Plan for Success with a Home Based Business Plan
By Chris Robertson
If you've ever applied for a small business loan from the bank or another lender, you know something about business plans. Among other things, a solid business plan helps lenders evaluate the potential of your business to beat the odds and succeed long enough to pay back their loan. If you're starting up a home based business, you may be tempted to skip the whole process of writing a business plan - after all, no one is requiring one of you. Don't. A business plan for your home based business can be the single tool that launches your home based business into high success mode.
What can a business plan do for your home-based business? Banks and
lenders like business plans because the information that they contain makes it
easier for them to see all the important factors for your potential success in nice,
neat rows. The format for a business plan is designed to organize everything you
know about your business and help you evaluate your strengths, and make
allowances for your weaknesses.
With a good business plan in hand, you can make educated and informed
decisions that will help propel your home-based business toward success. The
research that you do to complete your business plan will give you a solid grounding
in information about your products, your services, your capabilities, your market
and your marketing options. And that's before you look at the financials.
Take a look at this step-by-step breakdown of the important parts of a
business plan and how each section can help you make the important decisions that
will make your home-based business an unqualified success.
The Executive Summary goes first in your business plan - but should be
written last. It's an overview of your business that should concisely explain your
business objectives, your product line, your market and current prospects, and
make financial forecasts for the next 6-12 months and 1-2 years.
Describe Your Business: Background
Your business plan should contain a quick history of your company - the
people involved and how they became involved, the date you organized, the type of
organization that it is (non-profit? sole proprietorship? Corporation?)
When you take a hard look at your home based business, you'll be able to
identify your strengths and weaknesses. You may find that you've got a great
product, good positioning in the market - but you haven't put the effort into
marketing that you need.
To make a lot of money! No, not really. By sitting down and realistically
assessing your current situation, your strengths and the places where you need to
bring in help, you can put together a feasible plan for the next several years. Ask
yourself where you want your home based business to be a year from now. You
want to expand your market by ten percent? What tools will you need to do that?
What will it cost you to reach another 10 percent market share? Analyze each of
your goals in the same way to help you plan out what you'll have to do to get there.
Analyze Your Market
Your company is only one part of the success plan for your home based
business. No matter how good your product or service is, if you're trying to sell it at
the wrong time or the wrong place, you're bucking the tide. An industry and market
analysis is a vital part of your business plan - and one that will help you organize
your own business to compete successfully.
Describe Your Product or Service in Detail
How well do you know the product you're selling? If you're offering a service,
what's the need for it? Why are you uniquely qualified to offer it? What's the potential
market for your product like? Is it expanding? Are there particular advantages to
your location and your background that play into your potential for success?
Analyze Your Competition
A good market analysis for your business plan will include an overview of the
industry and its prospects over the next several years as well as naming your main
competitors, their strengths and weaknesses, and how your business will compete
and/or fit into the overall business picture in your community (and don't forget that
the internet is a community just as much as your city is.)
Identify a Marketing Plan
The market analysis and marketing plan are the meat of your business plan.
This is where you describe step by step what you need to do to make your business
successful. Figure out your prices, and justify them. Identify your avenues of sales
and distribution. Describe how you plan to advertise and promote your new home-
based business. Will you take advantage of internet marketing, newspaper
advertising, radio spots? Why? Who are you trying to reach? What free publicity can
Identify Your Risks and Weaknesses, and Your Response to Them
The second most important part of your business plan is an analysis of your
risks and weaknesses. By identifying your needs and the possible problems you may
encounter, you can plan ahead how to avoid them.
Organize Your Financial Information
The financial information for your home based business should include a
realistic budget, profit and loss forecasts, balance sheets, projected cash flow
statements and a break even analysis (the point at which your income will equal
Chris Robertson is an author of Majon International, one of the worlds MOST popular internet marketing companies on the web.
Visit this Business and Entrepreneurs Website and Majon's Business and Entrepreneurs directory.
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