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Business Planning Online Tutorials

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Business Planning Online Tutorials

By Tim Berry, Guest Blogger
Published: December 30, 2011 Updated: September 13, 2016

I’ve done a series of business planning tutorials that are available as online video tutorials on business planning here on a different part of this site.

The goal is to help real people with real business planning. That’s not just for the relatively few who have to submit a business plan to a bank or investor. That’s for everybody who wants to manage better, optimize, and steer a business. Real planning is a process, not just a document.
Here is a list of the 13 videos in the series. If you’re interested, you could watch them in order, or pick and choose according to the topics. The list has only eight items because two of them include three individual videos.

  1. Introduction and orientation (2:12)
  1. Planning is modular (1:26) Think of the plan as a collection of connected blocks. Start anywhere. Get going.
  1. Form follows function (4:45) How big, what format, what's included, what platform ... it all depends on the specific business use of this plan. Most of them stay loosely connected on a network. Only a minority need to be edited, polished, and printed onto paper.
  1. Planning is management (1:20) Planning should become management and better business, long-term progress towards goals, prioritizing, and focus. It’s up to you to make your planning work. It’s not really about the plan, per se; it’s about the discipline to use the plan to run the business.
  1. Planning your strategy (8:04) Strategy is the heart of the plan, which is also the heart of the business. It is made up of a group of three core concepts that can’t be separated: market, identity, and focus. Don’t pull them apart. It’s the interrelationship between them that drives your business.
  1. Business plan flesh and bones (10:25) I like to think of defining flesh and bones as setting the steps. You have a strategy and the heart of your business settled, but you want to set it down into concrete steps you can follow and track.
  1. Sales forecast (3 videos, 4:51, 3:10, and 9:27) Your sales forecast is the backbone of your business plan. People measure a business and its growth by sales, and your sales forecast sets the standard for expenses, profits, and growth. The sales forecast is almost always going to be the first set of numbers you’ll track for plan vs. actual use. This is what you’ll do even if you calculate no other numbers.
  1. Dress and grow your plan (12:15) As your company grows, your planning grows. If you add people to your team, then you want to bring them into the process and make sure you’re on the same page. You bring in skills. The business gets more complex as it grows. Cash flow gets more sophisticated. You start to manage the money and administration differently.
  1. The formal business plan document (3 videos, 5:39, 8:48, 2:26) You don’t necessarily need to have a traditional, formal business plan. Until you really need to show a plan to some outsider who needs, wants, or expects the full formal plan, you can just use your plan-as-you-go plan to reap the benefits and avoid the hassle of the document. However, there are business reasons that force you to produce the traditional plan document. We call these business plan events. The more common business plan events are related to seeking loans or investments. Ironically, the bank loan manager, angel investor, or venture capitalist may not read your plan, but most of them want to know you have one, which means they want it to appear in their inbox or on their desk.

I hope you find these tutorials useful.

About the Author:

Tim Berry
Tim Berry

Guest Blogger

Founder and Chairman of Palo Alto Software and, on twitter as Timberry, blogging at His collected posts are at Stanford MBA. Married 46 years, father of 5. Author of business plan software Business Plan Pro and and books including his latest, 'Lean Business Planning,' 2015, Motivational Press. Contents of that book are available for web browsing free at .


Thanks man for this tutorial ,very interesting.
Many people will really learn on the online tutorials over the internet. It provides clear information about how a thing works or other. You have pointed out good points. Thanks and more power.
Really a great collection of information, but how can a small business cover their payroll when opportunities for growth appear? Corporate investors are normally seeking a 30 to 40 percent interest in a company’s profits. Banks normally want a three year history, and angel investors are a rarity. Here is the problem. Your new young company has just received a contract proposal to provide four people on the shirt tails of a major government contractor. This contractor invoices the government one week after the services have been completed. The government pays the major contractor four weeks from the date on invoice to meet its 30 day congressional mandate. Now the major contractor processes the government payment and pays the small business three weeks later. The small business owner deposits the check and has access to the funds 8 weeks after providing their services. In the meantime… These four employees have an hourly rate is $15 so their hourly cost to their employer is about $21 an hour after taxes and benefits. These four employees will need to be paid $19,200 before the small business ever receives a check while still covering the utility bills. This is where invoice factoring comes in. It bridges these types of gaps in cash flow making it possible for small business to expand and grow. Since invoice factoring is based upon the business client’s credit, it is available to small business on the very first day of their operations. This is why it is so important for a business plan to include working with an invoice factor; the invoice factor can provide experience and guidance to the new business enabling them to offer net terms, improving and speeding their decision making process to offering terms to potential customers, reducing the possibility of having deadbeat clients, and providing the funding immediately when the opportunities for new growth appears.
Thanks a lot for those online tutorials, I love them! Can we expect any other stuff like that in the future?
Thanks a lot for those tutorials, but can you let me know where to get such tutorials in text format?
Planning is really the most important stage in various aspect in human life most especially in business sector, simply you can state that without identifying your goal therefore your in a wrong way destination. These list of videos truly helps a-would be or currently business owner to come up with a good plan and start its business on thrive. House in Philippines
Thanks for the effort to consolidate all of this. Its a much easier navigation rather than finding it all manually. Also, I would agree that good business planning is very important so this tutorials will really help new business entrepreneurs. Apartment for Rent in the Philippines

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