Business plan

Why You Should Consider Having Someone Else Write Your Business Plan

It’s stuck in the minds of every business school graduate and entrepreneur: Write your own business plan. The academia pushes it on the students. VCs, banks and many more expect it. Often, investors won’t touch your business until they see your plan.

All the emphasis on business plans is for a good reason: A solid, well-done business plan can convince investors that you are serious, you understand the market, and you know how your technology will succeed.

But for all of these reasons, I don’t think you should create your own business plan. They are too important to write yourself. Would you go to court without a lawyer? Would you like to file taxes without an accountant? Would you like to launch an application without a software engineer? No. So why would you go to a boardroom or a bank without consulting a business expert?

In my consulting experience with small and medium-sized businesses, I have found that often feedback is a necessary part of developing a solid business plan. It can be helpful to have someone look at your business with fresh eyes and ask questions you never would have asked yourself.

You might be under peer pressure to write your own business plan, but here are five reasons you should consider getting someone else to do it:

1. You haven’t paid for financial modeling and market research.

You will need both market research and financial modeling to provide a complete perspective on your business. This research shows that you understand how you differentiate your product or service from the competition.

2. You have to stand out.

Investors read hundreds, if not thousands, of business plans per week. Your idea needs to highlight its uniqueness, what will make it succeed when others fail and why you are the right person to make it happen. This is reflected in the graphics, design, the overall story arc and more.

3. You need objectivity.

Sometimes your baby is ugly. You need someone to verify your idea and tell you whether or not it will work before you walk into a meeting room. But don’t let that put you off sharing your idea – share it with your friends, family, and experts. They will help you strengthen and improve your idea so that you can come to a place where an investor cannot say no.

4. You have to deliver what investors are looking for.

Business plans should include a go-to-market strategy, forecasts, clear indications of burn rates, potential valuations, etc. Investors look for these items before providing funding, and often times they will not provide funding without them.

5. You often only get one photo.

Investors are busy people. Some of them will know you, and they will offer advice and guidance, but others will look at what you are presenting as a clear indication of how you want to run the business. Now is the best time to make a good first impression.

There are so many services available that make it much easier than ever to find a second set of eyes.

As you begin your research, here are some questions to ask to make sure an expert is right for you:

• What is your experience in my specific industry?

• What is the overall success record of your clients?

• How can we continue to engage after the plan is complete to make sure we are on the right track?

For all the entrepreneurs I meet, I offer you a simple tip: Take a minute to find an expert in drafting plans who works for you and get your plan looked at. They can provide unique value, such as getting your market right or financial modeling, which makes it much more likely that you will be able to secure financing.

It could make all the difference in the world.

The information provided here is not investment, tax or financial advice. You should consult a licensed professional for advice regarding your specific situation.

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