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Truth is a Believable Story

by Tim Berry

I grew up believing that facts, like research, numbers and percentages, told the truth. I believed in objective, verifiable truth, based on fact. I distinguished that from mystical religious truth, based on faith. I was a mainstream journalist for almost 10 years in the 1970s. Every professional journalist believed in objective verifiable truth based on... Read More »

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Planning: It’s About Management and Accountability

by Tim Berry

(Note: this is an excerpt from my book The Plan-As-You-Go Business Plan, which is posted as a web site where you can read it online.) Every small-business owner suffers the problem of management and accountability. It’s much easier to be friends with the people you work with than to manage them well. Correct management means... Read More »

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Crystal Ball and Chain

by Tim Berry

This is an answer to a question I get way too often. I call it the “Crystal Ball and Chain” problem. I’ve run into it several times as I’ve introduced the planning process into a new company or organization. People in the organization sometimes fear business planning. In the background, the fear is related to... Read More »

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Business Plans are Always Wrong, But Still Vital

by Tim Berry

(Note: It feels like business planning season to me. Fall, or almost fall, time to think about next year. So I’m reviewing business planning fundamentals, this week and next, refreshing some of my older posts.)  Business plans are always wrong. That’s because we’re human. Business plans predict the future. We humans suck at predicting the future.... Read More »

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Isn’t it Creepy to Walk Into a Startup with Fancy Offices?

by Tim Berry

Funded or not, ambitious or not, I just don’t see the sense of startups having fancy offices. In the old days, as a consultant to startups and investors both, I hated walking into an interview with a startup when it was a nice office, beautiful windows, carpets, and lots of space. In the middle days,... Read More »

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Q&A: Are There Business Classes That Busy Smallbiz Owners Can’t Afford Not to Take?

by Tim Berry

Over this weekend I was in email with a college student who asked me to answer some questions about business education, as part of a class project. I found this one interesting, and one that comes up a lot, so I decided to post the question and my answer here today. The question: On your... Read More »

Go Ahead And Disagree

Go Ahead: Disagree. I dare you.

by Tim Berry

This one had me from the moment I saw the title: Dare to Disagree. I clicked, watched, and I love it. Good disagreement is central to progress. She illustrates (sometimes counterintuitively) how the best partners aren’t echo chambers — and how great research teams, relationships and businesses allow people to deeply disagree. I’ve seen this... Read More »

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What is the most important thing to have when you are just starting your company?

by Tim Berry

Entrepreneur.com asked What is the most important thing to have when you are just starting your company?  on LinkedIn and here are the results: While I really like the answer business plan – I’m a business planner – I don’t completely agree. If I weren’t biased down to my bones, I’d answer “something else” and clarify that what you... Read More »

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You Need People Committed, Not Just Involved

by Tim Berry

In breakfast, the chicken is involved, the pig is committed. In the business planning process, commitment is essential. Plans need to be implemented, and implementation means commitment.  There has to be accountability, and peer pressure.  You have to follow up on what was planned to make sure that it was actually carried out. Here are... Read More »

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Displacement: A Critical Small Biz Factor We Never Acknowledge

by Tim Berry

Displacement: In the real world of small business, everything you do rules out something else you can’t do. Understanding displacement is vital for business planning, vital for growing a business, vital for small and medium business in particular. Consider the picture here, marbles dropping into a full glass of water. The water comes splashing out... Read More »