If you are just starting a business and looking for funding, or looking for additional capital for growth, you will need to develop a business plan. Creating a business plan is a hurdle that entrepreneurs seem to dread. Do you do it yourself? Do you hire someone to do it? How do you get it done quickly, but without spending too much money on it? Will what you do yourself be adequate to get funding?
If you are seeking capital of less than $100,000, you might be thinking of creating the plan yourself. Before you do, consider taking a business planning class through SCORE at the Small Business Administration, or the local Small Business Development Center. These classes will take some of your time, but even after completing them consider getting some coaching from someone who has written successful business plans in the recent past.
One of the most crucial jobs of an entrepreneur is managing time, and doing those things that you are best skilled at. Many entrepreneurs decide to hire someone else to do their business plan, often because they have a need for the funding and can’t afford the investment in time to be able to develop a well-researched plan that will meet the needs of lenders or investors.
One of the main reasons many business owners hire professional business plan writers is, it will get done! And it will get done in a way financial professionals will respect. Business planning is best done by someone who knows how finance people look at plans and what they will and won’t question. Business planning is achieved quicker with someone who knows the process. Every entrepreneur has good intentions about getting a plan completed, but months later they still haven’t done all the work. Planning should be high priority work, but it is hard to get to when customers call and employee problems require immediate attention. The sooner the plan is completed, the sooner funding can be attained. The price of hiring the consultant will be small in comparison to the increases in growth and profitability of the business.
A business plan should be a compilation of work between the vision and goals of the entrepreneur, and the research and writing abilities of the business planning consultant. The consultant should meet with all parties involved, talk about what is needed for the plan, and use all the resources available to get the work done as quickly and cost-effectively as possible. It is the consultant’s responsibility in the process to take all the pieces and make the final plan into a readable, accessible document that will stand up to investor/lender scrutiny.