Don't Outsource the Business Plan
One of the most common requests we see coming through our consulting is a budding entrepreneur who wants us to prepare their business plan in its entirety. Often, they are looking for a turn-key plan that they can take straight to an investor or bank.
We can’t…. absolutely can’t express how strongly we advise against this.
Let’s breakdown the why.
When we talk about developing a ‘business plan’, the entrepreneur must conduct a collection of specific investigatory processes that allows them to determine if their idea is feasible. This ‘market research’ helps you decide if there is a market and most importantly if its viable.
Market research consists firstly of the traditional aspects such as market segmentation (researching your target market), looking at market trends, and performing a SWOT analysis; followed by lean methodology and customer development. This discovery process allows you to convert an insubstantial idea into a business model and it can require iteration, steps backward and pivots. This process builds a deep understanding of where the market currently is, where it is going and how an entrepreneur can fit themselves into it. It is essential that a founder is in the middle of this and to outsource this is paying someone to take away your business’ chance at succeeding.
Once you have a business model and a validated customer, you have developed an understanding of the business processes and systems you need to now scale. “Scale’ in this regard could be anything from your new 'SaaS' application to your clothing line going from the Sunday market to a full online content and e-commerce platform. If you understand very clearly what processes, systems, and likely employee roles you will need to succeed, you can accurately cost your growth. Your financial models will be grounded in hard facts rather than arbitrary 5-year projections. Most importantly though is the fact that you will have your hand on the pulse of the business. To understand the processes, means data, and if you collect and action this data, you will create opportunities, organizational inefficiencies, and operational flexibility. Why would you want to outsource this b