Every business startup, from one person home operations on up, requires some form of business plan. For small to medium businesses, it's possible to write your own business plan for free.
For larger business or entrepreneurs with limited time, professional business plans from a consultant or business services firm can cost anywhere from several hundred to many thousands of dollars. Business plans aren't mysterious or difficult to write, but they can be complicated and time consuming depending on your operation.
Business plans are written documents containing all details of your business startup and operational objectives and strategies. Startup and operating costs, sales, marketing advertising and sales strategies, pricing and profit margins, supplier lists, insurance information and other topics are included to give you blueprint of your business.
They are also used for obtaining business loans, securing investors and for other analytical purposes, and may be modified as the business matures to better outline and guide future operations. A business plan is not mandated or required for any business unless requested by an outside entity, and there is no "set format," so you will save money by doing it yourself if time permits.
Business plan providers and business consultants are available for hire to complete your business plan. Some firms charge by the hour, with others charging a flat fee based on the complexity of the plan. Costs vary widely, and are only as good as the information you provide, with better plans including multiple stages of the plan process.
The business plan process begins with an analysis and outline, for which some companies will charge hourly rate, or a flat fee of several hundred to several thousand dollars. The analysis fee is charged for the business plan writer to analyze all of the information you've provided. The resulting outline is a written report given to you that highlights and details the information before it is transferred to the business plan document.
If you are paying an hourly fee, you may save money by providing the company with as much detailed information as possible. Research, phone calls and other information-gathering activities will add to the hourly rate. For businesses with very low start-up capital, this can be the best option.
A business plan can cost less if you do the research and create a draft on your own, and then present it to a company or consultant for review and completion. For example, you could complete the written portion of the business plan and then have someone else help with the financials. This can be a good option for entrepreneurs who can articulate their business idea clearly but may need help putting together realistic financial projections. Review options are available for those who want a professional eye to look at their plan before proceeding.
I am a professional writer, editor and business consultant with a background in public education. I launched my own business in July and now apply my valuable business and marketing knowledge to writing and editing business plans for start-up businesses. Video of the Day. Brought to you by Techwalla.
References Ground Floor Partners: About the Author I am a professional writer, editor and business consultant with a background in public education.
Depending on which text editor you're pasting into, you might have to add the italics to the site name. What Is a Business Consulting Proposal?
To determine exactly how much your time costs, multiply the value of one hour of your time by the number of hours you invest in developing the plan. If you hire a professional business-plan consultant, the rate will vary from person to person. Thumbtack, an online service that matches consumers with local professionals, quotes the average rate for a business plan consultant to range from $70 to $ per .
Writing a business plan is supposed to cost time and effort, not money. Time is just a few hours for the first plan, then just an hour or two a month to keep it up. Effort is knowing and deciding, then reviewing and revising. If you know your business well you have less effort planning.
A professional business plan consultant will generally charge between $3, and $15, for a complete business plan (although there are cases where $50, is justified). The low end applies for “simple” businesses such as a pizza shop, a small retail store, a hairdressing salon, etc. The cost of a business plan varies greatly depending on what type of plan you need. Some plans may be as simple as an executive summary and a one-page financial worksheet, while others can be well over 50 pages and contain several years of financial projections.
Business Plan Proby Palo Alto Software Inc. comes with several sample business plans, a manual to help you understand what goes into a plan and software to walk you through the writing of each section. While it can't do your research for you, it can help you figure out what questions to . Business plan preparation fees depend on several factors including the complexity of the venture and how much research and writing has already been completed by the .