Having a set of 'questions to answer' about your business forces you to take an objective and critical look at your ideas. Putting it all down on paper allows you to change, erase and refine everything to function in the manner of a smoothly oiled machine. You'll be able to spot weaknesses and strengthen them before they develop into major problems. Overall, you'll be developing an operating manual for your business - a valuable tool which will keep your business on track, and guide you in the profitable management of your business.
Because it's your idea, and your business, it's very important that you do the planning. This is YOUR business plan, so YOU develop it, and put it all down on paper just the way YOU want it to read. Seek out the advice of other people; talk with, listen to, and observe, other people running similar businesses; enlist the advice of your accountant and attorney - but at the bottom line, don't ever forget that it has to be your business plan!
Remember too, that statistics show the greatest causes of business failure to be poor management and lack of planning - without a plan by which to operate, no one can manage; and without a direction in which to aim its efforts, no business can attain any real success.
On the very first page, the title page put down the name of your business, with your business address underneath. Now, skip a couple of lines, and write in all capital letters: PRINCIPAL OWNER - followed by your name if you're the principal owner. On your finished report, you would want to center this information on the page, with the words "principal owner" offset to the left about five spaces.
1234 SW 5th Ave. Anywhere, USA 00000
PRINCIPAL OWNER: your name
That's all you'll have on that page, except the page number...
Following your title page is the page for your statement of purpose. This should be a simple statement of your primary business function, such as: We are a service business engaged in the business of selling business success manuals and other information by mail.
The title of the page should be in all capital letters across the top of the page, centered on your final draft - skip a few lines and write the statement of purpose. This should be direct, clear and short - never more than two (2) sentences in length.
Then you should skip a few lines, and from the left hand margin of the paper, write out a subheading in all capital letters, such as: Explanation of purpose.
From, and within this subheading, you can briefly explain your statement of purpose, such as: Our surveys have found most entrepreneurs to be 'sadly' lacking in basic information that will enable them to achieve success. This market is estimated at more than 100 million persons, with at least half of these people actively 'searching' for sources that provide the kind of information they want, and need.
With our business, advertising and publishing experience, it is our goal to capture at least half of this market of information seekers, with our publication, Money Making Magic! Our market research indicates we can achieve this goal, and realize a profit of $1,000,000 per year within the next 5 years...
The above example is generally the way you should write your 'explanation of purpose', and in subtle definition, why you need such an explanation. Point to remember: Keep it short. Very few business purpose explanations are justifiably more than a half page long.
Uchenna Ani-Okoye is an internet marketing advisor.