I've written two business plans in my life. The first I never used, the second I never really used but at the time thought I needed to....that somehow it would magically equip me to be a business owner. The second was written for my franchise store. Once I was neck deep in the running of the store, there was no time to go back and look at what I thought I needed! It was a daily fight for success and finding ways to resolve the issues that confronted me. My personal philosophy is, that you learn better by "doing" than by writing about it. Banks, investors, the SBA--they all demand you have one, but how many failed businesses have existed in spite of eloquent and well written plans? You certainly need an understanding of the business you want to go into, and you certainly need goals, but without determination, unrelenting optimism, and will to persevere in spite of the obstacles no business man or woman will succeed.