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 »

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 »

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 »

Lean Business Planning

Your Lean Business Plan Might Not Need That Market Analysis

by Tim Berry

I've been focusing lately on the difference between your core business plan and the information and analysis and presentation additions that are really dressing, not plan. Too many people assume that a business plan necessarily includes background and supporting information.... Read More »

Lean Plan and the Business Model Canvas

by Tim Berry

Early this month I tweeted out my recent post on business planning as dashboard and GPS. #smallbiz Owners: planning, not #businessplan Lean Business Plan as Dashboard https://t.co/qECGn2CSTm pic.twitter.com/IGyowg9DnI — Tim Berry (@Timberry) May 3, 2016 Which prompted this response, from Antony Upward: @Timberry agree – any updates on how business modelling fits into this from... Read More »

Business Plan Software Then and Now

by Tim Berry

I was shocked, over the weekend, to discover that it’s been more than 10 years since I posted The Future of Business Planning Software here on this blog. I wrote then: As time goes on, more people are going to use planning as process to manage their businesses better. More will see the power of regular plan... Read More »

Business Owners: The Lean Business Plan as Dashboard and GPS

by Tim Berry

What if you own a business, you’re not a startup, you don’t have to generate a traditional business plan to show to a bank or an investor? Would you still want a business plan? Yes, emphatically, yes you do … … but it’s not a traditional business plan. It’s a lean plan.  … and you... Read More »

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 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 »