A Business plan is a belief in the future. A belief that things will work out.
That’s what makes entrepreneurs – belief that brings the impossible into existence.
So, should you intrust your business plan – your vision for the future of your business, the future of your life to a business plan consultant?
This may come as a surprise but I would say the answer is ….. No!!!!
I know this answer is shocking coming from a business plan consultant but stay with me here – let me explain.
One of my customers, let’s call him Tony, was looking to start a fine dining restaurant in Toronto, Ontario. Tony needed a loan to start a food service business and wanted Business Plans Canada to write it for him. We agreed.
Tony asked us to write the vision and mission section of his business plan.
What we did instead
We scheduled a brainstorming meeting with Tony and grilled him with questions about the business he was about to start.
Here’s what we said to him:
“Starting any business (especially a food service business) is risky. It’s long hours and minimal pay in the beginning until the business matures and becomes profitable. Why the heck would you want to do that – grow through all this pain? What’s driving you to do this? Why not just keep your day job, and invest your money somewhere else?”
After a few short minutes of speaking with Tony, we realized that food service was not just a business for him. It was his passion!
He worked in a restaurant with his dad when he was young and have always dreamt of starting his own. He loved seeing people enjoying a good meal that he had a hand in making. He’s been thinking about and designing this business for years.
Seeing delighted customers not only energized him, but brought back fond memories of working with his father. His father taught him the value of hard work, the responsibility that comes with owning a business, and most of all, his father instilled a love of food.
He wanted to create a place where people can leave their troubles behind and enjoy good food, and unique drinks in an environment that made their troubles disappear – even if for just a little bit of time.
That was it! We found Tony’s vision.
How a business plan consultant can actually help:
Just like with Tony, a business consultant does not know your passions, interests, skills, industry and life circumstances better than you. Your business is an extension of your goals, your values and your beliefs and it needs to come from you.
The vision for the business should always come from and be unique to you. This should never be hired out to a business plan consultant.
A business plan consultant’s role should be to help you articulate your vision in a way that appeals to readers of your plan.
They should never be inventing your vision and mission of your business.
A good business plan consultant will be able to understand your vision, goals and destination and be able to write it in a way that makes readers fall in love with it. At the very least, your plan should be clear and easy to understand, concise yet has all the relevant details, and always aligned with your vision for the business.
So … should you hire a business plan consultant?
No, if you expect them to invent the business for you.
Yes, if you already have a vision for what you’d like to accomplish. In this case, a business plan consultant can help you articulate your vision and bring it to life in a complete business plan.
Anything less would be a disservice to you, your business, your lenders and your eventual customers.