Are you considering the idea of opening a business plan consultancy? The task of creating a business plan is so difficult for many would-be business owners, many give up on their business dreams when they hear the words, “business plan.” As a business plan consultant, you will be in a unique position to step into this gap, offering guidance, business knowledge, and creativity to place a completed business plan into the hands of your clients. By producing solid, viable business plans and customizing the proper business plan format to suit the client, you can create a growing business of your own along the way. To do so, here are the six key steps to becoming a business plan consultant.
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1. Build Your Credentials
In order to effectively and efficiently become a business plan consultant, you’ll want to ensure you have the necessary background to offer complete services. To create that background, look into online courses to fill any gaps in your skills, gather relevant industry information for various types of business plans, and fine-tune your abilities in writing complete business plans. Examine the best samples of business plans, create detailed spreadsheets of custom requirements for each type of industry, and gather background material from clients. Research trademarks and patents, marketing strategies, growth definers, and other information needed for each client.
2. Strategically Market Your Skills
With so many would-be business owners looking for help in preparing business plans, your audience is wide open. Research potential competition and determine how you can differentiate your consulting services from any competitors. Strategize to determine the most effective methods you’ll want to employ to present your services; whether through social media, email introductions, referrals from associates, or word-of-mouth advertising. Stay on top of industry activity in your area and determine the type of business plans you may be called upon to produce. In short, get ready for business.
3. Produce Top-Notch Plans
As a business plan consultant, the first plan you’ll want to complete is your own, using a thorough plan, such as this for a business plan consultant. From there, you’ll want to employ your knowledge base to produce various top-notch plans, designed professionally and calibrated to meet the specific needs of each client. It is essential to create active, inviting business plans that are ready to present to banks, investors, and potential partners. Your clients may also use their business plans to lease property, obtain insurance, and in other business matters. All in all, the thorough, dynamic business plans you help create will ensure your clients can launch their business dreams into reality.
4. Maintain Client Privacy
It goes without saying that your clients are excited and nervous about starting a new business and they are often unsure of who they can trust with sensitive information. You’ll want to offer a signed privacy assurance statement to give them the steady reliance that their creative ideas, executive plans, and personal financial information will stay securely within your hands. You’ll also want to maintain confidentiality about the business plans created within your business and consider using a non-disclosure agreement if the situation warrants that document.
5. Set Reasonable Expectations
In consulting and preparing a business plan, you’ll want to offer a contract, outlining start and completion dates, work to be included, and expectations for both parties, along with a clear outline of fees for your services. You also want to include two to three short review periods so your clients can look over the work in progress. Indicate dates for these review periods with return dates that are reasonable so the business plan can be compiled at a steady pace without undue interruptions. You’ll want your client to sign off on the revisions in the final draft so further revisions will not be requested during your presentation of the completed business plan.
6. Expand Your Relationships
As a business plan consultant, you are in a position to encourage and inform your clients about business practices, and investments, and also offer advice they will gladly receive. In doing so, you’ll want to encourage and inform them as you lead the way toward their success. They, in turn, will trust your judgment and may choose to return for further consultations, which can lead to long-term consultancy contracts. Additionally, satisfied clients will refer you to others who will need your business expertise. Expand your client relationships accordingly and encourage long-term consultancy services, as your clients will continue to rely on your confidentiality and loyalty.
Within the process of building your credentials, marketing your skills, producing top-notch business plans, and building excellent client relationships, you’ll soon find your business plan consultancy is thriving as you move toward long-term growth and further success.