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Being in your own business and being your own boss can be both rewarding and frustrating. Somebody once told me that anything worth doing is worth doing well. That goes for anything in life, especially starting a business.

Building a successful business is like building a house, if it’s to last, you have to build it on a good foundation. No matter how good the product or service, if you build your business on a shaky foundation you are doomed to failure before you start.

There is more to a sound business than having a great product or service. Like a house the structure of a business is important. Like a house a business that is structurally sound will last for many years to come. Like a well built house, a well run, well established and successful business will build “equity”. It becomes something of value beyond what it earns.

What is the structure of a business?

Before you earn your first dollar in your new business venture, you must have a “plan” of action. This is called a “business plan” or a “mission”. It is important to write this plan down. You can write it yourself or if your like me and in love with your computer get any number of software packages on the net or in stores to help you with this task.

You might be saying to yourself, “self, I’ve got this idea for a business, I think it will fly and I have a pretty good way to put it into motion. Why do I have to write it down in some formal “business plan” thingy?”

Well for several reasons. It allows you to get an overall picture of your business before you actually commit yourself to anything. Much like the blueprints to a house.

Side note: If you haven’t guessed it, in my 25 plus years of self-employment, one of my first businesses was as a carpenter/builder. Old ways and lessons die hard.

To continue,if you’ve ever built anything, you know it’s much easier and comes out much better if you have a “plan” to follow. Even if you just put together a kid’s toy at Christmas, you know the one that says, “Some Assembly Required” although not always an architects “blueprint”, it does make the job a whole lot easier.

Also if you want to get financing for your business from a bank, the government or some other lending agency; they may require you to submit a “business plan” as part of your loan request. This shows your prospective investor that your business has a direction and that their money is safe and their faith in you is justified. It means you are looking toward the future.

In conclusion, a formal business plan will give you and potential investors a “blueprint” of your business.