…in Burke’s words…
Burke Franklin (that’s me) is the founder & CEO of JIAN (jee’-on) Software, a successful Silicon Valley software company renowned for BizPlanBuilder, the popular software system for producing a comprehensive business plan.
I graduated from the University of California at Santa Barbara in 1979 with a bachelor’s degree in business economics, plus a minor in electrical engineering. In my senior year, I started “The Auto Exchange,” a do-it-yourself used car business that I ran from my fraternity apartment. Then I got my first real job as a “field sales engineer” for Texas Instruments selling electronic components. (I actually helped electrical engineers design TI stuff into their products.) Besides working in sales and management for mostly high-tech companies, my career also includes a position as the Electronics Buyer and a copywriter for the Sharper Image Catalog.
Management & marketing experience spans 33 years
33 years… OMG! Nevertheless, I do have an extensive background in sales, marketing and management and I only bring a very practical approach to everything I do. In 1995, I was elected to the White House Conference on Small Business where I met with 1,800 other entrepreneurs from across the U.S. to discuss issues every business owner faces and vote so congress could see what was important to us. I can’t tell if they did anything about it… (I very much appreciate the support of the National Association of Women Business Owners who helped elect me.)
In 1996 I was nominated for Ernst & Young’s “Entrepreneur of the Year” award. My assistant Alicia submitted me without me knowing it and I was a finalist amongst the horde. I certainly appreciate the vote of confidence!
In May 1996, and again in 1997, the Brazilian software council flew me to Belo Horizonte, Brazil to teach business planning to Brazilian entrepreneurs! Imagine that boondoggle! Also, since 2000, I have presented an ongoing series called The Thinking Behind Your Business Plan for CEO Space and other entrepreneurial organizations. You can watch it online here.
For what it’s worth, I am an instrument-rated pilot, and a second-degree black belt in TaeKwonDo, so watch out. My book, Business Black Belt draws parallels from the martial arts and teaches you about building and running a business by using the teachings from hundreds of “personal development” workshops. That means if you get knocked down 7 times, you need to get up 8, but I’ll teach you some tricks to turn the tables in your favor.