Are you seeking a business plan consulting firm? Here’s what you need to know before hiring one…
A great business plan can be the difference between whether or not your company raises outside funding. It can also have a significant impact on your company’s overall success. So the fact that you’re considering hiring a business plan consulting firm shows your head is in the right place. You know how crucial it is to create the best possible plan.
So, what factors should you consider when choosing a business plan consulting firm?
Most importantly, you need to work with someone smart. You can’t spend your precious time educating someone about your business, particularly if they don’t get business and entrepreneurship. That’s why most journalists are terrible business plan writers. Your business plan consultant must be able to quickly understand your business and vision.
2. Experience & Methodology
You’re considering a consultant to decrease your time needed to create your plan. As such, they must have experience and an established methodology. With regards to experience, the more plans they’ve written, the more likely they are to have processes to efficiently go from start to completed plan. With regards to methodology, the business plan development process should go through a proven methodology with stages such as: discovery, market research, opportunity assessment, strategizing and financial projections, and writing. Note that the actual business plan writing should be completed last.
3. Cross-Industry Expertise
I remember in the early days of Growthink that several prospective clients would ask, “have you worked in the xyz industry?’ Today, having written thousands of business plans over 20+ years, the answer is usually “yes” to any industry you’re in.
But, having tons of experience in your industry isn’t that crucial. And I strongly advise against working with a business plan consulting firm that specializes in just your industry. Why? Because you want ideas from outside your industry. You want someone to say, “here’s a great marketing tactic that my client in a totally different industry used successfully; I think it can work just as well in your industry. Do you?”
4. Investor Savvy
If you’re seeking funding for your business, you simply can’t work with a business plan consulting firm who hasn’t spent time with banks, angel investors and venture capitalists. You need someone who has spent hours meeting with such funding sources and knows precisely what they are seeking.
Simply documenting your business idea with such investors isn’t going to cut it. You need to paint a very specific picture to them of why they should fund you.
5. Sophistication in Financial Analysis
Financial projections are a key part of your business plan. They not only detail how much funding, if any, your company needs. But they detail the projected financial impact of the strategies you choose and give you benchmarks to achieve in the future.
Poor financial projections are easy to create. Solid ones are not. They require an understanding of realistic growth rates, salaries and headcount requirements of growing companies. If your business plan consulting firm doesn’t have financial sophistication, you could have serious problems as you try to grow your venture.
6. Market Research
Market research is essential to the process of creating a great business plan. You need market research to confirm the market size, detail market trends, identify customer needs, and spot competitive weaknesses.
Without such research, or with improperly conducted research, your business plan will be faulty.
Having written thousands of business plans over the past 20+ years, I’m confident that Growthink can develop the best business plan for your business. Click here to learn more about our business plan writing services. Or please call us or complete the contact form below to see if we’re a fit for your business plan consulting needs.
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