How much does it cost to write a business plan?
I’m interested in the average cost to write a business plan.
The price usually varies depending on specific factors. What kind of business do you have? Is it small or big? What niche does it represent? What goal does a client have? With all these questions in mind, I would probably charge from $1,000 for a small business plan or startup up to $15,000 for a business plan for scaling and growing companies with lots of economic factors to take into account.
Consultants are different in terms of background, qualification, and experience. Those qualities will define the final cost. What’s more, specialists generally utilize different pricing models, which also affects the price. Professional business plan consultant, will hardly charge less than $3,000 per project. If someone offered less, I would feel a bit suspicious.
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Buying a ready-to-use business plan is hardly a good idea. It will not contain niche-specific factors and points in reference to your particular business. So, the best way is to conduct a plan yourself. The major factors and resources to consider will include:
Time to create a prior plan and keep it up to date – first of all, it is necessary to create the pilot version of the plan with all major points included. As a rule, it takes about a few hours to put all things together. To keep it up-to-date you will need to customize the plan and make changes every month. It will include in-depth analysis and research.
The idea of buying a business plan – this one is certainly to avoid. No one knows your business better than you do. So, why should you ever hire a third-party writer to complete it for you on a paid basis? There are no guarantees a writer has enough expertise in the niche without mentioning real-life experience and understanding of all factors that may eventually affect the blueprint. If you are unable to conduct a plan yourself, it is better to hire proven experts in the field of economics and finances to work out each step with you involved. However, niche-specific experts usually charge huge fees that may go up to $100,000 and even more for a professional plan. Small business owners and startups may hardly afford such costs right from the start.
Consulting professionals – expert consultations can be a more affordable alternative. It may cost from several hundred to a couple of thousands depending on the business niche. However, you should not expect a ready-made plan for that price. You will get a set of recommendations and tips. As a rule, such services are delivered in a form of coaching or specific business training programs. On the other hand, your deep involvement is vital with a clear understanding of every point and figure indicated in the plan.
I all depends on the nature of the business and the specialist you will need to compile it for you. If you put in a bit of research and leg work it can cost you significantly less.
It depends on how long and/or detailed the plan needs to be. Typically a standard 30 page business plan can range from $500 to $1500 depending on the market surveys that can be found, the complexity of the financials that need to be created, and how long it will take for your clients to review and offer feedback and how many revisions they want. Starting off with a retainer for your time is acceptable, and charging a flat rate for the time it typically takes you to create a workable document plus adding an hourly fee thereafter is also acceptable.
If your plan is going to need to be highly detailed or you have to run your own studies to get the plan right will obviously cost more in time, effort, and money. Getting a good plan with all specific surveys and marketing plans and everything can easily run a customer $10,000 if done by or for large companies. This is generally a much larger and more detailed business plan. For most plans, and investors looking at them, a smaller and more “to-the-point” business plan is enough as long as the key points are considered and the financials are based in fact as much as humanly possible.
Consider offering a pitch deck as well if they are searching for investors or a bank loan. This is a visual presentation that summarizes the business plan in a meaningful way to entice the investor or bank to review the entire plan more closely. Most people like pictures and graphs to help them weed through the information presented in either the pitch deck and the business plan too.
It is hard to say exactly how much a business plan costs. Some specialists charge daily or hourly fees while others take payment for a complete project with necessary customizations and revisions. What’s more, we also need to consider the level of involvement and qualification. For example, if someone asked me to perform an in-depth involvement with multiple calculations or return, cost optimization, and buyer personal identification, I would probably charge $700 per day. In this case, a ready-to-use plan with all aspects involved would take me about a month to complete. The most common mistake many beginner specialists make is handling several projects at the same time. Every business plan is unique and calls for maximum involvement. To succeed, you should avoid handling more than one plan at a time. Besides, you need to be 100% sure, all figures and calculations you provide make sense for the client.