Want to Succeed in Business? Read “Lean Business Planning”


"Lean Business Planning" is ideal for startups, small business owners, entrepreneurs and even managers inside larger enterprises. If you've got P&L responsibilities and want to avoid the "fat" inside so many bulky business planning processes, then this is the book for you.

Lean Business Planning

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I want to tell you about this book. But I’m afraid that when you see the words “Lean Business Planning” you’ll get scared and stop reading. Maybe you’ll think, “Ugh, another book about business planning telling me that I should have one and showing me how easy it is.”

Maybe you’ve got a business planning process that works and you’re not interested. Or maybe, just maybe, you don’t have a business plan because you think it’s complicated and you don’t have time to write a 200 page document that’s going to sit on a shelf or on your hard drive. I get it. And you should know, dear reader, that I would never take the time to read and write about a book that you won’t benefit from. Never. So keep reading.

What is “Lean Business Planning” About?

Lean Business Planning: Get What You Want From Your Business” by Tim Berry (also a contributor at Small Business Trends) is a whole different kind of business planning book. It’s easy to read, understand and follow through on. At 148 pages, the book is actually shorter than some of the business plans I’ve written and seen! So that should assuage your fears before you even start reading.

Another thing you need to understand that Berry explains simply and easily is the idea of “Lean Business Planning.” You could probably guess that “Lean” means devoid of fluff. But it actually comes from the world of “Lean Manufacturing,” a Japanese manufacturing philosophy that focuses only on what adds value. It follows a simple Plan, Do, Check, Act process that has you taking small steps, watching the results and making changes as you go.

This is a business planning book for busy business owners who want to focus on specific goals and strategies and use their business plan as a roadmap to success.

About the Author

Tim Berry (@TimBerry) may not have invented business planning, but he’s best known for making it accessible and actionable for millions of small business owners.

He’s got a Stanford MBA degree, and MA in Journalism from the University of Oregon and a BA from the University of Notre Dame. I think it’s his liberal arts training coupled with his technical skill and innate curiosity about how things work that has made him the best known and most respected expert on business planning.

What Was Best About “Lean Business Planning”

What’s best about “Lean Business Planning” is its pure simplicity and ease of use. Berry has distilled just the most important elements of planning and running your business into this book.

My favorite parts of the book are the financial chapters. I say this because in real life, they are my least favorite components of planning and yet, they are critical to navigating your way to a profitable business. Berry provides tons of graphics and walks you through each element in a way that makes even those of us who get a little sick at the thought of forecasting financials breathe a sigh of relief.

And if you need a little support, you can check out Tim’s website for support materials and courses that are easily affordable.

Why Read “Lean Business Planning”

Just like Lean Manufacturing, Lean Business Planning is a mindset. Don’t sweat the complicated stuff. Focus on just what brings value and stay on top of your metrics so that you can make changes before anything becomes a problem. When you think about it that way, you’ll wonder why you’ve been avoiding business planning all this time. And now with “Lean Business Planning” by Tim Berry, you can take your business to wherever you want it to go.

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1 Comment ▼

Ivana Taylor Ivana Taylor is the Book Editor for Small Business Trends. She is responsible for directing the site’s book review program and manages the team of professional book reviewers. She also spearheads the annual Small Business Book Awards. Ivana publishes DIYMarketers, where she shares daily do-it-yourself marketing tips, and is co-author of "Excel for Marketing Managers."

One Reaction
  1. I love anything simple. The marketing world is already too complicated with all of its terms and concepts. We need something simple so that we can go right into implementing things.