planning
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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 »

planning
what is a balance sheet?

What Is a Balance Sheet?

by Angelique O'Rourke

If you’re in the process of starting a business or writing a business plan document, you’ll have heard the phrase “balance sheet” mentioned, or maybe you’ve seen one in a sample business plan. The balance sheet is one of three essential parts that form the bedrock of a company’s financial statements: cash flow, balance sheet, and... Read more »

planning
One page business pitch

7 Reasons to Create a One-Page Pitch Before You Plan

by Noah Parsons

A business pitch or elevator pitch is not only a crucial tool for getting investment, it’s also one of the best tools you can use to flesh out your business concept, iterate it through different variations, and find a business model that works and will turn into a profitable company. But, shouldn’t you have a... Read more »

planning
Exporting: The Definitive Guide to Selling Abroad Profitably - Laurel Delaney

3 Types of Export Business Plans

by Laurel Delaney

Below is an extract from Laurel Delaney’s book “Exporting: The Definitive Guide to Selling Abroad Profitably.” This book was published in December 2013 and is available for purchase online. If you would like to find out more about the author, the book, or about exporting in general, Laurel’s blog is an excellent source of information.... Read more »

planning
exporting

The Pitfalls of Not Having an Export Business Plan

by Laurel Delaney

Below is an extract from Laurel Delaney’s book “Exporting: The Definitive Guide to Selling Abroad Profitably.” This book was published in December 2013 and is available for purchase online. If you would like to find out more about the author, the book, or about exporting in general, Laurel’s blog is an excellent source of information.... Read more »

planning

Business Plan

by Tim Berry

The written document that details a proposed or existing venture. It seeks to capture the vision, current status, expected needs, defined markets, and projected results of the business. A business plan “tells the entrepreneur’s story” by describing the purpose, basis, reason and future of the venture. Read more »

planning

Video: Why is a business plan important?

by Tim Berry

I’ve been working with the team at Palo Alto Software on a series of videos to help you with business planning. This video answers the question “Why is a business plan important?” Transcript So let me take a minute and talk to you about why I want you to do business planning. Because you’re going... Read more »

managing

Be realistic when you set your measure of success

by Tim Berry

All of us plan for success in our businesses. That IS the goal after all. To be successful. But how exactly do you determine IF you have succeeded? Regardless if you are a start up or an established business, you need to establish, right up front, during your business planning process, what success will look... Read more »

planning

Pay Attention when your Business Plan says NO

by Tim Berry

I’m sure almost everyone is familiar with the story that Thomas Edison discovered 99 ways to NOT make a light bulb. That’s 99 no to reach 1 yes. The point here is that a negative result, proving something didn’t work or was not so, is just as valuable as a positive result. Sadly, scientific research... Read more »

planning

Elevator Pitch Part 4: Finish Strong

by Tim Berry

(Note: this is taken with permission from Planning Startups Stories) This fourth of five parts in this series depends on who you are, where you are, and what you want. If you’ve personalized in the first part, sold yourself and/or your organization in the second, and established the attractiveness or suitability of the business offering... Read more »

planning

Elevator Pitch Part 3: Sell Your Offering

by Tim Berry

(Note: this is taken with permission from Planning Startups Stories) Now explain what that person or organization you’re selling to gets. You’ve personalized the need or want, identified your unique qualities to solve the problem, and now you have to put the need or want in concrete terms that anybody can see. For example: For... Read more »

planning

Are You Pitching Your Business Naked?

by Tim Berry

You are if you don’t have a business plan first. Seriously: how can you boil it down to the core if you don’t know your basic strategy such as your identity, market, and focus? How can you set a scale to it without some idea of reasonable expectations in sales? How can you possibly talk... Read more »

starting

Start a Medical Billing Business

by Tim Berry

As the medical procedures and insurance coverage becomes more complex, physicians and other care providers are looking to outsource the administrative tasks associated with processing payment claims. You can take advantage of this growing market need by creating your own medical claims billing business – from home or in as a larger employer. We’ve grouped... Read more »

planning

Spelling and Editing are Fundamental Business Planning Activities

by Tim Berry

When I first entered the job market, all my advisors all stressed, over and over again, to be sure my résumé had no misspellings or grammatical errors. They said that employers have to screen hundreds of job applications, and would use any good reason or bad excuse to toss out an applicant. Misspellings and language... Read more »

funding

The Importance of Cash Flow in an Economic Downturn

by Tim Berry

You can be profitable and still be bankrupt. You must closely plan and monitor your cash flow to be successful and stay in business. During the current 2008 financial crisis, even the largest corporations have had to face this truth, and more than a few have suffered the consequences. Tim Berry, president and founder of... Read more »

planning

It has to be your plan for your business

by Tim Berry

excerpted from The Plan-as-You-Go Business Plan by Tim Berry “Please, can you recommend somebody to write my business plan for me? How much will it cost? How do I find somebody?” “Where can I find (or buy) a business plan for a doggie daycare? For a resort? For a website selling environmentally-sensitive goods?” Forget it.... Read more »

planning

Mantra, Mission Statement, or Vision

by Tim Berry

(Note: this is an excerpt from The Plan-As-You-Go Business Plan, by Tim Berry.) People seem to like getting into the mission statement, but I’m not sure it’s always such a good idea. There’s also the possibility of doing your mantra instead, and then some people talk about a vision statement, and of course there are... Read more »

managing

7 Business Planning Fundamentals for Hard Times

by Tim Berry

Time flies. Thirteen months ago I posted Economic Dark Clouds on Small Business Trends. Back then I said “the economic news is clustering now,” but my point was essentially sticking to the fundamentals … With some notable exceptions, your business moves up and down far more because of very-micro specifics of what you and your... Read more »

planning

Mantra, Mission Statement, or Vision

by Tim Berry

People seem to like getting into the mission statement, but I’m not sure it’s always such a good idea. There’s also the possibility of doing your mantra instead, and people talk about a vision statement, and of course there are also business objectives. The underlying idea is sound. Let’s think about who we are, what... Read more »

planning
business-planning

8 Common Business Plan Mistakes

by Tim Berry

What are the most common mistakes when writing a business plan? Here is my list of the ones to make sure you avoid. While including the necessary items in a business plan is important, you also want to make sure you don’t commit any of the following common business plan mistakes: 1. Putting It Off... Read more »