Business Plan Writers: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

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How Does One Become a Business Plan Writer?

Many times when I talk to potential clients who are looking for business plan writers on the Internet I am asked how it came to pass that I became a business plan writer. In this blog post, I want to give the full and authentic account of how I became a business plan writer with currently more than 800 business plans under my belt. I believe it is important for you to know who you are dealing with so that you can rest assured that when it comes to business plan writing, you can only expect the finest quality from BrainHive. We lately summarized the process of hiring a business plan writing assistant in this very informative article: how to hire a professional business plan writer.

It all started in 2006 when I began my finance and accounting studies at the Frankfurt Goethe University. I did not receive any handouts from my parents and so I needed to have a job in order to make ends meet. A girl I liked sent me around to fetch some scripts for her at a faculty close to my faculty, and that’s when I saw a sign in a window beckoning people to apply for a position as a foreign language secretary for Secretary Plus, which was a high level secretary headhunting an people-renting agency.

I worked a summer and a half as a foreign language secretary at the mere age of 20 years. I was well qualified because back in the day when my parents still supported me, they sent me to an international school where I learned stellar English. Even though most Germans speak good English, the level that I was at overqualified me and I was the only male secretary in Frankfurt’s Secretary Plus database which was a fine unique selling proposition (I could lift heavy things and wasn’t as likely to gossip or catfight) and it got me really great bookings with companies such as Degussa, Standard & Poors, Terrafirm Hedgefunds, Peter Schmidt Group marketing agency and others. Heaven for an ambitious business student!

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Me as a secretary, 2006

From Secretary to Finance Journalist to Business Plan Writer / Business Ghostwriter

However, the salary was meager and I was forced to constantly look for better opportunities to make money. Since as a rented foreign language secretary I did not always work too hard at my assignments, I had the free time on the job to be taking on freelance writing assignments. One of the places I applied for was Frankfurter Finance, then a quite popular investor newsletter that was specialized on interviews with company directors of small growth stocks, mostly mineral and energy values. Over those projects with Frankfurter Finance I learned the art of desktop research and financial and market analysis. Those were the skills that enabled me to win an application of a small German Chinese consulting firm called MPR who at one point began looking for a business plan ghostwriter at the faculty of business administration where I was studying.

It quickly became clear that MPR was simply an outfit to help wealthy Chinese individuals with often questionable intentions to come to Germany. In the Chinese version of their website they aggressively advertised that establishing a company is one of the easiest ways for rich Chinese (often students, children of politicians and industrialists) to obtain a long-term visa as general managers. However, both the chambers of commerce as well as the immigration authorities required them to come up with a business plan. The owner of the consulting company, Julian Busch, then their chief business plan writer, quickly got tired of writing so many business plans himself even though those business plans were really short and superficial. He needed a young and sturdy workhorse consultant as a business plan writer and analyst and I happened to make the cut even though I was only in my third semester. But I knew how to write business texts and do research and those are the two key skills for a business plan writer to have.

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Me at a trade fair for MPR in Ningbo, China, 2008

A Business Plan Writing Marathon for the Chinese

Over the course of the next four years I wrote about one business plan every week for between €150-€250 a pop. For me, as a student, this was really great money. Additionally, I studied an exchange semester in Argentina where that kind of money takes you even further. Having to write the business plans in ever-growing degrees of quality (German authorities became more strict with the visas for Chinese at one point) was impacting my creative flows though. I stopped writing for other projects, I stopped writing poetry, I stopped writing novels and plays and even if I was on the other side of the world on vacation with a beautiful Argentinean girl, I had to carve out the time to write business plans for the Chinese. This twisted my reality a good bit and certainly forged my character to become the serious, sometimes slightly melancholic professional that in part I still am today. Even though I now own my own consultancy in London and even a coworking space in Guatemala and I am making much more money and I enjoy being able to work with ethical people on ethical projects, those years and those endless streams of generic business plans I consider a true creative bloodletting for the flourish and growth of a very twilighty, unprincipled company.

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Me in Argentina with my crush, 2009

My liberation happened in the form of being headhunted by a different consultancy that hired me to become a safety certification consultant as MPR dual–used me in 2012 to set up a company for them in Chicago which dealt with safety certification consulting. The hiring consulting company, Cisema, proved however an even darker outfit that chewed up and spat out its analysts with unflinching inhumanity. I attribute it to the Chinese “spirit” that was prevalent and in both companies, it is just not their thing to appreciate a human being purely on the grounds of it being a human being. It’s always reduced to performance, fitting into hierarchies and asking no questions, least of all questions of ethical nature.

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In Chicago, 2010

A Business Plan Writer’s Burnout and Fight for Independence

It was from burnout and a deep sense of having lost purpose and freedom in my life that in 2013 I founded BrainHive Ethical Marketing, the first clients I hunted at trade fairs. I was a good writer already, and during my time in Chicago when I was setting up the company for MPR, I learned all about WordPress, copywriting and Adwords. That gave me a small toolkit to be able to provide digital marketing services and I provided them at first mostly to companies from the German esoteric industry, funny enough. I have always been drawn to spirituality and cosmocentrist ideals and for a time I was the happiest person, because no Chinese, no office, no fixed schedules. However, the marketing game is a hard bargain to play in the long run and I soon found myself in a pinch. To be able to charge better fees, I was having to do work that was beyond my real capacity and my real liking such as very technical web design and SEO and with only copywriting and content writing I couldn’t make ends meet gracefully.

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Studio shots to celebrate BHEM’s foundation, 2013

Since 2008, I already had a website live that was offering business planning, it was one of the first things that I did when I noticed just how much MPR was exploiting me (while I was making €150-€250 per business plan, they were selling them for $2,000 upwards to the Chinese). However, the website was crafted really badly and I was not getting any traffic. After I learned WordPress, content marketing and search engine optimization through the establishment of BrainHive Ethical Marketing however, I was able to relaunch the website, do my keyword research and populate the website with search-friendly content that would soon garner traffic. By that time the website was already aged and that is a very important ranking factor for Google.

 

Boom and Bust – Transitioning Back from Copywriting to Business Plan Writing

After I ran the marketing agency against the wall in 2015 because of several projects that went bad because I couldn’t deliver the scope that the clients were asking but also I didn’t want to lose their business and so had to hire outsourcers who weren’t committed to the cause of BrainHive Ethical Marketing, I had the time to then fully focus on BrainHive Consulting. At the beginning, it was an uphill battle to become a known business plan writer and my first clients again were quite shady, mostly Arab, Russian and again, Chinese. The classic abusive client, and boy did they live up to their prejudicial reputation: Pushy, scope-creeping, abusive communication, bad pay morale, the full monty.

I reached out to many website owners to publish content on business planning so to garner backlinks and bit by bit obtain better traffic. I relaunched the website a second time and I designed conversion funnels and video content to improve the lead generation and retention rate. Of ten people that contacted me with business plan assignments, I was able to get one or two projects. Since business plan writing is better money than copywriting or even web design however (a good business plan can yield tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands of dollars of funding and so the cost-benefit relation is more fluid and clients are willing to pay a fair fee for good business planning) I was taking joy in being a business plan writer on my own accord.

 

Breakthrough as a Business Plan Writer Thanks to Digital Nomad’s Tailwind

There was a breakthrough in the year of 2016 after I was featured on several digital nomad platforms that had high domain authorities and referential traffic. We started ranking for keywords around business plan costs and business plan writing service on the first page of Google among the first three positions. All of a sudden we were getting 4 to 5 good leads per week and from that we were able to extract the resources to expand our marketing and content creation. We finally grew organically in a steady and accelerating manner. It was then that I started to hire people to help me cope with the growing volumes of business plan projects that we were processing. I started to train my own business plan writers and implement quality assurance principles, using my experiences from my short time as a safety certification consultant. Sound quality management is a holistic approach and specifically in business plan writing, it is important that you have standardized quality as soon as you start scaling. You can never slack on substance, even when you start producing more volume.

 

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A digital nomad with social channel ambitions, 2016

Today BrainHive has some of the sharpest business plan writers in the field and myself, I am also still a business plan writer. The pride and satisfaction I take my work is reflected in each and every business plan that leaves our house. The projects that we are acquiring are more and more interesting as we are on the way of becoming a trusted and reputable business planning consultancy not only in the German-speaking sphere but also in the UK and internationally. We’ve been published on some of the most important business plan resource platforms in the world, we are partners with the most renowned business plan software providers both in Germany and in the US and our answers on business plan topics on Quora are among the most popular throughout the platform.

The Future for Us Business Plan Writers

Business planning has evolved since I first wrote my first business plan and the continuous evolution through lean planning, business model canvases, javelin boards, pitch decks and pitch videos offers new challenges as time goes on. New, very cheap competition and the advent of artificial intelligence in the field of business planning will undoubtedly change the way that we compete for work in the future. But there can be no doubt about it, we will be able to evolve with it. Because we must evolve, we see the necessity from a mile away.

Being a worth-his-salt business plan writer, you are in daily contact with business ideas and founder motivations, cutting-edge market developments and the ever-bustling energy of the startup sphere. It is your privilege to be able to give access to funding, structuring and designing people’s concepts and perceptions. After over 10 years as a business plan writer I still passionately believe in the entrepreneurial strife and working with great people, honing great ideas and packaging them in planning documentations to achieve great things.

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Business Plan Writing – The Fun Never Stops

Conclusion: Making of a True Business Plan Writer

So that is why if you are looking for a business plan writer you should give BrainHive a good look. Because for us, business plan writing isn’t just our job. It’s our vocation. It is the very air we breathe day in, day out. I’ve given up all my other creative writing and art to fulfill my responsibility to founders and the whole world. This level of commitment is what you pay for when you choose the quality of BrainHive over Upwork, Fiverr, People per hour, Guru/Elance and the other outsourcing platforms where you may or may not get a good business plan. Here we guarantee a custom-tailored, high-quality business plan that adequately reflects your founder story and the red thread of your success.

My personal advice: Choose well – because not all business plan writers are created equal.

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