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Wednesday, June 21, 2017

The Best 6 Business Plan Options for Nigerian Entrepreneurs

There are many business plan options Nigerian entrepreneurs seeking to start and/or expand their businesses should know about. These 6 business plan options have very specific benefits and implications which must not be overlooked and they also serve as options for which every entrepreneur should use in his/her funding application.

The best two options out of these 6 business plans are; the self-written business plan and the professionally written business plan. If you ask me I would suggest you write your business plan yourself if you have the time, the skills and the required knowledge to put ideas into a persuasive report. This is usually the best business plan option available - I will delve more into them to show why they are the best options when preparing business plans in my next article when I will be reviewing both of them.

The Best Business Plans for Entrepreneurs in Nigerian
Here goes the shortlist, kindly pay attention and remember them as they will go a long way in helping you achieve your funding goals;

Self-Written Business Plan

This is a business plan by you for you. The entrepreneur looking to approach a bank or raise funds from investors is the person writing the business plan himself/herself.

The good thing about the self-written business plan is that you are in full control over how it turns out, whether it turns out to be bankable (acceptable to both banks and investors) depends on if you have the right format, analytical skills and imagination to write it to achieve your aim eventually. Another good thing is it comes cheap at no cost to you apart from the time you put into writing it.

The negative side is you may have to sacrifice productive time doing the business plan yourself plus your inexperience in writing bankable business plans may count against you.

Professionally Written Business Plans

These are business plans written by experienced and skilled business oriented writers. They are professionally written because the writer is experienced and often times works with a network of other writers, researchers and officials of banks. 

One good thing about this option is that you can have bankable business plans written in record time which will save you a lot of research and analytical stress, plus offer you the convenience of doing more productive things with your time. Another good thing is they can write persuasively and present very organized, reliable and concise work that banks and investors are looking for.

The main disadvantage is that they are expensive - since they will have to forego other things to prepare your business plans. The other disadvantage is that you have limited control over how your business plan will turn out. 

Already written business Plan

This is a business plan which has already been written, all you do is purchase it then edit it to suit your requirements. There are many people who do this but I personally will not recommend or encourage you to buy an already written business plan for any reason.

First there is the issue of relevance and trends. For example, an already written business plan for sale prepared in 2010 for on the setup of a crèche is not useful in 2017 because a lot of things have changed with regard to the regulation, setup and management practice of crèche in Nigeria, therefore if you purchase it you will be wasting your money.

Secondly there is the issue of whether the business plan will be customized to your particular need. When you buy an already written business plan, the writer isn’t thinking about whether your intended business will be located in Akure, Abuja, Lagos or Jos. He will write a generic business plan which won’t also consider the company structure and capital requirements for your own business. 

The worst part is when the so called business plan writer claims you can submit that business plan to any bank, investor or financial institution.That has to be one of the worst jokes ever. The meaning of this is that you will end up paying for something that will be useless to you and will just be a waste of your time.

Software generated business Plan

This is a business plan generated by specially designed software and there are many companies that specialize in doing this. These business plans are very useful when you are under pressure to deliver a business plan in a short time. With a software generated business plan you can write one in less than 24 hours. All you have to you do is answer the questions the software asks, then it produces, arranges and structures every other thing for you.

But there are many problems with using this option. One of the problems is that software can’t reason like humans. While they may be programmed to ask you questions and you just fill in the blank to supply the finishing you still have to bother about things like how to access and analyze industry data that is something the software cannot do for you.

Online Sample Business Plan

There are business plans you can copy, download or study to prepare a standard one to submit to banks or investors. These business plans are similar to the already written business plan except that this time they are available for free. The main source of online business plan samples is bplans.com.

The first major advantage is that it will save you time when writing and researching your own business plan. The second advantage is you will have a standard format to work with. But there are problems too. The top problem is that it is usually outdated just like the ready-made business plans. Secondly, there is the danger of plagiarism if you aren’t original enough to write standard write-ups, there is a good chance you may leave somethings unchanged even when you paraphrase the business plan to make it look different. This is something which many banks and investors won’t find funny.

Business Innovation Canvass

This is an innovation which is often used for business plan competitions. Examples of business plan competitions that use this kind of business plan are YOUWIN and TEEP.

They are question based business plans which usually try to elicit short responses from applicants to get an overview of your business. These types of business plans are designed for micro and small sized businesses, not medium or large sized businesses. Mind you these are not detailed business plans and they are not suitable for submission to specialized banks and institutions.  

In my next article (should be ready on June 25th) I will be reviewing both the custom made business plan and the self-written business plan. My aim in that article will be to dig out specifics from both so that you will be better informed on the best two business plan options you can work with. 

Are you in search of a professionally written business plan prepared by an expert with proven track records? Give me a call: 0803 206 4106 or email me: paulonwueme@gmail.com to have one prepared for you.