People often ask me, “What are my options for writing a business plan?”
At the highest level, there are two options, writing it yourself or hiring someone else to do it for you.
The benefits of writing the business plan yourself are that you will save money and you will learn a lot about your business by going through the research and financial modeling processes.
However, this can be a risky option if you haven’t written a business plan before and/or if you haven’t raised capital before.
It is important to have a solid understanding of the way investors see value in a company as well as the milestones they care about if you are going to be successful writing the business plan yourself.
Furthermore, even if you have a good grasp on the investors’ perspective, you often miss out on objective, third-party pushback that can elevate your business plan to the next level. Lastly, as a time-strapped entrepreneur, spending several hundred hours writing your plan probably isn’t the best use of your time as you should be focusing on developing your product, expanding your team, and establishing
awareness with your customers.
While hiring someone to write your business plan for you will save you a lot of time, the capital outlay may or may not be worth the time savings – who you hire to write your business plan will make all the difference.
Hiring a Business Plan Strategic Consultant that can elevate your plan and strategy to help increase your chance of nailing the first impression with investors is money well spent. However, hiring a Business Plan Writer that merely saves you time but doesn’t add value to your pitch is a waste.
Below we’ve provided the differences between a Business Plan Writer and a Business Plan Strategic Consultant.
Business Plan Writer
A Business Plan Writer can be half the cost, or more, of a Business Plan Strategic Consultant. Typically, these savings come at the expense of the quality of the final product (you get what you pay for type of thing).
A Business Plan Writer typically completes a business plan in far less time simply because they can only put a limited amount of time into the plan in order for their business model to be profitable.
The problem with this model is that a business plan isn’t complete once a certain amount of time has passed; a business plan is complete once all red flags and issues have been identified, addressed, and overcome.
At the end of the day, a Business Plan Writer will require you to present the content, solutions, and answers that they will plug into a cookie-cutter template. While a Business Plan Writer can certainly save you time, the plan will ultimately only be as good as the information and strategies you provide them.
Business Plan Strategic Consultant
Hiring a Business Plan Strategic Consultant is certainly more expensive than hiring a Business Plan Writer or writing the plan yourself. However, the result will pay off in the long run when it comes to providing yourself with the best chance possible of successfully raising capital.
First a foremost, a Business Plan Strategic Consultant brings specific experience and education in the startup sector beyond expertise in broad business writing.
Second, a Business Plan Strategic Consultant understands what it takes to attract capital. They have an intimate knowledge of the capitalization timeline, who invests at the various stages, and what investors need to see at each stage. They will be able to coach you on the milestones and accomplishments you should be focusing on while crafting the investment story.
Third, a Business Plan Strategic Consultant takes a holistic approach to assessing your business including monetization strategies and business models, target markets and competitive differentiation, management team and personnel plan, sales and marketing communication strategies, and more.
Fourth, a Business Plan Strategic Consultant identifies red flags and gaps in your model by asking tough questions and challenging your assumptions in a way that is constructive and educational.
Finally, a Business Plan Strategic Consultant will compile all of this information in investor friendly documentation (business plan, executive summary, pitch deck, financial projections, one-page business plan, etc) based on your specific needs and audience.