Planning Principle: Good Business Planning Empowers Accountability

by Tim Berry

It’s easier to be friends with your coworkers than to manage them well. Every small-business owner suffers the problem of management and accountability. Good business planning empowers accountability. Good business planning sets clear expectations and then follows up on results. It compares results with expectations. People on a team are held accountable only if management actually... Read More »

Planning Principles: Business Plan in Constant Change

by Tim Berry

One of the strongest and most pervasive myths about planning is dead wrong: planning doesn’t reduce flexibility. It builds flexibility. Lean business planning manages change. It is not threatened by change. This is the third of my five main principles of business planning. The first was do only what you’ll use. The second is that... Read More »

Planning Principle: Continuous Process, Not Just a Plan

by Tim Berry

Don’t think of planning as just a plan that you do once. Planning done right is a process of continuous improvement. Keep your business plan always fresh and current. Never finish a business plan, heave a sigh of relief, and congratulate yourself that you’ll never have to do that again. Don’t use it once and throw it away.... Read More »

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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »