I recently ran across this post at Campus Entrepreneur titled, "Do You Really Need a Business Plan?" A blog title like this is guaranteed to catch my attention, as I manage the marketing for Palo Alto Software, developers and publishers of Business Plan Pro software.
It seems as though this type of question pops up somewhere in the blogging world at least once a week if not more frequently. There are so many differing perspectives on whether or not you truly need a business plan, but I think the quote in the Seattlepi.com column sums it up pretty well.
"You've got to be very careful if you don't know where you're going, because you might not get there." - Yogi Berra
Or how about this one, more directly related to needing a plan?
"Plans are worthless. Planning is essential" - Dwight D. Eisenhower
Anyone can come up with a reason not to write a plan - it takes too much time, you're too busy doing other things, it's not fun, you don't know where to start, etc. So instead of focusing so much on the plan (or the document) itself, focus on the planning. Tim Berry does a great job explaining a new kind of business planning, what he terms "plan as you go" business planning. Check it out.
I think we could all agree that planning, to some degree, is essential. I am interested in opposing viewpoints though, so please feel free to share your thoughts.
Palo Alto Software, Inc.