What specific deliverables do you prepare?
Depending on the nature of the engagement and the specific needs of the client, Black Rock Consulting produces a range of executive-level, investor quality documents that are specifically customized to the intended audience and the client’s specifications. These may include Business Plans (with or without MS Excel based Financial Pro-Forma Models), Strategic Plans, Marketing Plans, Investor Presentations (MS PowerPoint based), Strategic Briefs and more. A comprehensive list of our product line and brief descriptions of each deliverable is available as a PDF file.
How much does it cost?
Given that each engagement is unique, Black Rock Consulting does not quote generic flat rates but instead invests the time, absolutely FREE to the prospective client, to perform an initial consultation / discovery period to determine the scope of the proposed project. Black Rock Consulting does offer “package” discounts of bundled deliverables (e.g. Business Plan, accompanying Financial Model, and Investor Presentation) for clients requiring more comprehensive solutions. Please contact us for further details. In certain circumstances work is performed on an hourly rate basis (“time & materials”) or upon monthly retainers (for clients with ongoing needs), with the rate determined in part by the services rendered. We believe that whether flat-rate, hourly or retainer based, our fees are competitive and fair and aligned with the high-quality nature of our work and the effort put forth.
Why do firms and individuals quote such widely divergent prices for deliverables such as business plans?
The short answer is the free market. Providers will charge whatever price they feel their work will bear, or sometimes base pricing on sales volume, offering deceptively low prices that more often than not, reflect the lesser quality and breadth of their work. Conversely, many of the larger firms that boast of their size tend to run their operations as “document mills,” selling the client on the qualifications of more senior staff (in some cases actually freelance consultants) that may or may not actually be researching and writing the deliverable. In our experience, developing a meaningful, well-thought out Business Plan with all necessary research gathered and strategy considered will require an investment of anywhere from 50 to 100 hours of time for most businesses, with more complex and sophisticated ventures requiring significantly higher investments of time and energy. Therefore, it is our belief that providers that quote sub $1000 rates for such plans are simply not performing proper diligence and/or are relying upon low-cost offshore assets to complete the assignment. And unless a provider is rendering additional services, charging fees in excess of $20,000 for a Business Plan alone is usually unwarranted.
What is the time frame?
Generally speaking, most Business Plan, Strategic Plan or Marketing Plan assignments can be realistically completed in a 6-8 week period, depending on client review periods and the depth of background research required. Expedited service is available (for additional fee consideration) for clients that require rapid product turnaround. Please contact us for details.
What are your qualifications?
Black Rock Consulting is led by Jonathan S. Ross, an experienced, award-winning writer and interactive project manager trained in PMI based methodology. From 2004 to 2007, Mr. Ross performed strategic planning work, including Business Plan writing, as an independent consultant for a Los Angeles based consultancy that bills itself as one of the nation’s leading business plan writing firms, solely responsible for the engagement management and creation of associated deliverables for 45 projects. Mr. Ross also maintains a relationship with Mosaic Capital, a leading Los Angeles based middle market investment bank, and has written or co-written Investment Memorandums, Strategic Plans and other deliverables for Mosaic Capital clients. He has serviced numerous private clients as well directly through Black Rock Consulting. More biographical information is available here or at Linked In.
Do you provide sample plans for review?
Please note that much of the work that Black Rock Consulting performs is highly confidential and sensitive and cannot be publicly circulated. However, redacted and sanitized deliverable samples are available to qualified prospects, subject to execution of a mutual Non-Disclosure Agreement. References are also available and they may choose to reveal information at their own discretion.
What sets you apart?
Black Rock Consulting is a boutique company, offering high-quality and responsive service to all clients, and not just the largest accounts. We do not approach the creation of deliverables as an assembly line product, and we do not “bait and switch” by promising the resources of a marquee team and outsourcing the actual work to independent contractors that may or may not be qualified to perform such services. Unfortunately, as many firms attempt to scale operations to increase sales volume, there comes a tendency to cut corners, recycle work (despite outlandish claims that even low-cost deliverables are “customized”), and farm engagements out to inexperienced or low-cost service providers without disclosing this practice to the client. While Black Rock Consulting does upon occasion work collaboratively with other consultants, if this is the case the client is informed up front and is fully aware of the team’s composition from project kick-off, and not left to discover this salient fact (or not) on their own.
What if I don’t need a comprehensive Business Plan? Or I have written a draft and I only need an expert to review and rewrite / polish my work?
Black Rock Consulting recognizes that every client is unique and we approach each prospective engagement with this in mind. For clients considering launching a business but uncertain of the soundness of their concept or the market, we recommend an Opportunity Assessment. For those that feel they do not require a full scale Business Plan, a Strategic Brief that captures critical company and market information may be more appropriate. Executive Summaries are often prepared as stand-alone deliverables for prospective investor submission, and Pro-Forma Financial Projections, Executive and/or Management Biographies, PowerPoint Presentations and more can be developed independently. Please contact us and we will be happy to discuss your options at NO OBLIGATION OR COST FOR THE INITIAL CONSULTATION.