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 »

The Value of Business Plan Assumptions

by Tim Berry

(This post is an excerpt from my latest book, Lean Business Planning, reprinted here with permission.) Identifying assumptions is extremely important for getting real business benefits from your business planning. Planning is about managing change, and in today’s world, change happens very fast. Assumptions solve the dilemma about managing consistency over time, without banging your... Read More »

Coming Crisis of Social Metrics

by Tim Berry

I think we’ve gone too far on marketing and metrics. We used to do most of our marketing blind, essentially guessing whether or not it worked. Now we have analytics to measure almost everything. Where we’ve gone to far now is we’re tempted to discount, entirely, what we can’t measure. And that’s just wrong. We... Read More »

Business Plan Market Research and the Fresh Look

by Tim Berry

Back in the 1970s when I was a foreign correspondent living in Mexico City, I dealt frequently with an American diplomat who provided information about Mexico’s increasing oil exports, which were a big story back then. We had lunch about once a month. He became a friend. The Fresh Look Then one day he told... Read More »

experts speak half truths

When So-called Experts Say Don’t Do a Business Plan…

by Tim Berry

… don’t be confused. What they really mean is …  Don’t do a long static formal business plan. Do a lean, just-big-enough business plan. Deal with it as a constantly-renewing latest version, with a shelf life of a few weeks at most. Don’t fill it with excess supporting information. They won’t even look at a... Read More »

Truth is a Believable Story

by Tim Berry

I grew up believing that facts, like research, numbers and percentages, told the truth. I believed in objective, verifiable truth, based on fact. I distinguished that from mystical religious truth, based on faith. I was a mainstream journalist for almost 10 years in the 1970s. Every professional journalist believed in objective verifiable truth based on... Read More »

Crystal Ball and Chain

by Tim Berry

This is an answer to a question I get way too often. I call it the “Crystal Ball and Chain” problem. I’ve run into it several times as I’ve introduced the planning process into a new company or organization. People in the organization sometimes fear business planning. In the background, the fear is related to... Read More »

Business Plans are Always Wrong, But Still Vital

by Tim Berry

(Note: It feels like business planning season to me. Fall, or almost fall, time to think about next year. So I’m reviewing business planning fundamentals, this week and next, refreshing some of my older posts.)  Business plans are always wrong. That’s because we’re human. Business plans predict the future. We humans suck at predicting the future.... Read More »