I’ve been working with the team at Palo Alto Software on a series of videos to help you with business planning. This video is about what a business plan is and isn’t.


So what’s a business plan? How do you do one, how do you get one done for you? Let’s talk about what it isn’t.

It isn’t some damn document that you acquired over the Web to get over some hurdle that you had to have a business plan. It’s not like you have to have a term paper and now you’ve got one and you turn it in and whew! At least I had a term paper I hope gets a C.

A business plan is what’s going to happen in your business. That’s what it’s about.

And, you might be able to find something like coaching to help, somebody who has experience to help guide you through what’s supposed to happen, but the idea of having somebody write a plan for you or worse, you’re gonna buy it, or you’re gonna get some sample plan and change the names and now I have a business plan? That’s, that’s crazy! That’s baloney.

Your plan is always unique to you. It’s not a document, it’s what you want to have happen, and it’s not predicting the future, and you don’t follow it just because you follow it. You use it to manage the change that happens all the time in business so that, when one thing like sales is more than expected in one product and less in another, because you have a plan that ties that to your strategy and your specific milestones and your tasks, your cost of goods for each product and your expenses, you can adjust to the change between what you thought would happen and what actually happened, quickly, because you’ve got a plan which is alive, flexible and helps you manage the ongoing change of your business.

It’s almost like steering. You hold the steering wheel but even in the straightest highway you’ve ever been on you’re still constantly making corrections. That’s the planning process, that’s how planning is management.

Download the Business Plan Template today!

What do you think about my advice on what a business plan is and isn’t? By the way, would you like more business tip videos like this?

Tim BerryTim Berry

Tim Berry is the founder and chairman of Palo Alto Software and Bplans.com. Follow him on Twitter @Timberry.