1Planning is a must if you want to start a business. It is not actually necessary for you to have a business degree to do this but you must have a clear vision, strong motivation, careful organization, and hard work to make this come true. Does this sound too forbidding? Take heart because these tips will help you start off on the right direction:

• Start with a simple but functional business plan. Concentrate on substance over form. You do not need a fancy template that is lifted verbatim from the internet or from someone else’s business plan. Do not over complicate your plan. A simple, single-page Word document is enough to begin with. Too much market analysis sometimes merely muddles strategy and distracts you from the more important issues, namely: the generation of sufficient cash flow to keep your business off the ground from day one. This is done by clearly defining a viable product coupled with a practical and effective plan to realistically make money from it. Incorporate also the potential expenses you may incur and the competition you expect to meet.

1• Come up with marketable product. A product, be it physical such as a commodity, or a virtual one like service, is the heart of any business. The following issues should be considered regarding products:

1. Target market: Your product must meet certain needs of potential buyers, or solve their

2. Quality of your product: Not all products require NASA-standard in order to sell. However,

3. Right pricing: Once you have ascertained your market, see the buying capability of your

4. Consider your competitions: As much as possible, deal with competitions in areas of

• Be realistic and practical. Setting lofty goals for your business may be very motivational. However, expecting too much too soon from your venture could also invite premature frustrations and disappointments. It is wiser if your business plan is guided by patience and temperance. Your goal should be accompanied with clear, practical plan of action. When writing your business plan, you may raise your head above the clouds but keep your feet planted firmly on the ground. Unrealistic financial projections without corresponding viable action plan to achieve them are a waste of time.

Diversity of the Mind• Consider assumptions and intelligent guesses. By considering some gut feels in your target goals make your business forecast more focused and nearer to reality. Wild risks could be calculated and be more controlled if they are anticipated. With the manifestation of your assumptions, your financial projections would adjust accordingly.

• Build-in due dates in your business plan. Schedule quarterly, semi-annually, and annual assessments of your progress against your targets. Plotting and monitoring a timeframe in your plan will help you maintain your motivation. Setting out defined goals keeps you focused. Every notch you make towards your goal adds to your enthusiasm and confidence in attaining your goal.

• Divide your plan into segments. To make your plan easier to follow and carry out, subdivide each topic into smaller chunks and focus on each step at a time. Keep tab on every small step you have completed so that tracking your progress become easier and more effective. Your plan will guide you as to where and how to invest your time and effort effectively.

• Update your business plan regularly. Add essential details as you go along. Modify and adjust your plan of actions as you see fit. A business plan is a living, dynamic document and you should keep it that way for it to be effective. It should guide you in moving forward and not hamper your progress with outdated details that have become obsolete with time or new developments.

Your business plan should be written with you in mind. You may be guided but should not be dictated by someone else’s style or method. It should be shaped by your own ideas of things, dreams, and motivations. Your own strength and limitations should be considered in its creation. It should carry your personal touch on it. A great business plan should be tailored-made to fit you as its author.