Business Plan For An Online Business
Why do you need a business plan for an online business? You may ask. In short you don’t. But that isn’t a good option. I dare say you have heard the saying “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” So if you want to fail with your online business, then whatever you do make sure you DON’T create a business plan.
However if you want to succeed then you better do a business plan
Business plans can get into quite a lot of detail.
There are three primary parts to a business plan:
- The first is the business concept, where you discuss the industry, your business structure, your particular product or service, and how you plan to make your business a success.
- The second is the marketplace section, in which you describe and analyze potential customers: who and where they are, what makes them buy and so on. Here, you also describe the competition and how you’ll position yourself to beat it.
- Finally, the financial section contains your income and cash flow statement, balance sheet and other financial ratios, such as break-even analyses. This part may require help from your accountant and a good spreadsheet software program.
Breaking these three major sections down even further, a business plan consists of seven key components:
- Executive summary
- Business description
- Market strategies
- Competitive analysis
- Design and development plan
- Operations and management plan
- Financial factors
In addition to these sections, a business plan should also have a cover, title page and table of contents.
The main reason for this is that often the reason for doing up a business plan is to sale your idea to banks or investor in order to raise finance to get your business up and running. If you search online you will find tons of info on business planning. Here is one very good place to find out how to do a comprehensive business plan
But what I will cover today is a basic business plan for your online business. I have a link to a downloadable business plan below.
Basic Online Business Plan Outline
- What is your business name and while you are thinking about your business name you may want to consider a domain name for it as well (that’s the URL for your website)
- Mission Statement. This is a short statement what your business is about
- Vision for your Business. This is a more indepth statement of how you see your business developing and growing. What you see your business becoming.
- What Niche are you going into? Some of the common ones online are weight loss, health, fitness, self improvement, educational products and dating. These are quite broad so you might want to narrow it down a bit eg Losing weight after pregnancy or How to find a your perfect partner for guys over 40.
- What are you going to sell/promote. There are thousands of affiliate products out there which ones are you going to promote?
- Who is your target market as in who is your ideal customer? You may want to go through this before you answer the previous question
- What age are they
- Are they male or female or both
- What are they interested in
- What problems do they have
- What do they fear
- Where do they live
- What books, magazines, movies, tv shows do they like
- You may want to get into more detail here because the more detailed you get the easier it is going to be to market to them because you know all about them.
- What makes you different from your competitors or those selling similar products. Why should they buy from you and not for someone else. This is what makes you unique or your unique selling point
- Marketing Strategies. How are you going to market your products/services. There are heaps of strategies but lets look at three
- Paid Online Marketing. Is a fast way to build your business because you are paying to advertise your stuff. Some of the most common are video marketing, PPC, Solo ads, article marketing, google adwords, Facebook paid ads, Twitter paid ads, banner ads. What I would say is pick one and only one to start with learn about it and master it before you learn the next.
- Free Online Marketing. This is more about building a following that will get to know like and trust you and therefore buy from you. You do this by adding value, producing and sharing great content. Having a blog on your website and posting regular is the key. Then sharing this on the social media sites. This is slow going but is a great long term strategy and should be run along side paid strategies
- Offline Marketing. These are the more common types of advertising that you are used to. News paper ads, Magazine ads, radio, TV, flyer drops handing out business card etc
- Goals For Your Business. You need to set goals both short term and long term so that you have something to work towards and so you know where you are going. The short term ones are like stepping stone/milestone on your way to the long term goal and show that you are making progress. These are also point that you can celebrate and keep you motivated to keep going. You might want to set 3 months, 6 months, 1 year, 3 years 5 years 10 years goals.
- Action Plan. You now want to create a plan of action. Having a plan is great but it you don’t put it into action you are going to get nowhere. This needs to be broken down into daily, weekly, monthly and yearly. You need to be doing things every day that are taking you closer to your goals.
Here is your Basic Business Plan Template. Just click to get your free copy. If you want to add to the plan feel free because it is your plan and your business. This is just a guide to help you
In my next blog I will cover Foundations for an online business
Have a fabulous day