Before I was introduced to writing web content, I made a part-time income writing grants and business plans. My chance meeting with a state division of vocational rehabilitation counselor offered me a steady supply of customers. His clients needed help applying for grants to fund their self-employment start-up ventures. A narrative style business plan with three years financial projections would need to be written.
It helps to have the knack to think like an entrepreneur. Creating in your own mind a mental picture simply from listening as a person tells you about their dream or passion is a unique talent. You also need to embrace the talent to communicate”…” no make that to educate.
Separate out the work that you need to do (write the plan) and give part of the work back to the client. This not only saves them money but takes some of the burden off of you. Coach your clients to do the research, locate facts and report to you the financial data portion of their plan. Give them deadlines and hold them tight or you could waste countless hours waiting.
I often had to make payment accommodations and to adjust my fees. With some practice, I got to where I could turn out a decent business plan outline in a few hours for about $250, my minimum fee. Writing the narrative after the outline was the easy part.
If you have some experience in the financial, marketing or administration of a business, you can write a decent business plan. There are a multitude of free business plan templates out there on the Internet for you to use. Or, go buy a decent software program for around $100.
The Internet also contains good tutorials on the essential components of a business plan. You can make your own outline template.
Don’t be tempted to just “fill in the blanks” on the template or software program. You need to tailor the plan to suit the needs of your client. I have yet to meet a client that knew what they wanted or wanted the right bits and pieces put into their plan.
When you get some experience you will likely begin to write business plans for which you can charge $2,000 – $3,000 per plan. This scope of work usually involves a banker, financial planner, accountant, CPA or similar professionals leaving you the business plan writer, to put it all together.
Start-up costs are minimal even if you don’t have your own computer. That is what libraries are for. Run an ad on a free classified site under services offered. Have some business cards made up. Go visit the local or state vocational rehabilitation counselor and the veteran’s service organizations (VFW) and make them aware of your services. You will get work. Start out with small projects until you are comfortable with the templates or software you are using.
Asking myself what I would have done differently, or what wisdom I can pass on to you; it would be to start with small projects, have a signed contract, insist on deadlines and take one-half of your fee upfront!
In my opinion, writing business plans is one of the best work from home job opportunities in today’s job market. There is such a need for this service as people who are unemployed or under employed strive to improve their situation.