Yesterday we had a meeting with a company that writes professional business plans. Our initial thought was that maybe it was better to just pay a professional to do what would very likely take us a long, long time to learn how to do. The sales person recounted tales of woe describing young entrepreneurs who, at first, thought they could do it themselves, but who inevitably hung their heads in shame and hired a pro. He went on to stress that we were doomed if we didn’t have a good business plan and that they are the leaders in the field. Lastly, he talked about their relationships with the banks, their knowledge of various grants available and a veritable roster of individuals who are just dying to loan their money to new businesses. This last bit was dangled like the proverbial carrot. Pay us and we’ll let you in on our secrets. Don’t pay us and you’ll be doomed to, well, I guess, be doomed. Cost for these well guarded secrets? Three to five thousand dollars. Payable up front with no guarantee that anyone will actually loan us anything.
Over coffee after the meeting, Davina pointed out that the reason we don’t have time to this ourselves is that we have kids to take care of and that three to five thousand dollars could buy A LOT of childcare, freeing us up to learn about and write our own business plan. In addition, Davina is eligible to take a course through the government which will teach her how to do a business plan. If we figure out how to manage her childcare, and she takes this 8 week course, than we could do it ourselves and save the cash. As for the ‘prettiness’ of the sample business plans we saw, my sister in law does this kind of thing for a living, so I think we can make it look at least as pretty as theirs. I suppose in the end, I’m really put off by people who come off like they hold privileged information that I can’t have. I think we can do better.