Many potential clients ask us why they should learn how to write a business plan if they only need it at a specific point in time. They figure that they can pay someone to do it for them. Or buy software that only requires them to input information into the blank sections and it will automatically generate them a professional looking business plan.
Our response to this reasoning is that you don’t need to learn how to write any business plan, you just need to learn how to write your own business plan. The distinction here is the fundamental ability to understand the drivers of your own business and communicate that to third parties from whom you want something.
We’re not saying that you shouldn’t pay some essay writer to write it for you. But we have found that many small businesses can’t afford this service, which can be quite expensive.
And we do warn entrepreneurs about using business planning software. The problem with software is that it does not analyze your business for you. You, as the business owner, still need to undertake analysis. Software will generate a professional looking plan, but that is not enough. It needs to contain analysis and information that relates to your business, so you still need to do the work to write the plan. Unless you learn how to write a business plan, you won’t know how to fill in the blanks. In addition to this, the software is usually sold on an ongoing subscription basis, which is contrary to the argument that many people pose against learning how to write a business – it’s a once off task.
We also disagree with the argument that a business plan is a once-off document. Business plans can be a strategic management tool for the business, as well as a means to keep your investors updated on how the business is tracking. Companies that sell business plan software usually use this argument to sell subscriptions. And they are not wrong.