A business plan can be several thousand dollars and up while taking months to complete. The time factor however, is really a reflective measure of how fast you can prepare and supply the continual data that is required throughout the process.
Here's a few reasons why companies want to create a business plan .....
1. Because that is what they’ve been taught or learned and it just seems like the right thing to do. These people are few and far between and really are not creating for the purpose of achieving goals as much as just completing the task.
2. Create for the purpose of obtaining money/working capital . . . and that’s what the bank/SBA says must be done. Again, while true that it takes a plan to obtain a business loan, the plan itself has very little shelf life as it’s not being created to drive the business, only the loan application.
3. To impress a new incoming partner. In this case a plan should be created jointly with the new partner.
4. The best reason .... To expand your business and make more money, etc. This is the best because you are creating it for yourself. You’re the one getting up early in the morning – this tells you why. You’re working hard – this tells you where. You’re selling products all day – this tells you to whom. You’re wanting more customers – this tells you how many.
The cost is a function of the time of the personnel involved. I do not advise hiring someone else to do it for you. That has not worked in my experience.
A business plan is the vehicle by which you conduct the research for your market, decide which individuals to involve in the sales of your product and validate your revenue and expense financial forecasts. It is the means by which you will convince first yourself and then others who can help you that your company has a road map to success.
New entrepreneurs should go to the SBA web site at SBA that guides them through the business planning process. They should follow the site presentation and note the factors to consider in starting a business.
For examples of business plans go to Sample Business Plans
Entrepreneurs can also choose a counselor at Score who is experienced in their industry and that they feel can help them. They should their plan out on the counselor. The counselor will put on a banker's or investor's hat and give them a reaction, then make suggestions to improve the plan and how to communicate it to a financial institution.
I suggesst you examine the guidance here and layout your own proejct plan, pricing the resources required based on what you see and your estimate to complete it once you have it scoped.
Above all - PLAN --- to Succeed!