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 »

Debits and Credits Video

Startups and Business Owners Will Thank Me for Posting This Debits and Credits Video

by Tim Berry

Business owners, startup founders: Do you know debits and credits? If so, cool, you know why I’ve posting this here as my Friday video. And if not, do yourself a favor and stick with this post and this video for a few minutes. You’ll be glad you did. It’s 13 minutes. If you go through... Read More »

A Bad Idea

Business Plans are Always Wrong

by Tim Berry

Yes, I admit; I’ve used “business plans are always wrong” a few times in slides, blog posts, and even in both of my two latest books. It’s an important concept. Way too many people misunderstand the point of business planning and assume that because we can’t predict the future, we shouldn’t plan. Which prompts me... Read More »

Simple Cash Flow Spreadsheet

A Simple Cash Flow Spreadsheet Anybody Can Use

by Tim Berry

If there’s just one formal business skill every business owner should have, it’s understanding and forecasting cash flow. It’s not intuitive because it’s not the same as profits; but it’s vital. We spend cash, not profits. It’s one of the most important pieces of every lean business plan. Here’s my recommendation for a relatively simple... Read More »

Business Plan Assumptions

The Value of Business Plan Assumptions

by Tim Berry

(This post is an excerpt from my latest book, Lean Business Planning, reprinted here with permission.) Identifying assumptions is extremely important for getting real business benefits from your business planning. Planning is about managing change, and in today’s world, change happens very fast. Assumptions solve the dilemma about managing consistency over time, without banging your... Read More »

Crisis in Social Metrics

Coming Crisis of Social Metrics

by Tim Berry

I think we’ve gone too far on marketing and metrics. We used to do most of our marketing blind, essentially guessing whether or not it worked. Now we have analytics to measure almost everything. Where we’ve gone to far now is we’re tempted to discount, entirely, what we can’t measure. And that’s just wrong. We... Read More »

The Artist

Business Plan Market Research and the Fresh Look

by Tim Berry

Back in the 1970s when I was a foreign correspondent living in Mexico City, I dealt frequently with an American diplomat who provided information about Mexico’s increasing oil exports, which were a big story back then. We had lunch about once a month. He became a friend. The Fresh Look Then one day he told... Read More »

experts speak half truths

When So-called Experts Say Don’t Do a Business Plan…

by Tim Berry

… don’t be confused. What they really mean is …  Don’t do a long static formal business plan. Do a lean, just-big-enough business plan. Deal with it as a constantly-renewing latest version, with a shelf life of a few weeks at most. Don’t fill it with excess supporting information. They won’t even look at a... Read More »

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Truth is a Believable Story

by Tim Berry

I grew up believing that facts, like research, numbers and percentages, told the truth. I believed in objective, verifiable truth, based on fact. I distinguished that from mystical religious truth, based on faith. I was a mainstream journalist for almost 10 years in the 1970s. Every professional journalist believed in objective verifiable truth based on... Read More »

Accountability

Planning: It’s About Management and Accountability

by Tim Berry

(Note: this is an excerpt from my book The Plan-As-You-Go Business Plan, which is posted as a web site where you can read it online.) Every small-business owner suffers the problem of management and accountability. It’s much easier to be friends with the people you work with than to manage them well. Correct management means... Read More »