Come & write a book with me...

Business Plans 2020-4-1

This past Wednesday, I started to see a few hundred downloads of my ebook on "Writing the Winning Business Plan", and then a few hundred more on Thursday, and already early this AM, lots of detailed questions from readers. Then I realized that it's that time of year that new students in the MITx course on business planning were gearing up, and this is a core read.  The book is also used in my own teaching every fall at MIT in the ME course taught by Dr. Chun, who asked me 21 years ago if I could assist in teaching a few business principles to his undergrad and grad students.  That exciting experience, which continues every fall at MIT, also led me to the opportunity to teach at Tufts 16 years ago.  

Partially as a result of wanting to create a "how-to" book on what it takes to construct a business plan that would actually be useful for business managers of any type of company and especially for those individuals running "smaller" companies with revenues between $0 and $100m.  There is an added leaning toward entrepreneurs, but this is not a book on entrepreneurship.  This is about how to construct a business plan which actually becomes a living baseline for a tightly knit team of managers running the business in the rapidly changing world of 2022.

20 years ago, I set out to create what at that time was a 30 page free ebook.  I now update this once a year (twice during 2020 and 2021 given the transformational changes) with the book now extending to 117 pages.  

  • It's still free and self-published on our website.
  • It's funky in its graphics and could use a giant overhaul
  • It's part of the curricula at MIT 2.961, at MITx, and at Singapore University 
  • We use it as the foundation of our own Entrepreneurship Boot Camps

I actually do not use it at Tufts since we do not have an actual course in "business planning" per se.  I do use its sister publications of "Writing the Winning Marketing Plan" and "Writing the Winning Sales Plan" as the core reading material of both of those respective courses.

Over the years of founding and co-founding numbers of startups and buying established companies, I've broadened my own experience working through both the success curves of growth and also the speed bumps of failures and have added these lessons and tactics to the book.  Along the way, I have been aided by the deep experience of George Simmons, the senior partner at Derby Management, and hundreds of experiences with our customers.  As importantly, I've also guided by the expertise and active engagement of professionals such as Den White at Verrill Dana, Mary Cole, a deeply-experienced B2B marketing consultant, Tom Powell of SeatonHill Partners, and Steve Wilchins and his staff at the law firm of Wilchins Cosentino Novins with numerous other inputs from individuals who have offered singular advice.  

I'm getting ready to update the book for 2022 with the actual writing and editing aimed for January and  probably a release in February, so if you are interested in contributing, co-authoring, commenting on, writing,  editing or just adding your own practicality on "Lessons Learned", just connect with me.  It's actually a fun experience and an opportunity to discover what we know...and do not yet know about managing successful businesses.


Tufts and Jumbo-4Hard to believe that this semester is 60% complete with this week's mid-term presentations.  I teach in a rhythm of "Content in Context", where I provide hands-on tactical content about Marketing within the context of six marketing projects brought to us from real companies.  Some of those companies are customers of Derby Management, some come from repeat companies, and some come as a result of this blog and requests like today's. 


Thanks very much for the entries that I received last week!!!

Below is a broad outline of what we are looking for.

  • Complexity in scope and depth
  • Robust projects given 13 weeks with 6 bright juniors and seniors.
  • B2B or B2C.
  • We've done toys, robotics, software, food, cars and 39 other industries
  • We've done $0 to $400m revenue in locations from the U.S. to Europe
  • Any scope from emerging entrepreneurs to decades-old corporations 
  • Must be established products/services, not brainstorming concepts

Our purpose is to provide detailed complete marketing plans from strategy to recommendations of implementable tactics along with expense plans in addition to primary and secondary research if desired.  The plans can encompass a range from a complete marketing plan for the company or a specific product.  We love doing research, and we recognize the value of having 21-25-year-olds provide their perspective, but we cannot just do research without formulating the data, providing recommendations and building a plan around that work.  We've learned that just doing research does not complete the intent of the course which is to provide real-life introductions to the business of business.  

Just connect with me at anytime and thank you for last week's submissions!


Have a great day selling & Marketing today! 

Everything we're seeing in our 2022 planning with our customers defines an excellent year ahead...even given the shortages of talent and materials, which we are figuring out in real time.  

Jack Derby, Professor & Sales Coach AN ANYTIME SOUNDING BOARD 

If at any time, you have a need for a confidential sounding board for your 2022 planning process, just connect with me!  Text or email me, and I'll quickly set up a call.  I'm a very good listener, and we can get deep into tactics if you want. Obviously, no cost for a call or two; just an opportunity to listen intently and make a few recommendations based on decades of experience.

Derby Entrepreneurship Center@Tufts. 


Tags: marketing productivity, small business management, business coaching, how to write a business plan, marketing planning, writing business plans, 2022 business planning