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Choosing a good business planning service can mean the difference between realizing your entrepreneurial dreams and never seeing your business plans get off the ground. Depending on where you live, you may have access to more than one planning service, so it is a good idea to do some research before working with a specific service or consultant. When evaluating your options, you should consider the expertise of the adviser you will be working with, whether the service offers assistance beyond creating business plans, as well as the cost of hiring the service.
If you are planning on starting a business, your first step should be putting together a business plan. This can act as a blueprint for your efforts and can help keep you on track as you develop the business. Potential investors and lenders will also want to see your business plan before agreeing to finance your business. If you are new to starting businesses, you may wish to hire a business planning service that can help you put together a realistic business plan.
There are many different organizations and business planning professionals who can help you construct your business plan. Depending on where you live, there may be government or not-for-profit agencies and organizations that provide a free or low-cost business planning service to those who wish to begin a new enterprise. Local banks may also provide services to entrepreneurs and may be able to make referrals to business start-up assistance services. Finally, you may also decide to work with a private business consultant.
When evaluating your options, consider whether the business planning service has people on staff who have themselves successfully started and managed businesses. If you are hoping to use your business plan to recruit investors or to apply for financing, you may wish to inquire as to the experience of the business plan writer and find out whether he or she has composed business plans that have actually resulted in funding. When it comes to selecting a small business consultant, you may wish to prioritize actual entrepreneurial experience over academic achievement.
Be wary of a business planning service that wants to charge you a very large fee up front for its services. Unless the service has an extremely good track record of helping new businesses achieve success, you may wish to first try working with a low or no-cost service before hiring a high-fee service. On the other hand, if your business idea is very complex or may require a significant amount of funding, hiring a service with expertise in your industry may be a wise investment.
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