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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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Planning Principles: Business Plan in Constant Change

One of the strongest and most pervasive myths about planning is dead wrong: planning doesn’t reduce flexibility. It builds flexibility. Lean business planning manages change. It is not threatened by change. This is the third of my five main principles of business planning. The first was do only what you’ll use. The second is that...

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A Physicist’s Deep-Dive into Who Controls the World Economy

In this TED talk, physicist James B. Glattfelder looks at who controls the world economy, focusing first on ownership as a complex system. He says, in his introduction: “We spend billions of dollars trying to understand the origins of the universe while we still don’t understand the conditions for a stable society, a functioning economy, or...

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Business for Life not Life for Business

We talk about work-life balance, in general terms, but here’s one simple thought that should always be there in the background: Your business exists to make your life better. Not vice-versa. Don’t sacrifice your life to make your business better. I got a lot of play on Twitter recently with this simple idea. And this post...

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True Story: Startup Addict, Chronic Failure

I believe that developing your own business is ultimately a matter of doing the work, getting the store open, returning the phone calls. And I fear that too often people fall into the myth and mystique of the startup and end up doing just the opposite. They are always waiting, never working. This is the story of a...

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How to Raise Successful Kids Without Overparenting

My video this week is somewhat like a compliment to my post yesterday, 5 tips on raising children as entrepreneurs. This is a TED talk from last November, Julie Lythcott-Haims: How to raise successful kids — without over-parenting. Here’s how TED summarizes: With passion and wry humor, the former Dean of Freshmen at Stanford makes the case...

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Planning Principle: Good Business Planning Empowers Accountability

It’s easier to be friends with your coworkers than to manage them well. Every small-business owner suffers the problem of management and accountability. Good business planning empowers accountability. Good business planning sets clear expectations and then follows up on results. It compares results with expectations. People on a team are held accountable only if management actually...

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Does an MBA Help in Running a High-Tech Business?

Question (on Quora): Does an MBA help in starting up and running a technology-based business?  My Answer on MBA for High Tech I have an MBA degree and I bootstrapped a software company past $10M annual sales and was a co-founder of another software company that went public in less than four years. And the...

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Don’t Just Dream Your Startup. Do the Work.

I’ve seen this in surveys several times: Americans dream of owning their own business. We’re a culture of startups. But don’t just dream your startup. Do it. Make it happen. Just because you love it doesn’t make it easy I really like this from Pam Slim, author of Body of Work, in Who says following your...

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Build Yourself a Compatible Goals Filter

Suggestion: on any kind of business relationship, take a step back, open your eyes, and look for compatible goals. For example, one variety of hell is a startup with founders and investors having different goals. Differences on how to achieve goals are hard enough. You can talk out those differences. But when investors want one...

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Truth: Politicians and Small Business

Once again we have elections and the useless self-serving rhetoric of politicians and small business. talk about Damn, elections are heating up again. All politicians claim to speak for “small business.” As if anybody could speak for small business, given that just about the only thing business owners have in common with each other is that...

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Business Pitch: Don’t Confuse Optimism with Business Potential

I listen to a lot of business pitches and way too many of them try to make something out of the entrepreneur’s attitude. Commitment is great, but who isn’t committed? Passion is great but who isn’t passionate about their business. Saying that adds nothing. It’s assumed. So too, with optimism. Business pitch optimism is vastly...

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Beware of the Myth of Persistence

I worry a lot about the myth of persistence. Persistence won’t necessarily make your business successful unless a lot of other things are also right. And persistence alone can turn failure into disaster. But still, people who should know better – people who succeeded – still talk about it all the time. There’s a logical trick...

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Planning Principle: Continuous Process, Not Just a Plan

Don’t think of planning as just a plan that you do once. Planning done right is a process of continuous improvement. Keep your business plan always fresh and current. Never finish a business plan, heave a sigh of relief, and congratulate yourself that you’ll never have to do that again. Don’t use it once and throw it away....

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Two Paradoxical TED Talks Every Business Owner Should Watch

My thanks to Hubspot and post author Mike Whitney for today’s two Friday videos. Whitney included these two in his selection of 4 TED Talks Every Marketer Should Watch, from last year. I want to focus today on these two as not just for marketers, but also essential TED talks for business owners. They go...

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True Story: My Worst-Ever Business Plan Consulting Engagement

In more than 30 years with business planning, my worst-ever business plan consulting engagement was for a startup that should have been funded but wasn’t. It was a good business plan. But the business plan process became the fatal flaw. A good plan, excellent team, good startup I learned this lesson while sitting in a series of meetings,...

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Video: Scott Cook: Savor Surprises in Business

Nice short video of Scott Cook giving a great example of how surprises come up in business. My Friday video for this week, from Stanford eCorner. He talks about discovering the value of doing simple bookkeeping for people who aren’t accountants and don’t care about debits and credits. As he tells how Intuit discovered the...

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