The task of building a business plan from scratch can be a daunting prospect, especially for a entrepreneur who is just getting his feet wet in business.
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Lack of experience and poor writing skills have led many new business owners to solicit professional assistance in preparing their business plan. But is it a good idea to outsource your business plan?
As a whole, the business community has mixed feelings regarding business plan outsourcing. Like anything else, it has its pros and cons. While it might be the right move for one business owner, it might be a total disaster for someone else. The key is to understand what you're getting into before you make any decisions. Here's what you need to know . . . .
The Cons of Hiring a Business Plan Writer
Outsourcing critics point out that hiring someone else to do create a business plan for your company can be a costly mistake. After all, the process of creating it is what a business plan is really all about. When the plan finally reaches its end-users (i.e. investors), they want to know that the business owner has taken the time to thoroughly consider his business concept and identify the risks it entails.
The Pros of Outsourcing Business Plan Writing
Proponents of business plan outsourcing acknowledge the necessity of the owner being intimately involved in the creation process. However, investors don't often have the benefit of seeing the process that went into the creation of the business place. All they have to base their decisions on is a final document. If the final document has been created by someone who lacks the time or skills to accurately communicate the business' vision on paper, the business plan will be ineffective in achieving its purpose of generating interest in the business.
If You Do Outsource Business Plan Preparation
Only you can decide whether or not outsourcing your business plan is the right decision for your company. But if you do decide to outsource, there are a few things you need to keep in mind.
First, you need to remember that a business plan consultant is only capable of transforming the ideas, concepts, and numbers you provide into a coherent and well-crafted document. In other words, no matter how averse you are to the process, you still need to remain intimately involved in the planning and content of your business plan. There should be constant communication between you and your consultant, so if the consultant isn't keeping you in the loop, you'll need to take the initiative yourself.
Additionally, you have to keep in mind that you (not the consultant) will be the one pitching your business plan to investors. You should not only agree with everything in the plan, but also be capable of articulating its content and tone in presentation form. Some entrepreneurs even find it helpful to take the consultant's final draft and redo portions of it in their own words to better reflect their personality.