To Achieve… To Succeeed…

Millionaire Money Habits

May 30th, 2009 at 7:58 am

Yes, Virginia, You Need a Business Plan

When you’re starting your own home business, you usually start with a great idea for an innovative product or service.  You might be lucky (or daring) enough to use your own available funds for your initial investment.  Maybe you need some help and will be applying for a loan.  Maybe you have no new ideas-you’ve just decided to freelance in your field, or you’ve become an independent consultant for a company like Partylite, Pampered Chef, Beachbody, etc.  No matter your circumstance, a business plan is always necessary.

You business plan is a description of what your company is, what you provide and how you plan to do so.  If your home business requires loans from outside investors, you absolutely need a business plan (no exceptions), and a professional one at that.  Your proposed investors will want to know exactly what they are getting into and how likely it is that your business will be successful enough to repay them.  You can find many books, websites, and downloads that can give you standard outlines to follow to get started.

If you don’t require investors, some might say you don’t need a business plan.  But if you read carefully, most advice will still tell you that you should have a plan.  Well, you’re starting a business and need a plan in place?  That’s a business plan no matter how you slice it, my friend.  The only difference between you and the ones that need investors is the how professional and in-depth you are.  Your plan doesn’t need to be 50-100 pages long or more, especially if it’s solely for you.

Your plan, long or short, will provide direction for you.  Your idea may sound amazing in your head, but once it’s on paper, you may find that it needs a little tweaking or it’s unfortunately implausible.  Write down exactly what your company is and what you offer to the public.  When you begin to expand, you’ll be able to estimate your chances of success.

Know your market and include that in your plan.

  • Who are your customers likely to be?
  • How will you find them?
  • Most importantly, how will you attract their interest?

Get to know your competition.  You’ll need to know what you’re up against.  What are their marketing strategies?  Why were certain ones successful or unsuccessful?  When you know what your competition is all about, you can effectively answer potential customers when they ask you how you’re different or better.

Set goals in your plan.  They’ll be easier to achieve and track when they’ve been fully thought out and written down.  You’ll feel the crunch when you’re near the deadline, but you’ll also feel that sense of accomplishment and see your success when you can cross that goal off the list.  Even if you only finished a group of small goals instead of a large one, you can see your progress.  Include a budget in your goals to help you stay on track and monitor your profits.

Every step in writing your plan will activate your brain and force you to think creatively about your business goals.  Plus, if you don’t have a complete understanding of your company and its future, how will you successfully explain it to customers or potential investors?  Even a few strong paragraphs can suffice when you’re starting out by yourself.  You don’t have to treat it like a Masters’ thesis.  Just spell out your intentions, set your budget and goals, and implement your marketing strategies and you’ll be better prepared for success and your company’s future.

Tags: , ,


RSS feed for comments on this post | TrackBack URI

  • 6 steps to financial freedom

    6 Steps to Financial Freedom
    free when you subscribe to my newsletter.
    *I respect your privacy and will never share your email.