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Planning Your Home Based Business

Aug 17, 2007
To be successful over the long haul, every one-person business needs to do some planning. The more organized the planning - the better the choices you will make. It is not necessary for you to have a full-blown business plan, like the ones used to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for the start-up and growth of businesses with a lot of employees. For the one-person business a simple business plan will suffice.

Do you really need a business plan? It really depends on the nature of your business. A business plan is a product, and if you see it that way, whether you're in a service business or a product business, you will begin to see the value to the product. Like a product, a business plan is only valuable if it's used. A business plan is really an objective written estimation of what you think is going to happen in the future based on your understanding of the current situation and what has happened in the past.

As you accumulate a history in business, whether you know it or not you begin to accumulate knowledge and data on who your market is. You also accumulate financial information even if you do not have financial statements.

The importance of doing a business plan is the process in and of itself. It's not because experts say you have to do it or a bank says you have to do it, though that may be one way to use it. The reason to do a business plan is that the very process of going through a series of questions about your business will force you to audit the current situation and think about the future - to think strategically.

Whether it's used for starting a new business or growing an existing one, the first step in any business plan is to become familiar with your personal financial condition. What is your net worth? What does your personal budget look like? How much do you need to feel financially secure? The second step is to begin looking at how much cash you will need to start or expand. Is it a realistic amount? Where can you raise the cash you need? With the answers to these questions in hand, your final step is to incorporate them into the business plan itself, which will become the blueprint for the future of your business.

Tip: Calculate Your Net Worth

One of the most powerful steps you can take to understand your financial condition is to calculate your net worth. If our economic life is about the accumulation of wealth (as economists say it is), then to understand our economic life we need to understand our wealth: where it comes from, what forms it takes, and how much of it is available for us to use in starting and running a one-person business.

Accountants have come up with a quick and simple way to help us understand our personal wealth. It's called the balance sheet statement, or statement of net worth, or, What you own and what you owe. Basically, the statement of net worth is created by writing down the value of everything you own and everything you owe and then subtracting what you owe from what you own to see what the difference is. This difference is called your net worth.
About the Author
Derek Pliers writes for href="http://www.internet-based-home-businesses.com">Internet Based Home Businesses
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