Advice On Writing
A Home Based Business Plan

By MaryAnn Shank

Your home based business plan tucked under your arm, you walk into the bank and WHAM! The teenie bopper behind the big desk asks if she can get you a softer chair.

Well, it’s not quite that obvious, but almost.

Seniors, especially retired seniors, aren’t supposed to have businesses. They are supposed to be retired from business.

MaryAnn ShankBut, due to an immense demographic and economic shift, many of us (and I do include myself) will be “in business” far beyond the usual retirement age.

While there are a lot of options for your retirement business, a solid home based business is the best option for many retirees. It lets you determine when and how you will work, and when your attention needs to go elsewhere. It allows you to use the knowledge that you have acquired over a lifetime and turn it into something that will make some money.

If you need funding for this business, DON’T, I repeat … DON’T use the money in your 401(k) or other retirement fund. Keep that money as secure as you can.

Odds are that you won’t need a lot of money, so your best bet for your home based business plan is to outline a successful strategy that requires minimal financing. The SBA, in fact, has a Microloan Program exactly for this type of business. It will grant up to $35,000 for any single project.

In constructing your home based business plan, there are some special considerations for seniors.

First in line is the necessity to overcome the assumption that you will become incapacitated before you can pay off the loan. It’s terribly sad that that is truly the assumption of most young loan officers (and they do seem so young!). There are a number of ways you can accomplish this:
  • Look younger than you are (and many seniors do already!).
  • Team up with another retiree or two in your business. That almost ensures that someone will be there to carry on.
  • Be sure the loan officer knows how active you have been the past few years.

Your home based business plan will cover the bases like any other business plan, but because you are looking for minimal funding, it need not be as extensive. You must show how you will pay back the loan. You don’t need to show how you will make a million dollars.

In the home based business plan, demonstrate

  • How strong your market is;
  • How you will tap into that market;
  • The unique skills that you and your team bring to this project;
  • The fiscal responsibility that you bring to the project.
It’s always a nice touch to present the loan officer with a sample of what you will be doing, if that is practical.

Beyond that, the sky is the limit. Dream. Aspire. Become everything that you want to be. Your home based business plan will help get you there.

©2006 MaryAnn Shank Used by permission

MaryAnn Shank is a seasoned business plan specialist. Her expertise brought millions of dollars to emerging companies over a 20 year career in venture capital. More importantly, her current site, Business Plan Master, helps hundreds of entrepreneurs of all ages realize their dreams.