Danger: Don’t confuse not having a business plan event with not needing or wanting a business plan.

The business plan event forces you to present a plan. It might be that you’re seeking outside investment, applying for business financing from a bank or other lender, taking a business class that requires a business plan or entering a venture contest that requires a business plan.

It’s because of these business plan events that people confuse the idea of needing a business plan with wanting business planning. Suddenly experts can make themselves feel good by advising people not to do the formal business plan because they don’t have a business plan event. It sounds like they are saying don’t plan, when what they mean is more like don’t bother to do the big ponderous formal plan document.

This potential confusion is dangerous. Don’t deprive yourself of planning just because you don’t have to present a formal plan to outsiders. Plan your business regardless. That’s why I’m suggesting that you plan as you go.

Tim BerryTim Berry

Tim Berry is the founder and chairman of Palo Alto Software and Bplans.com. Follow him on Twitter @Timberry.