Business Plan Services – The 5 Key Stages of the Process

Business planning can never be truly outsourced. If a contractor or consultant is brought into the process they may be allowed to take the lead, but the work will still require extensive collaboration between the entrepreneur or business managers and the contracted firm. This collaboration process will take a different shape depending on the specific firm you are working with, but should include these important stages:

Interview Stage

After a contract has been signed (and perhaps even before) interviewing will occur where the consultant attempts to gather as much business information directly from the entrepreneurs or managers as possible. If there are multiple managers or founders, they will look to reconcile their different accounts of what the business is attempting to do and make the team aware of significant divergences.

Research Stage

With the interview information as background, the consultant can now use a wide range of resources to find supporting data and statistics for the business plan. This will become the basis of the industry / market, customer, and competitive analysis sections of the plan. This is work that can primarily be done by the consultant or consultants on their own. However, the client should keep an eye on the process, getting updates on findings at various intervals so they can offer input rather than simply a huge report at the end of the research process.

Strategy Consulting Stage

With a better idea of ​​the market situation, the consultant is now in a position to help the client craft a better strategy. High quality consultants will not simply accept the business's strategy as dictated, but will bring their own understanding of business strategy to the table at this point. Discussions between the two parties will be important to the process at this stage.

Outlining and Drafting Stage

With strategy and the basic information for the business plan now in hand, the consultant can outline the basic business plan. A draft of the plan will next be created which should serve as a point of additional discussion if necessary.

Completion Stage

Finally, the plan is proofread and copy edited. Appropriate graphics, such as charts, graphs, and logos are inserted to better illustrate what is being said. The business plan consultant should provide directions as to how the plan should be printed and perhaps even how and to whom it should be presented.

Source by [lakajira]

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