Over the past 8.5 years that I have worked for Palo Alto Software in technical support, I have coached thousands of our customers on the importance of a business plan. Explaining how it can help create a road map for your business as well as assisting you with sustaining a positive cash flow, a basic of business planning.

Lately, I have been thinking of starting up a small home based business of my own. Something to do in my spare time for a little extra cash.  Even after eight plus years of encouraging others to start one, I didn’t even think of creating a business plan.

I was making the same mistake that a lot of the people I have talked with over the years had been making. I was trying to rush to the finished product before I had even gotten started with some of the fundamentals. Things like- what my start-up costs really were or who I was going to purchase my raw materials from to get the best price. I didn’t even have a simple mission statement (Something that defines what my company wants to do).  I was too busy worrying about things like turning my spare bedroom into a mini-warehouse and setting up my website. Things I would need to do, but not before I had a better idea if the idea was sustainable.

This isn’t really a plug for our software, Business Plan Pro (even though I will be using it), but rather a reminder.

Start by defining what your end goal is and put together a road map of how you plan to get there before you waste time and money going in endless circles.

Curt Barnes
Systems Administrator
Palo Alto Software

AvatarCurt Barnes

Curt is the Systems Administrator for Palo Alto Software in Eugene, OR.