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 »

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Which Comes First: Plan or Pitch?

by Tim Berry

It’s not exactly the same as the chicken or the egg, but it has some similarities. I get this question a lot lately, so I decided to take it here to my blog. Don’t pitch a business without planning it first. That’s a lot like trying to film a movie without having a screenplay. You have... Read More »

Business Management

Planning Builds Metrics and Accountability for Business Management

by Tim Berry

Good business management boils down to managing expectations and results. Define expectations clearly, with objective numbers you can track. Track results with the same metrics. Deal with the difference between expectations and results, positive or negative. There’s nothing better than that for developing accountability in a business. And good planning process is the best way to... Read More »

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Revising the Root Canal Theory of Business Planning

by Tim Berry

For years I’ve lived with my own “root canal theory of business planning.” Do the Google search for that phrase and you’ll see that my previous writing about this comes up first. Like root canals, business plans were something people dreaded, but needed. Happily, things have changed. For today: lean business planning Unlike a root canal,... Read More »

Plan Run Review Revise

Business Planning for the ‘Lean Startup’

by Tim Berry

Nothing related to startups should be carved in stone. Best practices can be useful but are best taken as suggestions, not rules. So I’m troubled to see some of the “lean startup” advocates get into the codification business. I very much respect lean startup thought leaders Eric Ries and Steve Blank and the methodology they popularized at the end... Read More »

Form Follows Function

Planning Principle: Do Only What You’ll Use

by Tim Berry

Efficient business in general means avoiding waste, doing only what has value. Therefore the right form for your business plan is the form that best serves your business purpose. Furthermore, for the vast majority of business owners, the business purpose of planning is getting what you want from the business – setting strategy and tactics,... Read More »

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About Things Not Going According to Plan

by Tim Berry

So things don't go according to plan. Big deal; change happens. Does that mean your plans failed? No. Not if you understand planning and work it correctly; at least, not with business planning. I don't know about diets and life... Read More »