Do you have a home-business idea but don’t how to make a beginning?
Having decided which business you want to be in, the first step to putting your ideas into action is to write a business plan.
A business plan is a 360-degree assessment of your home business. It documents every aspect – from defining your product, industry, customers, and competition, to listing your marketing and distribution strategy, sales targets, and business expenses.
Importance of Writing a Business Plan
If creating a sustainable small business from home is your end goal, a business plan is your roadmap to get there.
Almost everyone who intends to start a business, or wants to make major changes to an existing business (e.g. launching a new product or implementation of a new technology), must write a business plan.
A business plan will help you in the following ways as you start a home business –
1. Stay focused: It keeps you focused on your business goals, as you grapple with the day-to-day challenges of your new enterprise.
2. A sense of business: It gives you a sense of creating a ‘business’ even when all you have is a laptop and a telephone to get started.
3. SWOT assessment: It compels you to identify the threats and opportunities you will face both in the present and in the near future. This assessment helps you develop strategies to circumvent the risks, and leverage favorable conditions.
4. Share your ideas: It’s a valuable document for sharing with investors, lenders, and potential employees, on what makes your business worth their time.
5. Division of work: If you have a business partner, detailing your business helps in allocation of responsibilities.
6. Help items: It also serves as a means for identifying which aspects of your business you need help with. E.g. Social media marketing or website creation, may not be your expertise, and it may make sense to hire a freelancer for the job.
7. Serves as a benchmark: Evaluating your progress against the milestones listed in the business plan will help you assess the correctness of your day-to-day business decisions.
8. Understand the financials: If you plan to enter a business that requires a large investment, or where goods are sold on credit, a business plan will help you list potential sources of investment, and how you need to manage your cash flow.
The level of detailing will depend on the size of your business, as well as the end purpose of drafting the plan. Although the length of a business plan can vary from a few pages to more than a hundred pages, for most small businesses, a business plan of 10- 20 pages is sufficient to draft a working strategy.
That’s all for now folks.
In my next post, I will cover the essential components of a small business plan.
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