If you’re considering finding financing for your next business venture, a business plan is a crucial part of the application process. It will show potential lenders that you’ve done all the research and planning needed to make sure it’s successful, so they can rest assured knowing their investment in this new venture has good odds of turning into gold!
A business plan will cost you an average of $2,500, depending on the size of your company and the industry you’re in. If you plan on writing your own business plan, there is software that can assist you for $20/month up to $300/month, depending on the software features and the amount of assistance you need.
You can choose to use a business plan writer that will cost you anywhere from $1,000 to $3,000 depending on their expertise and how in-depth you need your business plan to be.
Another option is to use a consultant company to create your business plan. The price for this will be from $5,000 to $15,000, depending on how many layers your organization will have and the amount of groundwork required to execute your plan.
- How Much Does Business Software Cost?
- Should You Write It Yourself?
- Why Use A Writing Service?
- Software That Helps Write a Business Plan
- Why Do I Need A Business Plan?
- When To Write A Business Plan
- Types of Business Plans
- What Should Be In My Business Plan?
- Start Your Dream Business
Average Cost of Business Plan Consultants
|Number of Pages||Size of Business||Average Costs|
|Up to 10 pages||Small size business|| $1,500 to 6,000
|More than 10 pages||Medium size business||$6,000 to $25,000
|More than 50 pages||Large size business||$25,000 to $50,000|
How Much Does Business Software Cost?
There is a couple of free business plan software that makes it easy to write a business plan. However, while this tool is quite detailed and has the instructions on how to fill out the plans, they are quite basic in design.
If you want a business plan software that has a professionally designed layout and color charts for financials, you can buy the software. Many business plan software packages include teaching components and several template pages in case you get stuck on a section. The package may also include features that calculate growth and sales projections based on real figures. A business plan software such as Palo Alto Software offers a variety of features and offers a monthly fee of $20 per month.
This software allows you to write over 500 sample business plans and over 9,000 industry profiles that to support your plan. The software not only helps compile data, research, and write the actual business plans; they also offer a dashboard for monitoring your business health. You can also track financial data, along with your sales goals and budget, so that you can make the necessary adjustments.
Should You Write It Yourself?
The cheapest way to get a business plan is to compose it yourself. Maybe you think you don’t need a consultant or software for writing a business plan. If you are looking to seek a capital investment of less than $200,000, you may want to consider writing the business plan yourself after reading some books or taking a class, or getting coaching from someone who has written successful business plans.
You should consider taking a business planning class through Small Business Association (SBA) or SCORE. Even if you decide not to write your own plan, you can get a much better idea of what you want out of a business plan and what to expect.
One of the most important jobs of an entrepreneur is time management and performing the task they are best skilled for. Many businesses decide to use software or hire a consultant to do their business plans, mostly because they can’t afford the learning curve to be able to create an in-depth business plan that will meet the needs of investors or lenders.
Some of the reasons to consider hiring a business plan consultant include:
- Business planning is completed much faster with a professional who knows the process. Every entrepreneur’s intention is to get plans completed, but several months later, they still haven’t done the work. Business planning work should be a high priority, but it’s quite difficult to get to it when you have a more pressing matter at hand. The sooner you complete the plan, the sooner you can start getting funds for your business. Overall, the price of hiring a consultant may be small.
- With a professional business plan consultant, your project will be completed in a way investors and lenders will respect. Business consultants understand how finance people look at plans and what they would love to see and what to play down to get the funding your business needs.
- Business consultants offer objectivity that will allow for unbiased projections and expectations for your business. They will be much more objective in the process, which will less likely make it that your business will have problems after receiving funding.
However, if you are looking to keep start-up costs as low as possible and ready to do some of the initial leg work, you can opt for a business plan software. The reason to use a business plan software include:
- Well-made business plan software can use the raw substance of your ideas and organize them into a standard plan template.
- Business software offers the ability to customize the appearance of your plan and use terms particular to your business.
- Business plan software breaks down highly complex processes in steps that are easy to understand.
- The software can do a better job at protecting your data than you would on your own because most business software has a cybersecurity firm that manages all of their client’s data.
All the options listed above are good, but if you are trying to decide on the best, you have to determine your need for the business plan and the amount you can afford to spend on the plan. Of course, you don’t have to choose just one of these options.
Why Use A Writing Service?
There are many reasons why people decide to outsource their business plan to a writing company or consultant, including lack of time or writing skills.
It can also be a way to help your company get started the right way by getting the knowledge and insight from someone that has been in business for years.
If you are unsure what path is right for you, the following information will be sure to help! We will explore what goes into a business plan and how much it costs to create one. Let’s get started!
If your business plan looks as if it is going to be more complex, you may want to hire a business consultant professional consultant to do the job for you. The business consultants will be able to ask you questions about your business and guide your thinking so that you can create a comprehensive and well-detailed business plan that best meets your needs.
For instance, Ground Floor Partners, professional business growth consultants, quote their charges for business consultancies as ranging from $5,000 to $20,000, depending on the complexity of the business project.
These figures are usually based on their hourly rate, and some other special services may be included. Companies like Thumbtack also match entrepreneurs with business plan professionals, and the average rate for a business plan consultancy service ranges from $70 to $120 per hour. They will not only write the business plans but also review plans and make recommendations based on the completed work.
Software That Helps Write a Business Plan
There are also many apps and software that can assist you with writing a business plan on your own. Apps such as Business Plan Pro For Windows can help you write professional business plans for low monthly charges!
These apps will run you anywhere from $20 per month to $300 per month.
The cost of the app will largely depend on the level of assistance you need and the software features. Apps can be a great way to help you create an effective business plan without needing to hire a professional, but they’re not 100% done for you.
Apps have disadvantages as well. One drawback is that you have to sign up for a subscription most of the time, which isn’t necessarily saving you much more than just hiring someone to create your business plan.
Another is that some apps are restricted by geographical location or do not offer free trials for their products.
Also, if you are looking for detailed guidance with your business plan creation, then you might be better off hiring a professional service.
If you’re unsure of your future goals and aren’t sure how you want to operate your business yet, then hiring a professional may be in your best interest.
There are also many other benefits to hiring a professional, such as having someone that can hold you accountable for your goals, writing a clear and concise plan, and seeing the bigger picture.
Why Do I Need A Business Plan?
A business plan lays out the foundation of a company and acts as a road map for its future. Businesses often develop a general or high-level business plan early on during their start-up phase.
They may also create more detailed plans that include supplemental information such as marketing strategies and sales forecasts depending on how funding is needed and the stage of company growth.
To effectively plan for the future of a business, companies typically research their market and competitors while identifying objectives and goals.
A company may also use past performance to determine industry trends. The information collected is then formulated into a practical blueprint for growth that can be used to make informed decisions in day-to-day operations and long-term strategies.
Now that you know how you want to create a business plan, let’s discuss what you can use a business plan for. A business plan can be used in many different ways by different people.
One of the most common uses is when trying to apply for a loan, but that’s not all a business plan can come in handy for. Business plans are also good to have when seeking out new clients. It shows them how much time and effort you have put into your business and how successful you hope it will become.
When To Write A Business Plan
If you are thinking of starting a new business or if you are going to be applying for a business loan, an excellent place to start would be the creation of a business plan.
If you are applying for a loan, you must have a solid business plan according to the bank’s requirements.
Most banks require that any new business have access to at least three years of financial information to establish credit.
Once you have established this track record, you will be able to take out loans and venture capital when starting new businesses or expanding your company.
It is also essential to have a business plan if you want to go into business with somebody.
You can draft a partnership agreement that may include future plans for the business or salary for each business owner. A business plan should also be a requirement if you are looking to expand your company overseas.
You can use your business plan to attract investors overseas and provide them with information about what they will be gaining from the deal. This plan will also give you a route to follow to turn your business dream into a reality.
Types of Business Plans
There are different types of business plans that you can draft depending on the goal you want to achieve.
A business plan will typically be broken down into two or three different types: a startup plan, a long-term strategic plan, and a marketing plan. Here is one way to break them down:
The first plan that a new business will draft. This plan is a high-level overview of a company and how it intends to run.
This type of plan may include details about your objectives, goals, significant milestones, sources of funding for the business, and your marketing strategy.
This type can be created by the individual founder(s) or outsourced to a business plan writing service to draft the plan for you.
Long-Term Strategic Plan
In this case, companies need to have a solid foundation to work from.
This plan is more detailed than the startup plan and will usually be created by a consulting firm.
It focuses on how a company can grow and what it needs to do to meet its objectives.
This type of plan will often outline deadlines, budgets, product or service roll-out strategies, staffing levels required for each department, and revenue projections.
The marketing plan is more of a supplemental document that is used to complement the business plan.
Companies typically use this type of document when looking for funding or trying to sell their product/service.
This document will often include market trends, sales strategies, advertising and promotions plans, pricing strategies, and marketing campaigns.
Depending on the types of funding being sought out, a company may decide a consultant or professional writing service is their best option to have a better chance at securing funding.
What Should Be In My Business Plan?
If you are wondering what should be in a business plan, several components make one complete. We will outline what elements your business plan will need to contain to be a complete and actionable plan.
The first thing that is included in your business plan is the executive summary. This part of your business plan serves as its introductory statement, so you want it to be catchy enough for someone to read on.
One effective technique for an executive summary is using a customer story or success story. This helps establish yourself as more credible because investors like companies that have proven success.
Product Or Service
This is probably the most important and most time-consuming aspect of your business plan. You need to demonstrate that you have a product or service that people will actually want and pay for.
If your product or service does not solve a problem, no one will use it. Make sure you list what problems your company solves clearly and concisely so potential investors know exactly why they should do business with you.
Market Analysis & Financial Plan
Next, you will go into more detail on how much money you will make off of this venture within the next few years. You must put together both an income statement and a cash flow projection for this portion of your business plan.
In addition to the financial plan, you should also include how much money you need to start and run your business for a certain amount of time.
Capacity And Order Quantities
This heading will discuss the number of units that can be produced or supplied by your factory or other sources, as well as the number of customers you can serve.
By going into detail about your capacity and order quantities, potential investors and buyers will be able to know what type of revenue they could potentially expect from your company in a given amount of time.
The next aspect that should be included in your business plan is an effective marketing strategy. Your marketing plan is essentially your sales strategy, so this section needs to be strong for you to get the amount of revenue you want out of your business venture.
You should also include information like how much money you will spend on marketing tools and where that money will come from.
Physical Location And Facilities
This section will discuss what type of physical location or facilities your company will need to operate effectively and how much it will cost you.
If you do not have the necessary space or facilities for running your business already, you will need to explore options like buying or leasing commercial office space.
The next aspect of your business plan is an overview of how capable your team is. If you are new to running a business or lack depth in certain areas, it may be wise to hire a management team. If this is the case, make sure to include what types of skills your managers have.
This part will give a quick rundown on who is responsible for all of your finances and how you plan on dividing responsibilities between yourself and your employees.
Be as transparent as possible and show how much everyone is expected to contribute financially to the venture.
The next part of your business plan discusses the long-term goals or benefits you expect this business will bring you and your partners.
Do not forget to include your vision of where your company will be in five years, as well as how it will positively affect your life.
Start Your Dream Business
As you can see, creating a business plan does not have to be complicated or expensive. You may use an app, website, or consulting company to create your plan and do not need to do everything yourself.
However, if you are looking for the best results, it is wise that you hire either a business plan writer or consulting company. They have the experience and knowledge needed to create a professional and successful business plan.
In addition, they will be able to create a well-organized and complete plan while you work on building your dream company!