Is the business plan writing service industry lucrative right now? If so, who is the new target market for business plans?
Does it make sense to stay as a business plan writer?
I love what I do, but it seems that I am not in the sweet spot for finding clients right now....any suggestions?
No. A napkin can contain a solid business plan. You can help business owners or entrepreneurs plan and map out strategy, but writing business plans probably isn't going to be around much longer if it still is due to lack of caring from investors.
If you think of changing your business, you may look into your clients' pains with their business plans. It may relates to execution issues or something else, but you could ask your clients what do they like most and least with their business plan, and start from there.
All the best.
Thank you all for your input. I am still trying to figure out how to revampu my management consulting firm. Writing business plans for over twelve years has been great for me. I am noticing that the industry is slowing down because it is not as easy to open business in the state where I live now, also business owners do not have the same money to invest in consulting services at the start up phase. Things were great when the banks were lending. Also as many of you mentioned, consumers are getting more savvy when it comes to writing their own plans. There is many software programs that have changed the industry.
Overall, it is bittersweet, but I belive that I am going to add more services, or change industries all together. I appreciate all of your input, thank you.
Your field is too narrow for a likely business success if its focus is business plans. First, you are competing with software available cheaply or free. Second, you are dealing with people who usually believe they can either do it themselves or don't need a "plan." Third, most people who most need the plan have little money to invest and no success (not a great prospect model). Businesses have much stronger initial need for an accountant's view of a business plan than a writer/marketer's view. Writing offers many opportunities, I would think about having business plans as one leg on your stool. Of course, you could also write a book about how to write a business plan and that can give you marketing credibility as well as potential income. You might also try to network with people from your local SCORE, they give free advice so get a stream of "clients" and don't do the nitty gritty but do give referrrals.
Yes it is, of course to those that have the right contacts in their network. I do a lot of Business development for different companies, and what I found is that many people like myself ,and companies I do business with need someone that can write our ideas/business palns in a professional way. In other words we lack the writing skills. I'm very good at what I do, but I always needed to put my ideas, plans, reports on paper, so having someone good in your industry is very important to me, and many people that I have dealt with in the past.
What I have done , and encourage many to do the same, is to form a group of business people that offer different services. In one of my groups I have real estate investors, builders, renovation companies, real estate people, banks, high end homes, lawyers, business plan writers,marketing company, moulding company and those that have access to investors worldwide. The reason I created this group ,was because I heard them all crying the blues, that business is not the way it used to be,blah blah blah, now we have created a network that believes that a shared deal is better than no deal, one has the investor, the other has the building and so on. My advise to you is to create a network of businesses that are crying the blues ( not hard to find) bring them together, have one of them pick up the luncheon bill, :) , present the vision and offer your services to them. People are good at some things but not everything, I love to have someone in your kind of business working WITH me, but best is to have one local. So create a local network you want to service and make it happen, I did and does not have to be real estate, investors. Networking is the way to go these days and make sure you can offer a great product and have the passion for it ( which I believe you do) After all my writing you will notice I desperately need someone like you, people need YOU Mia, go and get them.
Writing a business plan is no more lucrative for any industry now a days. You can't expect to get new clients by writing business plans until you are having a in-person discussion with your client about GTM of product / solutions and territory your client is wish to target. The best approach is to understand the nature of business and present a business model and get into a consultative mode.
Mia, so long as companies are starting up and existing companies are moving from one stage to another in their biz development -there will always be a market for business plan writing .THe thing is for you to be creative in the way you package your services especially to your identified target market
-Business plans are so personal and require information that is from the internal workings of the companies. It requires the some of the knowledge of pending changes and twist that a company may have on the radar. When we would write business plans, there was always a contingency plan to deal with the unknowns and surprises that may come our way. Only an inside person would have the knowledge to make such an elaborate plan.
Jerry M. Graves
Mental Toughness/Critical Thinking Speaker/Coach
Business Model Canvas has really made business plan writing services a difficult field to be in. Some young entrepreneurs are going into business with simply an idea and enough money to get it done or enough money so they think they can get it done. Sadly, sustainability isn't even an afterthought for young start-ups with a great deal of cash to burn threw.
Maybe talk to old clients, see if any of your specialties are still needed.. or if they know any people that are looking for your services.
it's a difficult question to answer not knowing your past business affairs.
I'd also recommend Business Model You.
Yes, if you serve the right market. Investors and lenders require a business plan that will give them a good idea of the economic value and competitive advantage of the business to be financed. So an enterprise needs a business plan to be able to source funding . A good market for writing business plans are SMEs (Small and Medium Enterprises) and start-ups that need an effective business plan. You will find SMEs in trade fairs, or in the listing of new businesses in your local chambers of commerce or your local business registry. Investees, on the other hand, can be found in various business incubation centers in your country. Usually, these are tied up with academic institutions related to business development and management.
Mia. Every business service plan or industry can or can't be lucrative. Some services are easily be lucrative easily and some with struggle. However, it all depends upon you as to how innovative you are and what you can offer, the other cannot. You can make anything lucrative depending upon your own persistent and smart work. People have made some big money in this business. Start and don't look back and work on short and long term vision. Pradeep Berry
Mia Business plan writing service industry was there before 20 or thirty years ,that time people were not able to get knowledge regarding any issue so they used to ask for it , but now a days its totally different with the huge social media net work .
that was first point - second point -your clients very limited because of the human nature - any one needs business plan will hire the person who can work as an employee , for period of time or permanent ,only few clients for say private reasons may ask for your services . , I advise you to change to business consultant at least you can offer your services on particular issue .
Mia, having read the responses from the excellent professionals in this group, I would agree that they are on-point with their comments. Business plan writing has lost its luster over the past few years. The truth be known if a business does not have an active and progressive business plan, they most likely could not afford to pay you for one and most likely won’t be around too long.
However, you can still utilize your expertise in this field by repackaging yourself as a business to business writer. This field is currently very wide open and good writers are actively sought by companies. They need your experience and expertise to write ad copy, case studies, white papers, blogs, E-books, manuals, newsletters and the list goes on.
Take a little time and probe some of the companies out there and see if they are presenting something that you can present better. Write a good sales letter selling yourself to them as a writer who can meet their needs.
The Marketing industry is a target market sinceit needs to know what are the clients that are interested on the product that is going to be commercialiazed.
I will support Deacon's observation. The major portion of the benefit to a business plan is the process of its development. There is a learning that takes place during the development process that needs to experienced by the business owner. If you rephrase your question to "Does it make sense to stay as a business plan consultant or facilitator" I would say yes. This role is greatly needed.
To find clients I suggest starting a blog where you can tell "war stories" about your experiences and you can provide content related to tips and advice. Giving you prospective market a sample of what value you can add is a great way to draw attention to yourself. Share the blog postings on facebook, twitter, linkedin. (I assume you are a LinkedIn user, this is a very powerful tool for attracting business)
By being willing to share your knowledge it shows confidence in what you value you can bring to the project. Remember in many cases, your client may have no business plann experience and you are perceived as the expert.
I should think, what with the influx of start-ups, solo entrepreneurs would be a target-rich environment for someone with your skills.
Where would I find them? Business incubators (we have several here in Albuquerque for both the tech and non-tech industries), LinkedIn groups (assuming you can offer your services virtually), and through your local Chamber(s) of Commerce. I'd also search out business coaches who counsel but don't write. You might be able to partner with them if they have clients who are starting new businesses.
What I have seen is a big push not necessarily away from business plans but rather a shifting of when people are developing them. They seem to be being developed later down the road, not as the starting point for new ventures.
I've come across a lot of people who are big fans of the LEAN methodology, or the 1 hour business plan. A down and dirty basic plan that an entrepreneur can test and then pivot as need be until they get the traction they are looking for. This is an art in an of itself, but in a way, moves the need for a formal business plan further down the path for a start up or business.
If I were you I'd take the advice people have given and add services that compliment your business plan writing and development. Offer Business Model consulting, marketing plan development, etc. Offer the elements of the business plan individually and then, down the road, if the client wishes, put it all together in a pretty bundle and tie it with a bow. They'll have ended up with a business plan without even knowing that what they were doing.
Right now, business writing plans are not at the top of the list of those movers and shakers. Right now we have lenders looking for that perfect credit before lending and we all know that the ones who will need business plan writing are those with less than perfect credit. Unless lenders relax their standards to lending, new businesses will stay dormant. The target audience for business plan writing would be those into secondary education.
If you're an independent business plan writer, then you probably want to branch out and write more materials for businesses such as marketing plans, brochures, and other information. Companies now have the ability to use business plan writing apps such as enLoop and Stratpad which offer many more features, interactive sharing and other features at a very low cost. The need for independent business plan writers is decreasing.