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You Only Need 3 Weeks

tim-berry.jpgLaunching a business in only three weeks may seem a little crazy. If that's the case, Tim Berry is very, very crazy. At today's Growth 2.0 Conference in Miami Beach, Berry presented his case that budding entrepreneurs don't need years to start a business.

He carefully outlined each task that must be accomplished during the vital three-week period.

Week One:

  • Create your main idea and define success.
  • Talk to co-founders.
  • Get it in writing.
  • Name your business.
  • Create an initial sales forecast.
  • Create an initial expense budget. 
  • Estimate starting costs.
  • Make the first sale.
Week Two:

  • Define your marketing strategy.
  • Create your look and feel.
  • Get a presence on the web.
  • Create a merchant account.
  • Set up insurance. 
  • Create an initial expense budget. 
  • Recruit potential employees.
Week Three:

  • Find a location.
  • Set up bookkeeping.
  • Make it legal.
  • Initial hiring. 
  • Settle the financing. 
  • Make the sale.
Beyond Three Weeks:

  • Make the sale.
  • Pay your taxes.
  • Focus on customer service.
  • Marketing.
  • Create employer policies, systems.
Berry also presented his own list of the Top 10 Startup Mistakes:

  1. Unrealistic Forecasts
  2. Incomplete Teams
  3. Misunderstanding Equity
  4. Investment or Bust
  5. Ideas Do Not Equal Opportunities 
  6. Trying to do Everything
  7. Pricing too Low
  8. Failing to Plan 
  9. Not Enough Cash 
  10. No Real Need in the Marketplace

Tim Berry, president of Palo Alto Software Inc., started creating his own software for business planning and forecasting to bridge what he calls "the know-how gap" that exists between what personal computers can potentially do for businesspeople and what they are actually doing.

The author of several books, The Plan-As-You-Go Business Plan, and his most recent 3 Weeks to Startup, are published by Entrepreneur Press. Also, checkout Berry's blogs: http//timberry.bplans.com and http://upandrunning.entrepreneur.com.

Kara Ohngren is a freelance writer and part-time editor at YoungEntrepreneur. Her work has appeared in publications including Entrepreneur Magazine, The New York Times, MSNBC, The Huffington Post and Business Insider.

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