Frequently Asked Questions About Business Plans

Quality Business Plan has worked with hundreds of small business owners and potential small business owners over the course of the last ten years.  In this time, our business plan writers and business plan consultants have been asked thousands of questions.  Listed here are the most frequently asked questions about business plan writers, business plan consultants and the business plan writing process.  

Business plan costs

     How much does a business plan writer cost?

Hiring a business plan writer is definitely a significant investment for a small business owner.  Prices often range between $400 to over $5,000, depending on the complexity of the business, Mona funding sought and other factors.  For the most part, our firm charges $800 for startup companies seeking funding less than $500,000.

     How much does a business plan consultant charge?

Business plan consultants perform a different task as compared to business plan writers.  For the most part, business plan consultants often work off of an old business plan or it a plan that is already started by entrepreneur.  Because we are to have a document to work from, business plan consultants often charge between $200-$400 for completing or updating a business plan.

     How do I write a business plan for free?

Entrepreneurs can most definitely write a business plan for free.  When constructing your own business plan, make sure to use all resources available to you.  Some of the resources that are most popular include:

Business consultants

How do I become a business consultant?

The business consultant profession is highly rewarding, steeped in ambiguity and requires a rich skillset that should include excellent communication skills, business experience and a love for writing. The first step to being a business consultant is to obtain an advanced business degree, such as an MBA or a Masters in management.  Next, significant business experience is needed.  From this, starting your own business or specializing in a specific industry is a must.  After several years of industry experience, you are now ready to branch out on your own and start a business consulting firm or go to work as a business consultant for another company.

How can a consultant help my business?

There are several ways a business consultant can help an established company or startup.  For a startup company, a business consultant assists with writing a business plan for their client, gathering startup costs or negotiating lease agreements.  Pretty much, a business consultant will either help you solve problems that you cannot solve yourself or complete tasks that you do not want to do or do not know how to do.

In reference to an established business, business consultants may offer different services.  For example, our business consultants often work with established business owners to construct financial models, conduct cost analysis or examine operations to determine where optimization may be obtainable.

What does a business plan writer do?

The business plan writer, in a nutshell, walks a business owner through the entrepreneurial process.  Quality Business Plan’s business plan writers offers differentiated services as compared to other business plan writers.  For our company, our business plan writer’s first start with an initial consultation.  This consultation takes approximately 2 hours.  In this consultation, our writers will ask 1,000 different questions about how the entrepreneur views their business.

Once this is complete, our business plan writers then conduct market research, research the industry, create financial models and finally write the business plan.  When this is done, all writers then email the rough draft of the business plan for client.  At this point, our client will review the business plan to ensure that the document captures 100% of their vision.  Our final step is a final meeting via phone to discuss any changes needed to the document.  In all, the business plan writing process takes about 7 to 10 days to complete.

Writing a business plan

How many pages should a business plan be?

As with most things, the quantity of pages for a business plan is not nearly as important as the quality of the information contained in the document.  From our experience, most business plans range between 10 to 15 pages.  This succinct document is great for organizing entrepreneur’s thoughts and ideas in a coherent manner.  However, if an entrepreneur is seeking funding, then financials are required as well as a more thorough examination of the company’s internal and external environment.  From this, a business plan can range between 25 to 35 pages.  As for Quality Business Plan, our documents often range between 40 to 60 pages.  This is because our business plans are heavily focused on financial projections.  For some odd reason, investors and bank loan officers are highly interested in assessing whether a company will be successful or not.

What is a good business plan?

A good business plan is highly subjective.  In our opinion, a good business plan specifically meets the need of the entrepreneur or small business owner.  In starting, a small business owner may be satisfied with notes scribbled on a back of an envelope for business plan.  As the concept evolves, then a 1 to 2-page business plan might be sufficient.  To entice friends and families to invest in the business, a 10 to 15-page plan may touch on all clinical aspects of the business.  To obtain funding from a bank or investor, you better kick it up a notch and have a plan ready that exceeds 25 or more pages.

What are the key elements in a business plan?

The key elements to a business plan are as follows:

  • Title page.
  • Table of contents.
  • Owner statement to the reader.
  • Executive Summary
  • Company description
  • Competitive advantages
  • Mission/Vision/Value Statement
  • Market analysis
  • Industry
  • Target Market
  • Pricing
  • Competition
  • Competitive analysis
  • SWOT
  • Organization and management
  • Ownership and responsibilities
  • Organizational Structure
  • Resumes (Customer Provided)
  • Service / Product description
  • Problem Statement
  • Product Description
  • Marketing and sales
  • Social Media
  • Traditional
  • Website
  • Sales
  • Strategies
  • Networking
  • Competitive
  • Marketing
  • Synergy
  • Financials (5 yrs)
  • Income statement
  • Balance sheet
  • Profit & Loss (24 months)
  • Funding request
  • Exit Strategy
  • Appendix
  • Non-disclosure agreement