It’s no secret work at home mums — hundreds of thousands of them are building small empires in the comfort of their own homes. One thing that separates a successful work at home mum with the work at home mum who is struggling to stay afloat, may simply be not having a good business plan in place.
Entrepreneurs do not need a business plan to succeed, just ask Pierre Omidyar who created eBay (initially AuctionWeb) on a whim. Yet a business plan is a simple and useful tool for collecting your thoughts, prioritising your actions, and planning for your business’ success. Also remember that a business plan is there to help and should not get in the way of moving forward with your business. It doesn’t need to be a long winded essay but think of it instead as a diary or “to do” list.
Business plans will vary widely, depending upon what type of business you have, so what may work well for one business may not be suitable for another, but the following elements will help you think about what you want to include. So come on yummy mummy’s…we are professionals at writing lists…so grab your favourite pen and paper and get those brilliant ideas out on paper!
Before you begin…
First, there are no hard and fast rules for writing a business plan, it is written by you for you!
Second, writing your business plan is an ongoing process and doesn’t end.
Third, writing a business plan is not about writing the plan, it’s about planning to set your business up for success.
Writing a business plan…
WHY ARE YOU STARTING A WORK FROM HOME BUSINESS?? Your ‘why’ and your dreams will keep you committed and motivated.
The Vision and Purpose of your business
- What exactly is my business? Who are you selling to? Why will your business have a competitive edge over other businesses?
- What problem does it solve and why is my solution the best/most unique?
- What benefit does it provide to my customers?
- What exactly do you want to accomplish?
- What are your goals for your business? Think about short and long term goals.
- What is my story and/or message?
- What is my product’s personality, soul, and voice?
- How will I translate the above into an identity, logo, website, business card, etc
- What are the start up costs? Remember it may take a little while to start making money so make sure you calculate that in.
- What will be the ongoing fees, costs or expenses?
- What will be the costs of marketing and advertising?
- What is my budget and what will I do if I go over?
- Give detailed information about how the budget will be spent.
Sales and Marketing
- How will I get my initial customers?
- How will I provide customer service and collect/utilise feedback?
- What marketing channels should I explore – social media, internet, newspapers, radio, print, etc?
Make a time table
- Do you expect to reach a certain goal in a specific amount of time?
- Write a daily checklist.
- Plan ahead for the month and year.
- Evaluate what you currently have, estimate the life expectancy, any repairs or operational costs you see in the near future.
- Will the equipment you have do for now? If you don’t need it, don’t buy it.
- Write a list of the things you need for your business and add that to the budget.
- Ultimately, utilise items that will help your business grow and succeed now.
Beware Of Planning Paralysis!
Your goal is to set your business up for success; your goal isn’t to become an armchair entrepreneur pondering every detail of your business plan. If you don’t know the answer to something, do some research, ask someone for advice and/or make an educated guess. Whatever you do, keep moving and don’t put your business on hold by sweating over every little detail. Inevitably, there will be things that you won’t be able to account for so at the very least, plan for the current state of your business vision and fill in the blanks as best you can. And last but not least…
Revise, Revise, Revise!
Things constantly change, so you will need to update your business plan often!
“Be stubborn about your vision, but flexible in the details” – Jeff Bezos, Amazon.com CEO
Don’t forget to have fun with it…this is your dream becoming reality…that has to be something to get excited about!!