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Monday, April 3, 2017

Nigerian Business Plan Writers: What to know before hiring one

If you are looking to hire a Nigerian business plan writer then this article is very important for you to read because of what is at stake namely; you risk wasting your money, wasting your time and not getting desired funding for your business idea even when it is viable and sound. You need to know that there are all manner of people claiming to be ‘professional business plan writers in Nigeria’ but their work ethic, competence, integrity and professionalism is in serious doubt. Let’s set the ball rolling with;

The Wrong Type of Nigerian Business Plan Writers to Hire

Once you know which Nigerian business plan writer is not right for you, you are one step away from not being disappointed and from achieving your business funding and growth goals. Here are some business plan writers you shouldn’t patronize;

Copy and Paste Business Plan Writers

These set of business plan writers commit copyright infringement and dishonest use of intellectual web content property by copying articles and other web contents from renowned business plan websites such as the business plan consulting page on liveplan.com. You can see this even in their sales pitch which is dishonestly written and unoriginal. Look out for the following headings in their sales pitch such as "We specialize in all types of plans", "Types of Business Plans We Write" or Our 5 Proven Business Plan Process" and then visit Live Plans Official Business Plan writer Page to make an informed decision. You’d see just how lazy and irresponsible some people can get just to put up appearances as professionals. The danger in patronizing someone like this is you will most likely be served with another copied sample business plan from bplans.com which is usually designed for businesses in the US or Canada rather than one specific to your needs and relevant for the Nigerian business environment that is if he/she even delivers your business plan to you. When you do a google search for business plan writers in Nigeria, business plan consultants or business plan formats you’ll understand what I mean. 

Nigerian Business Plan Writer making Baseless/Bogus Claims

If you ever see any of these claims it is a warning sign to be very careful because what you are trying to achieve with your business plan is a big deal either you don’t get funded or you are misled with unreliable figures and assumptions. Here are some of the common bogus claims;

  • Nigeria’s Number 1 or the Best Business Plan Writer/Writing Company in Nigeria – in order to make a sale it is standard practice to do some chest thumping except that in Nigeria there has never been a business plan competition to determine the best business plan writer or any coronation ceremony to make them Nigeria’s number 1. So if you ever see such a business plan writer ask this question – how did you become Nigeria’s number 1? Interestingly I know a business consultant with over 22 years’ experience in business management, he is a consultant to Bank of Industry, NEXIM, SMEDAN and some commercial banks with wide industry contacts. His business plans are top quality, his financial analysis is brilliant and yet he thinks the idea of anyone being called Nigeria’ number 1 business plan writer is ridiculous.
  • We Write MBA Standard Business Plans – an MBA standard business plan is usually written by a highly experienced and well paid professional usually in the middle management to upper management and in some cases director cadre. These are people who don’t work for peanuts and many of them are consultants to Bank of Industry, SMEDAN, commercial banks or other financial institutions. These professionals are contracted to write business plans for multimillion dollar projects, certainly not SME startups with less than $10,000 startup capital which is what more than 95% of Nigerian Business owners/entrepreneurs people searching online for business plan writers are seeking. But some so called ‘Business Plan writers’ who dishonestly present a sales pitch and copy other website’s contents will want you to believe that they write MBA standard business plans for which they are willing to charge you a paltry N25,000 – that cannot even cover the cost of logistics expenses for many standard MBA business plans
  • You can submit/present our business plans anywhere – there are two problems with this claim. First problem is business plans are not a one size fits all document. They are highly individualized and specific for every business opportunity. Market considerations, location and management vary and so also the banks, development agencies, investors and other institutions requesting for such business plans - they have different standards, requirements and formats for business plans. While some like Bank of Industry are very strict with their business plan formats and even go as far as referring you to one of their accredited business plan writers or SME consultants, others like NEXIM will give you a format to work with and would still refer you to an in-house specialist to advise you on how best to present your plan. Commercial banks are a bit more flexible but some also have business plan writers they work with and even at that you must be prepared to revisit your business plan even when it is a quality business plan after submitting it. Second reason is that you need to either work as a consultant with all banks, institutions, investors etc to know their requirements and expectations beforehand which would mean such a business plan writer is accredited to all of them or at the very least has written for all of them before, obviously we know that can’t be true.
  • Pirated Sample Business Plan Format – Another claim is with the sample business plan format which is often pirated and presented as an original copy without giving credit to the original source of the format.  One particular 'business plan writer' who also claims to write MBA standard business plans copied his from SBA's business plan format - designed for US and Canadian businesses as an example. Initially it might be okay to use a business plan format copied online but the main challenge is with presenting ideas in a very convincing and impacting way. The other challenge is with covering the most important aspects the banks and investors should see and not all business plan formats are suitable especially if you are based in Nigeria. The macro/micro economic factors, market situations and how the financial projections should be presented are different. A fancifully presented business plan format is not the same thing as a reliable business plan format.

The right type of Nigerian Business Plan Writer to Hire

Now it’s time to ask the next logical question which is - who then is a suitable business plan writer to hire? The answer is both subjective and objective but you have to answer these questions yourself if you don’t want to make a big mistake;

Will this business plan writer present an original document or will he copy and paste from an internet source?

This is where the boys are separated from the men. Those who pretend to be professional but lack originality cannot prove themselves when left to their own resources. You may find out by simply researching some of their top articles or blog posts – google is your friend – a copy and paste pattern will reveal someone who will fail this test.

Does this Business Plan writer have proven track records?
If he has never written a business plan in which his clients were successful in either raising funds to start or grow their dream businesses or gave positive feedback on the quality of the job done then you’ll be gambling with such a business plan writer.

Does this business plan writer have the right imagination and analytical skills to write a standard business plan?

A standard Business Plan requires imagination and great analytical thinking. The difference between the sample business plans you’ll find online and a really professionally written one is in the depth of thinking and accuracy of assumptions both of which can only come if the writer has the right imagination to predict, assume and organize ideas in a way that is accurate and presentable

Will my Business Plan be written according to my business needs?

If the business plan writer cannot see your business needs even after interviewing you what are the odds he will write a business plan tailored to your business needs?
Final Tips on Hiring a professional Business Plan Writer in Nigeria

  • Contact more than one business plan writer preferably by email or just a simple 3 minute phone chat to gauge the competence and experience of the business plan writer before making a proper inquiry and/or decision
  • The business plan writer who understands your business needs even without you explicitly stating it definitely knows his turf
  • If you know your business very well then ask technical questions specific to your industry and wait to get his/her feedback

If you’re looking for a reliable Nigerian business plan writer with a string of track records from 2014 till date, access to highly experienced business consultants and original, flawless business writing skills you are an email or a phone call away: paulonwueme@gmail.com or 0803 206 4106

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