Small Business Trends Radio

Plan As You Go Business Planning

Tim Berry on Plan As You Go Business Planning.The fundamentals of business are still the same. Except that now business is valued on Internet traffic as opposed to actual dollars. But planning, implementing, reviewing, revising, strategizing – it’s all still the same.

What has changed is the speed of business – the speed of change – the speed of opportunity. It’s a brave new world and opportunities abound.

Our featured guest in this episode of Small Business Trends Radio is Tim Berry, the Founder and President of Palo Alto Software the makers of Business Plan Pro software. Tim Berry is an author, speaker, entrepreneur, and expert in business planning.

He is also the founder of Bplans.com, the world’s most viewed and referenced business-planning site. Tim shares his many insights and observations into creating and managing a living, breathing business plan for your company.

Here is a sampling of topics discussed during the show:

  • Business planning — is still a part of the fundamentals of business, however, misconceptions do exist. One must realize that a business plan isn’t a straitjacket. You’re not bound to it. And one must also realize that a plan isn’t really about a plan as a document – so much as it’s about planning. And as speed increases, planning is a way to manage the ever constant ebb and flow of change.
  • Plans are not a straitjacket — and a plan doesn’t mean that what you planned to do in June 2008 – you actually have to do in June 2008. It simply helps you to maintain a long term direction while managing constant short term changes.
  • The living, breathing business plan — isn’t your fathers business plan anymore. Nowadays, a plan lives in a computer, is shared with your team, is fluid and flexible and is simply a series of reminders along your journey. It must be manipulated and adjusted accordingly and a good business plan is never finished. If your plan is done – so is your company.
  • Writing a business plan — is a combination of covering target marketing and focusing on needs, wants and deadlines. It is essential to first understand that you’re always writing your business plan. And that it doesn’t matter where you start. Just be sure to start using whatever piece you’ve composed immediately – and then continue to build on your plan as time progresses.
  • Plans should include a combination — of target marketing, identification of the company’s strengths and weaknesses and the company focus. Each of these should relate to the other. It may be difficult to drill these down but if you view your plan as a continual work in progress – success can be yours.
  • Include specifics — and a lot of them. Mainly, specifics related to cash flow and dates. Who is doing what and when, how much does it cost, how much money will be earned? What is going to happen and when is it going to happen? This is vital to business planning and you cannot really manage your company without them. List them – manage them.

And always remember that it’s your business. You control your own destiny and planning is a vital part of that. You don’t have to be an expert writer. But keep your business plan top of mind and manage it making sure to always view it as a living, breathing, ever-evolving entity.

Want to begin planning a successful future for your company? Take control of your destiny now by clicking the player below and listening to Tim’s full interview.

11 Responses to “Plan As You Go Business Planning”

  1. Samantha Says:

    Thanks for this great article and information. When you all are done with those business plans, and are ready to get your business going…There’s this great contest called, “Make your Dreams Come True with Mirassou.” One business women will be awarded $50k, plus a team of highly professional consultants to help kick start their business=D You can check out: http://www.mirassou.com/women_in_business/dreams.asp for more details & to enter! The deadline is Dec. 15 2007. Anyone going to give it a shot? I work with them, so just helping to get the information out! Good luck with your business plans, and the contest!

  2. Amanda Says:

    Tim makes a lot of valuable points in this interview. Samantha, Your contest looks very interesting. It’s great to see the company supporting women in business.

  3. EJMalyn Says:

    Tim, Great points here. You certainly have simplified business planning. Your expertise is valued and appreciated. Thank You!

  4. Chris Says:

    I consider a business plan a strategic plan. It may include other facets, however, it’s still a strategy. And if it’s approached as an ever-evolving, flexible plan – it becomes a daily strategy.

  5. Anita Campbell Says:

    I enjoy all my interviews, but this was one of my absolute favorites, on so many levels!

    The business planning advice was practical and down to earth; the entrepreneurial insights were inspiring and useful, too.

    Thanks, Tim!

  6. Business Plan Writers Says:

    Hi,

    I totally agree with you, initial business plan should be reviewed and adjustments are needed every time, it is an ongoing process. We always adjust it according to the market needs and changes. Most business plan lacks in quality, because they do not have any plans for change, world is changing so fast, so why not our plan; according to the market situation?

    I personally like your post; you have shared good insights and experiences. Keep it up.

    Business Plan Writers

  7. Small Business Development Says:

    From years of selling business plans and asking hundreds of business owners if they have and business plan, and when answered with yes, it is great to see an expert talking about how it should be a dynamic tool as so often the feedback from business owners has been, ‘it sat on the shelf when I finished it gathering dust’.
    Well done!

  8. Nikki May | Business Plan Writer Says:

    Today, the business environment is very dynamic. Markets and customer needs change very fast. Competition gets stiffer by the day.

    The bottom line is: a business plan is basically a framework within which you operate your business. In your business plan, you have the resources, markets, prices, distribution channels mapped out – however these are not set in stone.

    There is a requirement to constantly change as the environment within which your business operates changes.

    If you stick to what you outlined in your business plan 12 or 24 months ago, without reviewing the current environment, you will not succeed. Your business plan is there to guide you towards your vision, mission and profit goals – but it needs to be flexible enough so that changes are made when necessary.

    Great post, thanks Tim.

  9. Garage Kits Says:

    Tim makes a lot of valuable points in this interview. Samantha, Your contest looks very interesting. It’s great to see the company supporting women in business.

  10. Tim Berry Takes Surprising (and Practical) Approach to Business Planning Says:

    [...] clicking on the player below.  Or, if you jump over to the radio site you can read the detailed show notes from Tim Berry’s interview that Staci Wood, our Program Manager for the radio show, put [...]

  11. Kevin N Says:

    Tim, Great points here .
    thanks for this great article

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