Why Management is Like Dribbling a Ball

by Tim Berry

This is interesting: Stanford Business School professor Charles O’Reilly on Why Some Companies Seem to Last Forever: What explains this longevity? Stanford Graduate School of Business Professor Charles O’Reilly calls it ‘organizational ambidexterity’: the ability of a company to manage its current business while simultaneously preparing for changing conditions. ’You often see successful organizations failing, and it’s... Read More »

A Pre-written Business Plans Is As Useful As…

by Tim Berry

Frustration: People asking me (via email) “where can I find a business plan for …” some specific type of business. I get that a lot. Prewritten business plans.  Sigh… Here: A pre-written business plan is about as useful as somebody else’s year-old airline and hotel reservations.  A pre-written business plan is about as useful as somebody... Read More »

Save the Patient. Make Exorbitant Profits. Is This Okay?

by Tim Berry

How do you feel about projecting excessive profitability in a health care business plan? Over the weekend I saw the pitch for a brilliant business plan, with great technology, for developing medical electronics that could significantly reduce some kinds of complications in some kinds of surgeries. “The world needs this,” I thought. “I hope these... Read More »

Q&A: Keep Your Business Plan Simple and Short

by Tim Berry

I received this question on my ask-me form at timberry.com I have a question about writing a business plan for my [business]. How do I write a business plan reflecting very little start up costs and a loss so far? I have been putting off writing a business plan, but I feel as if I... Read More »

Business Plan Yes, Comprehensive and Detailed, Not So Much

by Tim Berry

Funny how sometimes what sounds like good advice isn’t. I was browsing online when I caught the alleged business plan tip shown here (although I added the red circle over it). It says you should write a “comprehensive, detailed business plan.” And I say probably not; only in special circumstances.  Instead, develop a streamlined, flexible,... Read More »

The Dribbling Metaphor for Business Planning

by Tim Berry

Think of basketball or soccer. In both of these popular sports, dribbling is what the players do to move the ball in the right direction. It’s not the point of the game, it doesn’t score baskets or goals, but it’s an important skill, right? I think of dribbling as a great analogy for business planning.... Read More »

The Real Use of the One-Page Business Plan

by Tim Berry

The question is:  There’s been quite a bit written recently about the value of a 1-page business plan. What are your thoughts on this type of plan vs. a thorough document? And my answer: The only problem is confusing the two as if one replaces the other. The 1-pager is a summary of the plan.... Read More »

Free Online Video Business Planning Tutorial

by Tim Berry

My apologies if you’ve seen this elsewhere. It is available on the SBA community site, where it was posted about a year ago. I developed it originally as a donation to the SBA effort, because I believe what the SBA to help real-world entrepreneurs get started and run businesses is valuable. I cooperate with the... Read More »

Pop Quiz: Do You Know How to Start a Business Plan?

by Tim Berry

People often ask me how to start a business plan. Sometimes I’ll say it depends on you, your preference, and your style, so some people do a sales forecast first, some do a vision statement. But the right answer is that you start by scheduling your monthly review and revise meeting. That’s by far the... Read More »

Understand the Critical Difference Between Ideas and Opportunities

by Tim Berry

Ideas are a dime a dozen. Opportunities are much more important. An opportunity is an idea that’s passed the test of planning. It has potential. You can implement it. An opportunity has some of the following elements: Industry and market potential: look at market structure, industry structure, growth rate, margins, costs, etc. Economics: capital requirements,... Read More »