If you're considering starting a business, remember there’s no such thing as a “good” or “bad“ business, but there are businesses that may be good or bad for you based on your skills and the things you like to do.
I've put together a few tips For Christians Who Want To Start A Christian Business, that will get you headed in the right direction.
Once you figure out what type of business you are most suited for, find a Christan Businessman to mentor you and start attending some of the seminars offered by the local Small Business Development Center. They'll help you put together a sound business plan that will outline your options and the increase the probability for success.
How Much Money Should You Invest In A Business And How Long Should It Take To Make It Back
Avoid starting out with too little cash. It's too risky, because trying to find a loan when you're running short of cash can easily send your business into a tailspin.
Having enough capital that you can avoid worrying about money for a year is a good benchmark that will allow you to focus on running the business for awhile.
Here are a couple more important facts to use in deciding how much money you need to start your Christian business.
Determine how much you will need to operate the first year.
Estimate how much income you will generate by year.
Begin reading as much as you can about running a business, to get an idea of what kind of business challenges you can expect.
There are a lot of good articles on staring a business and I'd like to get in a shameless plug for "Several Things You Should Know Before Starting A Small Business" by yours truly, I highly recommend you read it.
At some point, you will be faced with the decision of how to make your business more profitable. You might be in need more money or you might just want to grow you home-based Christian business to keep up with your competitors.
Watering and Working
How often do you water your business? Christian businesses thrive and grow best when they receive frequent doses of living water, the Word of God.
I Corinthians 3:7 reminds us that although watering and working nourishes your faith and business, don't forget it's God that provides the increased harvest.
Horizontal vs Vertical Growth
Rather than pursue a vertical path of selling more of your current products, you can always opt to expand horizontally. This type of expansion is where you offer items that compliment your current products, with related things that your customers might want and need.
If you're selling religious books and tapes, you could consider offering self-publishing or custom recording services to your existing customer base.
5 Tips To Expanding Your Profits
Expanding horizontally is a good alternative when vertical growth can't be justified, but you still need to grow.
Offering more products is a good idea for expanding Christian businesses that need to generate more sales without incurring additional marketing cost.
Get your vendors to provide drop shipping so you won't have to purchase more inventory or add personnel to expand your product line.
Instead of directly adding more products or services you can also form joint ventures with other companies.
If you can add more products or services to your home-based Christian business without a large infusion of cash or assuming increased risk, then your ready for horizontal expansion.
Planning Your Growth
The key is to make sure the numbers and the timing is right for your business. You don't want to end up working a whole lot harder and only get a small increase in your profits.
The cornerstone for success in any type of business is having a plan.
That goes for Christians who want to start a successful home-based business too. Adhering to the tried and true principle of "planning your work and working your plan" was mentioned by Jesus in The Gospel of Luke 14:28.
"Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. What is the first thing you will do? Won't you sit down and figure out how much it will cost and if you have enough money to pay for it?"
How To Make A Christian Business Plan?
A Christian business plan makes room in the budget, operations and planning of the business for Christian values. Through prayer and supplication Christian business owners seek the Holy Spirit to guide them in establishing a steadfast mindset, one that trust in God and not easily shaken by what's happening with the Dow Jones, Wall Street or their own vain imagination.
Business Plans-Planning to Succeed
Writing a business plan allows you to apply forward thinking to the opportunities and problems that will confront your Christian business. It should be clear about your companies objectives and establish obtainable milestones and outline methods to track your ongoing progress towards your business goals.
It also enables you to apply disciplined responses to situations and limit having to make too many decisions, off the cuff, when you're prone to creating oops moments.
The Best Format For A Business Plan
There isn't a required format for putting together a business plan for a Christian home-based business, but make sure yours includes these key features:
- Table of Contents
- Executive Summary
- Company Description
- Market and Competitive Analysis
- Products and Services Offered
- Plans for Promotions and Sales
- Financial Projections
The financial and performance guidelines that you put into your business plan will keep you from being distracted from your primary purpose and make sure you are involved in a profitable situation.
Using Business Plan Software
If you have never written a business plan or organized a small scale event before, reviewing the features of the various business plan software on the market can be helpful to you.
Without going into detail about any one plan, let me just say that, software will help give your plan that polished look, but the results are mostly generic documents that may and may not suit the needs of your particular industry.
Outsourcing Business Plans
There are plenty of consultants from accountants to small business advisers that will assist you in drafting a pan for your business. Sometimes the business owner can't fully understand the finished product.
If they are too busy during the writing process they may not even get a chance to make any input into developing the plan. Worst of all you may not be able to understand or explain the plan.
Will Your Bright Idea Make A Good Business
The overall task of an effective business plan is to show whether your good idea will make a smart choice as a Christian business. You can have a fabulous business plan and your home-based Christian business may still crash and burn without having factual and accurate information to generate the projections that are essential to running a successful business.
If you want your business to thrive you'll constantly review, update and manage according to the guidelines and in your business plans.