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Writing a Business Plan - The First Step for Starting a Successful Home Based Business

Mar 1, 2008
Before starting your home based business, consider these important rules.

Rule number 1:

"The biggest mistake people make in life is not making a living at doing what they most enjoy." - Malcolm S. Forbes

If you really like the internet, enjoy surfing, learning and experimenting online, if you have patience and accept the fact real and legitimate online businesses take some time, then you're looking in the right place. Since you're here, and searching for ideas on starting a home based business, you are already on the right track.

Rule number 2:

"Failures don't plan to fail; they fail to plan" - Harvey MacKay
(If you don't know about Harvey MacKay, make a note to find out more, and do a search for his books.)

Heard it before? Think it's too hard and probably doesn't apply to starting home based business?

Wrong Answer!

More and more people starting a home business are succeeding today than they did even five years ago. This comes from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics - http://www.bls.gov/opub/mlr/2005/05/ressum.pdf

Why? Because more and more people are using the vast resources the internet has to offer to better plan their business start-ups. So what are the tips for creating a business plan that you will use, and not just stuff in a drawer? Start by writing down your answers to these five questions:

1. Concept - What is the product or service you intend to sell? How will you sell it? What are the different ways you can sell your concept? Who will your customers be and where will you find them?

2. Knowledge and Passion - Do you have an in-depth knowledge about your concept, or is it something you recently became interested in doing? (The next question is more important than the first one here) Is your business concept something you're PASSIONATE about? If the answer to this is yes, most of the time this makes up for knowledge you may lack. Starting a home business with a concept you are passionate about is essential.

3. Money - This one's clear, but what's less obvious is how much money will you need? Over what period of time will you need money and at which points during that journey? Many businesses fail because people did a great job calculating the up-front costs, but didn't look at the money required to keep the business going until it can support itself financially. Starting a home business with-out knowing the long term financial requirement is a failure waiting to happen.

4. Market Research - Is there good potential market for your concept and how much competition exists in that market? If you and three other people love the concept, great! But if it's hard finding many other people also interested, you should consider exploring other concepts. This requires research.

5. Goals - You need to have "SMART" goals for your business; Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-bound. Heard it before? Sure you have, but this time it's more important than ever, because this is your future. Take the time and set these goals well. Starting a home based business will be much easier if you get this right from the beginning.

So, where are the tools to put this altogether? The first one is you! No business plan software or business planning tool can help you unless you can first place your thoughts and dreams for your business in writing. It really doesn't matter what format you follow, just put everything in writing. Once you have everything in your head transformed into written words, then you can use the many software tools available to organize your thoughts, dreams and wishes in to a winning plan.
About the Author
David Ogden is the editor for www.at-home-business-world.com - a resource website for good information about home business opportunities without all of the "Sales Hype." For more ideas, resources, and tools in starting your home business subscribe to the At Home Biz News: At Home Biz News
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