Apparently, I wasn't clear in my recent entry about using market research to enhance the credibility of business plans. Merely attaching a market research report to a business plan doesn't add much, if any, credibility. The author of the business plan has to base it on the research. In particular, the results of market research should shape the following sections of the business plan:
1. Pro forma. Market size projections and price assumptions should come from, or at least be validated by, research.Thanks to "mark" for raising this issue.
2. Marketing plan. Buyer profiles and messaging recommendations should feed into the marketing plan.
3. Product description. Market research should drive the definition of the product.