DoOnlyWhatYouNeed

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 »

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 »

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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 »

planasyougo_atlast

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 »

PlanAsYouGoOutline

Business Planning for the ‘Lean Startup’

by Tim Berry

(Note: I wrote this first for my business planning column at entrepreneur.com. I’m reproducing it here, with permission of the publisher, for the convenience of my readers here. Tim.) There’s lots of talk these days about the so-called “lean startup.” Most would think that just meant a startup without a lot of outside capital. According... Read More »

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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start focusing on the huge damaging and wasteful misunderstanding that most of us have contributed to: that completely out-of-date idea that a business plan is a document, done once, related to raising money.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 »

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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 »

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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. Unlike a root canal, modern-day business planning should not... Read More »