So, you’re a Work-At-Home-Mom who has come up with a great idea for a business. Congratulations! There is nothing more empowering and affirming as having a vision and putting the steps in place to see it manifest.

Before you start to think about the kind of letterhead that you want or you begin thumbing through catalogs to pick out office furniture for your new endeavor, the first thing that you need to do is come up with a business plan so that you can secure funding for your company. This is vitally important being that over 50 percent of businesses close their doors within the first five years of opening them due, largely in part, to financial woes.

If you need some business plan writing tips, we have five that will definitely make getting your company off of the ground a lighter load:

Prepare. Before writing out your plan, the first thing that you have to do is prepare to do it. By this we mean putting in a bit of time to research just what needs to go into your plan to begin with. Some of the topics that you should seek information on are marketing strategies, the legal documents that you will need and the kind of companies that are similar to yours that already exist. Some of the websites that can provide you with some statistical data include the United States Department of Statistics, Bureau of Labor and Statistics and the United States Census Bureau, Statistics of U.S. Businesses.

Look at other models. If you would like to look at some other models in order to get an idea of what kind of business plan is best for you, there are five main ones that you can Google for reference’s sake: the Subscription Business Model, the Pyramid Scheme Model, the Online Auction Model, the Monopoly Model and the Bait and Hook Model.

Get some software. Thanks to the internet, while you will definitely need to come up with an outline for your business plan, you won’t have to construct an entire business plan from scratch. There is actually business plan software that can help you to create the kind of plan that you need. Some websites worth checking out include Business Plan Pro and Plan Write.

Don’t forget four key components. As things are starting to come together, don’t forget to put four key components into your business plan. They include an executive summary (your vision, what your services will provide, etc.); a business description (overview of your business, what will impact it, what your project’s competitive edge will be); market analysis (marketing demographics, target market, etc.) and your financial statements (income statements, cash flow sheets, if you plan on getting funding via business loans, etc.).

Have someone review it. After you have put a draft of your business plan together, it’s a good idea to have someone who runs their own company to review it. Not only is it an extra pair of eyes that can check for errors, but they also may be able to provide you with some tips that you wouldn’t have thought about otherwise. There is wisdom in seeking wise counsel, so don’t hesitate to get as much professional advice as you need.

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