Writing a business plan is probably the most widely used teaching tool in entrepreneurship education and training. But as Honig (2004) observed, neither teaching business plans nor writing business plans are sufficiently justified by empirical or theoretical literature. Several recent studies looked at the outcome of writing a business plan; e.g., Honig and Karlsson (2004), Shane and Delmar (2002, 2003, 2004), Gartner and Liao (2005), and Lange et al. (2005). However, the outcome of those studies did not unequivocally demonstrate that writing a business plan had a positive effect on subsequent performance of a venture. Further, there is little evidence - none of it persuasive - that writing a business plan before a business is up and running subsequently produces superior performance. Nor is there convincing evidence that being trained to write a business plan improves new venture performance.
Lange, Julian E.; Hong, Li; Seshadri, Narayanan; Tenneti, Siddharth; and Bygrave, William D.
"DO ACTUAL OUTCOMES JUSTIFY WRITING A BUSINESS PLAN EITHER FOR EDUCATING STUDENTS OR FOR STARTING REAL VENTURES? (INTERACTIVE PAPER),"
Frontiers of Entrepreneurship Research: Vol. 27
, Article 8.
Available at: http://digitalknowledge.babson.edu/fer/vol27/iss17/8