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When I first started looking for money I was approached by many people offering these types of services. 8000 is a lot of money..I wish I had an extra 8 grand now as well. I was even quoted a price of 50,000 with 20% financing!
Pulling the wool over an inexperienced set of eyes is what these people do best. Its all about them making money.
You can write your own business plan...after all its your business!!! If you are in the tech field go to garage.com for some pointers on biz plans and executive summaries.
use the http://www.clusty.com search enigne to find biz plan outlines....make a binder and start writing!!!
The forum is here for you!
Thanks! I called about financing and the person I spoke with immediately went into selling me the other services. Also they ask for up to 30% down depending on the loan amount which is pretty steep. I like the ideas they have and the services offered but 8k is a lot and as a start up i'm not trying to spend money where I don't have to. I went to the SBA for a few workshops one of them was a business plan workshop, when I got home and started writing my plan I got confused about the financial projections portion of the plan. One reason being, whatever funds I recieve I will also have to use to support myself until the business begins to make enough money to do so. And I have no idea how to put that into the a plan.
Put the financial portion on the back burner and fine tune your plan. THEN develop and model your cost structure. If you have a finance professional or accountant as a friend you might ask them for help. They know all kinds of excel workbook set ups/tweaks and can show you how to plug in the numbers. The finance part was a nightmare for me.
Very good advice and rationale in previous posts.
One of my favorite sayings: "When a person with money meets a person with experience, the person with experience gets the money - and the person with money gets an experience."
In this case, you won't get an experience you really need. I know that the array of tasks and decisions associated with starting a business can appear confusing and overwhelming, but as you move forward, please balance all that with the knowledge that literally hundreds of people who are only slightly smarter than tumbleweeds have been able get through it and have a business of their own (sorry, that might have been a little too "Dr. Phil"). The point is, almost any mistake you make along the way can be corrected. Very few things can be undone except running out of money and running out of places to get more -- so I would not "come out of the gate" giving away $8K.
SCORE will work with you for FREE.
SCORE s the Counselors To America's Small Business. Run by the government
and manned by volunteers.
SCORE is all over the United States and on line at www.score.org.
They also have 26 online courses FREE you can take to help you start a business.
The price is right, LUCKIEST
I will back up Luckiest pitch for SCORE. The councelor/mentor that helped me out is somebody that could easily be charging big $$$ for his advice but just wants to see people succeed. I don't know if I could go out and find a "business consultant" that is more qualified than this guy in terms of my industry and business goals.
Thank you all for the great advice, I will definitely contact SCORE.
I also recommend you contact SCORE. They are mostly retired businesspeople that will help you for FREE. They also work closely with the local SBA office.
I took a great class called the Nuts & Bolts of Business Plan, taught by Joe Hadzima from the Sloan School. Sure, I had the advantage of attending actual class lectures and interacting with students on a business plan...however this information is now available online and free to others. As part of MIT's initiative to make learning more widely available and online, you can actually download all the lecture notes and course materials for free! How cool is that?
It is part of MIT's OpenCourseWare website - check it out:
I agree with the other posters, $8,000 is awfully steep. No one can write the plan for you, you have to do it yourself. The best thing is getting advice from others in the industry to validate if your assumptions are correct. Most business plans require the standard information...what differenciates your business is the talent of the management team, the value/intellectual property of your business, and why you are different from competition, and your operational plan to execute to break even and finally be profitable.
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A friend referred me to a company where I could get a loan to start my business. Upon speaking with the contact she provided me with, I learned that they also offer a service to help you prepare a business plan and do consulting work to help execute and implement the plan(at a heavy fee of course). Can anyone comment on this and tell me what you think? I am new to all of this so I want to hear from as many people I can. I know there are a lot of scams and people out there looking to pull the wool over an inexperienced persons eyes...