The 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... Read More »

Do We All Undervalue Bootstrapping?

by Tim Berry

In business schools, in popular blogs, in business publications, and in general discussion of starting a business, we undervalue bootstrapping. We teach starting a business as if every new business requires sophisticated venture capital. I understand how this can be... Read More »

A Good Resolution: Schedule Regular Management Meetings

by Tim Berry

Each year, as you get ready to publish the next year's plan, schedule the plan review meetings. Use some regular meeting schedule such as the third or fourth Thursday of every month. All the managers committed to the plan will... Read More »

Tim Berry Lean Business Plan

Video: Lean Business Planning

by Tim Berry

I was pleased to join Dustin Luther of D&B B2B for this Facebook Live video on lean business planning. Read More »

Small Business Lessons from High Tech

7 Small Businesses Lessons From Tech Startups

by Tim Berry

What can every small business learn from tech startups? David Rose, founder of Gust.com and long-time leader of the New York Tech Angels, says normal businesses are different from tech startups, and offers small business lessons he’s taken from decades dealing with what high-end tech startups do as they start. He says: One of the most... Read More »

A Pile of Cash

How to Make Money on Your Brilliant Business Idea

by Tim Berry

So you have a brilliant business idea that will be very successful. My congratulations to you. Now read all ideas are brilliant and nobody is going to pay you for your ideas. Are you still sure? All right then, let’s continue.  And – this is important – do not even think about getting investors yet. Do a... Read More »

What? Me do a Business Plan? But I’m Not a Start-up!

by Tim Berry

Ask the owner of a small-to-medium company about a business plan. Expect the answer: "Business plan? but I'm not a start-up. Why would I want a business plan?" They don't all answer that way, but too many do, and it's... Read More »

Planning Principle: It’s Business Planning, Not Accounting

by Tim Berry

It’s business planning not accounting.  Your projections, although they look like accounting statements, are just projections. They are always going to be off one way or another, and their purpose isn’t guessing the future exactly right, but rather setting down expectations and connecting the links between spending and revenue. Then when you do your monthly... Read More »

Planning Principle: Good Business Planning Empowers Accountability

by Tim Berry

It’s easier to be friends with your coworkers than to manage them well. Every small-business owner suffers the problem of management and accountability. Good business planning empowers accountability. Good business planning sets clear expectations and then follows up on results. It compares results with expectations. People on a team are held accountable only if management actually... Read More »

Planning Principles: Business Plan in Constant Change

by Tim Berry

One of the strongest and most pervasive myths about planning is dead wrong: planning doesn’t reduce flexibility. It builds flexibility. Lean business planning manages change. It is not threatened by change. This is the third of my five main principles of business planning. The first was do only what you’ll use. The second is that... Read More »