Thursday, August 23, 2007

Business Plan Writer/Package

  • Start-up cost: RM5,000-RM10,000
  • Potential earnings: RM30,000-RM100,000
  • Typical fees: RM3,000-RM6,000 per plan (about two weeks of work)
  • Advertising: Teaching courses on business development, networking, business associations, referrals from bankers and entrepreneurship centers, advertising in local business newsletters
  • Qualifications: Understanding of financial statements, savvy business sense, excellent oral and written communication skills, ability to get people to work together, experience writing business plans
  • Equipment needed: Computer, fax/modem, laser printer, suite software, business-planning software, office furniture, business card, letterhead, envelopes, brochures
  • Staff required: No
  • Handicapped opportunity: Yes
  • Hidden costs: Organizational dues, business periodical and newspaper subscriptions, insurance
  • Lowdown: Businesses are being created all over the country at a phenomenal rate. All of these new enterprises can get two kinds of benefits from having a business plan. First, the plan structures the efforts of everyone involved, outlining what needs to be done and describing the means by which those goals will be achieved. It highlights the feasibility of the products or services the enterprise will be marketing. Most importantly, it estimates expenses and revenues, along with projections. If the revenues won’t cover the expenses, it doesn’t matter what wonderful things could happen down the road. The cash-starved business won’t be able to get there to achieve them. The second benefit of having a business plan is to obtain financing. A business plan is essential for the process of obtaining bank loans and most other types of outside financing. You can take your good sense of business and finance, your high-level business writing skills, and your ability to communicate with fledgling entrepreneurs and earn a hefty annual income writing business plans.
  • Start-Up: The equipment and materials to present a reassuringly professional image are fairly costly (in the neighborhood of RM$3,000-RM5,000). You’ll need to be able to produce a very polished printout of the final plan, most likely using one of the better-quality business plan software packages available (try Imbi Plaza for the best bargains!). But, you can charge up to RM3,000 for each package, with hourly fees of RM45 and up (depending on your location).
  • Bottom-Line Advice: If you have developed the wide range of skills necessary to do this work, you undoubtedly are the kind of person who loves it and can tolerate the tedious parts. What can be more rewarding than helping a new enterprise take wing and fly? It is very difficult to write an effective business plan, but that is the very reason your market exists. Each situation is different; that means opportunities for constant learning on your part. Once you complete a plan, you will need to find another client, so your marketing must be ongoing. Some business start-ups are shaky, even sleazy, although most failures are due to poor marketing and undercapitalization rather than dishonesty. In any case, try to get at least half your fee up front. You will really be a combination counselor/consultant for the entrepreneurs.