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Blogs Contributor - Tim Berry

Guest Blogger

Posts by Tim Berry

Guest Blogger

  • Imagine yourself in charge of a 40-person company, selling small business software, during the sudden crash of 2008. Your sales had been lagging a bit all year, but as the financial news blackened in late summer and early fall, your sales plummeted. September sales fell to 25% below the previous...
  • I worked for several years with a consulting firm called Creative Strategies. The name always struck me as ironic. In real business, from what I’ve seen, the best strategies aren’t creative. Instead, they’re obvious. Do what you do best – what makes you different from the...
  • I’ve just finished a two-month period in which I’ve read more than 50 business plans as part of my role as judge of several major national business plan competitions and as managing investor of my local angel investment group. And I like reading business plans, so it wasn’t a...
  • I came up with the phrase “crystal ball and chain” years ago to describe one predictable barrier to introducing a useful business planning process into an existing small business. The phrase is intended to combine the crystal ball with the ball and chain. It happens because normal...
  • How do you value your business plan? What’s it worth to your business? Here’s how I do it: I value the business plan by the decisions it causes. I value a business plan by the money it generates. I value a business plan by its results. How do you value anything in...
  • It used to be that most of the business world understood that simple, clear business writing was a powerful skill. We needed to communicate, explain and convince people in memos, proposals, plans and reports. Simple sentences worked better. Clear and concise worked better. Maybe I care more about...
  • Think of basketball or soccer. In both of these popular sports, dribbling is what the players do to move the ball in the right direction. It's not the point of the game, it doesn't score baskets or goals, but it's an important skill, right? I think of dribbling as a great analogy for...
  • The other day I had coffee with a former student, now in her late 20s, whose first taste of startups and entrepreneurship was in a class I used to teach at the University of Oregon. The class included—of course—a hard look at cash flow and business numbers. But she told me she had no...
  • Confession: I wish I’d come up with the term lean startup. I love the term and, for that matter, the idea behind it. Credit for that goes to Eric Ries, author of the book The Lean Startup, and Steve Blank, blogger, entrepreneur, and sometimes professor (at Stanford and Berkeley both, no less...
  • Warning: this post is all about the questions. It doesn’t include the answers. Asking the right questions is a good first step to getting the answers. Theoretically we should be able to measure the ROI (return on investment) of anything we do in our business. We talk about ROI, and return,...

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