People often ask Tim Berry, author and founder of Palo Alto Software, what type of business plan they need. “It comes up a lot and it’s hard to answer specifically,” he says in this video, “but I kind of like asking you back, ‘What are you going to use?'”
According to Berry, most people think that a business plan is a “hard to do, ponderous, formal document” with a fixed structure. (Admit it, you probably think that, too; otherwise, you wouldn’t be here) Berry prefers business plans that are more functional than formal – that is, that will help you run your business better.
What do you need to run your business better? According to Berry, you need to:
- Think about the steps that you need to take in order to reach your goal.
- Assign metrics for keeping track of your progress, as well as tasks that your business will have to accomplish in order to reach your goals.
- Predict important numbers like sales, costs, expenses, liabilities, capital and so on.
- Track your progress.
- Adjust your strategy if anything falls short of your predictions.
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