Here is another successful person who says you don’t need to have a business plan: Guy Kawaski. He refers in his blog to a Wall Street Journal article, Enterprise: Do Start-Ups Really Need Formal Business Plans.
A study recently released by Babson College analyzed 116 businesses started by alumni who graduated between 1985 and 2003. Comparing success measures such as annual revenue, employee numbers and net income, the study found no statistical difference in success between those businesses started with formal written plans and those without them…
When you read on you see that, according to WSJ and Kawasaki, a formal business plan is only necessary if you’re seeking venture funding, and Kawasaki offers some good advice on how to write your business plan.
The essence of both pieces is that you really do need to have a plan. You just don’t need to write it down, and certainly not at great length. Kawasaki says, you still need analysis, planning, vision, and communication.
Well, I say that if you need communication, then you really ought to write it down. A two-page plan is better than nothing. For most of us, the process focuses our thinking, and it’s a whole lot easier to communicate to others, even if our “investors” are just friends and family.