SHOULD I MAKE USE OF A BUSINESS PLAN WRITER/CONSULTANT?

October 12, 2017 Hansie Britz

              

Whether you are starting a new business and require funding for your business venture or seeking capital to grow your business, one thing is certain, any potential investor or bank will require a well-structured “business plan” or farming plan from you.

So, the question is “How do you choose a business plan consultant/writer”? If you decide to hire a consultant, follow these guidelines to get the most for your money:-

Be realistic in your expectations.

The main reason for hiring a consultant is to gain a new perspective, plus access knowledge and expertise that is not readily available. Therefore, it is important that the consultant have the ability and willingness to transfer skills and expertise. A good business plan consultant has experience and qualifications working in and with a broad range of businesses.It is the accumulated business experience of the consultant that makes the consultant valuable.

Remember that you own the business.

You are the only one that can make a decision. The consultant is not there to make decisions for you, but to provide perspective, information, and observations. The consultant is also there to train you.

Give the consultant permission.

Give the consultant permission to speak his or her mind and tell you the truth. You do not need someone who agrees with everything you say. The consultant should have the confidence and communication skills to challenge you.

 Listen to your consultant.

Hear what the consultant has to say – ask questions. Take in the information, ask for guidance on how to apply the information and make your own decision.

Will a business plan guarantee funding?

All investors/banks require a sound and feasible business plan for funding approval, but that doesn’t guarantee funding. They will evaluate a number of criteria when considering a business loan. They usually consider:-

  • the viability of the business model;
  • the entrepreneur’s/management experience and qualifications;
  • market potential;
  • ability to repay the loan;
  • market size;
  • customers/competition;
  • entrepreneur’s personal credit history.

Just like a “job interview” for job, the responsibility remains that of the entrepreneur to “sell” the business plan.

I only have limited cash available to pay for a business plan. How will I afford paying for a plan?

Spending money on making use of a professional business plan writer should not been seen as an expense but rather to invest in your company’s strategic direction and market position. You cannot afford to make many if any mistakes even before starting your business, and by making use of an “expert” and good business/banking background you make sure you start on the right foot.

 Beware of “Generic” “Template” or “Low Cost” business plans.

The business plan consultant should be with you during the entire process. While this approach may take a bit longer, the extra time spent on your project will make a huge difference in the overall quality of your business plan. When someone tells you they can complete your business plan in a day or a few days or merely gives you a “template” and suggesting that all you have to do is to insert some information/figures, what you looking at is money wasted and down the drain.

There is no such thing as a “generic” or “template” business plan, so be extremely cautious to get involved with “generic” or “template” type of business plans. There are companies that operate in a manner as it is easy to make quick money and provide you with sub-standard or low -cost business plans that will not fly with any investor or bank.

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