Unhappy Guy

True Story: My Worst-Ever Business Plan Consulting Engagement

by Tim Berry

In more than 30 years with business planning, my worst-ever business plan consulting engagement was for a startup that should have been funded but wasn’t. It was a good business plan. But the business plan process became the fatal flaw. A good plan, excellent team, good startup I learned this lesson while sitting in a series of meetings,... Read More »

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Involvement vs. Commitment and Planning as Management

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... Read More »

coffeefromistock

Understand The Essential ‘Why They Buy’

by Tim Berry

Close your eyes. Step away from the daily routine. Answer these questions. Why does anybody buy what you're selling? What do they get out of it? Do you fill a need? Do you offer identifiable benefits? Some 30 years ago... Read More »

Video: 5 Fundamental Principles of Business Planning

by Tim Berry

Through the decades, what I recommend for real business planning has changed a lot; but these five fundamental principles of business planning remain constant, from then straight through until today. And for lean business plans as well as formal traditional plans. Read More »

Business Management

10 Myths vs. Reality on Business Plans and Startup Investment

by Tim Berry

I gather from a stream of emails I’ve received that there are a lot of misconceptions on the relationship between a business plan and getting seed money and/or angel investment. So here’s a list of reality checks to apply to all those lists. Business plans are necessary but not sufficient. Even a great business plan... Read More »

valuation terms

5 Things Entrepreneurs Need to Know About Valuation

by Tim Berry

Valuation is one of those four-syllable business buzzwords you’re going to have to deal with, eventually, if you either want to start a business or own a business. If it doesn’t come up when you start, it will come up later. Here is what I think you need to know, in five short points. The... Read More »

Business Management

5 Management Benefits of Lean Business Planning

by Tim Berry

Don’t think of a business plan as a formal document that’s hard to do, useful only for startups, bank loan applications, and seeking investment. Think of it as lean business planning that’s just lists and tables and is vital for optimizing business management. You plan, run, review, and revise. It’s a process. A constant cycle.... Read More »

Plan Run Review Revise

How to Start a Business Plan

by Tim Berry

How do I start a business plan? It’s a common question. And you can find lots of definitive answers. People answer with outlines, prescriptions, and recipes. Unfortunately, most of these misunderstand how people are different, and the way they approach the business plan ought to reflect that difference. Let me explain with some examples of... Read More »

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Planning and Paradox

by Tim Berry

Business planning is full of paradox. Here are some interesting examples. Business plans are always wrong, but nonetheless vital. Wrong because they're predicting the future and we're human, we're fallible, so we don't get it right. Vital because we need... Read More »

Form Follows Function

Lean Business Plan: Form Follows Function

by Tim Berry

Your lean business plan is no more than what you need to run your business. In the beginning, it might be as simple as an elevator speech. Be able to talk through those key points: the customer story, what makes you unique, how you’re focusing and on what you’re focusing, and, if it comes to that,... Read More »