A lengthy plan with three years to five years of financial projections may still cost several thousand dollars, but the total cost can be much less than hiring a firm because only one or two individuals are doing the work. Some private consultants charge by the hour and let the client decide how many hours to budget for the work. However, fees for a business plan will still vary quite a bit. Writing It Yourself The cheapest way to get a business plan usually is to write it yourself.
The U. Small Business Administration offers guides, blogs and outlines, and the SBA's Business Plan Tool provides step-by-step assistance in building your own plan. For businesses with very low start-up capital, this can be the best option. Combining Services 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. Like all new small businesses, you'll need a plan. That plan will have to cover funding, growth, pay rates, expenses, marketing, equipment costs, training and qualifications.
It will also have to cover your goals, and the strategy you'll use to reach them. Consulting business plans are a little different to other business plans. Here's what you need to know to get your consulting career off the ground. Who are you writing the plan for? This is an important question to ask yourself before you start. For most conventional businesses the answer will be "For the bank and investors. But consultants setting up their own business might not need much funding — if any.
It's still important to have a business plan though — not only to clarify the details in your own mind, but also to help you understand the potential risks and rewards.
A good business plan will combine elements of both finance and strategy, but the contents will vary depending on the target audience. We'll take a look at the options next. A business plan for banks and investors You may not need funding for capital equipment expenses or office rent. But you might need a loan to tide you over for the first few months, until you have a regular cash flow. The initial period for any new business can be a tough time — money worries will just make it tougher.
You may also decide that you want to make more of an impression by hiring office space, perhaps in a shared office environment. Or you might want funds to spend on marketing and advertising, particularly if you're offering consulting services in a competitive market.
For all of this, you'll need money. Whichever method you choose, any potential investors will want to see the important numbers. That means you'll need to cover the following points in your business plan: Target market and sector analysis Business objectives and USP unique selling proposition Startup expenses and assets, including equipment Overheads and fixed costs Funding requirements, loan collateral and cost of interest Pay rates, revenue and cash flow projections Sales forecasts in monthly intervals Ongoing expenses Growth projections and strategy.
Some of this information will be difficult for you to estimate. It might be even harder for you to present clearly. Use your accounting software to help with figures and to produce professional tables and charts. Then, an accountant can help you include the right information in your plan. A business plan for you Of course, you might not need any funding.
Perhaps you have enough savings to keep you going for a few months and clients already lined up. Or you may be starting your consulting career after an inheritance or unexpected windfall. If money isn't an immediate concern, you can afford to be less formal when drafting your plan. That means making sensible predictions and setting goals for yourself, not just financial targets — though you should include those too.
This isn't an exercise in creative writing. The purpose of creating a plan is to help you concentrate on what you want to achieve. Some points to consider include: Reasons for being a consultant Why are you doing this?
It's important to answer honestly. Write down all the reasons you can think of, then read them back. Do they sound convincing? Make sure you know your true motivation, as it will help you focus on your goals. Savings Consulting can mean you have an irregular income. Sometimes you might be busy, other times less so. It makes sense to keep some money in savings accounts, especially if you'll be paying tax at the end of the year instead of while you're earning.
Relationship risks Think about the impact of consulting on your family or friends. Consultants often work irregular hours, sometimes from home, and they might be in the office at weekends. That can put a strain on relationships. Be realistic about this and set boundaries around when and where you will work. Which clients to avoid and which to take on You will already have an idea of the types of client you don't want to work for, because you know the industry you work in.
For example, known late-payers can damage your cash flow so it's sensible to avoid them where possible. Look for clients who are reliable, as they will help make your business a success. Know that you can 'fire' clients who are more trouble that they're worth.The key here is to make sure the plan is based on reality, not fantasy. Business Canvas Although professionals debate the value of one method over another, choosing between a traditional plan or a newer "lean" plan, called a business canvas, will also be a determining factor in your costs. While some projects invite you to make generous use of generic text blocks to quickly compile your business plans, take extremely good care while doing so. Decide what type of business plan your company needs in order to help determine the cost of the plan. Take the time to write a proper business plan, and keep it regularly updated as your business grows. Savings Consulting can mean you have an irregular income.
Have you ever started a business before? Price Strategy. Do you want the consultant to do it all? A good consultant will have enough experience to figure out a way through the complexity and identify one or more possible solutions.
He ended up as CFO in one of his client companies. Although creating a business canvas still requires thoughtful consideration, this type of document is often recommended for smaller businesses that do not need to spend their finances on creating lengthy documentation or in seeking out business investors. Insert page number on the lower right footer if you're not already using a template. Here are some tips to help you succeed: Write the first draft Don't worry about grammar, structure or neatness. Marketing Answer these questions: How do you market your consulting business? Beyond that, you need to trust this person or group.
But most business plan templates were written for retailers, manufacturers and other employers — not consultants. You are expected to have at least three visual elements in your business plan.
If you decide you need some professional help, then you need to consider a different set of questions.
In the same spirit, you can also ensure to be on the safe side of things by looking up certain phrases on the Internet if you are unsure about spelling, especially when it comes to capitalization of questionable words Germans: Aufpassen auf subjektivierte Adjektive und Verben! Whichever method you choose, any potential investors will want to see the important numbers. A professional consultant can increase your chances of getting funding for your business , and your likelihood of succeeding once you get funded. Personal goals Perhaps you're planning to be a consultant for the rest of your working life. You should feel comfortable asking questions, and the consultant should be willing to answer your questions.
Write them down and bear them in mind when making big decisions. Certain projects, especially when we are writing a business plan which is part of an academic assignment, will require you to expose your sources in a very detailed fashion according to the respective national citation guidelines valid for that client, which will be communicated to you in your briefing. For most projects, you will have no difficulty to find ample market intelligence data floating around in the World Wide Web. In that case, you must be judicial about the level of service you will need from a consultant.
Some of our clients have asked for corrections to make a business plan sound more enthusiastic.
This can be a good option for entrepreneurs who can articulate their business idea clearly but may need help putting together realistic financial projections.
For all of this, you'll need money. For that, find a good freelance business plan writer and good luck. If you want a business plan that has color charts for financials and a professionally designed layout, you can purchase software for a PC or an iPad. Although these templates are fairly detailed and include instructions on how to fill them out, they are basic in design. Keep it simple Don't write dozens of pages.
Cost in Time The old adage that "time is money" is certainly true when putting together a business plan.
Then, an accountant can help you include the right information in your plan. If money isn't an immediate concern, you can afford to be less formal when drafting your plan. Templates for this type of plan are available free online. The purpose of creating a plan is to help you concentrate on what you want to achieve. But, at some point, you must develop your own client relationships independently if you want to keep your company growing.