Are you contemplating hiring a business consultant vs using a business plan software for writing your business plan? If YES, here is a comparison on the best of the two.
You already did a whole lot of work brainstorming and coming up with a good business idea, now it’s time to write your business plan and that shouldn’t be stressful too. The best person to write your business plan is you because you understand your goals and ambitions more than anyone else.
But not everyone possesses the skills needed to write a business plan especially if you will need it to raise some venture capital. For those who cannot write a business plan all by themselves, there are only two ways to go about it:
- Hire a business consultant
- Buy a business plan writing software
Both methods are good but if you are trying to decide on which is best, you have to first determine what you need the business plan for and how much you are willing to spend on writing a business plan. Personally, I would prefer to hire a consultant if I was going to use it to seek for funds for a project and use software if I just needed it as a blueprint for my business.
But that’s just me, you may think differently, so in other to help you decide on which method is best for you, I have put together the advantages and disadvantages of both methods in order to aid your decision making.
3 Advantages of Hiring a Business Plan Consultant
- Identify problem areas-: A business plan writing consultant is a pro at this job, he has probably written hundreds of business plans and a couple in your industry, so he knows a lot about the business that you might not know about and as such, he would be able to identify any problem areas and suggest solutions before you venture into the business.
- Unbiased Evaluation-: Sometimes, when you have a business idea, you might be too bent on making it work that you would unknowingly close your eyes to the weaknesses of the project. A consultant would be able to evaluate the business with an unbiased mind and be able to determine if the business is viable or not.
- Research-: You may be able to conduct your own research yourself but it would cost you much more money than hiring a business plan writing consultant who already has access to resources and skills that would make it cheaper to conduct a market research.
- Saves time-: Using a business plan writing consultant is also faster compared to writing it yourself.
5 Disadvantages of Hiring a Business Plan Consultant
- Costs-: Due to the extensive services they offer, business plan consultants don’t come cheap and this might be a disadvantage especially for people on a tight budget.
- Absence of internal perspective-: You understand your business visions and goals more than anyone else and a business plan writer might not be able to extensively incorporate your own ambitions into your business plan like you would if you were writing it yourself.
- Project defenses-: If you are writing a business plan to present to investors or financiers, you would have to defend your project. But how do you properly defend something that wasn’t written by you?
- Similar template-: A business plan writer works with different people and it is only expected that some of his jobs would look similar especially if he is using the same template for his jobs. You don’t want to lose viable investors just because your business plan looks too much like the last two they saw; no one likes to invest in a copy and paste project.
- Finding a good one-: Another challenge is finding a good business plan writing consultant who is not only interested in how much he can make off you but also has your best interests at heart and is ready to work hand in hand with you to achieve your business goals.
5 Advantages of Using a Business Plan Writing Software
- Incorporate your visions and goals-: If you are using a business plan writing software, you can still incorporate your personal visions and goals into the business plan because technically, you are the one writing the business plan, the software is just providing some form of assistance.
- More knowledge about your industry-: Also, you would be able to learn a lot about the industry you are going into in the process of gathering information for writing your business plan. Smart ideas may also come up to that would better enhance your chances of success.
- Ability to defend your project-: Since you are fully involved in the business plan writing process, it becomes easier to defend your project to investors and financiers.
- Saves time-: Using a business plan writing software is also faster than writing it yourself. Because all of the calculations, chartings and proof-readings are done automatically.
- Cheaper-: Most business plan writing software go for less than $200 which means that you could get a business plan a lot more cheaper than what a business plan writing consultant would charge you to write a business plan.
4 Disadvantages of Using a Business Plan Writing Software
- Lacks experience-: A business plan writing software lacks the professional skills and experience of a business plan writing consultant. Just like every other software, what you put in is what you get. When you put in garbage, it gives you garbage.
- Lacks insights-: Although business plan software developers add some resources which aids market research, a business plan writing software still lacks deep knowledge and insight about the market, industry and real life business situations that a business plan writing consultant would have.
- Training-: Another challenge that comes with using business plan writing software is that you would have to spend time learning how to use the software and sometimes you might even have to pay someone else to train you on how to use the software.
- Ability to defend-: Also, you might have challenges with defending your calculations and formulas since they were automatically generated.
As you have seen, both methods have their own benefits and drawbacks and the choice is really dependent on what you need the business plan for.
However, if you want to hire a business plan writing consultant, you must ensure that you spend adequate time with him relating all your visions and goals for your business, so that he can incorporate them in your business plan. You should also ask for referrals from others so that they can recommend an excellent business plan writing consultant to you.
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