There are a number of business plan companies out there in the market today. Some put together good business plans, while many do not. Here are some things to consider and questions to ask when trying to find who you want to work with on your project.
1. Comprehensive knowledge of the process and issues facing a new business – You are hiring someone to do your business plan and not provide consulting, right? Not really. A business plan writer must fully understand your business and the issues that small businesses and entrepreneurs face. Comprehensive training on a business plan isn’t enough. A good knowledge of small businesses and their operations is important to understand how to properly put the business plan together for investors. If a company only wants to do your business plan, that probably gives an indication that they don’t have enough knowledge to help you through the rest of the process.
2. No set prices – You should be cautious of any company that advertises their pricing online. The reason is that all business plans are unique. No two concepts are the same, nor are they in the same market, nor do they have the same ownership structure. A business plan development company should get a pretty good knowledge of your business and the funding need before quoting a price.
3. A willingness to discuss your thoughts, needs, and answer questions about your business – You certainly don’t want to work with a business plan development company that wants to rush you off the phone. A good company is focused on quality, not quantity. This isn’t the local drive-thru that needs hundreds of customers a day to make it. It’s a business plan firm that is charging you your hard-earned cash and will play a big role in your future professional career. Be sure they understand your needs and can answer your questions about moving forward.
4. Pricing Levels – The old saying goes, “You get what you pay for.” Some companies write “custom” plans for a just a few hundred bucks. Think about that for a second. A highly qualified college graduate (or MBA) will write you a custom 30 page document with full 3-5 years of financial projections for your highly valued loan for a couple hundred dollars? I know lots of smart business plan writers that work for $5 an hour! (Insert sarcasm here)
5. Comfort level with your project manager – It’s important that you feel comfortable with your project manager. You’ll be spending quite a bit of time with this person, either in person, over the phone, or through email. You really should actually like this person. Yes, I said like. The project manager is like your temporary or semi-permanent business coach. You better get along with them. Otherwise, you’ll end up with a business plan that simply doesn’t meet your expectations.
Follow these 5 tips and you’ll find that business plan company that is just right for you.