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Q: Business plan writing assistance ( Answered 3 out of 5 stars,   1 Comment )
Subject: Business plan writing assistance
Category: Business and Money
Asked by: imcsa-ga
List Price: $50.00
Posted: 12 Jul 2006 01:10 PDT
Expires: 11 Aug 2006 01:10 PDT
Question ID: 745525

We are starting a new web based business. We have a good experience in
running successful websites, but not in business plan writing. We are
looking for a free-lance or a company offering such services as
business plan writing following our directions.
Subject: Re: Business plan writing assistance
Answered By: easterangel-ga on 12 Jul 2006 03:01 PDT
Rated:3 out of 5 stars
Hi! Thanks for the question.

I was able to find links to lists of companies and freelancers that
could help you in making a business plan.

Business Planning Directory

DMOZ Directory


Contracted Work 

Search terms used:
business plan consultants freelancers
I hope this would help you in your research. Before rating this
answer, please ask for a clarification if you have a question or if
you would need further information.
Google Answers Researcher

Request for Answer Clarification by imcsa-ga on 12 Jul 2006 09:28 PDT

Thanks, but this is not what i was looking for. I nkow how to find
lists of this kinf of companies, I was looking for an advice, maybe
someone yho already worked with one.

Thank you

Clarification of Answer by easterangel-ga on 12 Jul 2006 15:16 PDT

Based on your requirements, you have indicated that you were looking
for business plan writers whether freelance or companies.

"We are looking for a free-lance or a company offering such services as
business plan writing following our directions."

As you can see there is nothing their indicating looking for an advice
or that you need someone which has experience in working with these
services. Please consider that Google Answers Researchers can only
work on the premise of the original question and on what the
requirements are there. Unless the asker has put other requirements we
have no way of knowing them.

Usually we asked clarifications if something is not clear. The
question however, was straight forward enough so I worked on it.

I hope you understand.

Thank you.
imcsa-ga rated this answer:3 out of 5 stars

Subject: Re: Business plan writing assistance
From: jeffbecker-ga on 26 Jul 2006 18:53 PDT
Hi Imcsa,

One of the first things I would ask myself is your motivation for
creating the plan... is it to help you set internal strategic
direction for the company?  To attract outside investors?  Get a loan
from the bank?  While many of elements of a plan in these different
cases will  be the same, the approach may be very different.

You've no doubt found out that there are lots of folks willing to do
this, at pricepoints seemly all over the place.  There's also a bunch
of software packages, plus I believe you can buy sample plans as well.
 By figuring out your goals, it should help narrow the field.

If you already know exactly what you want to do and how to do it, and
you simply want to illustrate it to others outside the company,
understand that the goal of the plan is to either create further
interest (investors) or satisfy a concern (bank/lender).  In other
words, the plan is a form of marketing.  In many cases you can do this
yourself by finding examples.  If you do need help, I'd recommend
getting help from someone who has experience evaluating plans from
your target reader's perspective... in other words, if you want to
attract venture capital investments, the best person to help you is
someone who helped screen deals as a VC, and knows what your target
wants to hear (and not hear).  If this is all you need, and you
already have the necessary financial information, I wouldn't spend
more than $1,000 unless you have very lofty aspirations.

On the other hand, if it is internally focused, the substance is much
more important than presentation.  Again, you can do this yourself,
but the goal should be to critically analyse the aspects of the
business.  I've found that the act of writing it out forces you to
consider issues that you may not have considered before.  I would also
recommend creating a financial model to flush-out "what if" scenarios
and to create projections for future results.  If you hire someone,
you want them to spend time getting to know you and your business,
asking lots of questions, and really make it an interactive process. 
You want someone who has done this before, is easy to work with, and
has the background and skillset to be credible, effecient, and
accurate.  Price ranges vary widely depending on the length of
engagement, but I suspect you probably are spending a few thousand
dollars at a minimum.  Again, be realistic on your aspirations, and do
go crazy spending tens of thousands of dollars unless you are talking
about a huge investment and/or opportunity.

A few of my clients have tried doing themselves with software
programs, and in my opinion the results have been mixed.  The
financials generated by the programs have been anywhere from
misleading to downright wrong, but the formatting and content
suggestions seems to work pretty well if you are looking for more of
an external-focused plan.

Best of luck!

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