Hiring business plan writers can help your company speed up the creation of a professional plan, but there are many things to consider when selecting the right one. You shouldn’t feel frustrated if many companies or individual writers look identical; this confusion is common. This guide is designed to help you understand what factors to consider when selecting business plan writers and how to select the best one for your needs. We’ll introduce the top five dimensions of reviewing a business plan writers and what questions to ask to provide more information when making a final decision. This guide will help you determine what to look for in business plan writers and how to choose the best one for your needs. We’ll talk about the five most important things to look for in a business plan writers and what questions to ask to get more information before making a final choice.
Diverse skill set
Do the business plan writers have experience in each area of the plan?
A business plan takes a lot of different skills, like marketing, grammar, money management, and strategy. It covers all business functions, so you should select a professional who demonstrates these skills. A marketing expert may struggle to create the financial model or overemphasize the section of the plan where their expertise is strongest. If the writer has completed an MBA program, chances are he or she has a skill set.
The perfect writer has an MBA and has worked as an executive manager. This would combine traditional education with an understanding of all aspects of a company’s operations, particularly if that individual was responsible for multiple divisions of the same company. Professionals who have worked in management consulting or investment banking roles are likely to also meet this requirement. People in these positions are often exposed to and analyze each of these roles within a company.
4 top tips
- Someone with diverse skills prepares a well-structured business plan.
- Having an MBA provides comprehensive education and a diverse foundation.
- Serving in an executive management role provides high-level exposure to all divisions.
- Past investment banking or management consulting develops a diverse set of skills.
Track record What credentials does the business plan writers have?
When writing a business plan, finding someone capable of completing it is not enough. Any sophomore business student can create a plan, but it takes someone with genuine understanding and experience to do a proper job. That means finding someone who has created multiple plans, has a prestigious education and has a proven career track record. If they have experience in the investment banking industry, this can materialize in the number of transactions they have carried out. If they have consulting experience, request case studies to learn the results they have provided to their clients and request quantifiable information.
The biggest mistake people make is selecting business plan writers based solely on the person’s background. This is an important factor, but the decision should not be weighted solely on its track record. For example, a former auto industry executive with a prestigious MBA might have a more impressive track record than a recent investment banker. On the other hand, the executive may not have the diverse skill set, industry experience, or access to necessary research as presented in other areas of this guide.
4 top tips
- Hiring a plan writer with a very little track record will likely result in negative surprises.
- The business plan writers must have a track record to drive results.
- You should always ask for information about case studies and what has been achieved for clients.
- Don’t fall victim to weighing every decision based on the person’s background.
Do the business plan writers have relevant experience in your industry?
If you’ve ever interviewed someone and asked about their industry experience, you may get the “I can learn” answer. This is a surprisingly common detour to avoid directly answering the question from those who do not have specific industry experience. Everyone may require some amount of learning, but the writer should at least have a broad understanding of the industry. For example, if you’re a fast-casual restaurant, look for someone with previous experience – at least in the restaurant industry.
It makes sense to hire someone with industry experience because there are many nuances in any industry that cannot be easily researched. For example, Pharmaceutical companies must often use IMF data to project demand for new drugs. In addition, tech startups have unique metrics to measure their performance that differs from mature manufacturers. Industry experience is not the most important decision, but it should carry much weight when considering the best candidate.
4 top tips
- You can learn a lot more by hiring someone with experience in your industry.
- Beware of people who provide generic answers or advertise the question entirely.
- Request specific case studies and/or examples they have worked on in your industry.
- At least expect a general understanding of the industry, but don’t require identical experience.
What will market research be used?
Some business plan writers have access to an extensive database of market research that professional companies have compiled. However, a company rarely conducts its research because the cost of doing it right can run into millions a year. Therefore, the only option to access reliable data is to subscribe to market research companies that spread the investment across hundreds of thousands of clients. An important consideration when selecting business plan writers is where the data will be derived.
Searching online is often inappropriate, as anything available for free is usually placed there on purpose to form a public bias. For example, a software manufacturer can present a free analysis of how risky cloud computing is. However, customized studies provided by the writer, such as a search on Google searches, may also be rejected by readers. Furthermore, such studies are easily manipulated based on the method in which they are performed and the data are prepared. So, the only trustable source of information is a third-party market research agency with a good reputation.
4 top tips
- Hire a writer who can do a lot of research on the market for your industry and area.
- Avoid anyone using free information or offering to conduct independent research.
- Only use reputable market research reports that will instill confidence in readers.
- Request the specific names of research companies and datasets the writers will use.
What, if any, is support provided when the plan is completed?
This is an area that many people don’t consider until it’s too late. Some business plan writers provide the final product and immediately charge you for any revisions. In contrast, others have unlimited customer support and even help with fundraising and strategy implementation. The nature of the support provided must be considered in the price of the services charged. Someone who might be cheaper can quickly be more expensive if you need multiple revisions after completing the plan.
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Many types of support are provided, and asking direct questions about each type can help you make a more informed decision. For example, if you need capital to expand your business, ask if the individual provides financial support. If the person is willing to provide reviews, learn to what extent and how long reviews are covered. Some may just fix mistakes, and others may include additional content you can request. The support provided should not necessarily be the deciding factor but should be weighed against the actual cost in the quote.
4 top tips
- Hiring a writer who charges for all review requests can add up quickly.
- Be specific about the type and term of support provided.
- Understand that all support may not be necessary, and strike a balance between price and quality.
- Learn what specific support you need to achieve your business goals.
There are many things to consider when hiring business plan writers, and at some level, you need to understand what is most important to your business. However, this article has exposed some popular pitfalls many fall into when selecting an inferior candidate. Remember the top tips provided at the end of each section to produce a better plan that is more likely to meet your expectations.
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