Do you want to start a business plan writing service? If YES, here is a complete guide to starting a business plan writing & research business with NO money and no experience. Every business that needs to carve a comfortable niche for itself in the very strict and competitive world of business needs a business plan. A business plan is a document that provides a road map for not only a new business, but also a business that plans to change its concept and direction.
This all important document, for it to be workable should contain the well-researched marketing, financial and operational viewpoint of a business. It should be noted that a bank or any other financial institution would never give out a business loan to a business that has no business plan. Because of the delicate nature of business plan writing, a lot of startup businesses and even established businesses would always prefer to hire a professional business plan writer to write their business plans.
If you know that you are a very proficient writer and you have been constant in the business world, being also familiar with the intricacies therein, then starting a business plan writing service business might be the ideal business for you.
17 Steps to Starting a Business Plan Writing Service
Table of Content
- 2. Conduct Market Research and Feasibility Studies
- 3. Decide Which Niche to Concentrate On
- 4. Know Your Major Competitors in the Industry
- 5. Decide Whether to Buy a Franchise or Start from Scratch
- 8. Discuss with an Agent to Know the Best Insurance Policies for You
- 9. Protect your Intellectual Property With Trademark, Copyrights, Patents
- 10. Get the Necessary Professional Certification
- 11. Get the Necessary Legal Documents You Need to Operate
- 12. Raise the Needed Startup Capital
- 13. Choose a Suitable Location for your Business
- 14. Hire Employees for your Technical and Manpower Needs
- 15. Write a Marketing Plan Packed with ideas & Strategies
- 16. Work Out a Reasonable Pricing for your Services & Products
- 17. Develop Strategies to Boost Brand Awareness and Create a Corporate Identity
1. Understand the Industry
Contrary to previously held notion that only new businesses need business plans, it has been discovered that existing businesses even need business plans more to address changes in the market and take advantage of new business opportunities.
An older firm may have a new business idea and would need a new roadmap in form of business plan to pursue the idea. These enterprises may also need business plans to help them woo financial institutions into financing their new ideas since the funding they need for the new business ideas may likely be huge.
That aside, it is essential that every business updates their business plans at the start of every financial year. Again, if they have been a significant market shift, a change in consumer behavior or change in government regulations, then business plans need to be updated or changed entirely. In addition, if a company has reached a milestone or if there has been a shakeup in management, then it is enough reason to request for a new business plan.
It is on record that businesses that have functional business plans grow as much as 30 percent faster than their counterparts that operate their businesses without any plan whatsoever.
An effective business plan should contain your business summary, your company review, marketing plan, detailed information about your product or service, a list of your company’s objectives and goals, major team members and their roles in the company, and your intended company financial plan.
The united states is one of the major markets where business services thrive. The demand for services in the business plan writing services industry has been heightened by the growth of new businesses, and increasing disposable income of consumers that ultimately allows them to acquire industry services.
The United States business services sector incorporates about 400,000 establishments (the business plan writing services industry inclusive), and they generate more than 810 billion dollars annually into the US economy. Because of the emerging business market in Africa, the business plan writing services industry is expected to have increased awareness and patronage there, in fact it is almost an untapped market.
The business plan writing services industry is in its growth stage as there still exist a lot of opportunities for both large scale and small scale business plan writers to thrive. This is because businesses are required to review, update and even change their business plans according to the demands in the industry.
Entrepreneurs are encouraged to venture into this industry as there is still ample opportunity for competition, and new businesses can easily grab a market share for themselves if they know how to network and market their services.
2. Conduct Market Research and Feasibility Studies
- Demographics and Psychographics
The demographic and psychographic composition of those that require the services of a business plan writing service business include business startups who are looking to establish themselves in their chosen line of business, and perhaps get loans to finance their businesses; and already established businesses that need to make changes in their businesses so as to take advantage of new business opportunities.
3. Decide Which Niche to Concentrate On
Niches are what make business stand out from the crowd. If you operate a niche area in your line of business, then you would monopolize the market in that area.
There are no niche ideas in this line of business as every business in the business plan writing services business all concentrate on writing business plans for startup businesses and entrepreneurs that intend to make a change in their line of business.
But you can decide to carve a niche for your business by either deciding to write business plans for business startups, or for already established businesses. You can equally choose the type of business plan you want to concentrate on, example;
- Standard business plan
- One-page or lean business plan
- feasibility study & research
- Internal planning
- Strategic planning
- Investor financing advisory
The Level of Competition in the Industry
Though this business is mostly young but it has an appreciable level of competition in it as entrepreneurs have realized the essence of having a business plan for their business. In this business, your main competitors are already established business plan writing companies who have made a name for themselves in the industry.
In the same vein, you would also be expected to compete with freelance business plan writers, part-time business plan writers, and even entrepreneurs who have decided to write their own business plans by themselves.
In order to integrate yourself into business plan writing service business despite the competition, you need to be a seasoned business plan writer that knows how to create custom and original business plans, and you need to have a background in business and corporate finance, marketing and law.
4. Know Your Major Competitors in the Industry
In every industry, there are businesses that have made a mark for themselves, and every other business wants to follow in their trail. For the business plan writing service business, the following businesses have made a mark and carved out a comfortable market share for themselves.
- Wise business plans
- Optimal thinking.com
- Bargain business plans
- Strategic Element Inc.
- E-council Inc.
- Joorney Business Plans
- Lucid Professional Writing
- Elite Visa Plans LLC
- RL Business Plans LLC
- Xecute EB-5 Business Solutions
- EB5 Affiliate Network
- Shepin Finance Inc.
- Ground Floor Partners
Demand in the business plan writing services industry depends on the level of income intending businesses have at their disposal. A company with more funds at their disposal is likely to hire the services of a business plan writer unlike a business that is operating on a very tight budget.
In the business plan writing services industry, larger firms have a huge advantage of being able to offer other services to their clients in addition to the basic business plan writing service they offer. This is because they are able to employ more people to cater to the various niches they see fit to offer. Example, large business plan writing services firms can also offer consultancy services to their clients.
Smaller or emerging business plan writers can only compete in the tough business market by carving out a niche for themselves, and offering specialized, tailor made services. They can equally have an adjustable price list in order to work with the budget of all clients.
5. Decide Whether to Buy a Franchise or Start from Scratch
When starting a business, you have the option of starting from the scratch or buying a franchise. Both of these business practices have their individual pros and cons and you need to choose the one that works best for your business.
Buying the franchise of an already existing business gives your business a higher rate of success because you would be working with a previously tested and trusted system.
But unfortunately, there are no franchise opportunities in the business plan writing service. This on its own is equally good because starting from the scratch gives you the opportunity to be creative with your business. Also, you have complete control over the business and you can make changes as often as you want. Most importantly, you get to save the money you would have used to buy a franchise and use it for the general running of the business, or even expansion.
6. Know the Possible Threats and Challenges You Will Face
Being an entrepreneur comes with a host of challenges as the business world comes with its own rules and regulations. Starting a business plan writing service equally comes with its own peculiar threats and challenges. In this business, you are likely to face the following challenges and threats;
- Finding seasoned business plan writers
- Competition from already established business plan writing services
- Marketing your services
- Retaining clients to your business
7. Choose the Most Suitable Legal Entity (LLC, C Corp, S Corp)
There are various legal entities available for use for your business plan writing service business, but the ideal legal entity for you would depend on the size of your business. You can make use of the sole proprietorship, Limited Liability Company or general partnership.
If you are just starting on a very small scale with your office in your home, then taking out a sole proprietorship legal plan would be the best option for you because it requires minimal setup capital and less paperwork, but on the downside, you get to bear the brunt of the liability that would be incurred by the business. If your business runs into any problem, you have to pay for it personally without any external help.
The business plan writing services business involves a bit of risk because you would be dealing with peoples businesses, so you need to incorporate your business writing service as a Limited Liability Company to protect it against any eventualities. Ideally, you can start the business as a sole proprietor and in future convert it to an LLC when your business has expanded and gained better grounds.
8. Discuss with an Agent to Know the Best Insurance Policies for You
Every business, no matter how small needs insurance to guard against business risks. You should note that a startup business may not be able to withstand the shock of litigation, so it is necessary to get insurance. The best insurance policies for your business plan writing service may include;
- General insurance
- Property insurance
- Professional liability insurance
- Workers Compensation
- Business owners policy
9. Protect your Intellectual Property With Trademark, Copyrights, Patents
Intellectual property protection grants an inventor rights to his or her invention, thus excluding others from marketing or making use of the invention without authorization. Because the business plan writing services business is a service oriented business that does not entail inventing or producing anything, so you may not need intellectual property protection.
10. Get the Necessary Professional Certification
As an entrepreneur, if you acquire certification in your line of business, it would project your seriousness towards the business. Having professional certification increases your clients’ confidence in your competencies. In the business plan writing services business, it is imperative that you acquire professional certification to boost your brand in the competitive market.
Here are the certifications you can decide to acquire;
- Business plan writing certification
- Business planning skill certification
- Certified financial planner
- SOSTAC certified planner
11. Get the Necessary Legal Documents You Need to Operate
It is very essential for businesses in the United States to acquire legal documents for their business. It is almost illegal to run your business without the documents stipulated by the state or federal government. Besides, legal documents protect the interest of your business, so they are mostly to your advantage.
A business plan writing service business equally needs legal documents, and you can acquire the following documents;
- Non-disclosure agreement
- Operating Agreement for LLCs
- Employment agreement
- Business plan
12. Raise the Needed Startup Capital
Every business needs finance no matter the scale you plan to start the business on. When starting your business plan writing service business on a small scale, you can get your finance from your personal savings or you can source small loans from your family members and close friends.
But if you want to start on a large scale by leasing or renting an office and hiring business plan writers, then you may contact your bank for a loan, you can sell your shares, you can get in touch with angel investors, or you can make use of your retirement benefits.
Before doing all these, note that you need to draw up a business plan for your business because it would make people and businesses listen to you faster.
13. Choose a Suitable Location for your Business
A business plan writing service business can be started from any location because you don’t really need to meet face to face with your clients when drafting their business plans. You can always call them on phone to make the necessary inquiries or you can hold video conferences with them.
Again, most business plan writing services operate online, so if you want to join the flow and also operate your business solely online, then you may not require an external location. You only need to carve out a comfortable work space in your home, and then you launch a befitting website that you can use to reach out to your clients.
But if you want to start the business on a large scale, then you need to rent or lease an office space. When renting or leasing an office space, you should ensure that the office is located in the business hotspot of your state or community.
This requirement is very necessary because you need other businesses to survive. Entrepreneurs would hire your services easily if they know you are close by and within reach. If your business location is very far from your target market, then you are bound to spend more money on logistics such as transportation, and your employees may find it difficult to access the location.
If your budget cannot cover leasing or renting of an office space, you can equally go for a shared office space.
14. Hire Employees for your Technical and Manpower Needs
A business plan writing service business is a service based business, so you do not need any complicated equipment. You would only require a laptop, internet connection, a phone, a good business plan writing app or software, office furniture like tables, chairs and shelves for stacking papers and documents etc. Because all these equipment are basic office requirements, they can all be gotten as fairly used.
To ensure that you run a tight ship in your business plan writing service business, you would require the services of a chief executive officer (you can occupy this role since you are the business owner). You would also need business plan writers, a marketer, an accountant, front desk officer and a cleaner. In essence, you would need about seven employees to run a medium to large scale business plan writing service business.
When hiring staff for your business plan writing service, ensure you hire thorough, dedicated and very talented writers for your business so that they can satisfy your clients. If your clients don’t get value for their money, and if the business plan you wrote cannot get them loans from banks and other financial houses, they are likely to abandon your service; so most of your emphasis should be on getting highly experienced business plan writers. You have to, as a method of precaution, check out the qualifications of your intended writers and follow up on all the businesses they have written business plans for in the past to see how they are doing.
The Service Delivery Process of the Business
The services to be delivered in a business plan writing business is to write business plans for startups and already established businesses that need a change in business direction. The first step to take here is to set up your office and acquire the required software and apps, then you can now set out to get clients through your various marketing strategies.
After you get your clients, you would agree on the type of business plan to write and the remuneration that would be paid at the end of the service. It is also very necessary to sign some legal documents before commencing the work in case of default. Once an agreement has been reached and the necessary documents have been signed, you then go ahead to write the business plan.
You should keep an open line of communication with your client in the course of writing his or her business plan because you would always need to ask them questions and also demand clarification for certain issues. Even if you assigned the business plan writing to an employee, ensure that you keep an eye on it to ensure that they produce quality business plans because the quality and success rate of your business plans are what would keep you in business.
15. Write a Marketing Plan Packed with ideas & Strategies
For any business to grow, carve a market niche for itself and ultimately make profit, it needs to market its services to its target audience. There is a saying that nobody would know where you are unless you say, “here I am”. This is exactly what marketing does for you. It tells people where you are, the products you sell or the services you provide.
Marketing strategies are not a one sized glove that fits every business. Each business has peculiar strategies that would suit it, and the same applies to the business plan writing service business. In order to ensure that you reach the required target market for your business plan writing service business, you should utilize the following publicity strategies.
- Advertise your business plan writing services in local newspapers, preferably business newspapers and financial magazines.
- Since the internet is big and very easy for advertising, you need to get a good website where you can state everything about your business including your contacts, then you optimize it on the search engine so as to get wider coverage for your business.
- You need to open social media pages for your business so as to create more publicity for your business.
- You should always attend local business functions so as to network with business people. You never know who would need your services in those places.
- You can equally find a market for your business in business discussion forums online.
- You should also print your business cards and maybe flyers you can share in strategic positions in your target location.
16. Work Out a Reasonable Pricing for your Services & Products
In order to make profit in the business plan writing services business, you should ensure that you get the right pricing for every single business plan you write. For you to charge optimally for your services, you have to ensure that you employ the best business writers around.
If your company has the reputation of writing great business plans that help entrepreneurs get loans and funding easily from banks and other financial institutions, then your clients would always be willing to pay whatever you ask them to pay. People always patronize services that guarantee them results and they don’t mind spending good money to get those services.
Again, your customer service officers have to be courteous and respectful to clients. No matter how good your business writers are, if your customer service is very bad or if your employees are very disrespectful, you are bound to lose clients to your competitors.
17. Develop Strategies to Boost Brand Awareness and Create a Corporate Identity
In business, boosting the awareness of your brand is one of the most important keys to the success of your business. Nobody would patronize a hidden business that is why it is necessary to get people to know about your business and the services you provide.
You need to carry out adequate research to know the publicity strategies that would suit your business because if use the wrong strategies, then it may not get to your target market and as such, you won’t get any clients for your business. In business, clients translate to profit, so you need to take this aspect of your business seriously.
If you feel that you cannot do it on your own, then you need to hire the services of a business publicity strategist to help you out. Below are some of the strategies you need to employ to boost the awareness of your brand and create a corporate identity for your business plan writing service business.
- Take out adverts in business newspapers and financial magazines.
- Attend business functions where you can network with clients and give out your business cards.
- Leverage on your social media platforms to garner publicity for your business plan writing service.
- List your business in local as well as Online business directories.
- Encourage your clients who are happy with your services to spread the word to their friends.