A business plan is probably the most important and often overlooked necessity for people starting a business. If you don't have a "written" plan, most people will not really consider you to be in a business but a hobby. If you indend to take advantage of the many IRS business deductions available to business owners, you better take this section seriously.
Even though business plans are generally used to introduce outside parties – usually investors – to your business, it's helpful to go through the exercise of writing a business plan because it requires you to answer some important questions about your business. And, you will want to have a detailed written business plan to show the IRS, if necessary, that you have a legitimate BUSINESS and not just a hobby and that you have an INTENT to produce a profit.
Don't confuse a Business Plan with your Marketing Plan. The business plan is your overall plan while the marketing plan is a more specific plan detailing exactly how you're going to earn money marketing your business. For now you want to focus on your overall Business Plan.
Your business plan is nothing less than a roadmap for your success. Check out these eight, simple steps for creating a solid plan for your home business and future.
Eight Steps to Creating a Simple Business Plan by Herman Drost
The basic elements of your business plan will include a business description, your target market, competition, positioning, customers, sales distribution and marketing, and financial statements.
An excellent book to help you begin writing your business plan is called, Business Plans For Dummies® and is one of the best books on writing business plans.
Business Plans Kit for Dummies is a great companion volume for stepping you through the complete process of writing a business plan.
Finally, the U.S. Small Business Administration has prepared an excellent outline you can use for creating your business plan. Click below to Download the PDF file.
Now… what's your plan?