So let’s talk a little about an Online Business Plan.
Would you have started your business without some ideas of what was involved, how much time you had to invest, or how much it would cost you financially? My guess to all these questions is “no”.
Think about it would you go on a road trip without a map? Probably not, right? It’s a good way to get lost and end up in a bad neighborhood. It’s also tough to reach your destination without a map.
The same is true for your online business. In order to achieve your goals and build the online presence you want to build, you need a road map.
Your road map is your business plan and an online business is no different. Many people think you only need a plan if you are seeking funding. That’s just not true. You need a online business plan to help structure your business.
An Online Business Plan Helps You:
- Create your company vision
- Identify your target audience and ideal customer
- Create your company mission
- Understand and prepare for your competition
- Create your business goals
- Identify your products and services for your model.
- Outline your marketing strategy, tactics and goals
- Plan how you’re going to achieve your goals including sales and profits.
- Plan how you’re going to grow
Your online business plan doesn’t need to be formal. However, it does need to be easy for you to access and utilize on a regular basis. You can create your business plan on your computer or with good old fashioned pen and paper. I actually use a combination of the two – I write points down and then I keep a folder on my computer for items I find online. As you move forward you’ll find which method works best for you.
Regardless, here are some items it needs to contain:
- Business vision and mission
- Business model
- Target audience
- Supply/demand research – competitive analysis
- Strengths and weaknesses
- Unique Selling Proposition – what makes your business unique and/or different from your competition?
- Marketing strategy, goals and tactics
- Organization chart – who is responsible for what tasks or, if you are a solopreneur, this would essentially be a time-line you plan for tasks to be completed
You’ll also want to create a plan to plan your business. Experts recommend spending at least 25% of your time planning your business. You’ll want your business plan handy so you can use it to plan for your future.
So, now that we have reviewed the importance of an online business plan our next step is to create one! In the next article we will start to build your plan so that you will have a solid idea of the entire process of building a successful online presence.
If you have any comments, questions, or good-natured tidbits, share them below.