What sets you apart from other consulting organizations?
The simple answer here is personnel and process. Our team brings vast experience and knowledge to assist you in making your business plan as compelling as it can be. We have read and analyzed thousands of business plans and financial statements and can quickly identify their strengths and weaknesses. Moreover, we have put hundreds of clients in front of investors and have a strong understanding of their unique demands. Finally, our proprietary Honest Assessment Review framework allows us to provide you with a quick and objective evaluation of your plan and determine your chance of success in attracting potential investors.
How can I be assured that your organization will not steal my idea?
First and foremost, we operate in transparent and ethical manner. We do not discuss your business with anyone outside of the organization.
Second, we will send you a mutual non-disclosure agreement (NDA) before you engage us to provide any level of service. The NDA protects your business plan, content, intellectual property, and proprietary processes. In addition, the mutual nature of the NDA protects our process and related trade secrets.
After I complete my business plan will I be able to raise capital?
There are many considerations in determining whether an idea or concept receives funding. Our goal is to evaluate your business plan, provide an Honest Assessment Review of its strengths and weaknesses, offer guidance and suggestions, focus your efforts properly, and assist you in creating a document that will not dissuade potential investors.
Regardless how good the underlying idea may be, our process is designed to identify the shortcomings and potential red flags that should be addressed prior to contacting investors. It is very rare that you get more than one opportunity with an investor, so your business plan should be as polished as it can be.
If after utilizing our service you decide to seek potential investors, make sure you are represented by a properly licensed organization. In general, only organizations and brokers that are registered with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) are capable of legally raising funds. To avoid violating both federal and state securities laws, it is best to seek advice from a securities attorney before going down this path.
Do you raise capital for clients that utilize your business plan consulting service?
The general answer is no, we will not raise capital for your business plan. However, there are many circumstances in which we will provide guidance and direction with respect to raising money. Further, we frequently make referrals and formal introductions to potential investors when the situation allows. Our objective is assist you in your journey to grow your business, not simply fulfill an obligation for a quick transaction.
Do you specialize in any specific industry?
We are generalists and do not have a specific area of emphasis or expertise. Our practice is built around our ability to quickly understand the relevant drivers of a business and communicate those ideas effectively to potential investors. We have experience in numerous industries: medical devices, pharmaceuticals, biotech, Internet/e-commerce, financial services, consumer products, specialty retail, productivity and education software, entertainment software, enterprise software, manufacturing and specialty manufacturing.
Do you write my business plan for me?
We like to say that we will write your business plan WITH you. In general, we do not write (or re-write) your business plan word-for-word, cover-to-cover from scratch. No one knows your business or idea as well as you do. It would be rather presumptuous, in our view, if we were to pose as subject matter experts when it comes to your business. For that reason, we like to say that we will write your business plan WITH you.
Furthermore, we provide an Honest Assessment Review of your business plan, identify its strengths and weaknesses, offer guidance and suggestions, focus your efforts properly, and assist you in creating a document that will not dissuade potential investors. Some of this support includes writing sentences and paragraphs; offering suggestions for more actionable word choices; providing phraseology to improve readability; recommending enhancements to your financial projections and its presentation; and advising you on the business plan’s general assembly. Depending on the service level you select, we may incorporate second and third Honest Assessment Reviews of your business plan to streamline your efforts and keep you on track.
How long (days, weeks, or hours) will it take me to write my business plan? How much time will you save me?
Of all the questions we receive, this is the most difficult to quantify because it is a function of your time, availability, focus, and perhaps most important, your ability to pull together all the necessary elements of a business plan. Depending on the technical complexity of your business, the amount of competitive intelligence and research readily available, and your ability to articulate your vision, it may take anywhere from 200 to 500 hours to author a plan from start to finish. This wide-ranging estimate depends on many factors including your technical writing ability and the time necessary to create a financial model, a function many people offload to a financial analyst.
While we could provide you with a very rough estimate as to the amount of time we may save you (either in hours or as a percentage), the reality is it would merely be a guess as each business plan is different and they come to us in various degrees of completeness. We would argue that we offer time savings in the form of:
- keeping you focused on the proper aspects of your plan,
- helping to streamline your process,
- stimulating additional thoughts and ideas that will enhance the finished product, and
- assisting in the creation of its narrative development.
Is a business plan really necessary?
If you plan to solicit investors for funding, the answer is a resounding YES. Even if you were a well-known venture capitalist or founder of numerous successful dot-com or brick and mortar businesses and seeking business partners, the answer would still be YES.
Investors need to see that you have a plan and that you are considering all the relevant angles. They want to understand the “how’s” and “why’s” of your business, and they need some clarity with respect to their potential return on investment (ROI). After all, most savvy investors have multiple investments within their portfolio. They need to gauge the potential risk-reward relationship of your business and in doing so, gain some transparency to their aggregate holdings.
If we utilize your service, will you guarantee that our business will get funding?
The simple answer is no, we do not guarantee that you will get funding if you utilize our service. Naturally, we would love every business that we touch to receive funding and become ultra-successful. But sadly, that is not reality. We assist you in developing an effective business plan that you can feel confident in sharing with potential investors.
Our Honest Assessment Review serves as a reliable indicator as to how much work needs to be done, and what areas require attention in order to get your business plan to a standard that is acceptable to most investors. But even then, there are multiple reasons why a business plan fails to receive funding (reference Common Reasons Business Plans Get Rejected). In short, a business’s ability to capture funding goes well beyond its plan.
Will you accept an equity position in the company in lieu of paying the consulting fee?
The general answer is no, we will not accept an equity position for business plan consulting services. When it comes to Biz Plan Review services, we work on a fee basis. We believe our fees are competitive with industry standards and, given the actual amount of time we spend with each of our clients, offer tremendous value for clients.
Do you refund service fees?
Due to the manner in which we engage potential customers (reference Working With Us), the general answer is no, we do not offer refunds. We evaluate prospective clients for goodness of fit. Before you pay us a cent, we carefully review your materials and assess whether our service will be beneficial to you. Following this initial appraisal, we may conclude that our service may not be optimal for your situation.
We aim to work with our clients to insure they receive the full value for the service and advice they pay for. When we enter into a relationship with a client, we do so with a high degree of certainty that we will advance their cause and assist them in creating an attractive business plan.
How do my hours of service get tracked?
It is a rather simple process of checking the computer clock just before we start working and once again after we finish. We log the time, as well as the tasks accomplished during that period. As a customer, we will share your activity log with you at any time. As noted in the Services section of this website, we typically spend far more than the minimum review times identified in our service plans. Our objective is to provide focused “white glove” service to each of our clients and it is incredibly important to us that we meet or exceed your expectations.
How long might it take for my business to get funded?
The length of time it takes to get a business funded is a function of a number of key elements, a few of which we will cover briefly. A major factor behind getting financing is the business concept itself. The question here is simply: how compelling is the business idea? A terrific concept may receive almost immediate funding, while a marginal project may fail to gain much traction with investors.
Another aspect that plays a part in the funding equation is whether a proper business plan is available. Further, every potential financial partner will need to see a complete document with realistic forward-looking projections.
The final consideration is the form of funding that is pursued. Each financing option (Friends & Family, Angel Investing, Crowd Funding, etc.) has unique features, due diligence requirements, and timelines to completion. These functions are largely outside the control of the business owner.
What form of funding is right for my business?
As most things in start-up funding, the answer to this question has a number of considerations and nuances. An owner needs to decide whether they want the business to be financed by debt, equity, or some hybrid form. Each avenue has specific pros and cons that need to be clarified and considered.