Can business planning be truly outsourced? No. A contractor or consultant may definitely be allowed to take the lead; nonetheless the work will require extensive collaboration between the entrepreneur or business managers and the contracted firm. The collaboration process will depend upon the specific firm you are working with; however below I am going to list the most important of all stages. Are you ready? Let us get started.
An interview may take place either before or after a contract has been signed. The consultant, by virtue of this interview, attempts to gather as much business information as possible. The information may directly be generated from either entrepreneurs or managers. Sometimes, there are multiple managers or founders and under such circumstances, they will look to reconcile their different accounts of what the business is attempting to do. The team will also be made aware of significant divergences in this way.
The research stage follows the interview stage. The interview information forms the background and the consultant can now employ a wide range of resources to find supporting data and statistics for the business plan. This will serve as the basis of the industry/market, customer and competitive analysis sections of the plan. This can be performed by the consultant or consultants on their own. Nevertheless, the client is to keep an eye on the process by getting updates on findings at various intervals. Instead of a huge report at the end of the research process, an input is desirable.
Strategy Consulting Stage
After the interview and the research stage, it is the strategy consulting stage which comes next. When the consultant has a better idea of the market situation, it is in a position to help the client craft a better strategy. High quality consultants do not simply accept the business’s strategy as dictated. Rather, they bring to the table their own understanding of business strategy. A discussion between the two parties is to ensue at this stage.
Outlining and Drafting Stage
The three earlier stages will endow one with strategy and basic information for the business plan. Next comes the outlining of the basic business plan and the creation of a draft of the plan. This can serve as a point of additional discussion, provided the need arises.
As the very name suggests, the completion stage is the final of all stages – the interview stage, the research stage, strategy consulting stage and outlining and drafting stage. At last, the plan is proofread as well as copy edited. It is primarily at this point that apt graphics – the like of which are charts and graphs and logos – are inserted. The insertion of such graphics causes a better illustration of what is being said. It is the responsibility of the business plan consultant to provide directions as to how the plan should be printed. The business plan consultant will also have a say in how and to whom the plan should be presented.