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Work at Home Business Plan - Step One

I have found a monthly business plan to be a real hassle when you are starting a work at home business....quarterly plans are much more workable for me.  A business plan gives you a map to long term success.  You can get lost without a map in business just as you can driving in a new city.  You can easily find yourself working hard at things that make no impact on your business....unless you have a specific path to follow.

Without a plan you will waste time and money....and most likely will not have any idea what went wrong.  Your plan is flexible....as you gain more knowledge you may add to your plan....as you find some things that don't work as you had hoped, you may revise your plan.A business plan is NOT "I want to make $2000 a month in 12 months"...that may be your goal...the plan is how you intent to GET there.

Below are the basic steps to making a business plan.

1.  Name your business....is it easy to spell and remember?  Is it a name that can be well-branded over time?  In other words, is it a name that will stand out as recognizable later when you have established a web presence for your business?

This can be your personal name...or you can decide to use a business name.  Using a business name online is simply a matter of choosing a name and not copying someone else's business name.  No fancy paperwork is necessary.

2.  The vision you have for your business -- where do you plan to be with your business in 1 year, 2 years, 5 years?  Are there other things you want to add to the business in the next five years?  What... when?

3.  Goals -- here is where you define what you want to achieve.  Set the goals as "goal posts" with specific timelines as much as possible (you can refine this area later).  You might define your goals as monthly income or the number of MIQ affiliates you have, for example.

4.  Define what your business does....and why it is unique that makes it stand out from competition.

5.  Outline what you see as the strengths...and the weaknesses...of your business.

6.  ACTION PLAN (most critical part of your business plan)  This will include your sales strategies and marketing strategies.  What type of ads will you use?  how often? what will your follow-up be?  will you have a website?  how will you promote it?
7.  Financial plan - your business can operate without this IF you have  unlimited funds (does  someone really have such a thing?).  Much better to at least outline how much you intend to spend monthly to remain "upgraded".....to promote your site....to advertise....(You need to keep     track of expenditures as everything to do with your home business is most likely tax deductible!)

8. Evaluating your business plan. (another very important point)    Set quarterly goals for income and limits for expenditures.   Outline what advertising will be done during the quarter.   At the end of each quarter, EVALUATE the actual results.
Number 8 is where you will realize it if you have set unreachable or unrealistic goals.  That doesn't mean give up....it means you need to reasses your business plan.  Do you need to "rev it up a notch" and do more advertising or join a leads co-op?

Do you need to adjust your goals for the next few quarters downward to make them more realistic?  Or did you surpass your goals for this quarter?
Perhaps you need to adjust upward and expect more of yourself and your business.

Author Kay King works from her home on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.  For more information , please visit her websites



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