Plan as You Go Business Plan Book – Today’s Giveaway

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Plan As You Go Business PlanningAs we continue with the week-long giveaways this week (because it’s my birthday), today’s gift is 5 copies of The Plan as You Go Business Plan book.

The Plan as You Go Business Plan was written by Tim Berry, the Godfather (Grandfather, Big Daddy, whatever …) of business planning.  Tim founded Palo Alto Software, the creator of Business Plan Pro business planning software.  Tim has since turned over the reins of the company to his daughter, Sabrina Parsons, the CEO, but he remains as President.  Palo Alto also has created the BPlans.com and MPlans.com websites, which contain tons of resources about business planning and marketing planning, respectively.

This is an excellent book and I highly recommend it for any entrepreneur. I wrote about The Plan as You go Business Plan book a while back, noting:

The “plan as you go business plan” emphasizes the importance of the planning process and the development of planning behaviors in your business, rather than creating some humongous written tome. … You see, many people approach (or fail to approach at all) a business plan from the belief that it’s a one time creation and that once it’s created, it’s finished and becomes a sort of “bible” for your business. This couldn’t be further from the everyday reality of how we operate our businesses.

To get a copy of the book, just leave a comment below answering the question: why you want to learn about business plans or business planning. I will randomly draw 5 lucky recipients to receive this book. I will be happy to mail worldwide. The deadline for submitting your answer to get in on the drawing is Friday, November 21, 2008 at Midnight (East coast U.S. time).  Good luck!

UPDATE: THE COMMENTS ARE NOW CLOSED. THE WINNERS HAVE BEEN CHOSEN AND WILL BE ANNOUNCED SHORTLY.

77 Comments ▼

Anita Campbell - CEO


Anita Campbell Anita Campbell is the Founder and Publisher of Small Business Trends and has been following trends in small businesses since 2003. She is the owner of BizSugar, a social media site for small businesses, and also serves as CEO of TweakYourBiz.com.

77 Reactions

  1. I would love to learn more about business planning, especially considering that I’ve been the owner/operator of a small business for almost three years now and still feel like I have no idea where my business is or should be headed. This would be a godsend!

  2. I would like to learn about business planning because I am in the process of planning my first business and can use all the help I can get! Also, I’m intruiged by the title, as I feel a business plan should be a living document and it should be developed as you run your business. I’d also love the book to review on my blog! ;-)

  3. I would love to win this book, because a fellow translator and I are soon to launch a linguistic services business and it would definetely be of use to use.

    All the best from Argentina!

  4. I just got my first big break to lead a new business unit within a very entrepreneurial company. However, the planning processes and behaviors need to be developed, thus
    I need this book immediately! Thanks for the opportunity!

  5. I have a serious technical background along with marketing knowledge I have picked up over the years, however, I’d like to eventually go out on my own and I think this book would be a fantastic addition to my toolbox.

  6. I have been in business for 10 years and never formally had a business plan. I more or less keep my plan in my head.
    Perhaps Im missing something by not having an actual ‘plan’ and I am open minded to learn more in this area!

  7. Currently I’m an undeclared sophomore at Syracuse University with a growing interest in business that’s been leaning towards fully majoring in Entrepreneurship and Emerging Enterprises. I have a unique idea for a web startup on campus but am not sure how to go about it business-wise. A book like this might be the help I need to thoughtfully plan out and execute successfully. Thanks!

  8. I plan of opening a business with a friend, but see it as an organic process, with trials & errors. We never wrote a business plan; it seems that we could spend too much time trying to write one.

  9. I’m planning my business right now. While I expect the plan to fall apart upon first contact with the enemy.. I mean my customers :) I know that having a plan will help me adapt to the ever changing needs of my customers.

  10. I have started or helped with several businesses, each time has been a learning experience..learning from the best is always a good idea. With the economy, I will be looking to other opportunities in the near future that this book would definitely help with.

  11. Business planning is one subject close to my heart.
    It is the best thing one can do before starting business proper.

    Incidentally, I have shared my thoughts about business planning in my website.

  12. I have defined what business I want to start and have began the planning parts to roll it out in Q1 2009. I want to make sure that I learn from others to hopefully avoid some missteps and gain from others experience.

  13. I have a half-finished business plan (because I know I’m supposed to have one) and I feel that i headed in the wrong direction. I’d like to start over and I need some help.

  14. I am a 34 year old married, Father of two, and I work nights full time as an electronics technician. On the days when my kids are in day-care (3 days a week) I try to run a small business (of just me, with a checking account and a city hall issued permit to ‘doing business as’) that fixes/upgrades/services computers and networks for local businesses and individuals. I used to do this for free for friends and family, and after rescuing a neighbor’s wireless network from the ‘no-show’ cable guy I was nearly berated into making a business of it. (She paid me the $175.00 that the cable guy was going to charge just to show up). It has been word-of-mouth, and slow going, but my customers are happy with my work, and my prices. I know however, that if I want to grow this mewling creature I call my business, I will need a business plan. Seeing this contest has perhaps rescued that idea from the back-burner.

  15. I want to learn more about business plans or business planning because there must be something wrong with my :o

  16. I’m interested in creating a business plan but realize that I have a lot more to learn. I have since been reading many articles about business planning. I would love to learn more from a highly recommended book.

  17. I would love this book, not for me, but for one of my friends who’s looking to start her own business later this year/early next year. She has a number of great ideas, but needs to develop a good, cohesive plan before she hits the ground. She’s asked for my help in developing the plan, and I want to make sure she has all the resources she would need to succeed.

  18. I’m a solo entrepreneur about to launch my first business in a couple weeks. I’ve been hunting for a good business plan book to apply for a local small business program which provides a small amount of seed capital, but I’ve had trouble finding any decent ones. This one looks great. I’ll all else fails, I’ll probably buy a copy, but I’d love to win one. Thanks!

  19. I want to learn more about why you want to about business plans and business planning because we want to take it to the next level. We have been getting great local support and we really want to help children succeed. The challenge we face is getting the plan we originally had improved and moving forward. I think with this book we would greatly benefit and start heading the right direction. :-)

    Kevin
    http://www.kidsdesk.net

  20. I would like to learn more about how to keep effective planning in project-oriented company (consulting, let’s say) when several projects are actually competing for limited resources (financial, material, human, etc.)

  21. I’m starting a company in about 3 months, and that could be just the read I need.

  22. Martin Lindeskog

    I repeat that I said on June 16th, 2008 at 3:30 am:

    I will get this book. We have used this approach in our business. It the business “landscape” changes or some new external thing comes to play, then you have to update your business plan accordingly.

  23. When I was in school, we were required to write a business plan for a business course. I found myself realizing as I wrote that most of my planning had to be geared to satisfying a potential investor, rather than considering the myriad “what if”s accompanying every business. As I wrote, I realized that I’d never start this business, because I couldn’t anticipate every possible curveball that might come my way.

    Seven years of work out from that experience, I realize that most business decisions, at least on the entrpreneurial level, are done much more “on the fly”, without the benefit of an over-arching plan to guide them.

    My dad used to say, “Do something, for God’s sake, even if it’s wrong!” Better to correct it later than to never try. I can blame a lot of my inability to get several business ideas rolling on my need to have all the questions answered before I start. The problem is, how do I know what the questions are?

    That’s what I need- something to help me ID the important questions- the ones I need answers to now. The rest I can sort out later, on the fly.

  24. Well, I think it is very important to have a plan before you start a business, and I intend to start an online business :D. I need to know the right steps of writing a winning business plan.

  25. Very interesting….A absolute must I do believe!

  26. I would never have thought about starting my business if I didn’t do my business plan and see the potential I have for my product

  27. I worked for a company for almost eight years that flat out refused to take business planning seriously. They are now headed down while I begin my own business – with a plan.

  28. I’ve been working on a business plan since starting the business almost 2 years ago. I have a business partner that would never spend the time to develop a plan so feel it is up to me to finish our plan and bring focus to our company. I’d be the one to write “some humongous written tome” while my partner wouldn’t plan at all. We have tons of opportunities and this book seems to be just the thing that can help us focus and get us on the right track to success.

  29. I’ve been working on my business plan since I started my business in 2004. I know it should be a work-in-constant-progress… yet, I never feel like I’ve been able to get close to having a REAL SOLID plan in place. This book sounds like a great fit for me!

  30. Launching a small business advise business focusing on business planning and cash flow management, would be happy to have a reference book on my desk.

  31. I am considering opening an e-bay store, and I am intrigued by both the title of the book and your review. While understanding the importance of planning, the marketing plan exercise I did in grad school was shear drudgery that I do not care to repeat. I hope this book can help me find a middle road between no planning and business plan as obstacle to entry.

  32. oh yes, please enter me into this comp. Am currently on a ‘running your own business’ course at college and it’d come in really useful.

    Cheers!

  33. I’m from Romania ,a very troubled country in the area of business. I’m trying to set up a business plan for a great idea that i have in the advertising industry. And it’s very hard for me ’cause i don’t have the proper skills( no economic school ,management or marketing ) and no money to invest. Right now i do a research of my own ,of how to start a business without someone stealing my idea and where to get the investment funds.So i think i would be of great help to be among the 5 lucky winners. Good luck to me and other 4 people!

  34. I have used sime of his software before and have found it useful.
    I have achieved sucess because of business planning and have not been affected by the business downturn like others. This was totally due to proper planning.
    I’d like someone else to get a copy of this book. It will surely help them

  35. I need to make some radical changes in my business in order to have it do well (and far better than it has) in this market.

    My current customer base, which isn’t large, is suffering and I need to be reaching new customers in a new way.

    This book will help me develop a plan which will allow me to do this.

  36. I was brought into a business that is 11 years old, and it never had a business plan except “make money”. So, a business plan would be amazing.

  37. My brother and I have always wanted to a buisiness of our own. But when we started planning, was somewhat on track but loosing focus. I feel your book is what we absolutely need in our planning

  38. I have been planning as I go for a year now and have learned quite a few lessons the hard way. We have been fortunate enough to have constant business in software consulting and development that we haven’t had time to focus on processes and systems. I am of a biz dev and recruiting background and have since been thrown into an everything but software development capacity.

    We are literally planning as we go but I’m afraid its not the right way. I feel like I have a tiger by the tail but need help figuring out what should be automate and what shouldn’t. Thank you for the post, I will certainly continue to follow up.

    gs

  39. Tim Berry

    Belated HAPPY BIRTHDAY to you Anita, and thanks to all of you who have left comments here for some great comments, real food for thought, stories, and examples. The collection here is another very good example of what makes this blog part of my every day routine.

    Best regards, Tim

  40. UCDavis has given me the opportunity to expand my learning potential. However, I have been actively seeking out specific lessons that would help me run a personal business. While the University provides a great overview of management and accounting I believe that this book will nicely supplement my business education.

    -Michael

  41. I am a current student and will be graduating Fall of 08. This book is especially pertinent to the future growth of small businesses for me. After my graduation this book will provide the correct step to start off on. I will have a clean fresh start at my business and with this book, the guiding principles that will help lead the business to success.

    -Michael (response part 2)

  42. Happy Birthday Anita!!!

    Cheers
    ;)

  43. I would love to have this book. Maybe it can give me that insight that I have been lacking to take the next step with my business.

  44. All articles on business plan suggest that one should have a business plan before going into business. I would like to learn “Plan as you go” Business plan.

    Please include me in the give away.

  45. I am one of the biggest procrastinators on earth, ‘no more self-sabotage’…Now is the IDEAL era to launch!!!! I can really do this book some good.

  46. I would like to win because by having the book I would know that I did it the right way

  47. Having enjoy Tim Berry’s writing for a while now, I will love to understand and enjoy this book…

  48. “Plan as you go” is the only kind of planning I seem to be able to accomplish. Would live a copy of this.

  49. We recently restructured our 2-year old business aided by advice from our accountant, and got half-way through the business plan when external events escalated activities and we ran with the ball, without finishing the Business Plan. Somehow, it’s seemed like a huge burden to get updated. I’m not sure whether your book will help those like ourselves who get caught up in the sheer busy-ness of being in business, but it sounds like a good aid to getting back on track with a “living document”.

  50. The primary reason that I am interested in learning more about business plans is that I am currently trying to start a web hosting business, and a business plan is something we lack. I am 18 years old and am currently attending Auburn University to become a Mechanical Engineer. I do not wish to spend the rest of my life as a Mechanical Engineer so I’ve ventured into entrepreneurship. Many of my friends and family have asked why I did not go into business, my answer: I want to be a CEO, I want to work for myself. Starting a business requires investing your own money for capital and if my first business fails, with Mechanical Engineering as a fall back I could recover from it and try again.

    I am currently using what free resources I can from many open source software to the knowledge and expertise of the internet. As a college student, I can not afford much of the “premium” resources that other people can and this is another factor as to why I am interested in your offer for learning about creating a business plan.

    Thank you for this offer,
    Shaun B.
    BossHosting.net

  51. My Entrepreneurial Class project became my first business and I established College of Health Science in India. The business plan gave a lot of focus in the initial phase and served as a written testament to my conviction for the project. But once in the trenches it was planning as you go and it is still continuing till date.
    I will definitely like to read your take on the matter and to learn as much as I can on the idea of real time planning.

    Thanks
    Jayaa

  52. I am planning on starting an e-business soon and as I have learned from from several past business non-successes I’ve had – “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail”. I can you all the help I can get, and would appreciate this book.
    Thank you.
    Randy

    ps. Happy B-day !

  53. Started a small business straight out of college with a couple of friends and we crashed and burnt. I now hate my cubicle life. I miss those days.

  54. I’m a retired English teacher who would like to transition from lesson plans to business plans–and can use all the help I can get!

  55. Whethet business planning or product planning, the plan as you go is an invaluable method. The validity of “as you go” is probably why the software world has moved to more agile methods of systems development.

  56. I have a serious technical background along with marketing savvy from the last 2-3 multiyears projects I was incharged of at 3 -4 major and medium size companies.

    I was practically deceived into accepting a callcenter implementation project for a company that clainms it does but in reality doesn’t care and even greatly exploits it’s employees and the postion amount to a dead end hell. I’d like to eventually go out on my own and I think this book would be a fantastic tool to make my going ” Free Agent ” a reality. Thank You,

  57. My sister and I are starting a home-based business. She is the creative one, I am to handle the business side. I know how important it is to kick off with a plan, and as a user of Marketing Plan Pro, I’m sure this book would be a great help.

  58. I need to learn about business planning as I’m sure how I can make meaning and I need to start changing the world.
    Happy Birthday,
    Ricardo

  59. As a frustrated employee that yearns to start a business, I recognize the importance of planning. “The Plan as You Go Business Plan” sounds like it would be a very helpful resource as I look to the future…

    PS – Happy Belated Birthday!

  60. I work as part of a nonprofit that rehabilitates homeless persons in Orlando and Atlanta. Part of our work is focused on career training and developing new businesses (to create new jobs, etc). Our experience has been that someone who is ready to change their situation, from homeless to home renter or owner, can acompish amazing things and is a great canidate for starting a business.

    Our hope is to develop a whole program around business launching for these determined people. Our goal is to help them both conceptualize, plan, and execute until they hit their break even (which means lots of re-planning and having an actionable/”as you go” type plan).

    This would be a great help to us as we work to create this program.

    Thanks for all your helpful info.

    John

    Program Development
    Nomsa, Inc.
    http://nomsa.org

  61. Mr. Berry suggested this site from his-and I took his suggestion. I’ve also found a new newsletter to subscribe to. BTW, will you award Mr. berry one of his own books if drawn? LOL! Looking forward to some great info and insights. Thanks!

  62. Looking to start my own business in the new future and I will require quite a bit of capital to get the business started. I’m trying to write a great business plan to help me get the capital.

  63. I think that a Plan as You Go Business Plan is a fabulous idea! I know from working in the publishing field, and other experiences, that circumstances change on a daily basis and situations don’t always fall within a standard plan. Being able to plan as you go can be an invaluable skill. I’m just starting out, and thinking about how best to plan a business for myself, and Tim’s book would be just as helpful as his blog (and this one, now that I’ve seen it!), I’m sure.

  64. I’ve tried many times to write a business plan, using formulas from various places and even the Palo Alto software. But every time, I’m always thrown off by my habit of worst-case scenarios. What if? What if? I’m so glad to see this book — it reminds me that the plan is an outline meant to be built upon, and I’d love to win a copy!

  65. I would love a book on anything that will help me furthur my business. I wrote a business plan when I started my interior design consulting business back in April, but I haven’t looked at it since! I have a feeling many early businesses are like this, and I’d like to get in the habit of planning as I go along.

  66. Wow, look at all the passive readers come out of the woodwork! Hello folks! =-)

  67. One night as I was sitting up late playing games on my PC and listening to the television for back ground noise, I found myself being drawn to an infomercial. I, as so many others, was so impressed and excited. I called gave my money away and was now the pround owner of a website! I jumped right in believing I would have money coming in from day one and was on the road to finacial freedom! Now after four months and many more dollars ill spent and tring to correct myself and make some sort of real business of this mess. I started by search the web for information about small business, found a site that asked if I was ready to start a business, gave me a quizz and then told me “You are NOT ready” So…then I found you and your blog…Finaly the help I was looking for?!

  68. Because I am seriously thinking of a new start-up and need all the info I can get my hands & eyes on!Please&Thanks in advance!

  69. It seems that plan-as-you-go format has been used out there since the creation of the world and through out of the history. Yet it seems that, for the first time, we have the oppertunity to use a vital manual to direct our day to day and business life all the way to tranquility & smooth success (in this order).

    I am running a startup and would like to check my theory on daily basis!

    Thanks and happy birthday

  70. I am in the process of starting up a new kind of business called Mason’s I.D.E.A. Factory/Network. My webpage is shown above. Visit and see what a unique kind of business it is. I suspect your book will be a great asset to the members of the network I am about to launch. Check it out and see if you think it might help, as well.

    Kind regards,

    Ronald B Mason

  71. November 14 is my birthday too! For that reason alone, would LOVE to have a book from you! (Smile – though seriously my birthday was 11/14 – happy 38th to me!) Actually I work for a company that promotes entrepreneurship and would love to consider something for me. I’m certain your book would help with that.

  72. I need to learn about business planning because I’m 23, fresh out of school and need to learn how to extract more profits from my small DJ and lawn care business.

  73. First and for most, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!
    As an entrepreneur, I always want to learn and read new materials that can halp me succeed with my ventures

  74. Firstly, I see business planning as a basement of successful business. All successful business starts with good idea that was transferred in good business plan.
    Secondly, as I read on internet about business planning from day to day I my opinion is that this process is a special type of science.
    Every science is developed in period of time and is continuously changed and because of that the every new book about business planning presents the base for strengthening the knowledge about business in general.

  75. Learning about business planning to me is as important as learning about your field(s) of specialization… You learn what it is and how it works before you can truly create. Business planning is no different. A great business will get off to a better start with a great plan. I do project management and find that well planned projects run much smoother than randomly executed ones. People need to know their roles and what is expected of them and when to be most effective.

    What I like most about the book is that it discusses planning on-the-fly. This is what most of your time is spent on. Your initial plan kicks things off, but 99% of the time you need to adapt and adopt as you go.

  76. Happy birthday :D
    It is as simple as that – those who fail to plan, plan to fail. I want my business to succeed, as well as to be able to help my clients do the same.




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