Who Should Write Your Business Plan?


Who should write your business plan? We have developed a strong sense of direction in this area.

"Clearly, the best person to write the family business plan is the entreprenurial owner of the family business," according to top family business expert Don Schwerzler

"It is your business... investors, lenders, customers, vendors, managers and employees are relying on your leadership to deliver the results of your business plan."

Schwerzler has been studying and advising family business entrepreneurs for more than 40 years and he is the founder of the Family Business Institute headquartered in Atlanta GA.

Who should write your business plan? We feel strongly that you must take ownership of your business plan. Are we suggesting you do it all by yourself? Absolutely not! In fact, we think that within reason, the more help you get the better.

For instance, if your business isn't large enough to have a marketing management team, by all means get help from marketing specialists to do market research.

Who should write your business plan - we think you should - but that does not mean you cannot get help with the word-crafting for your business plan from a skilled writer.

Same for the financials - get advice from experts skilled in organizing financial information.

"But", you say, "I'm a visionary, and anyway I'm too busy running this place... and I'm not good with words..."

Who better to convey the vision and mission than the leader?

In whose belly will the fire burn stronger than in yours? Need we state the obvious - that if there really is someone there who has the fire burning more brightly than you, your succession plan should be near completion to have that person leading the company!

As for the words themselves - they are really not as important as the message. Convey your message clearly and passionately, make sure that what you are saying is relevant to your reader, and the words will take care of themselves. Who should write your business plan? You should, but that does not mean you should not ask for input from others.

The larger your organization, the more help you will have internally, so the more you can delegate. But, we feel that you should retain ownership and champion the project even if most of it is delegated to others.

A resource we recommend that can allow you to create a successful business plan simply and easily:


If you are larger, and have a specialized transaction coming up such as bringing in a Venture Capital firm or are going to be doing an IPO, then there is a strong case to use the guidance of their specialized services to prepare the business plan. But they are going to have to build it from the basic information that you have - they can't create it "out of the blue".

Another option to consider would be to make the preparation of the business plan an assignment for the Nexters! It is a great way for them to learn about the owner's vision for the the business, how the business operates and about how the values of the family drive the decision making process for the business. To learn more about getting the next generation involved NEXTERS There are a number of business plan software products on the market - some are good, others are not - and some may just be to complex to be an effective business plan tool for your family business.

Our Family Business Strategy Master can answer any questions you may have about the value of having a business plan as part of your growth strategy for your family business.

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