How To Become A Business Planner Or Business Planning Consultant

There are huge prospects in one becoming a business planner or business planning consultant. There are many people who have no clue as to how a business plan is drafted. Even some who have an elementary understanding still cannot do everything that has to be included in a business plan. That is where being a business planner or being a business planning consultant comes in. In this article we shall look at how you can become that. This is a potentially lucrative venture because so many people are seeking assistance in getting business plans done


What Does A Business Planner Or Planning Consultant Do?

Before we get into how you become one, we have to discuss what they do. This is an individual who is tasked with the responsibility of coming up with business plans. They also go as far as rolling out implementations of a business idea. During the course of setting up a new business there will extensive meetings with various kinds of people. A business planner or consultant will either come up with or assist in drafting presentations. They will be a major source of guidance in all matters pertaining to the business. For instance, the 3 main themes of a business plan are the financial, marketing and operational aspects. A business consultant is instrumental in rolling out or providing strategic guidance in all those areas. 


Strategically Niche

The process of writing a business plan is comprised of so many elements. You have to note your area or areas of expertise and build on that. When that is established move ahead to conduct some market research to find out what the market needs. We would encourage you to apply the human centred design approach. This approach involves 4 steps you must take. One, go through what is called IMMERSION – this is where you interact with people in their natural settings to understand their needs better. This is the followed by IDEATION – this is where you think through and take note of all the random ideas that come to your mind. You must ultimately narrow them down to just 3 ideas. These will be ideas that appeal to your niche i.e. target market. The third step and fourth steps will be PROTOTYPING and IMPLEMENTATION. 

Earlier we spoke of what a business planner or business planning consultant does. The choice of what to settle for must not be something you just arrive at. Use the human centred design approach we briefly explained just now. Chances are that if you are contemplating entering this space you have a sphere of influence that you can draw insights from. It is possible to be universal but targeting a particular domain would be ideal – or may just a few domains. For instance, you can choose to settle for the agriculture industry or maybe the fashion industry. The good thing about this is that you get to perfect your craft because you will not be all over the place. It is akin to heeding the adage that says, “jack of all trades, master of none”. We will reiterate this once more; use the human centred design approach to empirically come up with the best way to niche. 


Your Operational Framework

Which services are you going to offer and how? This is an important question that you must answer well. It is borne out of what we discussed earlier about immersion. When you properly do the immersion process you will definitely get to know what people need. For instance, you might discover that many people are always looking for pre-written business plans. You could also find that there are those who wish to draft business plans themselves but need some form of assistance.

There are those that might simply need workable business plan templates. There are some who could be in search of mentorship in conceptualizing and materializing business plans. You could possibly be that person who operates like a middleperson of sorts. This would mean you put together a service range of things you do not necessarily offer – you could offer some or part of them though. Then you would essentially be linking up clients to service providers who actually offer those services. 

The possible needs are many as you will discover from doing the immersion process. At the end of the day you must put together an operational framework. This will constitute your brand such that people will know what to expect or get from you once they approach you. 

We highlighted a bit on the how part – how will you be operating? In principle, it is ideal to have a balanced mix of offline and online approaches. It is possible to serve a client, from start to finish, wholly online. For instance, a client is in a distant country and they need a business plan document done – this can be effectively facilitated online. There are also scenarios where it can be possible to at times physically meet clients in person. Balance the two approaches so that you can appeal to an unlimited global market. 


Important Components To Have

You cannot be a business planner or business planning consultant without the use of information and communication technologies (ICTs). You will need to have a professional website, social media accounts (LinkedIn is key here) – a WhatsApp Business account is a must-have. Obviously things such as a personal computer and mobile devices are needed. You must also invest in video conferencing components such as tripods, HD cameras and so on. 


Networking is imperative in this line of business. You must establish and expand a network of business partners and clients. Networking can be done by being involved in strategic events such as business workshops, seminars, and the like. Online you can take advantage of content marketing – you can do this by, for instance, blogging to attract traffic to your site. Leverage on user-generated content for example, testimonials from clients whose requests you would have successfully completed. The greatest thing about this business model is that it entails doing tasks that are somehow the same over and over again. Use this to review and perfect your work process so that you will become sought after. 


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