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Lean Business Planning

Get what you want from your business

Lean business planning simple but powerful way to get what you want from your business. Get focused, grow faster, and adjust to change. A lean business plan is an easy and practical way to align strategy, tactics, milestones, assumptions, and essential cash flow without the fuss of a full business plan.

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Bogus Experts Give Bad Startup Advice

How many self-styled startup experts have actually started a company? How many have gotten a startup to critical actually know what they are talking about? The online world of startup experts is infested with people who don’t know what they don’t know. I guess these people read the same tired clichés that sit in rich...

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Update on History of Business Plans

Four years ago I posted A Short History of Business Plans including my experience plus data from a Google search of usage of phrases in books. The search is interesting because it transcends the web and online data by digging into books. Usage in Books I tried a similar search yesterday and was disappointed to discover that...

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The Lean Business Plan for Small Business Owners

“What? No, I don’t have a business plan. I’m not a startup.” Too bad so many small business owners think that way. A good lean business plan for small business owners ought to be a great tool for running a business. Set strategy, tactics to match, major milestones, metrics, tasks, responsibilities, and essential business numbers....

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How To Forecast Sales and Profits Without Just Guessing

Yes, it’s – my title here – a real question, and I get it a lot: how to forecast sales and profits without just guessing. It’s a good question too, because it leads to a better understanding of how and why we use forecasting to help manage a business, and to predict starting costs and...

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Marketing Today: Sparing, Sharing, Caring

The principals of marketing don’t change. It’s still getting people to know, like, and trust you. But what works for marketing today has changed a lot, and continues to change, as technology levels the playing field and companies and people intermingle on even terms. Here’s what I see working: Sparing Winners are sparing their target...

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What are the key elements of a good business plan?

I’m glad somebody asked me this question. It’s one of my favorite topics. It gives me a chance to review and revise another of the lists that I’ve done off and on for years (such as the one from yesterday, common mistakes.) I’ve written this one in several places: measure a business plan by the...

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Young Entrepreneurs: They Are Lying to You

All over the web, in Q&A sites, blog posts, and so on. And in panels and conferences, And in the occasional book, know-it-all alleged experts are lying to young entrepreneurs about the value of education.  They spout clichés that are  unrealistic, impractical, and, taken to an extreme, tragic. Lie: A startup is better than an education....

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Lean Business Planning Interview with Jim Beach

Nice interview here with Jim Beach. Jim and I talking about lean business planning applies to all businesses, all business owners. Keep it simple, review and revise it often, give yourself the benefits of priorities, strategy, tactics, milestones, a few powerful lists to help you get what you want from your business. Some questions:

  • Why lean business planning? Why not business planning, period. What's the difference?
  • When you read a business plan, do you read the whole thing?
  • Does every business need a business plan? What are the benefits?
  • What, specifically, is a lean business plan? How is it different from a traditional business plan.
Business Lessons Learned in the Quarterback’s Endorsement

In the stadium, on the field, confetti everywhere, the Super Bowl is over, the winners celebrate. Team, journalists, and celebrities surround the star quarterback, 39 years old, whose team has won. This is the perfect end to a stellar career in pro sports. He has millions of eyes on him as he says: “I’m going...

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Laughter, Creativity, and Data to Prove What You Guessed

Here’s another Friday video offering. I admit that when I saw the title Boost Creativity with Humor, featuring this video by Stanford business school prof Jennifer Aaker. As I started it, I was expecting funny. It’s not. But if you want studies to show that funny is good for creativity, health, and, well, humans …...

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Displacement Principle in Startups and Small Business

It’s really pretty simple. Intuitive. I didn’t learn about it in business school; I learned about it while building and running a real business. I decided to call it the displacement principle. Displacement Principle: In the real world of small business, everything you do rules out something else you can’t do. My favorite metaphor is...

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Do Big Tech Companies Become Too Big Not to Fail?

I caught this one yesterday on Medium: Culture Eats Strategy for Breakfast. It’s by Dare Obasanjo on Hacker Daily (great title, by the way). It’s a well-thought-out discussion of how Google and Facebook culture achieved a substantial shift of strategy in a way that others (Blockbuster facing Netflix, and Blackberry facing iPhone) couldn’t. Here’s the summary. “when...

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New Dictionary: F*cking Means Really. Seriously. Dammit.

Hey, younger people, are you really all okay with f*cking as a synonym for really? Seriously. Do we need a new dictionary? I caught a great post on Medium the other day, Jon Westenberg’s Why Copying the Habits of Successful People Won’t Make You Successful. Towards the end he comes up with a brilliant highlight...

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Short Story on The Importance of Defining Blame

(Note: I happened on this story here on Quora, as an answer by Prashant Sharma. I decided to share it here because I like it. ) A bus full of passengers was on its journey. Suddenly the weather changed and there was a huge downpour and lightning all around.  The passengers saw that lightning appeared to strike their...

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Which is Better: Great Product or Great Marketing?

Every once in a while the world gets a great product that’s so good that the marketing follows almost automatically. Mosaic was like that in 1994, Facebook 10 years later, and Twitter, sort of, as well. And of course they did have marketing, even early on, but they were driven by their products. Those are...

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What is so great about developing a business plan for a business?

I couldn’t resist. The question was “what’s so great about developing a business plan for a business.” Here’s my answer: What’s great about a business plan starts with something similar to how we feel about having a collection of flight, hotel, and rental car reservations before we take a trip. The business plan, done right,...

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What’s Wrong with Business Networking?

I’m starting to realize I hate the word “networking” used as a verb, meaning – apparently – some variation on connections with people for self-serving business use. Business networking my [whatever].  I’m pretty sure people are actual living breathing human beings, for the most part. Not nodes. Not assets. Not resources to be tapped later for...

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