Starting A Business Without A Plan: A Risky Move?

  • John A. Osborne
  • Apr 25, 2023
Small Business Insurance Delaware

Starting a business is a daunting task, and many aspiring entrepreneurs are faced with a big question: should they create a business plan before launching their venture or just dive in headfirst? While some argue that a business plan is crucial for success, others believe that starting without one can lead to more creativity and flexibility. So, how many businesses actually start without a business plan, and is it a smart move?

To answer this question, we need to first understand what a business plan is and why it’s important. A business plan is a document that outlines a company’s goals, strategies, and financial projections. It serves as a roadmap for the business and helps entrepreneurs make informed decisions. However, creating a business plan can be time-consuming and may not always be necessary, depending on the type of business.

What the Statistics Say

According to a survey conducted by the Small Business Administration (SBA), only 50% of small businesses have a business plan. This means that half of all small businesses are starting without a formal plan in place. Additionally, a study by Palo Alto Software found that 22% of businesses failed because they didn’t have a business plan, while 29% of businesses succeeded without one. These statistics show that there is no clear answer to whether or not a business plan is necessary for success.

The Pros of Starting Without a Plan

While a business plan can be helpful, there are some benefits to starting without one:

  • More flexibility: Without a strict plan, entrepreneurs can be more flexible and adapt to changes in the market.
  • More creativity: Starting without a plan can lead to more creative solutions and ideas.
  • Less time and money spent: Creating a business plan can be time-consuming and may require hiring a professional, which can be costly.

The Cons of Starting Without a Plan

However, there are also some drawbacks to starting without a plan:

  • Risk of failure: Without a plan, entrepreneurs may not have a clear direction for their business, which can increase the risk of failure.
  • Difficulty obtaining funding: Investors and lenders often require a business plan before providing funding, so not having one can limit options.
  • Legal complications: Without a plan, entrepreneurs may not be aware of legal requirements and regulations, which can lead to legal issues down the line.


Starting a business without a plan is a risky move, but it can also lead to more flexibility and creativity. Ultimately, the decision to create a business plan or not depends on the individual entrepreneur and their specific business. However, it’s important to keep in mind that a business plan can provide a clear direction and increase the chances of success, especially when seeking funding or navigating legal requirements.

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