Online Business Plan Services Review
Why Use an Online Business Plan Service?
A good business plan has a minimum of 25 pages, includes in-depth information in nine different sections, and projects the success of your company over a period of three to five years. For most, writing a document of this depth easily takes 500 hours. This time includes researching the market, creating compelling charts to show financial projections, writing, proofreading and many, many edits. While there is business plan software available, most business owners, or startup hopefuls, don't have the time, money, know-how or resources to take on such an important job.
Business plan writing services employ experts, usually with MBA degrees, and extensive knowledge in various industries, finance, market analysis and more. Several of these services can help determine the best funding options for your venture, and even help you identify venture capitalist firms, angel networks and private investors.
While working through the review process, we found the best online business plan services to be MasterPlans, BusinessPlan.com and The Plan Writers. We also included some helpful articles about online business planning in our Learning Center.
Online Business Plan Services: What to Look For
When looking for a business writing service online, check out the samples of business plans listed on their website. Several services have pages that hint at which industries they are experienced in and the level of professionalism and expertise you can expect. It is important to understand that a quality business plan can't be written overnight, so most services can't deliver a finished plan to you within a few days. Some business plan online services can rush your plan, though often this won't be as comprehensive as one that has been worked on for a couple of weeks. Here are some additional features and services to be aware of as you compare online business planning services.
Types of Plans
It is important to note whether or not a service has expert writers to create your company business plan for you. While there are several of these types of services available, some business planning services only consult or research information on your behalf, then allow you to write your business plan yourself. Our business plan service review includes companies with both types of services. However, the best online business plan services include consulting, research and actual writing of the plan.
Not all business plans are the same. Depending on your startup idea, industry, how much capital you need to raise, the type of funding you need and many other factors, determines which business plan you need. If you need a bank loan, it's important to ensure that the service you hire creates business plans that are SBA compliant. This is because in order to secure a bank loan for your small business, your business plan must include specific sections and information.
Another type of business plan that not many online business plan services provide are immigration plans. Some foreign works need help securing their visa through an employer-funded program. Other employees, such as refugees, also need certain paperwork in order before they can work for your company. Immigration business plans help outline the steps you need to take in order to ensure your business is compliant with immigration and foreign worker laws.
A business plan is only as good at the information included. It is imperative that your business plan paints an accurate map of where you propose to take your company, how much money you need to raise, or when it will be put up for sale. Information on market analysis, financial projections and competitor profiles are oftentimes daunting to find and hard to verify for someone who hasn't had to gather that type of information. Many of the best online business plan services offer research as part of the business plan writing process.
In addition to researching information, some business planning services have partnered with venture capitalist companies, angel networks and private investors and will refer you to potential funding sources. This is also true of legal advisor referrals if you need to consult an attorney about legal matters such as small business regulations, the type of business you should establish or immigration laws for foreign workers.
Starting up your business, or keeping it going, is a lot of work. The experts at the online business plan services that we reviewed often include tips and hints on how to avoid common mistakes, or the financing options that may be available to you. Some of these services will coach you on how to pitch your idea to potential investors, which can help increase your chances of securing funding. Most companies provide these services in the form of blog posts and online tutorials.
When having a business plan written on behalf of your company, it is important that you can easily connect with your writing team. All of the companies we reviewed have email support, with a quick response rate, usually within a few hours. Each also has social media pages, such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, where you can connect with your team. Most online business writing services offer a phone number, though you typically can only get a hold of someone during normal business hours.
Writing a business plan is stressful and takes a lot of effort and time. Online business plan writers make creating business plans their sole focus and priority. These experts know the industry well so they can often help you gather the best information, such as financials, marketing strategies and future growth, leaving you with less to worry about and more time to devote to growing your own business.