planning
howtoforecastsales

How to Forecast Sales

by Tim Berry

First, allow me to deal with a very common problem: Business owners are often afraid to forecast sales. But, you shouldn’t be. Don’t think there is some magic right answer that you don’t know. Don’t think that it’s a matter of training you don’t have. It doesn’t take spreadsheet modeling, much less econometric modeling, to... Read more »

planning
tim-berry

Lean Business Planning with Tim Berry [VIDEO]

by Jonathan Michael

We recently had Tim Berry, Palo Alto Software founder and business planning expert, present our Bplans audience with his latest advice on lean business planning. He is the known guru in business planning, particularly for small businesses, startups and entrepreneurs, although he’s worked with Fortune 100 and Fortune 500 companies as well. Lean business planning offers... Read more »

planning
cashflowforecast

How to Forecast Cash Flow

by Tim Berry

  A good cash flow analysis might be the most important single piece of a business plan. All the strategy, tactics, and ongoing business activities mean nothing if there isn’t enough money to pay the bills. And that’s what a cash flow projection is about—predicting your money needs in advance. By cash, we mean money you... Read more »

planning
budget

How to Create an Expense Budget

by Tim Berry

An expense budget is part of the bread-and-butter basics of good management. Set your budget as a goal, then review and revise often to stay on track. Being right on budget is usually good, but good management takes the regular review to check on the timing, efficiency, and results of what your business spends. For... Read more »

planning
diffbusinessplan

The Different Types of Business Plans

by Tim Berry

Different situations call for different types of business plans. This is our guide to the most common types of business plans and how to use them. Read more »

planning
shutterstock_222546226

Lean Business Planning with Tim Berry [FREE Webinar]

by Jonathan Michael

What do you want from your business? Growth? Profits? Peace of mind? Choosing your own destiny? That’s what lean business planning is all about. It’s not just a plan, but rather an ongoing management process. Create a streamlined strategy and decide tactics, dates, and deadlines in the lean plan, then review results regularly, and revise... Read more »

planning
leanstartup

An Overview of Lean Business Planning

by Tim Berry

A lean business plan does what every business owner and aspiring startup needs to manage strategy, tactics, execution, and essential business numbers. It exists for internal management, not for outsiders. It stays lean and simple with just bullet points for essentials and a collection of lists and tables. It should be reviewed and revised at... Read more »

planning
milestones

What Makes a Business Plan More than Just Strategy and Wishful Thinking?

by Tim Berry

What’s the value of a business plan? Decisions. Action. How do you build decisions and action into your business plan? Milestones. What makes a business plan more than just strategy and wishful thinking? Milestones. Milestones are concrete, specific achievements, such as a product launch, some number of customers, opening of a new location, number of... Read more »

planning
busnessplan1hour

How to Write a Business Plan in Under an Hour

by Noah Parsons

Most people think that writing a business plan has to be hard. I’m here to tell you that it doesn’t have to be. In fact, it’s possible to write your initial business plan in less than an hour. After all, you’re always thinking about your business and the strategies you’re going to use to grow,... Read more »

planning
shutterstock_261987500

What Type of Business Plan Do I Need?

by Tim Berry

We get this question a lot, mainly because there are so many different things labelled as business plans: strategic plans, annual plans, operational plans, feasibility plans, and, of course, what most people think of, business plans for startups seeking investment. And also, what real business owners want—lean business plans for better management. In this article,... Read more »

planning
businesswriting

Tools, Tips, and Tricks to Improve Business Writing

by Robert Morris

Of the many courses I took in college, business writing was the most challenging. Students whose plans involve business careers are not interested in abstract rules, referencing standards, confusing legal language, and other materials presented in those classes. After a term spent editing and writing different documents, my classmates and I ended up even more... Read more »

planning
FREE DOWNLOAD

One Page Business Pitch Template Download [FREE]

by Jonathan Michael

Before you write your business plan, you should spend some time experimenting with your business idea and gathering your core assumptions onto a one page business pitch. That’s why we created our one page business pitch template. Using the free template, you can quickly create a simple, shareable, and impressive overview of your business. With detailed instructions for each section, you... Read more »

planning
scienceofbusinessplanning

Business Planning Makes You More Successful, and We’ve Got the Science to Prove It

by Noah Parsons

Should you spend some time developing a plan for your business, or just dive in and start, figuring things out as you go? There has been plenty of debate on this topic, but no one has pulled together the scientific evidence to determine if planning is worthwhile—until now. Over the past few months, with the... Read more »

planning
5 Day SWOT Challenge - Strengths

SWOT Analysis Challenge Day 5: Turning Your SWOT Analysis into Actionable Strategies

by Lisa Furgison

Welcome to the final day of our 5 Day SWOT Analysis Challenge! Invite others to take the challenge! Share this article on Facebook or Twitter and use the #SWOT hashtag. By conducting a SWOT analysis of your business, you’re starting your year off right. Our 5 Day SWOT challenge was designed to give entrepreneurs a... Read more »

planning
5 Day SWOT Challenge - Strengths

SWOT Analysis Challenge Day 4: How to Identify Threats

by Lisa Furgison

Welcome to Day 4 of our 5 Day SWOT Analysis Challenge! Invite others to take the challenge! Share this article on Facebook or Twitter and use the #SWOT hashtag. Small business owners are notoriously busy people. We understand that you have a lot of items on your daily to-do list, but we’re about to suggest... Read more »

planning
5 Day SWOT Challenge - Strengths

SWOT Analysis Challenge Day 3: How to Identify Opportunities

by Lisa Furgison

Welcome to Day 3 of our 5 Day SWOT Analysis Challenge! Invite others to take the challenge! Share this article on Facebook or Twitter and use the #SWOT hashtag. A good entrepreneur is always on the hunt for new opportunities. One of the best ways to identify opportunities within your business is to complete a... Read more »

planning
5 Day SWOT Challenge - Strengths

SWOT Analysis Challenge Day 2: How to Identify Weaknesses

by Lisa Furgison

Welcome to Day 2 of our 5 Day SWOT Analysis Challenge! Invite others to take the challenge! Share this article on Facebook or Twitter and use the #SWOT hashtag. Whether you’re new to the business world or a veteran, you know that a SWOT analysis is a valuable tool to have in your toolbox. A... Read more »

planning
5 Day SWOT Challenge - Strengths

SWOT Analysis Challenge Day 1: How to Identify Strengths

by Lisa Furgison

Welcome to Day 1 of our 5 Day SWOT Analysis Challenge! Invite others to take the challenge! Share this article on Facebook or Twitter and use the #SWOT hashtag. As an entrepreneur, you want to know your business inside and out so you can make informed, money-making decisions. To do that, a SWOT analysis is... Read more »

planning
unique-selling-proposition

How to Create a Unique Selling Proposition

by Lisa Furgison

Whether you’re a new entrepreneur or thinking about joining the ranks, one question you’ll have to answer is: What sets your business apart? The answer to that question usually leads entrepreneurs to define their unique selling proposition, or USP. To help entrepreneurs create a unique selling proposition, we’ve written this handy guide to walk you... Read more »

planning
Screen Shot 2014-10-20 at 3.19.27 PM

Do This One Thing Before You Write Your Business Plan

by Noah Parsons

So, you’ve been asked to write a business plan. It’s likely that your mind is filling with images of long documents, bad memories of writing term papers, and worries about doing market research and creating financial forecasts. Take a deep breath. It doesn’t have to be that way. Today, I’m going to walk you through... Read more »