The choice of hiring a business plan writer who focuses on the writing of the plan and preparation of the final documents only, versus a business plan consulting firm which can take you through the entire business plan development process, depends on where you are with your understanding of what the business plan should express.
When to Hire a Business Plan Writer
If you have a strong handle on how to do the research required for your business plan (research into the industry, customers, competitors, startup costs, etc.) and on what a successful strategy for this business will look like, you are probably just in need of an experienced business plan writer to draft it into convincing narrative and prepare the final document. When you can answer the questions required of each section of the standard business plan outline, even jotting it all in bullet point format, a writer can take you the rest of the way.
Furthermore, if you know how to read financial statements and can evaluate the work of a writer you hire to prepare them, you are in the right situation to work with a business plan writer.
When Not to Hire a Business Plan Writer
When you are not in the situation just described, hiring a business plan writer is putting the cart before the horse. He or she can document what you already know, but this may be documenting a half-formed strategy based on minimal research. The result may very well be in the perfect business plan format and structure, but will not present a convincing argument to any funders.
It is in situations like these where entrepreneurs should seek a business plan consultant or consulting firm which can shepherd them through the rest of the business plan creation process. Such a firm can make strategic recommendations about how to act upon the opportunity at hand and how best to present the plan to investors. They can also undergo a great deal of research and financial preparation themselves, assisting those who don’t have the ability to do this kind of work easily.
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This article first appeared at Growthink