Business Planning Services – The Collaboration Process

Using a business planning service, such as a writer, consultant, or consulting firm, means collaborating on a process which is still, in a sense, very personal. Think through the process which the collaborator presents to you during initial talks to see that these key stages are included to your satisfaction. In the end, it is you who must present and be comfortable with the business plan.

Initiation

The initiation phase is where the scope of the work, budget of the project, and time for each step along the way will be set. These aspects are all subject to negotiation between yourself and the collaborator, whether or not it is presented to you as such. However, it is best to rely on the expertise of the collaborator to determine what scope of work they are comfortable with so that you do not ask them to do types of work they are unfamiliar with.

Interview

What follows should begin the data-finding drafting services stage, beginning with you and other members of your founding team. The collaborators should interview you to record all of the information you have so far about the business concept, market opportunity, and strategy.

Research

The next part of data-finding will be done by the collaborators on their own, perhaps with some additional questions to you as they proceed. This will be research into the industry, customers, competitors, and costs you will face. They will make use of all of the resources at their disposal, including many which you may not have access to.

Rough Draft

The next time for your own involvement should be to review a very rough draft of the business plan. This should be an opportunity to stop the process from moving in directions you are not comfortable with. The plan you view may be in rough note or bullet point format at this point as it will be the ideas you are okaying and not the language used.

Second Draft

After changes are made, the draft will be written into appropriate business language and made presentation-ready with graphics, charts, and financial statements. This second draft should be an opportunity for you to make sure you are comfortable with the almost-completed product.

Final Draft

Finally, any last changes from the second draft should be incorporated and the final draft delivered with guidance as to how to use it going forward. If the consultants can help you create a short list of funders to target, so much the better.