Do you want to start a business at home? A home business offers tons of freedom, allowing you to wake up and walk into your office without needing to hop in your car and fight traffic just to get to and from work every day. There are plenty of benefits associated with owning a home business, but it all starts with creating a business plan to build a solid foundation for your new venture.
What Does a Home Business Plan Consist Of?
The best way to look at a home business plan is like a set of instructions. When you get a piece of furniture and open up the box, there could be hundreds of parts in total. It’s enough to give even the highly skilled some anxiety. However, when you have an instruction manual with step-by-step instructions, you can successfully build the piece of furniture.
When you start a home business, you want to construct that set of instructions in the form of a home business plan. This set of “instructions” will help guide you through what needs to take place in order for your home business to be successful.
Additionally, if you are in need of investors or a small business loan, your home business plan is what the bank or lender will use to determine if they want to invest in your company and whether or not your business is capable of succeeding.
Some of the key sections of a home business plan include:
- Mission statement
- Business model
- Target markets
- Marketing plan
- Business goals
- Hiring of employees
For more details on how to write a home business plan, read our article on the 10 keys to a successful business plan.
4 People You Should Have Look Over Your Home Business Plan
It’s always a good idea to have a group of people look over any important document and get feedback. While your go-to choice may be friends or family, there are better choices. Friends and family may have a hard time being open and honest with their feedback and may just want to build you up rather than provide constructive criticism.
You want people who have no real connection to you and who will give it to you straight. It’s also a good idea to look to those who have been in your position before: incorporating a home business and writing a successful business plan.
Here are four people you should consult with on your home business plan. These four types of people can provide you with the best opportunity to discover any gaps or missing pieces to your plan and allow you to make the necessary adjustments before you decide to move forward with the business.
1. Potential Customers
What better way to get feedback on your business than getting in front of people who would potentially be your customers? You’ll gain some insight straight from the horse’s mouth.
Search for communities of people online or in person who have a problem or need that your business can solve. Consider looking at online forums, social media groups and community business events. Make the introduction and explain who you are and what you are trying to do and ask them to look at your home business plan.
Ask them what they like or dislike about your proposed company. Is there anything in your business plan that was confusing or needs a better explanation? Are you missing any key components of your product or service? How could your business stand out from similar competitors? And most importantly, is your product or service something they would consider purchasing? Make any necessary changes and corrections to your business plan based on the potential customer feedback.
2. Other Successful Business Owners
Consider networking with other successful business owners. If someone in your industry won’t give you the time of day because you’ll be a competitor, it’s fine to speak with someone in another industry. The goal is to get in front of someone who has done it before and who has been successful at owning and operating a business.
Allow them to digest your home business plan to ensure you’re at least heading in the right direction. A business owner has first-hand knowledge of what’s needed or not needed in a solid business plan. They can provide advice about the strength of your business idea, your marketing plans and what your business goals should be. They may provide a voice of reason to help you either lower your expectations — or raise them.
3. An Attorney
You need to be prepared for anything when you start a business. Hire a business lawyer and have them read over your home business plan. What issues may arise from you wanting to start a business at home? Are there potential risks to watch out for? Will your product or service open you up to potential legal issues? This is the time to be as real and open as possible to fully understand what troubles can arise in the future and how to steer clear.
Unfortunately, businesses are sometimes exploited for financial gain. Your attorney will be able to look at your home business plan and give you legal guidance as to what you need to do in order to protect yourself, your business and your assets.
4. Potential Investors
Investors will provide you with the brutal truth of whether they feel your business is worth investing in. Their viewpoint is a good testament to whether or not, as a whole, your business is a good idea and will be successful. They’ll tell you point-blank if they don’t think they would make their money back investing in your business.
From there, your job is to ask the necessary questions to understand what would make that investor feel better about putting their money into your business. Was something unclear in the home business plan? Was something missing? Or was there a red flag that could be communicated better or changed and reworded?
It’s always possible that meeting with a potential investor could lead to a future relationship when you are ready to move forward and start a business at home. It’s also possible that they will hate your business idea and that it’s time to go back to the drawing board, button things up and tie any loose ends. Either scenario will provide you with valuable feedback.
No one said it was going to be an easy road to start a business at home. It takes a lot of hard work, dedication, money, resources and determination to get any startup business off the ground. The good news is that Incfile has many fantastic tools and guides to help you along the way. Our “Start a Business” checklist can put you on the right foot by providing a step-by-step guide to begin your new business.