Home » Education and Reference » Ask an Expert

Why Should I Have a Business Plan?

Mar 20, 2008
Often when I recommend to one of my clients that they create a plan for their home business they ask, "Why?"

I understand the inquiry. I mean, why spend time putting together such a document? Why not just do what you need to do to build it? Right?

Now, typically I try not to answer a question with a question - that can be annoying for the person who asked me a question! However, sometimes I do, which is the case here.

I ask my clients, "Well, when you go on a road trip you bring a map with you, correct?"

The point being that a business plan is to a business what a map is to a road trip. When you travel you buy a map someone else created, but you get to create your own business plan.

Having a plan is important. Don't just take my word for it though. Instead, ask yourself the following 7 questions. Your answers may uncover the benefits you will enjoy by having a plan for your home business:

1. Are you confident that what you have chosen to do will work?

Understand that there are risks associated with starting any type of business. However, with some research and planning you can reduce and prepare for any possibly risks. So, if you outline each aspect of what you're going to do, you can determine if your idea is actually viable.

2. Do you know the who, what, where, when, and why of your day-to-day operations, including the costs, and projected profitability? A plan will help you answer all of these questions, enabling you to get your head around what you need to do.

3. Do you have realistic milestones for yourself? A plan will help you realistically forecast where you will be in six months, one year, and five years. Keep in mind that goals should be specific, measurable and realistic.

4. Do you know your market? In creating a solid plan you will research, analyze, and write about your market. This will provide you with an overview for your business and also give you greater insight into your overall market.

5. What is your financial picture? The process of writing your plan will force you to analyze your financial situation. You will determine how much money you need to get started, to build, and then maintain. Again, preparation can often be a key ingredient to success.

6. How are you going to monitor your home business? A plan serves as an ongoing tool that you can use to monitor your progress. A good business plan is a working document - one that is accessible to you. A plan that is tucked away in a filing cabinet serves no one.

7. Do you have contingency plans? A solid plan includes some contingency plans. Your plan can help you see how and where you can make changes relatively quickly if, and when, necessary.

Take the time to put a business plan in place. It's your road map to success and your business and your pocket book will reap the benefits.
About the Author
Kimberly Anne is a seasoned businessperson with over 20 years of marketing experience. With a BA and a MBA, she has helped thousands of people start home businesses and achieve success. For more information on how to write a business plan visit Kimberly's site www.all-about-home-businesses.com.
Rating:
Please Rate:
(Average: Not rated)
Views: 323
Print Email Report Share
Article Categories
    • Artists
    • Gambling
    • Humanities
    • Humor
    • Movies
    • Music
    • Photography
    • Tattoos
    • Television
    • Classic Cars
    • Motorcycles
    • Recreational Vehicles
    • SUVs
    • Trucks
    • Vans
    • Branding
    • Business Opportunities
    • Careers and Jobs
    • Corporate
    • Customer Service
    • Direct Mail
    • Entrepreneurship
    • Ethics
    • Financing
    • Franchising
    • Home-Based Business
    • Human Resources
    • Import and Export
    • Leadership
    • Management
    • Market Research
    • Marketing and Advertising
    • Negotiation
    • Network Marketing
    • Networking
    • Organizational
    • Presentation
    • Project Management
    • Public Relations
    • Small Business
    • Strategic Planning
    • Team Building
    • Telemarketing
    • Training
    • Data Recovery
    • Databases
    • Games
    • Hardware
    • Networks
    • Operating Systems
    • Programming
    • Security
    • Software
    • Spyware and Viruses
    • Accounting
    • Credit
    • Currency Trading
    • Debt Consolidation
    • Insurance
    • Investing
    • Leasing
    • Loans
    • Mortgage
    • Mutual Funds
    • Personal Finance
    • Stock Market
    • Structured Settlements
    • Taxes
    • Wealth Building
    • Coffee
    • Cooking
    • Gourmet
    • Recipes
    • Wine and Spirits
    • Acne
    • Aerobics
    • Alternative Medicine
    • Beauty
    • Cancer
    • Cosmetics
    • Depression
    • Diabetes
    • Diseases and Conditions
    • Fitness Equipment
    • Fitness
    • Hair Loss
    • Heart Disease
    • Medicine
    • Men's Health
    • Muscle Building
    • Nutrition
    • Skin Care
    • Supplements and Vitamins
    • Weight Loss
    • Women's Health
    • Yoga
    • Arts and Crafts
    • Babies
    • Collecting
    • Elderly Care
    • Genealogy
    • Hobbies
    • Parenting
    • Pets
    • Pregnancy
    • Woodworking
    • Feng Shui
    • Gardening
    • Home Appliances
    • Home Security
    • Interior Design
    • Landscaping
    • Affiliate Programs
    • Article Marketing
    • Auctions
    • Audio
    • Banner Advertising
    • Blogging
    • Broadband
    • Domain Names
    • E-Books
    • E-Commerce
    • Email Marketing
    • Ezines and Newsletters
    • Forums
    • Internet Marketing
    • Link Popularity
    • Pay-Per-Click
    • Podcasting
    • RSS
    • Search Engine Marketing
    • Search Engine Optimization
    • Security
    • Social Media
    • Spam
    • Video
    • Viral Marketing
    • Web Design
    • Web Development
    • Web Hosting
    • Copyright
    • Cyber Law
    • Intellectual Property
    • National, State, Local
    • Patents
    • Regulatory Compliance
    • Trademarks
    • Buying
    • Selling
    • Baseball
    • Basketball
    • Boating
    • Cycling
    • Extreme Sports
    • Fishing
    • Football
    • Golf
    • Hockey
    • Hunting
    • Martial Arts
    • Running
    • Scuba Diving
    • Soccer
    • Swimming
    • Tennis
    • Dating
    • Divorce
    • Marriage
    • Weddings
    • Astrology
    • Buddhism
    • Christianity
    • Faith
    • Hinduism
    • Islam
    • Judaism
    • Meditation
    • Metaphysical
    • New Age
    • Cable and Satellite TV
    • Cell Phones
    • Communication
    • Gadgets and Gizmos
    • GPS
    • Satellite Radio
    • Video Conferencing
    • VoIP
    • Addictions
    • Coaching
    • Goal Setting
    • Motivational
    • Stress Management
    • Time Management
    • Clothing
    • Electronics
    • Fashion
    • Gifts
    • Jewelry
    • Causes and Organizations
    • Environment
    • History
    • Holidays
    • Men's Issues
    • Nature
    • Philosophy
    • Politics
    • Women's Issues
    • World Affairs
    • Air Travel
    • Camping
    • Cruises
    • Destinations
    • Outdoors
    • Article Writing
    • Book Reviews
    • Copywriting
    • Fiction
    • Non-Fiction
    • Poetry
    • Quotes
    • Screenplay
    • Tools and Resources