 p.m.

"Developing a Marketing Plan," Sales and Marketing

Peer Track. Thursday, February 18, 8:30 a.m.

"The Management Information Dashboard," Henry Lubas

of Amper Consulting, Electronics Industry Track. $30. Monday, February

22, 4 p.m. At Amper Politziner Mattia, 2015 Lincoln Highway, Edison,

New Jersey Venture Fair. Monday, March 29.

Princeton Technology Alliance Inc., 863 State Road, Princeton

08540. Cathryn A. Mitchell, president. 609-921-3322; fax, 609-921-0459.

E-mail: Home page:

A nonprofit organization supporting development and advancement

of technology in the greater Princeton area.

Research and Development Council of New Jersey, 400 Morris

Avenue, Suite 222, Denville 07834. John Daghlian, executive director.

973-627-5330; fax, 973-627-8410. Home page:

Support for continued growth of technology-based organizations

in the state.

Technology New Jersey Inc., 212 Carnegie Center, Suite

110, Princeton 08540. Grace Polhemus, president. 609-419-4444; fax,

609-419-1888. Home page:

A central communications and action framework connecting technology

companies to information, resources and power. The current series

of breakfast meetings, at 8 a.m. on Tuesdays at the Hyatt, is devoted

to E-Commerce. Meetings are free to members, $30 for guests:

"Electronic Commerce: Log On, Link Up, and Save Big!"

Melvin Powell, regional sales manager of Commerce One, and Jack Dooley,

of PricewaterhouseCoopers. $30. Tuesday, January 12.

"Electronic Commerce: Toys ‘R Us Case Study," Deb

Kimball, manager of; and "Creating Customer Database

for Loyalty and Data Warehousing Activities," Jack M. Kaplan of

Datamark Technologies Inc. Tuesday, January 19.

"Multimedia Interactivity, the Next Wave in E-Commerce,"

Will Clark, director of marketing and sales, Kandu Inc.; and "E-Commerce

Web Hosting: Does It Matter Where I Go?, Jack Foster, Verio. $30.

Tuesday, February 2.

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Hi-Tech Helpers

New Jersey Commission on Science & Technology, 28 West

State Street, Box 832, Trenton 08625-0832. David Eater, acting director.

609-984-1671; fax, 609-292-5920. Home page:

A semi-independent branch of Department of Commerce and Economic

Development with authority to develop policies and programs. The 1999

application deadline for technology transfer grants is January 25.

(See page 59). Other possible helps:

Through a Washington, D.C.-based technical liaison, Michael Miller,

the NJCST offers help with strategies, market planning, customer development,

and draft proposal review (703-354-1102; E-mail:

Also find out about federal research contracts through the Small

Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program, which requires agencies

with large external R&D budgets to earmark a percentage of these funds

for competitive grants for small companies. Call the Help Desk (see

below) or the NJCST directly.

Apply for seed-stage capital to Early Stage Enterprises (609-921-8896;

fax, 609-921-8703) partially funded by NJCST.

Technology Help Desk & Incubator (NJSBDC), 100 Jersey

Avenue, Suite D-1, New Brunswick 08901. Lorraine Allen, technology

help desk manager. 800-432-1832; fax, 732-545-0120. E-mail:

Home page:

Co-sponsored by NJ Commission on Science and Technology, NJ

Small Business Development Center of Rutgers Graduate School of Management,

and U.S. Small Business Administration, this state staple helps commercialize

new technologies and grow technology based businesses. It offers a

centralized telephone and electronic gateway to information, assistance,

and resources that can help New Jersey’s small businesses and entrepreneurs

find answers to their managerial, technological, and financial problems

and questions.

Listings of entrepreneurs, potential investors, and professional

service providers in New Jersey. The Desk can usually provide phone

numbers for any of these sources within 15 minutes. And for companies

that need longer lists of contacts, or answers to technical questions,

the Desk’s staff will get back to you within 72 hours or a lot sooner.

The Department of Defense solicitation schedule. The Help

Desk is an authorized distribution agent for Department of Defense

funding. The Help Desk has published an information package describing

SBIR and other federal R&D grants, as well as the services and resources

available to assist New Jersey entrepreneurs in pursuing these opportunities.

Evaluation of business plans prior to submission to seed-stage

venture capital firms such as Early Stage Enterprises. "Entrepreneurs

frequently fail to realize the importance of a strongly written summary

in making a first impression and in receiving further consideration

from prospective investors. Good ideas can be rejected if they are

poorly presented," says Harmon.

A calendar of events listing business and technical activities

is available at http://www.nj.-com/-small-business.. The

Help Desk also publishes a newsletter and sponsors lunchtime presentations.

Call 800-432-1TEC to start getting on the newsletter list.

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More Incubators

Trenton Business & Technology Center, 36 South Broad Street,

Trenton 08608. 609-396-8801; fax 609-896-8603. (

Call Dan Stombom.

Burlington County College High Technology Small Business

Incubator , County Route 530, Pemberton 08068. Frank Keith, director.

609-222-9311, extension 7906; fax, 609-439-0154. Focusing on electrical

devices, software, and communications companies.

NJIT Enterprise Development Center, Newark. 973-643-5740;

fax, 973-643-4502. Home of nearly 30 small businesses and nonprofits.

Call Stash Lisowski or Lou Gaburo.

Picatinny Innovation Center Picatinny Arsenal, 3159 Schrader

Road, Dover 07801. 201-442-6400; fax, 201-724-2934. By agreement with

the federal R&D center at this arsenal, tenants can work with federal

equipment and personnel by paying money or by in kind exchange of


Technology Center of New Jersey, Route 1 South, North

Brunswick. Call Michael B. Francois, of the New Jersey Economic

Development Authority at 609-292-0369; fax, 609-292-6164. For technology

companies that have outgrown incubation spaces, this center links

with Rutgers for enhanced research services.

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Getting Started: Cutting Red Tape

A new one-stop call center guarantees to help any entrepreneur

or business owner negotiate the regulatory maze. "We deal with

any question or problem regarding state regulation," says Charles

Jones, director of the Department of the Business Advocate and

Informationat the state commerce commission. He promises to return

every phone call within 24 hours and to process routine information

requests within seven days.

"The most common complaint is that entrepreneurs don’t know where

to go," says Jones. We have set up a one-stop service, a call

management center, copied from the private sector. We have a "No

Wrong Door" policy. We replicate the private sector. With one

phone number, 609-777-0885, we handle all calls. We are here to answer

any callers’ request, whether it is germane to the Commerce Commission

or not. We try to listen to the customer. Unlike any other state department

we actually process all customer requests as one unit."

His department manages its own License and Certification database,

which covers more than 300 professions. With a phone call to 800-533-0186

discover what professional licenses might be needed for certain types

of businesses or professions. The database runs the gamut from funeral

directors to pet shop owners and everything in between, and it provides

county and municipality licensing contacts.

This department helps businesses coordinate projects that require

approvals from more than one state agency. Within 15 working days

of the office receiving a completed application form, the client will

receive information identifying all required state agency construction

permits along with application forms, instructions, and the names

of the appropriate contact persons for each identified permit and

permit program.

Call Jones at 609-777-0885; fax, 609-777-4097, or write to him at

New Jersey Commerce and Economic Growth Commission, Department of

Business Advocate and Information, 20 West State Street, Box 839,

Trenton 08625-0839.

Other services from the commerce commission: Come to the Division

of Development for Small Business and Women and Minority Businesses ,

to find out if your small business, minority-owned business, or women-owned

business is eligible for set-aside contracts. (David Byrd, director,

609-292-3860; fax, 888-239-1288.)

Trade shows and programs helping businesses to explore new markets

abroad are offered by International Trade & Protocol, Carlos

Kearns, director (609-633-3617).

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Filing Forms From the State Website

The state of New Jersey has an excellent website that

can get you started on what forms to file for a new business. You

can access it best by going to and clicking

through to all the entrepreneurial information from there. For registering

your business through the Division of Commercial Recording, you will

end up at

Pay attention to the caveat at the top of the page: just having the

form in your hand does not guarantee you will fill it out correctly.

You probably need to consult an attorney. But from the web site you

can get copies of any form you need — incorporation, nonprofit,

forprofit, authority, LLC, dissolution, or amendment (changing the

business name), and more. When you get such a form off the Internet

it tells you which of the fields are mandatory. Print out the form,

fax it by noon that day, and with expedited service you’ll have the

results by 5 p.m. If you don’t have a depository account you can use

a credit card.

The forms offered on the Internet are also available by fax, through

the Fax on Demand service, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Call

609-530-4992 from the handset of your fax machine and follow the instructions.

For complete details, check the Web site.

Here’s an example of the available forms: the C100 Certificate of

Incorporation, profit; C101 Certificate of Incorporation, Nonprofit,

C100P Certificate of Incorporation, Professional Service, C113A Application

for an Amended Certificate of Authority, C150 Registration of Alternate

Name, C104G Change of Office and Agent, LP100 Limited Partnership

Certificate, and the C159A Dissolution Before Commencing Business.

Call the Automated Commercial Recording Information System (CRIS),

at 609-530-6400, to check on the statewide availability of a corporate

or business entity name. It costs about $15 to search for one name,

and you pay to reserve your name for up to 120 days.

You can also get detailed status reports on corporations at

This information used to be accessible by voice mail only. The information

is useful for those awarding contracts, making investments, tracking

down delinquents — a multitude of reasons. The reports include

the name of the corporation, whether it is in New Jersey or out of

state, the date papers were filed with the state, the status (active,

dissolved, or voided), the agent’s name and address (the lawyer, accountant,

or president), and the main business address.

If you want to pay for these reports by credit card, call 609-530-6408

to get set up for credit card charges. Then, the computer can give

you a report verbally and fax it to you. Or you can fax a request

to 609-530-6433. The service is automatic, available 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.,

seven days a week, and the reports are updated regularly.

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