Should I write my business plan or outsources it to a professional? A quick guide.
One question many business owners have asked over the years is, “Should I write my business plan or outsource it to a professional? Here is a quick guide. If you are looking for funding either to start or to grow your business, you will need to develop a business plan. Creating a business plan is a business hurdle that many entrepreneurs seem to dread. Should you do it yourself or do you hire someone to do it for you is the question we are asking here. How do you get it done quickly without spending too much money on it? Will, what you do yourself be adequate to get funding? Can you actually write a business plan that will achieve the purpose of why you actually needed one in the first place? Honest answers to these questions are critical lest you end up missing a critical funding opportunity due to a poorly written business plan. In actual fact, the question we are considering here is a major source of confusion to so many people, and just in case that is your situation, relax and read through this piece as you will find good insights that will answer that question and put all the agitations to rest.
So, should you write your business plan or should a consultant do it for you? My straightforward answer is, “Yes” and “No”. This is because, like I said earlier, it actually depends on a number of factors. Consider the following points and attempt to situate yourself truthfully and sincerely within the cases presented. If you are honest, at the end of this article, you will be able to come up with a clear-cut answer to the question, “Should I write my business plan or outsource it to a consultant?”
Consider writing your plan by yourself if:
- Your goal is actually “knowing how to do it”.
The truth is that you CANNOT write a great, award-winning, grant-getting, investors-wooing business plan on your first attempt. Most likely, that isn’t going to happen. But if there are no pressing issues or some important projects that require the urgent completion of the business plan, you can afford to take your time to write it yourself and keep reviewing it until you have something near perfect. Writing your business plan this way can take you up to 3 or 6 months – and that is if you are highly disciplined and you give it a lot of attention. Some real-life examples I know took up to two years! Just like any other skills that we learn, the more you write, review and re-write your business plan, the better you get at it – and this is a good thing.
- You are not under the pressure of time for the delivery/submission of the document
As I said earlier, if there is nothing urgent calling the business plan to be ready quick, it is not such a bad idea to attempt writing your business plan by yourself.
- You understand a bit of accounting or you have a close person who is an accountant and can help you through the financials
The easier part of a business plan to attempt by laymen (especially those who believe they have some knack for writing) is the write-up/text part. Sadly, for most people, that isn’t the only part that completes a business plan. A complete business plan does not only consist of the write-ups, it must also include a very solid financial plan that is sensible to investors, business partners, and funding institutions. Without the financials, your business plan is as good as useless – and this aspect of the business plan is usually confusing to anyone without an accounting background. So, if you are an accountant, you typically already have the most basic training to deal with what we know to be the hardest part of writing a business plan. Alternatively, if you are not an accountant but have someone very close to you who is, and willing to assist and support you, then you’re at an advantage.
- If you have the time to read, study and do the research that helps you to learn the nitty-gritty of writing a plan
What you need to write a good business plan goes beyond a mere ability to write. A good business plan is almost always a product of quality research. If your business plan will not end up putting your business in troubles occasioned by falsehood, your facts and figures CANNOT be based on assumptions.
- If you already have a flair for writing
As said in some of the previous paragraphs, having a flair for writing is not all that you need to write a good business plan, but it is definitely an advantage. So, if you are someone who loves writing naturally, I will be the last person to discourage you from writing a business plan for your business because a very strong interest/ability to write is one of the most basic requirements for writing great business plans. If you have very strong writing skills, you can become a very good business plan writer if you add the other elements which I have discussed in this article to your writing skills. Don’t forget, I am still trying to answer the question, “Should I write my business plan or outsource it to a consultant?”
- If you do not feel fine about paying someone else to do it for you
This sounds funny but I have included it because I have met quite a number of people who felt it isn’t worth it paying someone to write a business plan for them and they decided to embark on the journey of writing one for themselves. Although this is not a very good reason for you to decide to write a business plan yourself. Some of the other reasons we have looked at are good reasons but this one is not. If your reason for wanting t write a business plan yourself – and you are deficient in all of the other points considered earlier, you will definitely frustrate yourself trying to write a plan – and where you are able to come up with something, I do not need to be a prophet to know that what you’ll produce will be a bad plan. All that being said, if you want to write your plan by yourself because you strongly feel you shouldn’t be paying anyone to do it, then it is not such a bad idea to go ahead and write your plan as that might end up saving you a few hundred bucks.
- If you do not mind learning through your own mistakes
Mistakes is one of the critical ways that we gain experience in different fields of endeavor. If you are positive on the number one point under this section, and you do not mind learning through mistakes, then you should give writing a business plan for your business a trial, and see how it goes.
In the next section, I will highlight a few cases under which you are strongly advised to outsource your business plan to professional writers or consultants, but I will only give an outline because I believe those points are self-explanatory.
Consider outsourcing writing your plan to a professional if:
- You cannot give the time it will take, or you’re essentially a busy person
- You need some speed and you do not have a very wide space of time to get the plan written and ready for the purpose for which it is needed
- You are seeking for funding and a lot of money is involved – you should be gambling or playing “smarter than thou” in this case!
- You have written one before that didn’t work or failed
- You don’t mind paying someone else to do the job
- You want to minimize errors as much as possible
In conclusion, I will leave you with this thought. At best, the process of writing a plan for your business should not be at either end of the spectrum, but squarely in the middle. In my experience, plans that win funding comes from a true collaboration between a skilled consultant (or professional writers) and the business owner. A business planning consultant can act as a coach, first assessing the job to be done, and then recommending/assembling the best team to get the job done. The business plan should be a compilation of work between the vision and goals of the entrepreneur and the technical understanding, expertise, as well as research and writing abilities of the business planning consultant. The consultant should effectively and professionally collaborate with the business or idea owner, talk about what is best suited and needed for the business (every business is unique in its own right and prevailing circumstances and issues that are peculiar to that business and the business owner must all be part of the inputs into the design process for any business plan), and use all the resources available to get the work done as quickly and cost-effectively as possible. It is the consultant’s responsibility in the process to take all the pieces and make the final plan into a readable, accessible document that will stand up to investor/lender’s scrutiny.
If you need a service of a Professional Business plan writers in Nigeria, then Dayo Adetiloye Business Hub is the place to go Call or WhatsApp us now on 081 0563 6015, 080 7635 9735, 08113205312 or send an email to email@example.com and we will solve any of your business plan problems.
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