The Entrepreneur'sRESOURCE

Explore the Resource Center to find resources.  Designed with entrepreneurs in mind, our resource center allows you to find materials to grow great ideas.

Do Business Plans Matter?

Mark Marich

Given all the attention paid to business plans as precursor to business start-ups, you would think that there would be strong evidence that such plans lead to better business outcomes. Somewhat surprisingly, the linkages aren’t quite so clear.

New research sponsored by the US Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy finds that the formality of business plans (e.g. are they written or are they complete?) does not seem to have a significant impact in what entrepreneurs do before and after starting a business. Plans do, however, seem to affect the timing of various activities if the planning occurs before a venture is started. With a plan in hand, new entrepreneurs are more likely to complete critical activities, such as market research or developing financial projections, earlier in the start-up process. The authors suggest that by “front-loading” these activities, entrepreneurs who plan may be more successful. However, they caution that further research is needed to test this hypotheis

Study: “Are Planners Doers? Pre-Venture Planning and the Start-Up Behaviors of Entrepreneurs,” by Jianwen Liao and William Gartner.

comments powered by Disqus

Search for Resources

Stay Connected

Email Newsletter Signup

Want to get connected? Sign up to receive regular news, polls and updates from The Kauffman Foundation.

Email Newsletters

Want to be up-to-date with the latest news and updates from To subscribe, just give us your email address below; you'll choose which e-newsletters you'd like to receive on the next screen.