12 Critical Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Business Plan Writer

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questions to ask before hiring a business plan writer
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Writing a business plan?

Finding the right business plan writer can be a pain—we get that.

First off, you don’t hire a writer to just write plans. They must have extensive industry knowledge, understand business concepts, analyze and forecast financials, and help refine your company’s growth strategies. But most importantly, be able to help you attract funding!

Secondly, the talent pool is large with varied experiences and perspectives. And you need to hire someone who can mold according to your company’s unique requirements. Tough, isn’t it?

So, the only way to find “the writer” is through a hiring process where you ask the right questions. And we’re here to help.

In this article, we’ll cover 12 questions to ask business plan writers so you can analyze who can help you achieve your business goals most effectively!

Basic requirements and qualities to look for in a business plan writer

Although we will discuss the questions to ask business plan writers to identify if they’re the right fit for the job, consider looking for these qualities in a business plan writer before you start shooting questions.

  • A business education background, so they’re well-versed in the business jargon and strategies. Academic qualifications show promise in a writer’s theoretical and practical knowledge.
  • Owned a business before, has been a business partner, or has a relevant career record.
  • The writing ability of a professional to make business plans sounds exciting and worth the reader’s time, like investors and clients. (Hint: ask for their samples)
  • Financially savvy because most business plans are designed to obtain funding.

With that said, let’s dive into the questions!

The most important questions to ask before hiring a business plan writer

Here are questions you may ask your potential hires to understand them, their experience, their market knowledge, and if they fit right in your company:

Q1. What business and industry experience do you have?

Before hiring a business plan writer, gain valuable insights into their business and industry experience.

After all, you wouldn’t just hand a bowling ball to anyone and expect a strike. You need to know if they can actually bowl.

So, ask about their experience in the field, years of service, educational background, and professional credentials. This can include achievements, past clients and projects, various industries they’ve served, and outcomes achieved for clients.

Such information will reveal whether they have the right skills and knowledge to write a high-quality business plan and achieve the goals you’re aiming for.

Q2. Where are you based?

This question will tackle two concerns.

One: Time zones. This is essential if you or your writer works remotely or across oceans. You don’t want to hire someone who needs to chase after you at odd times.

Two: Language barriers (if any exist). This knowledge will help you avoid communication gaps. It’s also essential if you’re looking for a writer who can speak or write in multiple languages to cater to your specific needs.

These two nuggets of information make collaboration and communication easy.

Q3. How do you extract information and ideas from entrepreneurs and put them out on a document?

A good business plan writer just knows!

They have the superpower to extract your company’s important information that pours right out of your gray matter. It’s the only way to create a solid business plan to convey your business idea adequately.

Whether you’re hiring a business plan writer or a writing agency, check if they’ve worked with businesses from various industries—in other words—their track record.

A broad exposure means they can pick the brains of entrepreneurs and comfortably understand how businesses (startups or giants) operate.

The payoff? Such writers can capture the essence of your business’s unique value proposition, irrespective of whether you run a tech company or a pet store.

Q4. Do you offer other services, or are you an expert in just writing business plans?

The answer to this will help you decide whether or not they’re a good fit for your individual needs.

Or do you need an expert who understands business plans that help in raising capital and winning a business partner or two?

Or a business plan writer with expertise in determining the financial model cost?

The point is: Many business plan writers and agencies offer services, like market analysis, financial modeling, competitive analysis, cover page designing, or creating business proposals.

So, analyze everything a writer or service has to offer. Then, hire an industry specialist or a jack of trades beyond business plan writing depending on your business goals and needs.

Q5. How do you create the required cash flow and financial projections?

An experienced business plan writer will effectively and proactively gather every record of your past financials (capital, investment, etc.).

They’ll also consider your marketing strategies and sales plans as well as provide all the necessary details to create your financial projections and cash flow.

Q6. Will your service include industry-specific market research?

Market research shows how many potential customers your business will have—the kind of data your investors will have their magnifying glasses out for.

A good writer will conduct research to present solid market data in your business plan. So you can impress your investors and claim funding.

Q7. Do you have any client references or endorsements?

Here, you want to know if the writer who claims to be an industry player has an actual reputation and proof of his past performance (in this case, success with previous clients).

So, ask writers to provide references to their work. Also, check for referrals, endorsements, testimonials, written business plan samples—anything that vouches for their performance history, success rate, and reliability.

Q8. What’s your process for keeping up with business trends?

Keeping up with the dynamic world of business takes work. However, a professional business plan writer can do it regularly.

Ask a few questions to test their knowledge regarding recent industry developments (locally and globally). You only need to know if they have, can foresee, and continue to acquire knowledge of industry trends so your business plan isn’t outdated.

Their ability to foresee and track changing business trends will help you offer strategic advice essential for your business.

Q9. Will you be writing the business plans yourself? If not, who will?

This question is fundamental, for the person you’re interviewing will not always write your plan. Sometimes, an individual writer outsources their services. Other times, you’re talking to a business plan writing service provider or agency management.

So it’s crucial to know who’ll write and deliver your plan (individual or team) to understand their expertise, skills, types of business plans they’ve written, and educational background.

Q10. Do you offer revision? If so, how many rounds of revision do you offer? What are your charges?

If you have experience writing plans, you know the first draft will need some reworking or changes—because first drafts are never perfect.

So, asking about revisions is a smart move in the hiring process.

Find out if your plan writer is comfortable with revisions, whether it’s fixing a typo, changing the color scheme of the business plan, or entirely re-doing the financial projections.

A qualified plan writer will give you all the details about the type of edits they’ll cover and how.

Once done, you can discuss the business plan writer’s pricing structure and fees. Find out if they charge on an hourly or project basis or have a flat fee.

Lastly, don’t forget to check with their accepted forms of payment.

Leave no stone unturned. Ask about all additional costs involved, such as revision charges, research fees, travel reimbursements (if applicable), transaction fees, advance payments, etc. Transparency is the best policy.

Q11. Are you open to us editing the business plan once it’s delivered?

This question may seem insignificant, but it is essential. Here’s why:

Sometimes, your business plan writer may not be available due to leaves or differences in time zones. In such cases, if you need to make small changes to your business plan quickly to submit it to investors and you don’t have permission to make your own edits, your hands might be tied.

So, ensure your writer is okay with you making your own edits to save time and avoid missing opportunities due to time or availability constraints.

Q12. Are you comfortable with multiple document formats for creating and sharing business plans?

Do you prefer physical copies of business plans? A PDF file? What about an editable Google document because you and your internal stakeholders like to add edits and formatting requests?

And lastly, are the documents shareable with lenders, clients, and other business partners? If so, in which formats?

Good business plan writers will answer this specific question to clarify whether they can deliver your business plan per your format needs.

Certain documents, like PDFs, cannot be easily edited, so find out how you can edit them or request that your business plan writer do so.

How a business planning software can eliminate the need for a business plan writer

The business plan writing process can be challenging, even for seasoned writers. This is not because they’re not good, but because there are too many aspects to juggle.

Look at all a business plan’s components, and you’ll know what we mean.

Fret not. Here’s the solution: business planning software.  A tool like Upmetrics can help you generate a business plan in under 10 minutes! All you need to do is input your basic business data and see the results coming through.

Sounds exciting? There’s more. A business planning software can:

  • Make you sound professional and maintain impeccable grammar, just like a plan writer but better using an AI-writing assistant.
  • Help you skip starting from scratch or needing a business plan writer to produce a basic business plan structure.
  • Help save you time and money associated with manual financial projections done by writers (which can take days).
  • Answer any business-related questions you have using an AI and provide valuable insights in seconds (unlike a human writer).
Moreover, business planning software is always an extremely affordable alternative to business plan writers. For example, Upmetrics’ plans start as low as $7/month, while a writer may charge you hundreds of dollars

Conclusion

Hiring the right business plan writer is crucial to properly convey the message or spirit of your company.

Even if they’re the best in the world, they’re only human, so you’ll have to face delays, unexpected leaves, communication gaps, high fees, and more.

However, business plan software finds the correct balance between effectiveness, informativeness, speed, and affordability.

Software like Upmetrics makes creating a business plan a breeze while providing enough information to leave your investors wanting more of you!

Build your Business Plan Faster

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About the Author

Upmetrics                                                       
            Team

Upmetrics Team

Upmetrics is the #1 business planning software that helps entrepreneurs and business owners create investment-ready business plans using AI. We regularly share business planning insights on our blog. Check out the Upmetrics blog for such interesting reads. Read more

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