I’ve been working with the team at Palo Alto Software on a series of videos to help you with business planning. This video is about hiring a business plan writer (or not) to help with business planning.

What do you think about my advice on hiring a consultant to help with business planning. By the way, would you like more business tip videos like this?

Video Transcription

So how can I help you find that business plan writer to write your business plan? I can’t.

I’m going to be honest. The most you want is a coach who’s been through it, who knows how to help you and maybe you want somebody to become part of the team whose done the process of raising money if that’s what you’re after. Experience helps. Knowledge helps, but the plan that somebody does for you rarely works.

Your plan will change. Frequently. You have to own it. You have to know what’s in it. You have to be able to get there, communicate it, and yes, plans are never accurate for the future. They help you change things but if you don’t manage it yourself, you’re not going to be able to manage the changing and it won’t help you steer your business, so yes, I’m biased in this. I happen to believe in Business Plan Pro which I wrote, its conceptual author, there’s a whole team of programmers now but yes, I believe in Business Plan Pro. It helps to do the mechanics, it helps to do the financials, it gives you the certainty that… well that the math and the finance will be right if your assumptions are right, and it helps you focus on managing the business by a good planning process rather than just getting some document that somehow it’s going to be done.

If your company stays alive, your business plan will never be done. It will help you manage that company and know that company but it will be a process that you use to steer the company towards the future that you want. Want to know why you want to do it? To control your destiny. That’s why you do it.

Tim BerryTim Berry

Tim Berry is the founder and chairman of Palo Alto Software and Bplans.com. Follow him on Twitter @Timberry.