Often times entrepreneurs prefer to hire a consultant that can help them write the business plan. Therefore, we gathered some ideas that aim to help take the best decision when hiring a business consultant.
When business owners are faced with the question “Do I need to hire a consultant when I’m writing my business plan?” there are two common type of answers: some entrepreneurs strongly believe that hiring an external expert is extremely useful because he can offer valuable insight along with fresh and new perspectives and a set of knowledge that can only add value to the business plan while others believe that hiring an external consultant equals high costs that will not be on the same level as the benefit the consultant brings. Moreover, they consider that consultants can’t really know the business as good as the entrepreneurs so why pay them?
So who is right? Well, both groups offer solid pros and cons so one might be inclined to think that they’re both right, depending on the type of consultant a business owner wants to hire and the reason behind his or her hiring. Most consultants are experts in a particular business field so they can be hired either to assist in writing certain parts of the business plan or to write the entire business plan.
The main disadvantage of collaborating with a consultant refers to the fact that you have to spend a lot of time communicating with this person before and during the ongoing contract.
You must make sure you’ve clearly and thoroughly explained to the consultant the nature of your business, the concept and the business strategy, your financial needs and other aspects such as control related activities, future plans, etc. so that, without the shadow of the doubt, that person understands each and every concept.
All these elements must be clarified during the process because it’s preferable that you don’t pay for a good and nicely-created business plan that is compatible with somebody else’s business and not with yours.
And once the business plan is created, you should probably have another discussion with the consultant to see if there are other useful aspects that could be exploited but were left out of the business plan.
If you decide to hire a consultant to help you create the business plan, you should be 110% sure you’ve hired the right person for this activity. Here are some recommendations to help you with the hiring process of a consultant:
- Get recommendations. Ask your colleagues, friends and family and other collaborators such as bankers, accountants or lawyers to recommend a consultant that can help you write your business plan. This is a good tip that will help you save on time and work. Moreover, few consultants promote themselves in the classic way. Thus, recommendations are the best way to reach them.
- Seek out consultants that are experienced in working with companies similar to yours. Find a consultant that is an expert in helping companies from your business sector. Ideally, the consultant should also possess the necessary experience to write business plans for similar businesses. You should probably stay away from consultants that are known for doing everything for everybody.
- Check the references. Once you have the name of a consultant, find at least three former clients of this consultant. Ask the former clients about the quality of the consultant’s work and how the collaboration has undergone in the past. Was the initial financial agreement kept until the end of the contract? Did he or she respect the deadlines? Has the business plan managed to accomplish the goal behind creating it?
- Sign a contract. Last but not least, make sure you put everything on paper where all aspects should be detailed thoroughly: honorary, when and how it is paid, the key components the consultant must present when the contract expires, the deadline and confidentiality clauses, etc.
We hope you found this article useful and we wish you good luck in writing your business plan!