I had a very nice exchange earlier this week with Melinda Emerson, @smallbizlady on Twitter, in preparation for a Twitter chat on business planning. Happily, she’s posted the interview transcript as Do You Need A Business Plan? on her blog.
Here are some highlights:
Smallbizlady: What are some common mistakes in business planning?Of course I’m biased; she’s interviewing me.
Tim Berry: By far the most important mistake is thinking that the plan itself matters, instead of keeping it alive and using it in managing your business. As if the plan weren’t going to change. Then there’s forgetting cash flow, and staying up in the blue sky instead of getting into specific milestones and metrics.
Smallbizlady: Are business plans obsolete?
Tim Berry: Only if management is obsolete. Planning is part of the management function, of steering the business. The full formal plan document doesn’t apply as much as people think, but we all need planning more than ever, and the plan is a first step in planning.