Tim Berry

Founder and Chairman

Tim Berry is the founder of Palo Alto Software , a co-founder of Borland International, and a recognized expert in business planning. Tim is the originator of Lean Business Planning. He has an MBA from Stanford and degrees with honors from the University of Oregon and the University of Notre Dame. Today, Tim dedicates most of his time to blogging, teaching and evangelizing for business planning. His full biography is available on his blog. You can follow Tim on Google+.

Recent Articles Published by Tim Berry


5 Simple Steps for Better Management

This article was originally published on SBA.gov. It’s been republished here with permission. Good news: Here is a simple process, with five easy steps, that will help improve your business. It’s easy to do and if you’re not doing something like it already, then this simple addition to your process will offer you substantial business... Read more »


What Makes a Sales Forecast Credible?

FULL TRANSCRIPT: So for me, what makes a sales forecast credible? It starts with product market fit. I want to understand the story of the need, and not necessarily big numbers, but who needs this and why. That’s the beginning. Is this really believable? That’s important. Beyond that, how the numbers grow. I want to... Read more »


What No One Ever Tells You About Business Failures

The mythology of failure rates is greatly exaggerated, I think. Not that you’re not going to do it anyhow, just like I did, but, for the record, you know they say seven out of ten startups fail within three years, and that comes from research that was done. But more and more there is an... Read more »


Joi Ito Nails It On Business Planning In This TED Talk

Here’s some great insight on the evolution of business plans and business planning, from Joi Ito, Director of MIT’s MediaLabs: Ito urges us to follow a compass rather than a map. Instead of planning out every exact points before you start, allow yourself to make the decisions you need as you go in the general... Read more »


15 Things to Blog About

(Note from Tim: I post here every Wednesday and I’ve posted more than a thousand posts since I started this blog on Entrepreneur.com in 2007. Today I’m proud to offer this space to Melinda Emerson, “The Small Biz Lady,” who is the author of this guest post.) It doesn’t matter if you’re an experienced business... Read more »


It’s Easier to Teach an Innovator to be a CEO…

Who do you want running a startup: an innovator or a CEO? Read more »


Q&A: What I Recommend for a Marketing Plan

One business owner asks: How should we go about creating our first marketing plan, after we've been in business for 30+ years? Read more »


What the Scrambling Quarterback Says About Business Planning

I was delighted to catch Sometimes You Have to Scramble  in my blog feed yesterday. That post on smallbizclub.com was written by pro football hall-of-gamer Fran Tarkenton, who was famous for scrambling as quarterback of the Minnesota Vikings and New York Giants, back in the 1970s. Who better to point out two essential truths about real-world... Read more »


8 Tips For Getting Your Product Into Retail Stores

No matter what kind of retail sales channel you want to get your product into, there are a few key things you should know. Read more »


Could This Be You, Insulting Your Customer?

A reminder of the strange, wondrous, sometimes funny, sometimes dangerous, but pretty much unavoidable mix of human interaction, human thinking, and automation. Read more »

What are Assets?

Property that a business owns, including cash and receivables, inventory, etc. Assets are any possessions that have value in an exchange. The more formal definition is the entire property of a person, association, corporation, or estate applicable or subject to the payment of debts. What most people understand as business assets are cash and investments,... Read more »

What is an Asset Turnover?

Sales divided by total assets. Important for comparison over time and to other companies of the same industry. This is a standard business ratio. Read more »

What is an Agent?

A business entity that negotiates, purchases, and/or sells, but does not take title to the goods. Read more »


What is Advertising Opportunity?

A product or service may generate additional revenue through advertising if there is benefit from creating additional awareness, communicating differentiating attributes, hidden qualities or benefits. Optimizing the opportunity may involve leveraging strong emotional buying motives and potential benefits. Read more »

What is Adventure Capital?

Capital needed in the earliest stages of the venture’s creation before the product or service is available to be provided. (As mentioned in Entrepreneurship for the ’90′s by Baty.) Read more »

What is an Adaptive Firm?

An organization that is able to respond to and address changes in their market, their environment, and/or their industry to better position themselves for survival and profitability. Read more »

What are Acquisition Costs?

The incremental costs involved in obtaining a new customer. Read more »

What is an Acid Test?

Short-term assets minus accounts receivable and inventory, divided by short-term liabilities. This is a test of a company’s ability to meet its immediate cash requirements. It is one of the more common business ratios used by financial analysts. Read more »

What is Accumulated Depreciation?

Total accumulated depreciation reduces the formal accounting value (called book value) of assets. Each month’s accumulated balance is the same as last month’s balance plus this month’s depreciation. Business Plan Pro shows accumulated depreciation in the Balance Sheet. Read more »

What is Accrual-Based Accounting?

Read more »