I don’t expect you to read from start to finish. I wouldn’t. So here’s a guide to where you might want to go. The book is divided six into chapters. Following is an outline of the contents of each chapter.

Chapter Title Description
1. About This Book You’re here now. Describes what’s in it for you, how to use it, what’s new and different about my approach, and why would you want a plan-as-you-go business plan anyhow.
2. Attitude Adjustment This book is not about your traditional formal business plan. The plan grows organically. It’s a new way of doing it. Look for information on how to start, on form and function, on accountability and mapping, and in general on a new way of thinking about business planning. The plan isn’t a document and it isn’t anything more than what you’ll use today to make your business better. You don’t have to complete a checklist. However, you do want to use planning to manage your business better. Do what you have to do to leave tracks you can follow up on.
3. Heart of the Plan The heart of the plan is your core strategy. It’s an interrelated combination of business identity, target market, business offering, and strategic focus. It can be written out, or not.
4. Flesh and Bones This chapter is about what’s going to happen, when. Who’s going to do it? How much will it cost? The first of three parts includes the action plan with milestones, tasks, and responsibilities. The second is about the basic numbers, including the sales forecast, expense budget, maybe the startup costs (if and only if you’re a startup). The third is about cash-flow traps.
5. Dressing and Growing Here’s where I fill out the rest of the plan, and bring it up to the full document that you’ll need if you have what I call a business plan event, meaning you have to show a plan to outsiders. I give you the full financial forecast in detail, plus what you need for supporting information, and how to present that as elevator speech, summary, pitch presentation, or full-blown, complete formal business plan document.
6. Planning Process This is about making your plan-as-you-go planning into a vital management process that will help you achieve your goals and build your business better. Chapter 6 covers the process of review and revision as well as managing the plan.
Tim BerryTim Berry

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