A Business Plan Writer can be a vital component of your Startup and Funding journey.
Everyone knows the saying that there are only two things of which we are certain in life:
“In this world, nothing is certain but death and taxes.”
History tells us that this saying originated more than 220 years ago. American-born Benjamin Franklin was a statesman, scientist, and writer who frequently corresponded with the prominent international figures of his time. In 1789, at 83, Franklin was still corresponding with Jean Baptiste Leroy, a French physicist and writer. Many of Franklin’s letters contained simple maxims – the kind found in his Poor Richard’s Almanac – proving that his wit and wisdom were not impaired by age.
The Importance of Business Plan Writing
Long after his death, I believe it is sensible to add a third aspect we can be certain of in life – business plans. Whether you are starting a new business and require funding for your business venture or a seasoned entrepreneur seeking capital to grow your business, one thing is certain; any potential investor will require a business plan from you. So, with this realisation that you can’t cheat death, taxes or business plans, the question beckons, “How do you choose a business plan consultant/writer in South Africa?”
You may need to interview several different business plan consultants before deciding. In Gauteng alone, a handful of reputable business plan consultancies and a considerable number of other firms merely offer a generic/template/software-generated business plan service with no guidance, support, strategic advice or consultation. Therefore, it is more important to ensure you have positive answers to the following questions at this stage. Deciding on the cheapest business plan consultant may cost you much more in the long run.
Why Do I Need to Hire a Business Planner?
A good business plan writer has experience working in and working with a broad range of businesses. The accumulated business experience and knowledge of a business plan consultant make the consultant valuable.
A good business plan consultant is experienced in many different types of businesses and industries while also having very specific experience in running companies, financing a company and most importantly, in the marketing and sales of a company. In other words, a good business plan consultant has broad and specific business experience and typically 15 years or more of accumulated business experience. Having an MBA or CA qualification isn’t enough. To be an effective consultant, the business plan writer must have solid real-world experience with many companies and industries.
Will the Business Plan Writer I Choose “Write” the Business Plan for Me? What do Business Plan Writers Do? Can Someone Write Your Business Plan?
Be wary of companies that promise that they will merely, easily, and within a short time, “write a business plan for you.” A reputable business plan company will develop a business plan in close consultation with you. Unfortunately, numerous so-called business plan “experts” in South Africa will ask you to provide them with very little information.
Then they write the entire business plan without meeting or speaking with you. This type of process will produce a poor-quality business plan. As a client, you are the expert in your business and should walk side-by-side with the business plan consultant throughout the entire business plan writing process. This consultative process will ensure that they produce a business plan that will be effective and improve your chances of success.
I have Limited Cash Available! How Can I Afford the Services of a Business Planner?
How can you not? Even though sufficient cash may not be available before starting your company, you cannot make many mistakes before you find yourself quickly out of business. Therefore, spending money on the services of a business plan writing company shouldn’t be seen as an expense but rather as a time to invest in your company’s strategic direction and market positioning.
Should I Take a Cautious Approach when Choosing a Business Plan Writer?
Like any supplier you evaluate, you should ask yourself the question:
“What is important to me”?
The business plan consultant should be with you at the beginning, middle, and end of the business plan writing process. While this personal approach may take a bit longer, the extra time spent on your project will make a noticeable difference in your confidence and the quality of your business plan. And, when you sit down face to face with a potential investor, you will be fully conversant with all aspects of your business plan.
When someone tells you they can complete your business plan in a few days or merely gives you a business plan template suggesting that all you should do is insert your data where noted, what you are looking at is the proverbial money down the drain.
Like any prospective customer is cautious before buying from you, you too should do a thorough Market Analysis and Due Diligence.
Be very careful! Some companies operate this way as it is easy to make quick money. Be extremely cautious of “generic” or “template” business plans, whether you find these generic templates in your Google search, in a bookstore, in cheap business plan software or from a business plan consultant. Numerous so-called business plan writers take this approach and charge you next to nothing for such a service. There is no such thing as a generic or template Business Plan.
Make sure you partner with a reputable business plan company that takes an approach to ensure that the final product is “your” plan and not a “generic” plan produced by a business plan software program or inexperienced business plan writer.
Will the Business Plan that a Business Planner Write Guarantee Investment Funding?
All South African investors and financiers require a sound and feasible business plan for funding approval, but that doesn’t necessarily guarantee capital funding. Every investor will evaluate several criteria when making a business loan or investment decision.
They typically consider the validity/viability of the business- and financial model, the entrepreneur’s experience, market potential, solid market research, use of funding, ability to repay the business loan, the entrepreneur’s personal credit history and the collateral available to secure the loan. As with a job interview, the responsibility remains that of the client to “sell” the business plan and venture/concept to potential investors.
As you work on your business, don’t be afraid to fail. Here are some lessons I’ve learned, captured in the article entitled: As we enter 2022, are you afraid of Failing in Business? Don’t Be! I Failed Too!
Why is it Important to Use a Business Plan Writer? Is it Worth Writing a Business Plan?
The business plan specialist utilises many different outlooks to develop a business plan focused on your company. The business plan consultant gets the opinions of your colleagues, co-shareholders and management team and uses the experience gained across various markets and industries to write a unique business plan that will address your exact requirements.
Most new entrepreneurs have specific technical knowledge about their intended business venture, product and service. Unfortunately, these entrepreneurs aren’t always fully conversant with a company’s management, business planning principles, market research, financial projections, sales, marketing, etc. An experienced Business Planner can be of extremely good value as they will partner with you and guide you on these aspects, providing you with useful information and an opportunity to learn new skills and obtain new knowledge.
Is it Important to You that the Business Plan Writer be Local?
With video conferencing, Skype and email widely available, there is no reason to limit your search to local business plan consultants. If you have no fear of throwing a wider net in search of the best business plan consultant for you, you can use this technology to connect with individuals you may never meet in person during the process. For example, why not put a Gauteng-based business plan consultant in competition with a Cape Town-based business plan consultant; if you are comfortable with virtual collaboration methods (Zoom, telephone, email, etc.)?