Carrying on with the example of a coffee shop, a business plan consultant will figure out what the best location would be. They already know coffee shops do well in areas with a certain demographic in place. These include students and workers, who are within close proximity to book stores.
You may find that the easiest part is the actual writing of the plan. The real work comes in the data-gathering, which may take you a hundred hours or more, depending on what you already know or have researched. If your new venture is in an area where you've been working, you may already know about your customers, your suppliers, your marketing plan, your organizational structure, your financial and cash flow needs, equipment, inventory, and so on.
Apart from this, they also analyze consumer trends and gather legislation reports and regulations that might have a future impact on your particular venture. These expert individuals make it their responsibility to build upon previous experiences and the requirements needed for you to carry out your intended plan.
U.S. Census Bureau (census.gov): A source for a variety of useful statistics, especially the Economic Census that comes out every 5 years.
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