7 Steps to a Business Plan

By Elsie Dudukovich1 Comments

Starting your own business is something many people dream of and many others are in the process of doing.  Whether your ambitions are as complex as being Amazon.com’s main competitor in the next five years or as simple as turning a hobby into a side business, there are a lot of things you need to know. It might seem daunting at first, but if you take it in steps, it can be less intimidating. 

One of the first pieces of information you should consider is establishing your business plan.  In its strictest form, a business plan is taking what you plan to do and how you plan to do it then writing that information down. It can be as plain and simple as a paragraph or it can be a highly detailed, multipage document; either way, you really should make one.  Entrepreneur.com hosts a variety of articles and tutorials for those at all levels of running their own business.  The publication’s article, “Elements of a Business Plan,” takes what can seem like a daunting task and helps break each section of a business plan into seven manageable pieces. They include:

 Executive summary: One of the key pieces of the business plan, this section should serve as a synopsis of your plan. It can be brief, but it should touch on topics such as the business concept and financial requirements, the article says.

Business description: Describe the industry you’re in, the structure of your business and the products and/or services you intend to offer.

Profits: Explain your plan for actually making money with your business.

There are other factors to consider, such as raising capital. Several small business owners find success funding deals with their self-directed IRAs (or other people’s self-directed IRAs). Just like building your business, you’ll want to make sure you have a plan in place for self-directed investing.  First and foremost, make sure your opportunity stays on right side of the IRS.   

As with all things, there are many important things to consider before investing funds from your IRA.  Having a team of qualified individuals you trust to help you navigate the financial, legal, or tax, details of a potential investment can be one of the best assets of your IRA.  Spending time learning how to read and understand balance sheets, income statements, business plans, and other important documents is another possible option to consider as you grow your knowledge as a savvy investor.