Unhappy Guy

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 »

coffeefromistock

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 »

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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 »

Future of Business Planning 2006

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 »

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Business Planning is not Accounting

by Tim Berry

The picture here represents the legendary Stargate, a science fictional gateway between two dimensions. There was a 1994 film starring James Spader and Kurt Russell. I often use it to illustrate the difference between planning and accounting. Planning begins today... Read More »

Simple Cash Flow Spreadsheet

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

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 »

Data Analysis

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

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 »