Before you start your business plan, carefully research and answer these basic questions:
- What niche or void will my business fill?
- What services or products will I sell?
- Is my idea practical, and will it fill a need?
- Who is my competition?
- What is my business’s advantage over existing firms?
- Can I deliver a better quality service?
- Can I create a demand for my business?
Once you’ve determined that your business idea is feasible, answer these questions:
- What skills and experience do I bring to the business?
- What will be my legal structure?
- How will my company’s business records be maintained?
- What insurance coverage will I need?
- What equipment or supplies will I need?
- How will I compensate myself?
- What are my resources?
- What financing will I need?
- Where will my business be located?
- What will I name my business?
If you are starting a home-based business, you should answer these additional questions:
- Does my home have the space (preferably separate) for a business?
- Can I successfully run the business from my home?
- Can I deal with the isolation of working from home?
Your answers to these questions will help you create a focused, well-researched business plan that should serve as a blueprint. The plan should detail how the business will be operated, managed, and capitalized.
This excerpt comes from the U.S. Small Business Administration’s “The Facts About… Starting a Small Business.”