Most people can fill out a business plan template. It can be tempting, therefore, to view a business plan writer as someone who saves you a little bit of time in the writing process. If you hire someone who is first and foremost a writer, that is all that you’ll get. However, you’re about to put then next three to five years of your life, some of your savings, and your reputation on the line for this business. I think you should be far more demanding when writing a business plan.
A business plan is not just a document seen by investors. Instead, your business plan is the roadmap for your new company. I’m not saying that you won’t pivot the business at some point down the road, but you’ll certainly spend a lot of your time and energy getting employees, partners, and investors to buy into that plan.
If you business plan is the wrong plan (whether or not you write it down), you will spend the time money and effort organizing the wrong group of people and motivating them towards the wrong goal. This problem is so common that entrepreneurs are now told that they should expect to pivot at least once before their company will be truly successful.
But let me pose a simple question. What would it be worth to you (in time, money, and reputation) to pivot one less time? What if, before you even started, you avoided one big mistake? That is the value I bring to companies when I write a business plan. Building on two business degrees (BS, Carnegie Mellon; MBA; The Ohio State University) and almost 10 years in the startup space, I have the skills to help you get your business plan right the first time:
- Product Benefits
- Technology and Roadmap
- Market Analysis and Product Positioning
- Market Size and Addressable Market
- Financial Modeling and Financial Statements
I’m not prescient so I’m not suggesting that I can offer every business the perfect plan the first time. Some question can’t be answered without going out there and trying it. However, I can help identify a variety of problems in your business before they cost you time and money. I can help you pick a better market, a better niche in the competitive space, a better feature set for that niche, or perhaps construct an organization that is better aligned with those goals.
Depending on the level of market research you require and the purpose of the plan (operational versus fund raising), plans typically take 50 to 100 hours. Documenting an existing business falls at the low end of the range, while a new product/new market combination up for investment requires a much higher proportion of third party validation and ends up at the high end of the range.