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If you decide that you want a consultant to help you write your plan, you want someone with a proven track record of writing business plans that get results. There are thousands of writers and consultants out there that may offer low prices, but can they deliver? Here are some questions to ask potential business plan consultants:
Can you provide examples of plans you've written that have gotten financing? It's important for you to see what kind of work a consultant does, as well as what kind of financing her plan is capable of getting. If she boasts that she's gotten financing on 100% of her plans, and she's only written two that received $2,000 in financing, this is probably not the person you need to secure big bucks.
Can you give me references? Talk to the businesses the consultant has worked with to understand the process. You may find things that she wasn't going to tell you, like she took longer than she quoted or charged more than originally estimated.
What is your experience in my industry? While it's not necessary, you should try to find a consultant that has some experience working with businesses in your field. Who knows? They may even be able to teach you tricks for getting financing that you didn't know!
What fees do you charge? A consultant may charge an hourly fee for any time spent meeting with you, researching or writing, and/or a fee based on how much financing you secure as a result of the plan. Get any fees in writing up front.