One of the best things you can do for yourself before you start your business is to sit down and write your business plan.
Many people who want to start a home business ask if they really NEED a business plan, to which I ask if they really NEED to start a home business.
Writing a business plan for your home based business should be considered essential for many reasons, the most obvious of which is that a business plan is required if you are going to seek funding.
A business plan will also help you gain focus and think through each aspect of your business. It will also help you remain focused when you get discouraged or feel overwhelmed. You can figure out how to deal with possible problems before they occur.
Business plans will vary widely, depending upon what type of business you have, so what may work well for one business may not be suitable for another.
Your business plan doesn't have to be very long, but does have to present you and your business, goals - both short and long term, intentions, and detailed information about your business, in the very best possible light.
Elements of a Business Plan Include:
Your purpose. What exactly do you want to accomplish? What are your goals for your business?
Describe your business. What is your legal structure? When was it formed? Who owns and operates it?
Define your market. What are you going to sell? A product or service? Or both? You'll want to describe exactly what is going to be sold. Is there a need for your product or service? Who are you selling to? Why will your business have a competitive edge over other businesses?
Explain how you intend to meet those needs. How will you produce the product/service? How will your customers receive your goods?
Define your staff, or suppliers, if any.
Make a time table. Do you expect to reach a certain goal in a specific amount of time?
Calculate and Clearly State Your Financial Requirements.
How much capital will it cost you to get the materials you need to start-up? Give detailed information about how the capital will be spent.
Licenses or fees?
Operate your business until you see a profit?
Deliver your product or service?
If you make a mistake in this area, by all means count on needing more than you actually will. Many terrific home businesses have ground to a screeching halt because they ran out of operating money too soon.