One of the most important new ideas in the plan-as-you-go business plan is that the plan doesn’t necessarily include the supporting information that everybody assumes is part of the traditional formal business plan. I mean the market analysis, industry analysis, company history, management team backgrounds, and other information you expect in a complete business plan.

Your plan is about what’s going to happen, what you are going to do. It’s about business strategy, specific milestones, dates, deadlines, and forecasts of sales and expenses and so forth.

Information Gathering

So what about market analysis? Think about the business purpose. Do you need the market analysis to help determine your strategy? Then do it. Are you ready to go with that strategy regardless? Then don’t sweat the market analysis.

Supporting information may or may not be included. You don’t have to do a rigorous market analysis as part of your plan if you know exactly what you’re offering, and to whom.

This is ultimately your responsibility. You don’t gather all the supporting information just because somebody said it was supposed to be there. You do it if you’re going to actually use it to make decisions.

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Tim BerryTim Berry
Tim Berry

Tim Berry is the founder and chairman of Palo Alto Software and Bplans.com. Follow him on Twitter @Timberry.