Myth-BustersA plan is worth the decisions it causes. If you already know your market, don’t waste time or money doing market research.

Don’t do it just because somebody said it was part of a business plan. But are you sure? Is it worth a fresh look? You decide.

The supporting information isn’t part of your plan; it’s just supporting information. Do you have to prove the concept? Will outsiders be reading your plan, and evaluating it? Does the market research prove something that must be proven? Then include it.

Information in business is worth the decisions it causes. You measure this by taking a guess at what your bank balance would have been without the information and comparing it to what it is because you had the information. Subtract the hypothetical balance without the information from the balance with the information, and that’s the value.

with the information: $10,000
without the information: $8,000


Value of the information $2,000

That’s a hard equation to deal with sometimes, and of course it’s based on hypothetical values; but it’s still an important concept to understand. Your business plan shouldn’t include anything your business won’t use. Either it’s going to use the market analysis or it needs to present it as proof of market for outsiders — or you just don’t perform the analysis.


Tim BerryTim Berry

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