Home – New Forums Starting your journey Business plan writer-Pros/Cons? Any first hand experience?

  • This topic is empty.
Viewing 10 posts - 1 through 10 (of 10 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #990616
    Poly Urban
    Member
    • Total posts: 3
    Up
    0
    ::

    Hi there,

    Currently in the planning stages and developing a business plan and have encountered areas that we do not have expertise in.

    Considering using a business plan writer to accelerate completion of our plan.

    Does anyone have any tips, feedback regarding utilising these services?

    Your response will be much appreciated.

    Cheers

    David and Gemma

    #1177861
    LucasArthur
    Participant
    • Total posts: 3,171
    Up
    0
    ::

    Hi David and Gemma

    Interesting question, and unsure I perosally have the answer although what I should contribute is that if there are areas in the business plan that you need guidance with there is a chance that this may carry over into the business itself. Eg If you lack doing a SWOT analysis this may also be an issue in day to day business as well.

    Here is where I contribute ;), you may actually want to talk to a business coach to massage yourself (no humour peeps) and your plan together at once which may give you the skills to write the plan yourself.

    The reason I felt compelled to reply is that I have seen and worked on hundreds of business plans over the years from a simple 5 pager to a 50 page brief. Depending on the purpose of your plan (finance or for your own guidance) the way it is written will vary as each have a different objective.

    If you want it to support a loan, a business coach or broker would be best before you start dropping money into a writer as such. When seeking a writer, ensure they can deliver what your objective is for as some can write awesome content and yet loan assessors look past all that “fluffy” stuff as they know what is relevant and what is not.

    Apologies, I have typed heaps without knowing core purpose to try and be informative. Sorry if I have missed the mark though.

    Cheers
    Jason

    Jason Ramage | Lucas Arthur Pty Ltd | E: [email protected]   P: 61 3 8324 0344    M: 61 412 244 888
    #1177862
    MissSassy
    Member
    • Total posts: 1,255
    Up
    0
    ::

    Nice work Jason as always with your reply

    I am really hesitant in anyone outsourcing the writing of a business plan – not to mention the costs can outweigh the benefits. $5000+ in some cases

    If however you are looking at specific funding or similar you may require a professional to help you.

    Spend some money on educating yourself in the areas you are struggling with if this is the main reason for your look to outsource your business plan writing.

    #1177863
    Tony Manto
    Participant
    • Total posts: 581
    Up
    0
    ::

    Hi David and Gemma, a business plan doesn’t have to be complicated. Its a good way to highlight the things you don’t know and also help to get everything out of your head and on paper so you can clearly see it. Its not so much writing the business plan that is important, its what you do with it after.

    It would be good to work with someone like a business coach or consultant who could help you through those difficult areas, or you could just use the power of the forum and ask everyone on here for their feedback and advice on questions you don’t have answers for.

    #1177864
    James Millar
    Participant
    • Total posts: 1,739
    Up
    0
    ::

    Hi David and Gemma

    Could you clarify – would you say you are deficient in areas of expertise in the business itself or simply deficient in drafting the business plan?

    If the former – specifically what areas of expertise do you feel help is most needed?

    Your answers will may result in more relevant replies. There are FS members here that cover all aspects from finance, legal, marketing, tech and BP document prep.

    Helping build better businesses and better lives with expert financial and taxation advice. [email protected] www.360partners.com.au 03 9005 4900
    #1177865
    Poly Urban
    Member
    • Total posts: 3
    Up
    0
    ::

    Thank you all for your feedback on this matter, some very insightful advice for us to analyze and consider.

    The purpose of our business plan is to secure finance – preferably from a financial institution – and we feel that being able to project our idea as specific as we can requires us working efficiently by outsourcing expertise for our progression and in doing so we eliminate time wastage.

    Tony’s advice of it being “not so much writing the plan that is important” but what we do with it after speaks volume because we know that we have to get it done and if any changes are required it can always be amended along the way. Yes we have been seeking consultation with a business mentor, however minimal, but we will endeavour to continue to utilise his counsel along with the “power of the forum”.

    Jason in regards to your question, it is not the execution of the business plan and running of the business we feel incapable of, it is the drafting of the business plan itself as this is unknown territory for us hence why we feel the need to have a professional business plan writer oversee and translate our vision.

    We are really appreciative of the feedback and wealth of knowledge received and hope we can do the same in the future for other entrepreneurs

    #1177866
    LucasArthur
    Participant
    • Total posts: 3,171
    Up
    0
    ::

    Awesome,

    Glad you got back to the post. Had an inkling may have been for finance, funny enough is a lil area of expertise of mine (not that many know this) so I must say that if you have not already done so please sit with a banking institution whom you wish to court.

    But, and I say but, ensure you are talking to someone relevant. There have been numerous posts in FS about this and this can make all the difference. Some mentors or coaches could point you in the right direction as could some local FS posters.

    It’s daunting, although before you enlist a writer speak to the bank so they can give you some advice, may even provide you business plan template and so forth. Heck, they could even tell you how little they want (depending on your circumstances) or how probable/improbable a loan approval is.

    Writing a business plan for finance is quite a unique thing to do. Writers are eloquent but miss the finance point and accountants (apologies in advance for generalisation) hit home runs with profit/loss and forecasts and yet it’s rare to find an in between ratio that appeases both parties.

    Banks don’t like fluffy, they like facts and seeing how you will repay a debt.

    There are many other ‘tactics’ to be deployed along with a business plan when applying for finance loans as I am sure some local lenders will also attest to.

    Anyways, let us know how you get on

    Jason

    Ps. Was not insinuating you lacked business know how :) just speculating to understand.. Lol

    Jason Ramage | Lucas Arthur Pty Ltd | E: [email protected]   P: 61 3 8324 0344    M: 61 412 244 888
    #1177867
    bb1
    Participant
    • Total posts: 4,485
    Up
    0
    ::

    The business plan is your oportunity to really document the what, when and how of your new venture. It will really help you determine if the venture is a real venture, or just something to sit on the shelf and think, well that was a good idea.

    You say you want to outsource it, but in reallity it has to be your dreams and aspirations that go into the business plan, not a writer who will put his/her spin on it. Sure you may get a polished document but you wont get you.

    I have a friend who up until recently worked in banking and he said they were quicker to lend to the people who had done their own business plans, then someone who had obvioulsy gotten it done by someone else. Sure the home written plan was rough around the edges, and didnt have the professionalism, BUT they could see that it was the persons own passion that was going into the business. Not some 3rd party who just added words because it sounded good, and they knew they were the words the bank liked to hear.

    There are a lot of good templates around which will give you all the areas you need to include. Dont outsource this one very important part of determining not just finance but the direction and prosperity of your business.

    If you insist on using a writer, you will need to spend just as much time with them anyhow so it is YOUR business plan not the writers view on what they think is you.

    #1177868
    Poly Urban
    Member
    • Total posts: 3
    Up
    0
    ::

    Thanks for the last response Jason. And apologies the last paragraph was supposed to be addressed to James.

    After reading your reply it has shed light on some grey areas and will follow through with seeking the financial advice from the banks as you suggested.

    We absolutely agree with the eliminating as much fluffy stuff as possible and keeping it factual.

    We definitely aren’t sourcing a business plan writer for the purpose of their ideas as our content. Take this analogy for example I want a house specifically 5 rooms 2 living rooms etc so I will source a draftsman/architect to draw up my dream house to what I want in turn that it meets council criteria thus why we are gravitating towards the use of a Business plan writer.

    Thanks people keep the information rolling.

    #1177869
    LucasArthur
    Participant
    • Total posts: 3,171
    Up
    0
    ::
    bb1, post: 207088 wrote:
    The business plan is your oportunity to really document the what, when and how of your new venture. It will really help you determine if the venture is a real venture, or just something to sit on the shelf and think, well that was a good idea.

    You say you want to outsource it, but in reallity it has to be your dreams and aspirations that go into the business plan, not a writer who will put his/her spin on it. Sure you may get a polished document but you wont get you.

    I have a friend who up until recently worked in banking and he said they were quicker to lend to the people who had done their own business plans, then someone who had obvioulsy gotten it done by someone else. Sure the home written plan was rough around the edges, and didnt have the professionalism, BUT they could see that it was the persons own passion that was going into the business. Not some 3rd party who just added words because it sounded good, and they knew they were the words the bank liked to hear.

    There are a lot of good templates around which will give you all the areas you need to include. Dont outsource this one very important part of determining not just finance but the direction and prosperity of your business.

    If you insist on using a writer, you will need to spend just as much time with them anyhow so it is YOUR business plan not the writers view on what they think is you.

    Well said Bert,

    You have hit the nail on the head re writing your own plan and time consumption having another write it although there are a few points to consider that may go against what you are saying a little. For this i apologise.

    It sort of falls into two paths, as i will explain or try to explain a little below:

    Path 1:
    Purpose = Internal Business Guidance

    If your purpose is purely as a document to assess the viability of your venture and the hows and whys and problems that may occur, it is imperative that you understand it 100%. This does not mean write it yourself, although this is strongly advised, although to ensure you know all the aspects of the business plan and what is going into it.

    If you engage a ‘creative’ or ‘business’ writer to do this, and if they are small business savvy, it should be a relatively painless process and you will end up with a fairly nice document. The important part of this is, as Bert says, you should be writing it as its your passion and only you will be able to transfer this passion to paper accurately. Surely, you may miss some of the graces of the correctness, but this means nada in reality if you have a plan.. Believe me, i have seen a few business plans and agreements drawn up on the proverbial restaurant napkin and turn into million dollar businesses :)

    Path 1 also opens you up to seeking business coaching, not for the writing of the doc, to explore areas of your own weaknesses (if any) to build upon through your journey. As there are different creative/business writers, there are different coaches so be sure you ‘interview’ them effectively to match your weaknesses with their strengths.. I can highly recommend a coach, but this is not what this post is about i believe?

    Now, Path 2:
    Purpose = Obtaining finance

    If your primary goal is to obtain finance, this is a much different approach to a personal plan for your business. And can be combatted many different ways depending on the finance itself.

    This is where i differ in opinion to Bert, writing a plan yourself for finance can be suicidal IF YOU are uncertain of the way in which to do it. Not saying you do not know, but if you are asking the question there may be some shortfalls somewhere.. As Bert suggests, use the flyingsolo brain trust to bolster your understanding and you should get comfortable doing it yourself.. Unless time is an issue which i think you initially mentioned.

    When writing a business plan for finance the effort put in is going to revolve around how much you need to ‘convince’ the bank to lend to you.. What i mean is, if you are simply applying for finance and it is going to be well and truly covered by bricks and mortar security (after banks sensitise the figures) you should be able to handle it yourself as the bank just needs to see what and how it will be conducted and how revenue is received.

    If, on the other hand, you are seeking unsecured for a new venture you may need some guidance in writing the plan. Should you fall into this category, rather than seeking a business plan writer, i would personally go and see the bank lender of choice (sure i said this earlier?) and discuss the opportunity to see if it has merit at all. Say this as the banks appetites change regularly and unsecured lending is a far fetch of late without certain criteria being met (long list).

    A plan for finance has certain requirements and no matter what template or person you speak to, if they do not understand what a bank is looking for you are going to be behind the 8 ball from the outset. Certain terminology is used, focus on sensitivity is important, previous PAYG etc etc that is not traditionally included in business plan 1 option.

    Apologies, i know i have said a lot with little answers to your concerns. My overall suggestion would be to speak to the bank first and foremost to ensure you are on the right path, and whilst with this bank lender ask them all the questions you have. Most business bankers have a great understanding of this process and will be your experts that you need to leverage and learn from.
    What is the bank wanting to see
    How long and detailed is the plan required to be
    What viability does would this type of application have
    What is current appetite for loans like this at the moment

    Most importantly, you need to get this right from the outset. So i commend you for asking the forum :)

    Let us know how you go

    Jason

    Jason Ramage | Lucas Arthur Pty Ltd | E: [email protected]   P: 61 3 8324 0344    M: 61 412 244 888
Viewing 10 posts - 1 through 10 (of 10 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.