Do You Need a Formal Business Plan?
Formal business plans are essential when you are trying to acquire funding. Consequently, many speakers never need a formal business plan. If you ever do need one, you can take your working plan and ‘formalize’ it to meet the expectations of the people you’re preparing it for.
It sounds easy, but it’s not. Writing a formal business plan is a specialized skill and, in my opinion, you should hire a professional to write your formal business plan for you. This will cost you money — as a rule of thumb, expect to pay 5% to 10% of the amount of money you’re looking to borrow, to have your business plan written.
This sounds like a lot of money — and it is! But it's not an expense, it's an investment. After all, it’s probably worth spending several thousand dollars to improve your chances of getting a $50,000 loan.
But even if you do need to hire someone to write a formal business plan for you, your working business plan will still be helpful. Giving your working business plan to your plan writer as a reference may save her time — and save you money!
But for most speakers, a working business plan is much more important than a formal business plan. You’ll need a formal business plan only occasionally, if ever; but your “working” business plan will be an essential resource that will guide your business throughout your career.
Consequently, the following sessions will explore how to write a "working" business plan. If you truly need a formal business plan, my recommendation is that you hire a professional to write it for you.