A Serious Ebay Business Needs a Serious Business Plan

By: Shari Hearn

Are you serious about making your eBay Store or online auction business a success? Do you want to make your eBay Store or home business your full-time career? Do you have a business plan in place for your eBay business?

If you answered no to having an eBay business plan in place, you may not be doing all you can to make your eBay business a success. If you want to have your eBay Store be your primary income, then you have to start treating your eBay business like a true Business. And, a true Business has to have a business plan.

If you don't have a business plan, make writing one a priority. A business plan is a road map that will help you get from where you are now to where you want to be. Creating a business plan forces you to contemplate possible obstacles to your business and prepares you to find solutions that will help you to overcome them.

In addition, if you need money to help your eBay business grow, such as buying inventory to sell, upgrading your computer and photography equipment, or paying yourself to quit your day job while you're taking the time to build your eBay business, you must have a professional small business plan in order to gain financing. This financing can be in the form of a small business loan from a bank or an SBA loan.

What's an SBA loan? SBA stands for Small Business Administration, and it's a government agency formed to help people own their own businesses. You can go to an SBA office and obtain business counseling, as well as apply for a low-interest SBA loan.

What is Included in a Business Plan?

A business plan is not only a road-map that helps you stay on track, but it will force you to look at all areas of your eBay business. Your business plan will cover such areas as:

**Mission Statement - why you're choosing this particular business

**Short-term goals - 3 to 6 months

**Long-term goals - 3 to 5 years

**Who are your potential customers?

**Who and what is your competition?

**Financial analysis - how much money you expect to make versus how much you need personally and for your business

How to Create a Business Plan?

You can search the internet for examples of small business plans and write up your own plan, purchase a good business plan software to help with the process, or hire someone to write up your business plan for you (with your input, of course). Whatever method you choose, be sure to make your business plan as professional as possible. This shows the SBA or bank that you are professional and take your business seriously.

Once you have your business plan written, don't put it in a drawer and forget about it. Take your business plan out every several months to see that you're staying on track. If something changes in your eBay business (new products, etc.) you can update the plan to reflect the new path. Above all else, a business plan helps keep you organized.

You really should take the business plan seriously. Remember that old saying, "If you fail to plan then you're planning to fail."

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