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10 Good Reasons Not to Seek Investors For Your Startup

by Tim Berry

Sure, maybe you need the money. Maybe that’s what your business plan says. But seriously: Do you really want to have investors involved in your dream startup? I’ve said it before: bootstrapping is underrated. I get frequent emails from people asking how they can get investment for their new startup, and I’ve admitted to being... Read More »

Business Management

Planning Builds Metrics and Accountability for Business Management

by Tim Berry

Good business management boils down to managing expectations and results. Define expectations clearly, with objective numbers you can track. Track results with the same metrics. Deal with the difference between expectations and results, positive or negative. There’s nothing better than that for developing accountability in a business. And good planning process is the best way to... Read More »

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Revising the Root Canal Theory of Business Planning

by Tim Berry

For years I’ve lived with my own “root canal theory of business planning.” Do the Google search for that phrase and you’ll see that my previous writing about this comes up first. Like root canals, business plans were something people dreaded, but needed. Happily, things have changed. For today: lean business planning Unlike a root canal,... Read More »

Plan Run Review Revise

Business Planning for the ‘Lean Startup’

by Tim Berry

Nothing related to startups should be carved in stone. Best practices can be useful but are best taken as suggestions, not rules. So I’m troubled to see some of the “lean startup” advocates get into the codification business. I very much respect lean startup thought leaders Eric Ries and Steve Blank and the methodology they popularized at the end... Read More »

Form Follows Function

Planning Principle: Do Only What You’ll Use

by Tim Berry

Efficient business in general means avoiding waste, doing only what has value. Therefore the right form for your business plan is the form that best serves your business purpose. Furthermore, for the vast majority of business owners, the business purpose of planning is getting what you want from the business – setting strategy and tactics,... Read More »

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About Things Not Going According to Plan

by Tim Berry

So things don't go according to plan. Big deal; change happens. Does that mean your plans failed? No. Not if you understand planning and work it correctly; at least, not with business planning. I don't know about diets and life... Read More »

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Math and Science, Art and Creativity

by Tim Berry

What to math and science have to do with art and creativity? For my Friday video this week, another TED talk: Danielle Feinberg, Pixar’s director of photography. Watch how animated she becomes as she talks about what she does. At about 2:35 or so in, she’s demonstrating how they create landscape with 3D lighting. It’s... Read More »

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Drive a Market Analysis with Stories Instead of Numbers

by Tim Berry

Do you need to prove a market to investors or bank loan managers? More than ever, good market analysis lives on stories, not numbers. The difference between 10 and 20 million people, as prospects, is minimal. A story of real market need, a solution that a lot of people want, is way better. If you... Read More »

projected profits too high

Your Profits Are Way Too High!

by Tim Berry

The most common mistake in startup business plans is having the profits way too high. There’s no sense whatsoever to priding oneself in projected profits, as in profits you predict your business will have in the future. That’s like having replicas of future Olympic gold medals made and putting them into a trophy case. And... Read More »

valuation terms

Looking for Investment? Understand Startup Valuation

by Tim Berry

How much equity do I have to give to angel investors? If you’re a startup founder looking for angel investment, you need to understand valuation. It’s a buzzword that people use in other contexts, too, which adds to the confusion. But it’s ultimately what determines how much of your company your investors will get, and... Read More »