Ask Tim Berry – 3 Common Business Planning Questions

Why plan? Well, it seems obvious to me, but people ask that. And I’ll leave out because you need investment, if you do, because people know why in that case, or because you’re going to the bank seeking
a loan, because people know why in that case. But I think the most important answer to that
question is, for the rest of us who aren’t seeking investment
or going to the bank but who want to plan our business better. Why a business plan? Well, why a trip plan? Why a game plan? To do it better, to have a route, to have
a direction. Your business plan, essentially, it sets your goals, it defines success, and if you do it right, it sets down the steps
towards those goals, and some budgets, and task responsibilities. And you do it because it’s easier to do if
you break it up into steps and set it down, than if you try to keep it
in your head. You do it because it helps you manage your
business better. Question: what’s the most misunderstood thing
about business planning in general? And, answer I’m sure of this, it’s that form
follows function. People way to often think a business plan
is that big formal document that people fear, where in fact, that doesn’t have to be. Most of the companies who can benefit from
a business plan and business planning don’t actually need to have the 50, 30, 20
page document, coil bound at Kinko’s and edited and formatted. Most of us just do enough to run our business
better. We keep it in bullet points, we keep it on
the computer. We’re not describing our business for others. We’re helping our own team remember what’s success to us, what are our objectives, who’s doing what? And what are the steps, the dates that are important, the deadlines
that are important? How much does, what’s our sales forecast, what are our expense budgets? Form follows function, as in, you plan as
you go. It’s going to change, you’re going to be reviewing
and revising. A business plan is a living document. It’s not something that was printed out once. It’s there on your computer. You’re going to meet to review it once a month, and that’s going to give you better management
for your company. So that, there, is the most misunderstood
part of business planning, in my opinion. Why Business Plan Pro? Because it’s an excellent tool. People often misunderstand that this is a tool to help you do whatever business planning works best for
you, in your situation, in your business. If you need the full formal business plan, Business Plan Pro will help you with that,
step-by-step, mechanics, formatting, get it printed out,
solve that need. But what’s more frequently misunderstood is it can be just as effective for someone who
doesn’t need the full formal business plan but simply wants to plan the business better. You may not need the whole thing, but Business Plan Pro has set up, and Wizards, and do you need the full worksheets or do
you need the full outline? Or are you going to do a plan that’s like strategy, and then milestones and sales forecast and expense
budget, and who does what, and what are the steps,
and when are we going to review it? It might live on your computer forever and be reviewed and revised every month. That’s the real core of business planning. And Business Plan Pro, in that, wants to help you do the business planning
that you need. It’s not my plan, or our plan, or the software’s plan. It’s your plan, and it’s a tool for the mechanics and the
function to do that better.

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2 thoughts on “Ask Tim Berry – 3 Common Business Planning Questions

  1. @Bigkenny90 Fear of business idea theft is one of the most common fears among novice entrepreneurs. There are confidentiality agreements and intellectual property registration of business plan´s.

  2. @zak00101 Fear of idea theft and fear of failure are definitely common among novice entrepreneurs. There are things one can do to protect your idea and brand, we touch on them in our article on bplans dot com. Visit the website (bplans dot com) and use the search at the top to search for "protect an idea".

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