Why You Need A Business Plan Consultant
Many aspiring entrepreneurs and business owners think they can write their own business plans. In truth, very few of them are actually capable of putting together a plan that succinctly states what the business is all about, and why investors should fund it.
For starters, a business plan requires a wide range of knowledge and ability in order to successfully complete all of the sections of a plan. For instance, a business plan writer must have an intimate knowledge of finance in order to build a detailed financial model that will clearly articulate and defend the Company's assumptions, show the various revenue streams the business will collect, and also display all expenses from initial capital expenditures, to personnel costs, to ongoing fixed and variable expenses. The model should should monthly, quarterly, and annual detail for the first five years of the Company's existence.
And the financial model is only the beginning. While it serves as the backbone of a good business plan, there is a significant amount of additional detail needed in a plan. First, copious amounts of research. Do you understand your market, what has been happening and what is expected to happen. Do you know your customer base backwards and forwards - their demographics and psycho-graphics. And finally, do you know who your competitors are, and what they are doing well. This research alone can be an extremely time-consuming issue, and if you don't know how to find it and synthesize it into a concise meaningful format that will resonate with investors, your plan isn't likely to do well.
Next, you need to cover all of the operational bases. How are you going to operate the company? What are your short term and long term milestones? What is your marketing plan? Who is on your management team and why are they (and you) qualified to lead the company? What is your financial plan and exit strategy? How are you going to market the business and drive sales? These are all detailed sections that require an understanding of operations, marketing, management, and finance.
And lastly, can you write? Not everyone is a born writer and even the best idea needs to be clearly written in a compelling way that will move those investors closer to their checkbooks.
So think long and hard about your business plan and whether or not you want to go it alone. If you possess the skill set, great - give it a shot. There are plenty of places where you can get support and assistance in writing a plan. If you don't, then think about hiring a professional.
Word of warning here - there are a lot of people out there masquerading as business plan writers. In truth, there are really only a handful of really good, professional business plan consulting firms out there. A good consultant generally has as much or more education that most lawyers and physicians. As a result, they aren't inexpensive.
So think carefully before hiring a business plan consultant. Would you want a cut-rate doctor operating on you or a cheap attorney handling a delicate legal matter for you? The end result is likely to be a botched surgery or a blown case. The same rule applies to the birth of your company. If you hire a cut rate consultant, the results are unlikely to be good.
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