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 »

10 Marketing Plan Essentials for 2016

by Tim Berry

(Note: I posted this last week on the SBA Industry Word blog as 10 Essentials of A Marketing Plan in 2016.) Clearly, technology has changed marketing a lot. We fast forward through ads on television and block them on our devices. We have amplified word of mouth in social media. We pour over analytics and metrics.... Read More »

The Only Startup Metrics that Matter

by Tim Berry

I like this a lot. In The only startup metrics that matter — Medium, Josh Elman, who has had upper echelon stints with Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, writes: “One of the things that I felt working on each of these is that we never looked at numbers or metrics in the abstract — total page views,... Read More »

Displacement Principle in Startups and Small Business

by Tim Berry

It’s really pretty simple. Intuitive. I didn’t learn about it in business school; I learned about it while building and running a real business. I decided to call it the displacement principle. Displacement Principle: In the real world of small business, everything you do rules out something else you can’t do. My favorite metaphor is... Read More »

The Lean Business Plan for Small Business Owners

by Tim Berry

“What? No, I don’t have a business plan. I’m not a startup.” Too bad so many small business owners think that way. A good lean business plan for small business owners ought to be a great tool for running a business. Set strategy, tactics to match, major milestones, metrics, tasks, responsibilities, and essential business numbers.... Read More »

Some Recent Blog Posts Elsewhere

by Tim Berry

Because you might be interested in these … I posted How to project expenses for a new business overnight on the SBA (small business administration) Industry Word blog. It’s a step-by-step how-to piece on exactly what it says in the title. Yesterday and today I posted two different posts on James Altucher’s Ultimate Cheat Sheet on Starting a... Read More »

10 Lies About Business Planning (Video)

by Tim Berry

Business plans are a waste of time? That’s a dangerous lie. Don’t bother, because nobody’s going to read it anyhow? That’s another lie, because it’s about running your company, not whether somebody else reads your document. The lies matter because they interfere with business planning, which ought to be part of your management. Planning is... Read More »

Is Your Business Either Growing or Dying?

by Tim Berry

True story: there were six of us at lunch together on a beautiful late spring day in 1996. We sat on an outside table in the shade and discussed the next big growth spurt. Would we take this marketing-on-steroids proposal, at a high cost? Would it work? Could we afford not to? I’m not sure... Read More »

Business Plan, Marketing Plan, or Both?

by Tim Berry

“if I have a marketing plan, do I need (or want) a business plan too?” Good question. And so is its opposite question too, “if I have a business plan, do I also need (or want) a marketing plan?” As for a lot of these planning questions, you’re going to get different answers from different... Read More »

Seth Godin on Rethinking Business Plans

by Tim Berry

It’s about time that business writers, assorted experts, entrepreneurs, academic and the rest start focusing on the huge damaging and wasteful misunderstanding that most of us have contributed to: that completely out-of-date idea that a business plan is a document, done once, related to raising money. So I’m delighted to see Seth Godin jumping onto... Read More »