Planning: Form Follows Function

by Tim Berry

(Rounding up my business planning theme this week, this is another excerpt from my book The Plan-As-You-Go Business Plan, which is posted complete online.) Your plan-as-you-go 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... Read More »


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 »


I’m Loving the New Version of Business Plan Pro

by Tim Berry

If you’re a regular reader you know I don’t normally do sales pitches here on this blog, but this is special. Last week Palo Alto Software introduced a brand new version of Business Plan Pro incorporating (finally) my Plan-as-You-Go Business Planning ideas into the mainstream of the software. With this new version, when you start... 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start focusing on the huge damaging and wasteful misunderstanding that most of us have contributed to: that completely out-of-date idea that a business plan is a document, done once, related to raising money.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 »

The Best Business Email Might Be a Phone Call

by Tim Berry

This morning I picked up Finding the Right Words for Business Emails, a recent post by Bradford Shimp on his Allbusiness Answers blog. Bradford’s a smart person, and he has good advice here. Use language you’d use for a friend. Be careful with the subject line. Avoid phrases that sound like spam. And this, my... Read More »


Want Real Strategy? Mind the Damned Gap

by Tim Berry

Mind the gap. It’s written all over the London tube (subway). They mean the gap between the trains and the platform. Mind the gap. It should be written wherever somebody is doing strategic planning for small business. It means that extremely common gap between the brilliant strategy cooked up in the meetings and the actual... 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 »


Number One Business Plan Book

by Tim Berry

I hope you'll forgive me this post, but it took a long time writing, absorbed most of my Spring, and involved a lot of work by other people with editing, design, and so so forth. These things go up and... Read More »

Audio on Business Planning

by Tim Berry

Last week I was a guest on Barbara Weltman's Build Your Business radio show on In the first part Barbara starts out with a review of the present bleak economic picture, then introduces me and business planning. It's about... Read More »

Zen Habits to Autopilot to Business Planning

by Tim Berry

Dieting. Regular exercise. Investing. Planning. All of them so much easier said than done. Easy to know what to do, but hard to do it, because you have to actually do it, repeatedly, not just know what to do. Emphasize,... Read More »