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Saturday, July 22, 2017

How much does it Cost to Write a Professional/Standard Business Plan in Nigeria?

In this article, I will be attempting to answer this question - for any serious prospect ready to write a professional standard business plan prepared for his/her peculiar business needs. This question is important because it serves as a guide in the selection process so that you can actually work optimally with your budget and avoid wasting your money on the wrong type of business plan writer or even worse getting served with a watered down/poor quality business plan – usually copied online.

First before answering the question it is important for me to state there are two important facts you must not overlook when finding the right price for a business plan in Nigeria and these facts are;

Fact #1 - there are professionally written and low quality business plans being peddled for sale
There are low quality business plans which are craftily and dishonestly packaged as standard/professional business plans by people who clearly don’t know how to write any form of business document using standard business language and tone. Just as there is good quality, custom written business plans which are professionally written and which will be specific for your own business needs – not one that is written for any business and sold to you as if it will work for you. I’ll explain more about them shortly.

Fact #2 - there are real professional business plan writers and there are quacks pretending to be professionals
There are many quacks masquerading as professional business plan writers and there are few professional business plan writers in Nigeria. The quacks you can identify easily in three ways. First way and this is an easy giveaway is with their poor command of English. When you read their blog posts you can easily spot errors in their use of tenses, irrelevant ideas explored and poor analysis.

Another way to identify them is their lack of originality. There is no way a good business plan writer would be an expert in copying and lifting contents from other sources and still have the right imagination to write a business plan for you that will measure up to the minimum standard which very well informed bank officials and investors would be looking out for.

Thirdly you can identify the quacks with their lack of specialization. They are into many things, promoting network marketing programs, affiliate products, claiming to be motivational speakers, trying to sell you worthless ebooks they themselves can’t use because of the irrelevance of the expressed ideas and poor research put into writing it, claiming to be experts in many fields e.g agriculture, ecommerce, internet startups, supply chain management etc but the age of the business plan writer often shows he or she is both very young and is at best qualified for a junior management position – imagine being an expert in many fields but at the same time doing full time, small scale business plan consulting, how do they tally?

Prices of Different Business Plan Options in Nigeria
Here is a shortlist of different business plan options with their respective price range;

Free/Sample Business Plans – this costs nothing
You can easily find these business plans online when you do a search on google or bing. They are usually complete and have standard formats to work with but if you choose one of these business plans make sure you edit it well and paraphrase properly especially if you want to show a bank or investor. Secondly adapt the business plan to the Nigerian environment and in particular to your own business but also ensure that you also tweak the business plan format to match with your business opportunity and business plan needs. 

How much is a Pre-written Business Plan in Nigeria? - N5,000 to N15,000
These are already written business plans available for sale and for this price range it seems very attractive but I must warn you here, do not buy any of these types if you want to present it to a bank, business plan competition or investor because it has not been written for your own business. The person who wrote this is dishonest to claim you can submit this type of business plan to any bank, investor or submit to any business plan competition.

Imagine if 100 people buy this type of business plan to submit for a business plan competition and many of them are in the same business. That means there will be many similar business plans which will scuttle your chances of getting funded and this is even worse when you are dealing with banks.

Secondly when he wrote it, he wasn’t thinking about whether your business is located in Abuja, Lagos, Benin or Port Harcourt. Business success sometimes depends on location and also target markets differ and consumer behaviours in one region may differ from another region.

Thirdly, the business plan is outdated. Imagine a business plan for Maize farming for instance written in 2007 being sold to you for use in 2017. There have been a lot of changes in Agriculture over the last 10 years in terms of government policies, farming practice, resources farmers can access, new market situations etc but the person who wants to sell this to you doesn’t care about this except of course taking your money.

How much is a Custom written Business Plan in Nigeria? It’s N20,000 and above
For this type of business plan there are many price options so it is hard really to say it would cost you so and so amount. But here is what you should know about the price, it depends on the business plan writer, the type of business, the expected delivery date of the business plan and sometimes even the amount of capital the client is targeting.

Some business plan writers have a flat rate which they charge for any kind of business and they don’t negotiate prices with the client – either you pay what they are asking for or you simply have to move on to patronize someone else whereas some other business plan writers are willing to negotiate price with you provided you can agree to their terms.

With the bank of industry though many of their accredited SME consultants can charge you as little as N20,000 to prepare a business plan but there are others that don’t charge less than N150,000.

There are also other specialist business plan writers who charge at least N600,000 for a business plan but these are high level, highly experienced and very competent business plan writers who on their own are business consultants to large organisations and only do business with high net worth individuals and groups. 

Final thoughts on how much you should pay for a Business Plan in Nigeria

But for small sized entrepreneurs looking for affordable business plans to buy in Nigeria this is my suggestion. If your budget is between N20,000 to N50,000 and the business plan writer is not willing to negotiate his fee with you, try another business plan writer – but be careful so you don’t patronize quacks. If your budget is above N50,000 first ask the business plan writer for his fee, if he mentions it and it’s non-negotiable but within your budget then you are good to go.

If you wish to buy a custom/professionally written business plan in Nigeria, you can give me a call: 0803 206 4106 or email me: paulonwueme@gmail.com for details

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