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The purpose of your business - developing a business plan

It may sound obvious but you need to define, at the very least in your own mind, what your business is going to do. Some people start from the premise "I'd like to run a business", then move onto "... now what should I do?", but most start with an idea or opportunity, the develop it to the point of "I could make this a business".

Neither approach is wrong, but often the second results in a more gradual progression where each obstacle is overcome and without any nasty surprises. In general people who start with "I'd like to run a business" assume it will be easier than perhaps it actually is!

So.. If you are approaching from that angle, if you cease upon a business idea that you'd like to progress, try and turn it around and approach it from the other direction; "Now I've had this idea, I think I could run a business out of it... now what problems might I face".

Telling others your business idea is seldom likely to result in someone stealing it and copying it. Tell your family, tell your friends, tell anyone who will listen. Very often this is good for two reasons :
  • Optimists will give you confidence in your idea, and possibly give you further ideas upon which you can build
  • Pessimists will spot problems and pitfalls, which you can then make sure to work around and avoid
In any event, whether attempting to borrow money or not, you need to have some type of business plan in place before you begin. That plan need not remain static - indeed some of the most successful businesses today are involved in completely different activities to those they were involved in when they began.

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