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The Plan-As-You-Go Business Plan Paperback – August 1, 2008

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 270 pages
  • Publisher: Entrepreneur Press; 1 edition (August 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1599181908
  • ISBN-13: 978-1599181905
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #216,516 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Tim Berry is the founder and president of Palo Alto Software, the manufacturer of Business Plan Pro, the country's bestselling business plan software, of which he is the principal author. He's also written three other books on business planning and is a popular blogger and speaker on the topic of business plans.

More About the Author

Although back when I went through business school they were training us to be either consultants or middle managers at large companies, I always liked small business, startups, and entrepreneurship better. I always liked business planning because it's about designing the future in detail and then, when done right, managing the pieces to make it happen. Planning to me is not about the document, but about the goals, metrics, milestones, accountability, and, ultimately, management.

I'm a bit jealous of the "lean startup" meme because 1.) it's real, practical, and appropriate for our times; and 2.) I think my 'Plan-as-you-go Business Plan' book had the same idea for business planning in 2008, but it gets a lot less buzz.

My main claim to validation is having done it: I've bootstrapped a company to 40 employees and multimillion in sales with profits and no debt (Palo Alto Software) and also founded,, and Eugene Social at; and I was a co-founder of Borland International. I also have a Stanford MBA degree and a lot of blog posts, magazine articles, and several books published.

I'm blogging on my own blog, Huffington Post, Amex OPEN,,, and Up and Running. To consolidate all my blog posts in one place I'm using a powered Rebelmouse site to consolidate them all on And my main blog, where I've posted about 2,000 posts since 2006, is "Planning Startups Stories" ( I also have a business and consulting site, with some speaking samples, at

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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See all 15 customer reviews
This book is a must have for anyone who owns a business or plans to start a business someday.
Bill Brelsford
You all know that I believe you must plan for success in business, so you knew a business plan book had to be on the list.
Melinda Emerson
One thing...Tim makes finances not a drudgery but something you'll come to appreciate the importance of.
Ramon Ray

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

31 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Bill Brelsford on August 26, 2008
Format: Paperback
In my current role as a Duct Tape Marketing coach and in my former role as a CPA, I see business owners who struggle because they don't have a plan. I also see folks who create a plan because they "have to", but then they never use it - it goes on a shelf and collects dust. I've always maintained that the value from having a written plan comes from 1) going through the process and 2) using it on a regular basis to evaluate how your business is going and making adjustments as needed.

In The Plan-as-You-Go Business Plan, Tim Berry makes these points much more eloquently than I ever could. Tim argues that the planning process (along with regular reviews) is so important that business owners just need to get started somewhere, anywhere, and continue to build your plan as your needs change. This is 180 degrees different from the classical "big bang" approach to business planning where we work for months at a time developing a huge document before we ever get started working on the business.

The author has organized the book to support his "plan as you go" approach. It is designed so you can jump around and use the section of the book that you need at any given time. The first section of the book "Attitude Adjustment" contains the background information you need to know and learn to adjust to this idea of business planning as a process in your business rather than an event or milestone to be forgotten once completed.

In "The Heart of the Plan", you work on your business identity, target market, your offering(s) and your strategic focus. When I post on my blog about having a marketing plan, this is the stuff I'm talking about.

"Flesh and Bones" is the section that talks about creating action plans, budgets, milestones, and metrics.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Michael Noice on August 18, 2008
Format: Paperback
The biggest obstacle most of us face in become successful is in closing the gap between "knowing" and "doing." When it comes to starting and/or running a successful business most entrepreneurs know they should have a business plan, but statistics show very few take the time to actually write one. And truth be told, unless you are making a formal presentation of your business plan you probably don't need a complete business plan. However, you do need to plan, keep planning, evaluate, and adjust as your business grows.

That is what makes Tim Berry's The Plan As You Go Business Plan a solid read for an entrepreneur. By breaking the creation of a business plan down into 1) Heart - a business's core strategy, 2) Flesh & Bones - action plans and basic financial numbers, and 3) Dressing and Growing - bring the plan up to a full document suitable to present to potential investors, the reader is able to use the sections of the book that are most relevant to the business's current situation. As your business continues to grow, The Plan As You Go Business Plan will serve as a fantastic reference manual to make sure you are thinking about those aspects of the business necessary for growth.

Tim Berry's encouraging and uplifting writing style will give you the motivation to start, but more importantly, he will provide the insight and direction to make sure something gets done. By breaking down business speak and MBA gobbledygook and explaining important business concepts into easy to understand terminology, Mr. Berry simplifies what can be for some an overwhelming process and demystifies the business planning process for all.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Ramon Ray on August 25, 2008
Format: Paperback
I've read (or at least flipped through) a number of business planning books and what I like best about Tim Berry's book (the best I've read so far) is that it turns business planning from a pain in the neck "do I have to do this" event into a "wow - I know I can do this and I want to do this and in fact I love to do this" process.

The hallmark of the book is that business plans are NOT a one time event nor do you have to do one, in some particular standard way. But it is a plan, a guide a road map. Tim takes your hand and not only guides you but gives you plenty of resources and practical advice (like the shortest lesson in Excel I've ever seen) to make your business plan a success.

If you have NEVER started a business The Plan As You Go Business Plan is a must read. If you are already in a business the book is a must read to keep you in business. And if by chance you have started a second successful business this book will probably ensure you do even better with your newest venture.

One thing...Tim makes finances not a drudgery but something you'll come to appreciate the importance of.

Ramon Ray, Editor & Technology Evangelist,
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Caroline D. Grimm on December 23, 2008
Format: Paperback
Fast, Easy & Effective? I never thought I'd use those words to describe a business plan book. As a consultant working with small business owners on startup and cash flow issues, I invariably ask the question, "Can I take a look at your business plan?" It's amazing the funny looks I get. "I think it's on my bookshelf. Or, did I take it home with me last year? It's here somewhere."

Tim Berry takes his usual realistic approach to small business issues by providing a book that breaks the whole "planning thing" down into easily understandable, immediately applicable steps.

Berry throws out the concept of a formal business plan (unless you're having what he refers to as a "business plan event") and gives us a flexible planning process that is quite painless. His writing style doesn't echo from the confines of an ivory tower. The book is an enjoyable read and highly useful.

I particularly like his emphasis on reviewing the plan regularly to check progress and adjust course accordingly. His emphasis on using metrics to track your progress is extremely helpful. In fact, I'm using his methods in my own business planning.
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