When I started my first business I didn’t have a solid, well thought-out business plan. I threw together a rough one that I used to apply for a bank loan (which I didn’t get, by the way). If you take the time to research and put together a small business plan, you will have a much clearer and focused idea of what you can expect in your business.
A good business plan will help you figure out approximately what your business will cost to get off the ground. You don’t want to guess at this. Knowing your costs will help you decide what you’re going to charge. The bottom line – most businesses fail because they don’t have a clearly spelled-out business plan. Don’t make that mistake.
For those of you who have been in business for awhile, don’t think a business plan can’t help you. Because you’ll be wrong. Your business plan should be taken out on a regular basis, reread and updated.
Below I have given you a list of questions you should ask yourself when starting your home business:
- What is your business exactly? Explain in one or two sentences. (If you can’t describe your business in a couple of sentences, rethink your business and focus your idea).
- Is my particular business needed? List the reasons that make you thinks so.
- Where do I see my business being in one year? In three years? In five years? (Be specific.)
- How will I fund my business? Savings, credit cards, loans?
- What equipment/office supplies/licenses will I need to get my business started? Total Cost?
- What organizations and trade publications will I need? Total Cost?
- Who is my target customer? Describe them.
- What organizations/publications to my target customers belong to?
- What other businesses will I be competing with?
- What makes my business different from my competitor’s business? (Include price, quality, unique services, etc.)
- Where will I set up my home office? Is it going to cost me money to make a nice workable office? Cost?
- Will I use daycare everyday or once a week? Cost?
- How much money do I need to make each month to help my family survive?
Once again, this is just a partial list, but there are enough questions here to give you a good idea of what you’ll be facing with a new business and the costs involved.
A business plan is essential to any successful home business. As one great quote says,
Those who fail to plan, plan to fail. – Author Unknown
Recommended Books on Writing a Business Plan:
- How to Write a Business Plan: Create Your Strategy; Forecast Your Finances; Produce a Persuasive Plan (Sunday Times Creating Success)
- The Right-Brain Business Plan: A Creative, Visual Map for Success
- Writing a Convincing Business Plan (Barron’s Business Library)
- The One Page Business Plan for the Creative Entrepreneur
Liz Folger is the founder of http://www.bizymoms.com . Bizymoms.com is the leading online resource for work-from-home ideas. The site offers home-based business start-up kits, online classes, e-books, chats and enthusiastic support for moms who want to have it all a family and a career. Visit http://www.bizymoms.com for more information.