Business Planning Services
We offer business planning services to three groups: startups; established businesses; and non-profits, counties and municipalities.
Startups are usually characterized by bold visions and big ideas but limited capital, small teams and limited resources. The main challenge for most startups is not the end game, but rather how to get there from here. We help entrepreneurs chart a course, and navigate through calm seas, rocky shoals, and high winds.
Established businesses are different from startups. They have a history. They have products, services, and processes that work, and some that don’t. They have a mix of happy customers and not-so-happy customers. They usually have a small executive management team, some employees, and probably some contractors. The big difference is that established businesses have something to lose. A new business plan has to transition the business from the old to the new, without breaking all the things that already work.
Non-profits, counties and municipalities differ from businesses in many ways. They tend to be mission oriented rather than profit driven. They often have more diverse groups of stakeholders, such as members, volunteers, citizens, associations, and boards. They also have very different financing mechanisms and funding sources. But they still need a “business” plan.
Our business planning process is intense, thorough, and highly collaborative. We provide an objective view, so your final business plan is based on reality, not pixie dust.
- We work closely with you to understand your goals and vision, and then develop a clear roadmap for your business for the next few years.
- Unlike many of our competitors, we expect — even demand — several iterations. We understand that the first version is rarely perfect. If you are not happy with our work, we aren’t either.
- We question assumptions, perform independent research, and explore and propose alternative ways to help you achieve your business objectives. We are consultants, not just writers.
- If you need to raise capital, we’ll evaluate your business plan from the viewpoint of a prospective investor or partner. Our experience allows us to quickly spot problems and fix them long before you meet with your first investor.
Despite the rumors, business planning is rarely simple. It is inherently nonlinear. By that, we mean it doesn’t follow a neat set of orderly steps, and each step depends on the others, so “minor” changes to one part of the plan can often result in “major” changes in another part, which then cascade through the rest of the plan.
Be sure to avoid these common mistakes when creating a business plan.
We do not offer any fixed price packages and we generally avoid templates. Before we can estimate the fee for completing your business plan, we need to understand your individual situation. This generally requires several conversations about your project goals, timetable, budget, scope, and other issues.
We have many years of experience working with businesses and non-profit organizations across a wide variety of industries, sectors and stages. Our clients have ranged from one-person service industry startups to large manufacturing clients with hundreds of employees and multi-state operations, to counties, municipalities and other non-profit organizations.
Pricing for business plan consulting services depends on a number of factors. Although we are far from being the most expensive, we are also rarely the least expensive. If you are looking for a strong, experienced consultant who will treat you with the attention and respect you deserve, then you have come to the right place.
We’ll work closely with you to understand your goals and vision, research your markets and competitors, and develop your business plan. Although most clients hire us to write a business plan they often find that the process they go through developing a plan is ultimately more valuable than the documents themselves.
Our writing style is clear, direct, and simple. A typical business plan includes all or most of the following components:
- Industry/ Market Overview
- Market Opportunity/ Needs Analysis
- Business Model
- Products & Services
- Marketing and Sales
- Management and Staff
- Financial Projections
- Scenario Analysis
- SWOT Analysis
- Appendix and Supplementary Materials
Every successful organization has a business plan. The level of detail required differs from organization to organization, but the idea of just throwing spaghetti at the wall to see what sticks is foolhardy in the extreme. A solid business plan by no means guarantees success, but it definitely shifts the odds in your favor.