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Tim Berry on business planning, starting and growing your business, and having a life in the meantime.

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  • 05/28/07--01:33: Involvement vs. Commitment
  • In breakfast, the chicken is involved, the pig is committed. In the business planning process, commitment is essential. Plans need to be implemented, and implementation means commitment. There has to be accountability, and peer pressure. You have to follow up...

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  • 05/29/07--02:40: Schedule Regular Reviews
  • Each year, as you get ready to publish the next year's plan, schedule the plan review meetings. Use some regular meeting schedule such as the third or fourth Thursday of every month. All the managers committed to the plan will...

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  • 06/07/07--02:05: The Blog Business Plan
  • Professional investor Bijan Sabet received a blog as a business presentation. He suggests it makes sense. "It's a first for me," he adds. "I actually liked it." You can read more of the post for a quick view of the...

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  • 08/20/07--02:14: The Planning Process 10%
  • Picture yourself in front of a group of 20-30 business owners. They are computer or software resellers, dealers of Progress Software, Autodesk, SolidWorks, or a personal computer manufacturer. They are mostly men in their 40s and 50s. Most of them...

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    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,...

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  • 01/29/09--07:52: When Brainstorms Fizzle
  • I just read Is Brainstorming a Waste of Time? on Lateral Action. Consider this quote: I’ve heard similar complaints from quite a few creative directors and professional creatives - instead of seeing brainstorming as essential to the company’s creative process,...

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    “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...

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    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...

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    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...

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    “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....

    The post The Lean Business Plan for Small Business Owners appeared first on Planning, Startups, Stories.


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    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...

    The post Business Plan Software Then and Now appeared first on Planning, Startups, Stories.


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    Yes, I admit; I’ve used “business plans are always wrong” a few times in slides, blog posts, and even in both of my two latest books. It’s an important concept. Way too many people misunderstand the point of business planning and assume that because we can’t predict the future, we shouldn’t plan. Which prompts me...

    The post Business Plans are Always Wrong appeared first on Planning, Startups, Stories.


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    Don’t think of a business plan as a formal document that’s hard to do, useful only for startups, bank loan applications, and seeking investment. Think of it as lean business planning that’s just lists and tables and is vital for optimizing business management. You plan, run, review, and revise. It’s a process. A constant cycle....

    The post 5 Management Benefits of Lean Business Planning appeared first on Planning, Startups, Stories.


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    I gather from a stream of emails I’ve received that there are a lot of misconceptions on the relationship between a business plan and getting seed money and/or angel investment. So here’s a list of reality checks to apply to all those lists. Business plans are necessary but not sufficient. Even a great business plan...

    The post 10 Myths vs. Reality on Business Plans and Startup Investment appeared first on Planning, Startups, Stories.


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    In breakfast, the chicken is involved, the pig is committed. In the business planning process, commitment is essential. Plans need to be implemented, and implementation means commitment. There has to be accountability, and peer pressure. You have to follow up...

    The post Involvement vs. Commitment and Planning as Management appeared first on Planning, Startups, Stories.


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    Don’t think of planning as just a plan that you do once. Planning done right is a process of continuous improvement. Keep your business plan always fresh and current. Never finish a business plan, heave a sigh of relief, and congratulate yourself that you’ll never have to do that again. Don’t use it once and throw it away....

    The post Planning Principle: Continuous Process, Not Just a Plan appeared first on Planning, Startups, Stories.


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    It’s easier to be friends with your coworkers than to manage them well. Every small-business owner suffers the problem of management and accountability. Good business planning empowers accountability. Good business planning sets clear expectations and then follows up on results. It compares results with expectations. People on a team are held accountable only if management actually...

    The post Planning Principle: Good Business Planning Empowers Accountability appeared first on Planning, Startups, Stories.


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    Each year, as you get ready to publish the next year's plan, schedule the plan review meetings. Use some regular meeting schedule such as the third or fourth Thursday of every month. All the managers committed to the plan will...

    The post A Good Resolution: Schedule Regular Management Meetings appeared first on Planning, Startups, Stories.


    0 0

    “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....

    The post The Lean Business Plan for Small Business Owners appeared first on Planning, Startups, Stories.


    0 0

    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...

    The post Business Plan Software Then and Now appeared first on Planning, Startups, Stories.


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