Posted by: bevmeldrum | November 6, 2007

Common Questions About Business Plans – Help … I Need More Help

If you would like some more help with your Business Plan, there are a number of different options you can choose from.

Software
There is a variety of software packages that will help you write your Business Plan. These are good because they give you a structure you can work to, you can add or delete sections to make it fit what you need, they automatically create your financial reports for you and provide you help notes and examples of other Business Plans.

Business Plan Writer: Social Enterprise Version from The Tool Factory [that’s us] is the only software package designed specifically for social entrepreneurs, social enterprises and third sector organisations with relevant sample business plans. It costs £39.99 and be bought from our website www.thetoolfactory.net

Other software packages include Business Plan Pro: UK Version for mainstream businesses and Business Plan Pro: Social Enterprise Version (US).

Support Organisations
You can contact your local support organisation – often called a Council of Voluntary Services (CVS), or you may be in an area that has a social enterprise support organisation. They often have a member of staff that will help you write your Business Plan.

If you are not sure who to contact email us at info@thetoolfactory.com and we will send you details of your nearest organisation.

Training
Look out for local training courses on Business Planning. Many of these are run by your local support organisations or mainstream business support organisations.

The Tool Factory runs a 6 day accredited course in Business Planning For Social Entrepreneurs. If you can get a group of organisations in your area who all want to go through the course we can talk to you about prices. The course will also be available as a distance learning programme in the future – contact us at info@thetoolfactory.com for more information.

Consultants
If you have the money you can always ask a consultant to work with you on your Business Plan. We have already said that we do not encourage you to hire a consultant to write your Business Plan from scratch as no-one can get across the vision of your organisation better than you can.

However, you could hire a consultant to go through your Business Plan once it is written and check through it for you, or to help you with some of the sections you are less comfortable with.

Online Resources
The other great resource that should not be overlooked for support with writing your Business Plan is the internet. If you do a search for the terms ‘help with my business plan’ you will see a wide range of resources, tips, websites and blogs that you can look to for help.

One you might want to try out are: Business Plan Toolbox which is the blog for business planning using Business Plan Writer.

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