You have a brilliant business idea and are ready to get your startup off the ground. But between developing products, finding customers, hiring team members and more, the thought of writing a polished business plan feels daunting. This raises an important founder question - should you hire an expert startup plan writer or consultant to map out your strategy?
While an experienced startup advisor can provide invaluable early guidance, some situations benefit more from retaining a specialized writer to document your vision in an investor-ready format. Before spending money, weigh considerations like your budget, priorities, plan detail needs and options for getting assistance.
When Hiring a Startup Consultant Makes Sense
If needing targeted strategic or operational advice in areas like:
- Crafting business models/revenue strategies
- Early technical product development
- Developing go-to-market plans
- Mapping startup financial projections
Then an experienced startup consultant may suit your needs. Consultants offer focused problem-solving, whether related to business strategy, product design, raising capital or launching marketing campaigns.
Leading pros can command $250 per hour or higher, with projects ranging from $5,000 to $50,000+ in fees based on scope scale. Many successful consultants are startup founders themselves lending hard-won insights into overcoming challenges companies face.
Well-connected consultants opening doors for partnerships and investments carry extra value. Quality guidance early on helps avoid costly mistakes before they hamper growth. Just be sure to check references to ensure a consultant truly has the experience claimed and expertise needed to guide your emerging venture.
When Hiring a Startup Plan Writer is Effective
If requiring an eloquently written, visually impressive business plan document to convey your company’s mission to investors and partners, exploring an experienced startup plan writer is wise.
Writing a plan with coherent flow, compelling charts/graphics and language polished enough for external audiences is difficult for time-crunched founders. This is where trusting a professional writer to translate your strategic vision into an impressive plan makes sense.
Experienced writers cost between $50 to $150 per page depending on the research depth and analysis included. A standard 30-40 page plan could run $2,500 or more with premium packages. While not cheap for cash-strapped founders, a well-constructed document inspires investor confidence in your venture translating to easier fundraising success.
Content customization is key when hiring a writer. Seek people who will first learn intricacies of your business concept through founder interviews before creating a plan reflecting your company’s uniqueness. Beware cookie-cutter shops pushing templated documents ignoring your specific startup.
Getting the Best of Both Worlds
For startups wanting both custom strategic advice tailored to their concept plus a polished plan to woo investors, hiring a single “hybrid” consultant capable of both advising and writing about innovative business models is ideal. This gives startups access to personalized recommendations applied directly into an impressive plan document.
When interviewing potential consultants or writers, ask directly about their startup advising experience and writing sample work to evaluate which hybrid candidates offer the ideal mix of strategic depth and writing ability. While rare, the best in the field can fluidly toggle between these different deliverables.
Alternative Budget-Conscious Options
Cash-strapped startups concerned about affording expensive consultants often tap their trusted friend network first for informal advice or grad student volunteers willing to help build financial models in exchange for experience.
Regional small business development agencies through local governments frequently offer free group seminars, affordable one-on-one coaching and online planning templates assisting startups. Utilizing these resources helps founders bootstrap early planning stages without heavy upfront financial outlays.
Finally, software tools like LivePlan providing pre-made formula templates, sample text sections and customizable charts allow entrepreneurs to efficiently create plans themselves. While lacking true custom strategic guidance, these tools cost under $20 a month helping founders produce polished documents cheaply by pulling various pre-made blocks of model content together.
The Bottom Line
Founders must decide whether hands-on strategic guidance or written presentation materials add more value when allocating limited startup funds between hiring consultants versus writers. Hybrid professionals adept at both advising and documenting offer startups the best of both worlds.
Regardless of which path founders take early on, building relationships with experts able to provide recommendations as well as write convincingly about your business can make an immense difference pushing ventures forward through challenging early phases onto later growth stages.