Tag Archives: Barbara Weltman

Valuable ‘Lessons from the Recession’

I was happy to see in this morning’s email that James Barrod and Brian Moran’s Lessons from the Recession is out now and being promoted on an innovative crowd funding site IndieGo.com.

I like the title because that’s exactly what this book is: lessons learned. Remember 2008? Particularly the end of 2008, September and October? All economic indicators plunged together. We all worried about what now-president Obama could do to keep us out of a depression. Those were some hard times. And they put business fundamentals to the test.

lessons_from_the_great_recession.jpg

James and Brian subtitled it: Real Solutions for Every Small Business Riding the Economic Roller Coaster. I think that’s accurate. I’m one of about a dozen co-authors who contributed. My chapter uses some case studies to show how the right kind of business planning can help to manage change and uncertainty by keeping control on the dashboards of the business. Other chapters are written by experts I consider friends, Rieva Lesonsky and Barbara Weltman, and a roll call of experts I’d like to know better.

Disclosure: I got a check for writing a chapter.

More disclosure: one of the three companies I used as a case example for my chapter is not doing well, and I’m not sure about the other two. You be the judge of that factor. I’ve been wrong before with my praise of early startups that didn’t do as well as I expected. I think I’m too much of an optimist. Sometimes wanting these people to succeed clouds my judgement.

On that of course I’m in good company. Jim Collins’ excellent book Good to Great included Fannie Mae and Circuit City as great (and both tanked). And In Search of Excellence by Tom Peters and Robert Waterman included some (Digital Equipment, Wang, for example) companies that they called excellent that tanked later.  Predicting the future is tough.

Which, by the way, is the main point of my chapter on business planning: with the right kind of business planning, you don’t predict the future, you manage the future by setting specific goals and milestones and following up with tracking and revisions as necessary.

One final thought: the IndieGo.com site is an interesting approach to funding a book effort. Take a look. I hope it works for James and Brian. They put a lot of work into this book, and what they created has some very good content.

Business Planning in Times of Rapid Change

How does business planning change in this new world of instant media, short attention spans, and rapid change? Is it different these days? Can we plan at all? And secondly, from the point of view of the angel investor, what does an investor look at in a business plan.

I had a very friendly, fun, and I hope useful, radio session with Barbara Weltman earlier this week. We talked about how business planning is changing in the very fast-changing, short-attention-span world we live in.

Barbara has posted the interview online so you can access it now. The first part is a general review of business planning in times of change, can we plan, how do we plan, and how different is it in this brave new world:

And in the second part, Barbara asked me about my recent experience as a member of an angel investor group, reviewing plans and eventually choosing one for investment with my own money (as part of a larger group).


Each of these parts takes about 12 minutes.