So you saw “The Social Network” and it inspired you to start your own mini-empire.
Well first, you’ll need a few items – you know, luxuries like funding, staff, and an office. To get the attention of venture capital types who may fund your new business, you’ll also need a good business plan. But that begs the question: should you write it yourself or hire a professional to do the job?
Here are some pros and cons of both approaches, and some tips if you choose to go it alone.
The one non-negotiable point going into a new business venture is that you do need a business plan. According to a 2010 survey by Palo Alto Software, a business plan doubles your chances of growing your business and getting the financial capital you need to succeed.
The survey offers a convincing case for entrepreneurs to get cracking on a good business plan: Of the 995 business owners with a business plan (out of a total sample of 2,877),
- 297 of them (36%) secured a loan
- 280 of them (36%) secured investment capital
- 499 of them (64%) had grown their business
Meanwhile, of the 1,556 survey participants who did not have a business plan,
- 222 of them (18%) secured a loan
- 219 of them (18%) secured investment capital
- 501 of them (43%) had grown their business
So while you technically don’t need a business plan to make it as an entrepreneur, it sure will increase your chances.
So where to start? You can go ahead and hire somebody to research and write one for you, and there are professional business plan consultants who can do that. Expect to pay a few thousand dollars for it though, and never have one of those content mills write it for you on the cheap. A business plan is the corporate equivalent of putting your best foot forward, so a cheap, ill-prepared, or typo-ridden plan could easily ruin your chances with investors.