Do I need a business plan?

Most mums don’t need to get a start-up loan (although that would be nice!) Instead, we tend to choose businesses that need very little start-up capital and fund them either from our savings or just keep feeding our profits back it the business.

We don’t need a heavy-duty business plan to convince an investor to give us money, so do we really need a business plan at all?

Er, yes!

You may find that using a typical business plan template for a small home business is like using a sledgehammer to crack a nut. In fact, every time you look at the template you get this irresistible urge to make a coffee, feed the cat or do anything else but fill it in!

Here are two good reasons why you need a business plan:

1) Without a plan, it’s hard to have any direction or focus. In fact, unless you’ve done some business planning,  you could find yourself working hard for several years and still have no idea if you’ll ever make a profit.

2) The process of writing it is at least as valuable as having the finished business plan sitting in front of you. So don’t feel you that you can’t write a business plan because you don’t know where you’re going yet. The purpose of your business plan is to give you direction.  And it doesn’t matter if you change it every week.

Any planning is better than none at all, so if you’re struggling, grab yourself a sheet of A4 paper and scribble down the answers to these questions. Go on, do it now!

  1. Who are my customers? (be very specific)
  2. What problem will this solve for my customers (and do they really want it solved?)
  3. How will I check that customers want this product/service?
  4. How will my customers find me?
  5. Who are my competitors?
  6. How is my product/service different from my competitors?
  7. How much do I need to charge/sell to a) be able to pay myself a decent salary b) pay all my expenses c) have some profit left over to be able to develop my business?

I found this Remarkably Simple Business Plan from Sonia Simone really helpful, too.

If you found this post helpful, why not join my mailing list? You’ll get weekly tips to help you thrive as a self-employed parent, as well as my a free e-book,”Running a business around a family: 9 Steps to success”.

Creative Commons License photo credit: KatjaSchmitt

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