How to Design a Perfect Business Plan Layout to Kickstart Business Growth

You may be a start up organization in need of a business plan layout to drive you towards success. Or perhaps you are a Solo home based entrepreneur or a well established long term company. You may be a large organization employing more than 100 people or what if you are a not for profit charity or organization wanting to grow. One thing holds true; you need a business plan to move forward.

All types of businesses are obviously in existence in hundreds of different industries and separate niche areas – but one thing holds true – you must have a business plan to drive your growth. But why have a plan after all, only half of all businesses appear to have created one. Here are 5 compelling reasons why a business plan is a must have tool.

Business Plan Layout Essential #1: You have a summary of your vision and goals

Without a vision and goals summarized in the Executive Summary how do you ascertain where your business is going? I mean you would not build a house without a plan so why do so many people go into business without a written down plan of attack? Studies show only around 56% of all small businesses has a current plan.

Business Plan Layout Essential #2: Analyse and plan your product and services benefits and how you will take these to market.

The best approach to marketing anything is to analyse each service or product offering, work out how it will benefit the end consumer and build a strategy around telling prospects or customers about it effectively. So your business plan layout must include a section on Market Analysis and the key strategies you will use over a 12 month period.

Business Plan Layout Essential #3: The crucial financial analysis

The very best plans have a projection on profit and loss for at least 12 months ahead. There is a budget, balance sheet and cash flow tables showing the past, present and future possibilities – where practical.

Business Plan Layout Essential #4: Who and what will your management team be doing to drive growth?

Management Analysis for your plan will describe the organization and the key team members and their exact tasks, key performance indicators and accountabilities. Here is a summary below of a perfect business plan layout:

1. Executive Summary: Write this last. It’s just a page or two of highlights.
2. Company Description: Legal establishment, history, start-up plans, etc.
3. Product or Service: Describe what you’re selling. Focus on customer benefits.
4. Market Analysis: You need to know your market, customer needs, where they are, how to reach them, etc.
5. Strategy and Implementation: Be specific. Include management responsibilities with dates and budgets. Make sure you can track results.
6. Web Plan Summary: For e-commerce, include discussion of website, development costs, operations, sales and marketing strategies.
7. Management Team: Describe the organization and the key management team members.
8. Financial Analysis: Make sure to include at the very least your projected Profit and Loss and Cash Flow tables.

Lastly, ensure you will implement your plan so results happen. Too many companies spend months creating their plan only to see it gathering dust in the bottom of their desk drawer. No one intentionally does this. It is just that the every day process of completing your normal work duties can often mean implementation is put on the back burner. Take this business plan layout above and make it work for you.

How to Set Up a Legitimate Home Based Business

Of the various home based business ideas you’ve come up with, you were able to make your choice and now you’re raring to get started. If so, start right by establishing a legitimate home based business and applying for the necessary permits and licenses.

What You Need for Starters

The first thing you need is a permit to do business, and you’ll get this from both your local and state government. You will also need a permit for all signage ads you intend to use, in the event that you’d want to establish your own store at home. Keep in mind that you’ll be paying a fee for every signage so try not to go overboard. A Fire Department permit is always necessary, and it usually entails having your own fire extinguisher – even a small one would do – at home.

Choose a Form

Are you alone in your plans of establishing a home based business or do you have other people contributing capital or skills to the business? What are your future plans for the business? Both questions are important to answer immediately as they can help you determine the ideal form for your home based business to take.

Sole proprietorship is the quickest to set up and enjoys the most number of tax benefits. But of course, sole proprietorship also makes you and only you personally liable for losses incurred and violations committed by your business.

Partnership is the next form in the organization ladder. It’s relatively easy to set up and has its own advantages to offer as long as the partners can work in harmony and without violating their partnership agreement. Keep in mind, however, that any home based business owned by a partnership will immediately dissolves if any of the partners dies or leaves the business.

Home based businesses can be owned by corporations, too. The incorporation process make take a lot of money, time, and paperwork to accomplish, but it also provides the greatest amount of protection from liabilities for its directors and stockholders.

Pick Out Names

Most home based businesses use sole proprietorship as the form of their business. Assuming that you’ll do the same and you intend to use your own name for your business, there won’t be any need for registration then.

If, however, you intend to operate your business under another name then that’s something you’ll have to register as required by the Trade Name Registration Act. To avoid making repeated trips for registering your business name, try having several alternatives ready in case your first choice isn’t accepted.

Legitimacy is occasionally judged on the mere basis of a business’s name so take care when picking out a name for your home based business. Choosing one that sounds too much like a competitor’s could make people think you’re not averse to using illegal tactics to do business.

Choose a name that best represents your business and one that can easily catch people’s attention. Try not to make it too difficult to spell as your business name, in ideal cases, would also be your website’s domain name. Generic names might sound cute at times, but the law generally doesn’t approve its use as a business name.

Pay Your Taxes

Legitimacy may be established earlier on, but it’s also something you have to consistently prove. One way of doing so is by paying your taxes properly and on time. Customers in general have greater respect for home based businesses managed by diligent taxpayers and they’re quicker to trust such businesses, too.

Be meticulous in keeping your books. A home based business is entitled to certain home office benefits as specified by the law but you’ll have to submit documentary proof before your deductions can be approved.

Get Accredited

Last but not the least, work hard to obtain a positive rating from the Better Business Bureau; a commendation from the said agency is the best proof you can obtain that yours is indeed a legitimate home based business. You will not be evaluated by the BBB if you don’t ask for it. You also have to pay a small fee for the accreditation and yes, you have to pay even if you don’t like the end result. Aim to have the BBB OnLine Reliability seal on your website and don’t worry, your customers can guarantee that it’s not a fake because they can click on the confirmation link redirecting them to the BBB site.

Finding a Niche For Your Home Based Internet Marketing Business

Your new home based Internet marketing business will have lesser chances of surviving if you go head to head against businesses that are older, bigger, and richer. If you want a chance to steal their market shares, you need to find a place where you can compete against them on the same grounds or at least a place where their name doesn’t mean anything yet. Thankfully, you can have all that by finding a niche for your home based Internet marketing business.

The Basics of Niche Marketing

Only companies with the greatest resources can supply the needs of an entire market at the same time. To do the same thing, even at a lesser degree, will still be a tall order for home based businesses like yours and comes with extremely high risks.

In the end, the more practical and affordable thing to do is to change the market scope of your home based business. It would be pointless to mirror the strategy of a larger business when you don’t possess the same resources. To achieve success, a smaller business would be better off finding a different and, yes, smaller market it’s at least capable of serving with the same, if not better, competence. When you do that, your home based Internet marketing business is practicing niche marketing already.

How to Find a Niche for Your Home Based Internet Marketing Business

Finding a niche requires long and careful study of your market. Try to find different ways to segregate the market and look into niches where the products or services of your home based Internet marketing business could enjoy high demand for.

Unanswered Needs

The largest companies often prioritize the needs of customers who are able to pay the best price, leaving the rest of the market to do what they can to afford the same rate. As a home based Internet marketing business that’s just starting out, don’t waste your time and effort by immediately going after the same target market of your competition. Cater instead to the needs of the rest of the market or whoever else that the competition has largely ignored or taken for granted.

Many home based Internet marketing businesses like yours focus on offering their services to owners of poorly designed websites and ineffectively managed online businesses. Instead of competing with them in that front, why not change your business’s direction and find business owners without any knowledge of doing business online, much less a website?

True, your work’s going to be more difficult, but you’ll also have lesser competition to worry about and you can charge reasonable rates for your services.

Location

There are two ways for location to create a substantial niche for your home based Internet marketing business. Firstly, let’s see how location can work to your advantage if you’re planning to meet the needs for Internet marketing in your neighborhood.

Because you’re a part of the same neighborhood as your customers are, you are privy to various information that other Internet marketing businesses aren’t. Meeting with you, whenever the need arises, will also be more convenient for your customers because you’re in the same area.

Now, if the needs in your local area are more than adequately met by the competition, it’s time to use the Internet to offer your services outside your comfort zone. Not all home based Internet marketing businesses are willing to entertain clients outside United States because of the potential risks it comes with. But taking proper precautions and other necessary actions can immediately negate many of these risks. As long as you believe that there’s a niche outside the US where you can profit and you’ve done everything to mitigate your risks, you should seriously consider offering your services to a newer market.

Specialization

Another excellent way of finding a niche for your home based Internet marketing business is by basing your market definition on what you’re best at offering.

Contrary to popular belief, specialization doesn’t always take the form of your business’s main line of products and services. The quality of your customer service, for instance, could be why people continue patronizing your business and even if you rate lower in terms of product quality and price. Nevertheless, if customer service is your greatest advantage then try to determine which market segment would appreciate your customer service most and be willing to pay, in time, a substantial fee for it. That will be your market niche, and that’s what will make your business grow.