Q & A:

I’ve already started a business plan.  Is that okay?

Yes, in fact most business plans have some work started on them before I complete them. It’s okay if you need an existing plan tweaked or modified. The pricing is adjusted to reflect that prior work.

How much do you charge?

Since this is a professional service, the pricing can vary. For instance, a single shingle looking to know their break even point would have different pricing than a startup searching for $10M in angel funding. After talking to you via email/phone and establishing the work scope, I will send a quote for your approval. A basic small business plan is typically $400 to $700 dollars. At the quote signing, at least a 50% retainer will be paid before any work begins. There are extra fees for travel expenses. Normally, there are no travel expenses.

How much time does it take?

Turnaround is dependent on the time it takes you to answer questions, data that keeps moving, and working on clearing up grey areas. Most are completed within 10 days. However, sometimes when we tear the data apart, further questions arise and the business plan needs to be adjusted further.  A living breathing plan sometimes grows in unexpected directions or needs to be pruned back into shape.  Part of what we do is to ask reasonable questions that a lender or an investor would ask about your business model.  Crafting a persuasive plan involves asking a few questions.

Please indicate if there are deadlines or timelines that you need to meet.

Which programs do you use?

I use Word, Excel, InDesign, Google Sheets and random photo editing software. I prefer to have full control of the images, graphs, and text sizes. InDesign by Adobe is the best solution for producing professional documents.

Do we need to meet in person?

Not really. One of the wonders of the modern age is that we can communicate by email, skype, or phone.

For Profit Business Grants?

Unfortunately, grants for for profit businesses are an urban myth.  There are grants available for non-profits and charities.  But there is no such thing as a free lunch or funding for most businesses.  If your business model absolutely calls for grant funding; reconsider if the legal structure should be a non-profit instead.

Laura Dodson
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Laura Dodson

Laura Dodson, CPA is a Seattle Financial Planning & Analysis consultant.She has attended Western Washington University, Pierce College and Bates Technical College. She has written four accounting instructional books. She has worked for small family businesses, mid-sized businesses and a Fortune 500 company.She founded and operated Blue Stone Accounting LLC for five years.She currently runs Paper Butterfly Forge LLC.
Laura Dodson
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