Do you have a Business Plan? Let Me Tell You Why You Need One

I know, doesn?t sound like much fun right? It is a bit tedious and takes some dedicated time. You may even think it isn?t really needed. BUT you are WRONG.?

Your business will not reach its full potential if you don?t know where you are headed. You need to have your business goals written down so you can see where you are headed and how far you have come.

Watch this short video clip I made for you to explain exactly why a written business plan is SO IMPORTANT.

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This has been a brief overview. ?If you need more help with your business plan, doing a quick search on the Internet will bring up several ideas and templates to use. There are plenty of real life examples available. Here are a few resources to get you started:

SBA Business Plan Webinar ? 8 Part Video

FREE Small Business Planning Templates

SBA?s Business Plan Tool ? Step by Step guide that walks you through it

Remember, if you are truly determined to build a successful business then you MUST have a business plan written and in place to help you measure that success.

Do you have a business plan in writing? ?Let me know in the comment section below.

Do You Need a Business License?

Did you know that there are many types of businesses that are strictly regulated and controlled by the government?

My mom once had a great idea to start a cooking business out of her home. Needless to say, that didn’t last long when the city inspector heard about it. ?It would have been too costly for her to go through the process of obtaining all the crazy permits she need to operate that business.

If you think you’ve got an idea that?s going to make you big money, there might be a reason why everyone else isn’t doing it and that reason could be related to the local or federal laws that regulate that particular industry.

As I mentioned above if you are going to sell food, you will need to obtain a license and register for hygiene and safety inspections. For many reasons most local government agencies are especially strict if you plan to handle food, especially raw meat.? Food licenses aren’t too hard to get provided you are willing to have your kitchen and products inspected at regular intervals.

An in-home daycare will need a license. There are all sorts of courses to take and regular inspections to go through. If you ever wonder why there?s a shortage of in-home childcare providers, it?s because it?s so hard to keep up with the rules and make a profit. ?I remember when my two oldest daughters were under the age of five, I was on several waiting lists for the daycares in my city. ?There was definitely a shortage and it was hard to get a spot in the good ones.

Gambling is always strictly regulated.? It might be fine to gamble privately with your friends depending on where you live, but as soon as you start running it as a business you are on shaky ground. Most cities have ordinances that determine gambling as an illegal activity. Applying for a license to operate a gambling establishment is pretty difficult to obtain.

You will need a license if you plan to serve alcohol. Getting an alcohol license for your business, unless it’s for some kind of special event and the drinking is just incidental, is not easy to get. It also depends on where you are located. Some city ordinances do not allow the sale of alcohol at all.? Alcohol licenses are subject to appeals from people who live near your business.

Any professional service will probably need a license. When I say professional, I mean doctors, dentists, accountants, lawyer, and veterinarians to name a few.

If you are running your small business out of your home, you need to check on any restrictions that might be in place for your neighborhood. Some cities also require you to register with them due to a potential of increased foot traffic in your neighborhood if you are running your business in your home.

This list just covers some of the most common businesses that need licensing. The best idea is to check your local laws and make sure your small business is properly licensed.

WARNING: A word of caution here. If you are searching online to determine if your business needs a license to operate, there are many companies that offer the service of registering your business for you for a fee. There is nothing wrong with this, but it is not that hard for you to do it yourself. All you need to really do is contact your local County Clerk?s office and ask them. They will lead you in the right direction. I?m just trying to save you some money here.

What is Business Capital?

Business definition for the week: ?CAPITAL?

Capital = This is money that is going to be invested in a business.

For example: ?I am starting my business with $5,000 capital?

This is your PERSONAL money that you have invested into your small business. When you first opened a business checking account you probably didn?t have any income for that opening balance the bank required, did you? So you had to pull money out of your personal funds, to open up that business account, right?

This investment is called ?Capital?. It is NOT an expense that can be deducted on your tax return. Many people make this mistake and write it off as ?start-up costs?, but that is incorrect.

Make sure your bookkeeper or accountant (which might be yourself) knows that this money came from you personally and doesn?t count it as INCOME (which IS taxable) or as an expense.