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.
Don’t make your business plan longer than necessary; think about the reason you’re writing the plan in the first place. If you want to revise it regularly, the shorter it is, the more manageable it will be. Read more »
Working on writing your business plan and looking for some tools or resources to make it easier? You don’t have to start from zero or reinvent any wheels. Here are some tools and resources that can help. Read more »
The sourcing and fulfillment section of your business plan explains how you build that product. Here's why this section matters, and how to write it. Read more »
If you're starting a business with high-growth potential, finding investment may be an important item on your to do list. Here's how to find angel investors. Read more »
Not all businesses are good candidates for angel investment. If you're wondering how to get angel investment, ask yourself these 5 questions first. Read more »
Do you know how to get outside funding? Here are 10 tips to maximize your chances of success and figure out what kind of funding is best for your business. Read more »
Most startup funding resources focus on getting investment or loans—but the reality is that the majority of startups are bootstrapped. Here's what bootstrapping looks like, why it's a good thing for startups, and where the money actually comes from. Read more »
Would you rather keep track with records in your books, or just in your head? That, in a nutshell, is the difference between cash-basis and accrual accounting. Here's an overview of cash accounting and accrual accounting, to help you decide which is best for your business. Read more »
Why add SWOT analysis into your business plan and the strategic planning process? The SWOT phase was vital to the planning process for Palo Alto Software, and helped the company grow from zero to over $5 million in annual sales. Here's how SWOT analysis helped PAS scale, and how to add SWOT analysis to your planning process. Read more »
Angel investors can teach you a lot about what it takes to start a successful business. Whether you're seeking angel investment or just looking to grow a better, stronger business, they're people worth listening to—and here's their best advice for startups. Read more »
Business planning expert Tim Berry has over 20 years of hearing business pitches as a judge of business plan competitions and as an angel investor. Here are the things he hates to see in a business pitch, so you can avoid making these key mistakes. Read more »
You need to know the industry you're starting a business in and the kind of business you want to start before you begin. Plus, if you're writing a business plan to present to outsiders, you'll need to explain the type of business you're in. Here's how to get to know your industry by conducting industry analysis. Read more »
Being right on budget is usually a good thing, but good management involves regularly reviewing your budget to check on the timing, efficiency, and results of what your business spends. Read more »
One of the most powerful tools of small business marketing strategy is defining and addressing your target market—the audience that you think is most likely to buy your product or service. Here's how to define your target market for your business. Read more »
Start the business planning process with a quick initial assessment. Even for an ongoing business, take the time to step away from the business and assess your business opportunity. Read more »
One of the hardest parts of business planning is answering this question: Do we stick to the business plan, or do we change it? Here's how to decide if you should stay the course, or revise your business plan. Read more »
Business plans go by many names: Strategic plans, operational plans, internal plans, and many others. Here's a rundown of the different types of business plans, so you can decide which one is right for you. Read more »
What kind of business plan do you need? It depends on the size of your business, and what you're using the business plan for. Here's how to determine what kind of business plan is right for your startup. Read more »
The sales and marketing section of the standard business plan includes three parts—the market analysis, the marketing plan, and the sales plan. Keep it short and simple—just big enough to cover your actual business need. Here's how to develop your market analysis for your business plan. Read more »
Use your business plan to set milestones, tasks, performance measurements, and numbers to track. Then get the people together once a month (or so) to review results. The outcome? The management "magic" of business planning. Read more »
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