Business planning continues to play a central role in entrepreneurship education and counseling. Plans are frequently the evaluated output of entrepreneurial courses, and a required input into counseling and funding decisions (Burke, Fraser & Greene, 2009; Honig, 2004). However, despite the ubiquity of plans and planning, empirical research on the benefits of planning is both limited, and results obtained so far are mixed.

The widespread use of business planning in combination with the mixed theoretical and empirical support for its effect suggest research is needed that looks deeper into the quality of plans and how they are used. In this study we longitudinally examine use vs. non-use; degree of formalizations; and revision of plans among nascent firms. We relate these to outcomes after 12 months.