Like a lot of business owners, you don't feel like you have the time or the expertise to write your own business plan.
Business plan writing companies, on the other hand, offer a seemingly effective and convenient alternative. Your decision should be a no-brainer, right?
Maybe not. According to some experts, outsourced business plan writing can be a bad idea for a small business, no matter how short you are on time or experience.
Here are a few considerations that argue against outsource business plan writing and promote the idea that writing a business plan without help from a business plan writing company is the right way to go:
- Process vs. Results. For many small business owners, the real value of writing a business plan is found in the process – not the results. Could outsourcing your business plan to a professional result in a higher quality business plan? Maybe, but in doing so you would give up the chance to expose yourself to important insights about your company. Some investors may even pass over highly-polished business plans because outsourcing indicates that the business owner didn't think through the mechanics of his business himself.
- Teambuilding. Entrepreneurs who choose to tackle their own business plans don't do it by themselves. Instead, business plan writing is usually done in a team environment. Although writing a business plan is a useful teambuilding exercise for any business, it is especially helpful for startups because it jumpstarts the team dynamic, instantly bringing everyone into the loop about the nuts and bolts of the business.
- Process Building. Writing your own business plan also creates a model for evaluation, decision making, and other critical processes. The methodology you use to create your business plan communicates volumes to your staff about the processes they can expect in your business, regardless of the processes they experienced with other employers.
- Common Vocabulary. Everyone on your team should be able to quickly and clearly articulate your company's mission, values, and distinctive characteristics to customers or potential investors. When you include team members in the process of writing a business plan, you create both common understandings and a common vocabulary that can be used consistently throughout the business.
- Carryover Value. The end result of an internal approach to business plan writing doesn't stop with the creation of a physical document. Many of the issues that are addressed in the writing process carry over into other areas of the business, providing an important impetus for functions like marketing, budgeting, and strategic planning.