This is the web version of my book Lean Business Planning, published in August of 2015 and revised in 2020. Please click here to order on amazon.com
- The lean business plan includes strategy, tactics, review schedule, milestones, assumptions, sales forecast, expense budget, and cash flow management.
- Lean business planning is a process, not just a single plan. It’s the plan plus the regular review and revisions. It’s never done. Every latest version will need revision with a few weeks.
- It’s not a formal business plan document. However, when (and if) you need a traditional business plan document, add summaries, descriptions and explanations as needed to fill the specific business need. You might even make them part of your pitch deck or leave them in appendices.
Making it easier and more practical for you
The book (and this site) starts with principles and overview, but maybe you get the idea from the beginning and just want to jump in and do a plan, in which case you can just Click this link to jump to Chapter 4, Set the Strategy, which is the first chapter in a series of chapters taking you through the process of developing the plan. Use the built-in hyperlinks to jump around. Take it in the order you want, not necessarily the order in which it appears.
I’ve also tried to make it easy for you to read the whole book in the order I planned, if you choose. As you finish each section just click the link on the lower right to go to the next section, in order. Notice for example the link in the lower right of this section to the next section, Section 1. As the book continues every page has a link to the next page on the bottom right, and – except for this page, which is the first – a link to the previous page on the lower left.
Summary of Sections (With Links)
Lean business planning is faster, easier, better business planning for all business owners who want to run their establishments better. It’s not a document, and it’s not just for companies who need a formal business plan document. It’s about setting strategy, tactics, and concrete specific milestones, so you can track results and do course corrections. It’s for steering your business, not just for investors and banks, but for better management. Read about that in the fundamental principles section.
Find the primary how-to in the second main section, Lean Business Planning Step by Step. That’s where you go if you want to just jump in and do your lean plan. You can see it includes four simple steps, each of which is streamlined for management, not outsiders. These are lists and tables and bullet points, not text. The four steps are: define your strategy, set the execution, develop concrete specifics, and finally do the basic numbers.
You don’t just do a lean plan, you use lean planning to run your business better. There’s an initial lean business plan to start, then an ongoing process of run-review-revise-repeat.
I set aside much of what you might see in the middle of a normal business plan book. I want to emphasize lean business planning, so I don’t slow it down with additional information on strategy, market analysis, marketing plans, and other subjects that will be of interest to some, but not all. Some of that is in the appendices, which cover planning for Startup Costs, Sharing Your Plan, and Angel Investment. These are all contained in the book too. Beyond that, this website has additional information not in the book, but here for your convenience, on this website. That includes a lot on strategy, plus market analysis, competitive analysis, marketing plans, product or service plans.
The book itself and the main content of this site is indeed software neutral; but I do have a LivePlan-only version of the book, and I’ve included some of that LivePlan-specific content on this site as well. I’ve marked those pieces off from the main portions with this graphic: … which links(except for here) to the generic version of the same topic. And in the main content, where it touches on topics that have a LivePlan-specific version, you’ll see this one: … which links (except for here) to the LivePlan-specific version of that topic.