Planning for a Home Based Online Business




If you are serious about building a business of your own, whether it be on or offline, it makes a lot of sense to get in to some good business practices right from the start. To many people that's easier said than done. I was lucky to have gone through years of training in business management, accounting, financial and management controls, marketing, corporate planning, company law, economics and other disciplines associated with running a business, whether it's a home based business or one that you run from an office. You probably don't have that luxury. But don't worry too much about that. For a small, new home based business, common sense is the most important asset. However, you will be rewarded later if you decide from the outset that, however small your business, you will manage it. You will not just let it go on a rollercoaster ride that will dump you over the side as you go screaming round a bend.

Every modern business, large or small, has 3 essential elements you cannot and should not escape from. There are others of course, but these 3 have an all pervading presence:

1. Finance

2. Marketing

3. Computing

A 4th element which every business can, and should, benefit from is planning. It is not just my professional management accountant background that tells me that. It is common sense. If you wake up one day in New York, and decide to go to Palawan just because you saw it on tv, what do you do? Pack a bag, rush outside, and then just stand there scratching your head, wondering which way to go? No, of course not. You find out about Palawan, where it is, the best ways to get there, and what to expect on the way and when you get there. You plan!  There's a good chance you will benefit from doing a bit of planning for your new online or offline home based business. Even if you have little idea of what you are letting yourself in for, there is bound to be some planning and preparation you can do.


At the beginning, many would say. Well, you are not reading a novel. Think of it as writing one. You need to plan a desirable end for your novel, so how about starting at the end?

In planning a very sensible time span is 5 years. If you plan your life in blocks of 5 years, at least in outline, you can make enormous changes without putting unnecessary pressure on yourself. When you look back, the strides you have taken look giant. In business planning, 3 years may be the maximum in a fast moving environment. But whether 3 or 5 years, that will only be an outline plan. Each year will have a more detailed plan and budget too.

Let's not think of the detail yet. Many years ago, I was on a senior management training course. Part way through we were given a simple exercise to do. I've always remembered it, and now is a good time for you to try it. Here was the exercise:

"Imagine your perfect day in 5 years from now, and write down your description of it."

To be honest, I just did not realise when the exercise was set how clever it was. It just seemed like a bit of light relief.

Please do the exercise with a clear mind, maybe an hour or 2 from now after being away from the computer. But, I strongly recommend you do it. If you feel a bit silly, just don't tell anyone! In fact, it may be wise not to tell anyone at all.  When you do it, don't think of now, or of specifics such as online business. Focus completely on imagining your perfect day, 5 years from now. Then write down the description, freely. Nobody but you has to see it!

Please bookmark this page, and then come back after you have done the exercise.

Roy Thomsitt 2004



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