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My Fish Bowl Story of Marketing Mistakes

by Tim Berry

Here’s a mistake I made that taught me a lot and helped me teach others. The Mistake Many years ago, I took a new product – early business planning software – to its first trade show. We did the standard booth thing, brought along products, and sell sheets, business cards, and so forth. And we put... Read More »

Worn Shoes

Experts, Experts Everywhere, and Not a Pause to Think

by Tim Berry

My title for this post is taken (slightly modified, but better known as shown here than in the original) from Coleridge’s The Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner: “Water, water, everywhere, and not a drop to drink.” I’m worried that one downside of our amazingly connected world, in relation to small business and entrepreneurship, is that business experts are everywhere,... Read More »

Court Protects Reviews

State Supreme Court Decides in Favor of Nasty Reviews

by Tim Berry

The Oregon Supreme Court just reaffirmed the legal protection of nasty reviews as free speech. Which reminds me of the ongoing opportunity and problem of reviews. Amazon.com reviews, Yelp reviews, Google, TripAdvisor, and all of them are a combination of powerful, important, and yet also full of problems. Users care and we generally love the... Read More »

Paper Crumpled

My Dumb MBA Mistake

by Tim Berry

I’ve made a lot of mistakes. You can’t build a business from scratch without making mistakes. It’s an entire category on this blog, more than 150 posts. This dumb MBA mistake wasn’t my worst, but it’s one of the easiest to explain afterwards, and I hope one that might help others avoid making it too. There... Read More »

Small Business Failure Statistics

Demystify Business Failure Statistics

by Tim Berry

My Friday video for this week is one I did a while back, the truth about all those well-publicized business failure statistics. Most of the clichés we read everywhere are just often-repeated guesses. Nobody really knows. Read More »

Displacement

Displacement Principle in Startups and Small Business

by Tim Berry

It’s really pretty simple. Intuitive. I didn’t learn about it in business school; I learned about it while building and running a real business. I decided to call it the displacement principle. Displacement Principle: In the real world of small business, everything you do rules out something else you can’t do. My favorite metaphor is... Read More »

Lightning storm

Short Story on The Importance of Defining Blame

by Tim Berry

(Note: I happened on this story here on Quora, as an answer by Prashant Sharma. I decided to share it here because I like it. ) A bus full of passengers was on its journey. Suddenly the weather changed and there was a huge downpour and lightning all around.  The passengers saw that lightning appeared to strike their... Read More »

Don't tell your spouse

3 Things Never to Tell an Entrepreneur About her/his Spouse

by Tim Berry

I just read 7 Things Never to Tell Your Spouse About Business Finances, posted by Barry Molz on Amex OPEN forum. I like Barry and I like his work.  I’ve been on his podcast before and it was great. But his tone of voice in this post makes me uncomfortable. If you’re curious, compare Barry’s tone... Read More »

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10 Mistakes Big Businesses Make with Small Business Owners

by Tim Berry

For several decades now I’ve been back and forth between working on and building my own business, helping others build theirs, helping people manage small business, and, occasionally, helping larger businesses understand and presumably sell to smaller businesses. So I watch and listen. And I see how big businesses try to reach the solopreneur, home... Read More »

strategist-vs-just-good

Strategist? No, Please; not Me

by Tim Berry

I don’t want to be a strategist. Yeah, like you, I like to be a thinker. I like analysis. And strategy sounds cool. But the term strategist is too much pomp, arrogance, a relative of using utilize instead of use, or at that point of time instead of then. What reminded me was The Difference Between a... Read More »