How to: A Business Plan
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Although this post is geared more toward those individuals wanting to start an online Affiliate Marketing Business, the concepts can be applied to any business.
In this post: How to: A Business Plan, I will discuss the following points:
- Prepare for Your Business Plan
- Who Needs a Business Plan?
- What is a Business Plan?
- Why do I Need a Business Plan?
- When Do I Need a Business Plan?
- Where Can I Find a Sample Business Plan?
- How to Create a Business Plan for an online Affiliate Marketing Business.
Prepare for Your Business Plan
Before creating your Business Plan, you should ask yourself a few questions about your intended business. You should write these questions and answers down, so that you can refer to them at any time to keep you on track. The questions to ask yourself are:
- Why am I doing this? – List the reasons why you are starting this business. Is it simply to have more income, help people, or have a better life for your self and your family? Be honest with your answer.
- What type of business will this be? – Be specific. Sure it will be an online Affiliate Marketing Business, but what exactly is your Field and your Niche? Will it be a site that contains informative blogs related to your Niche or will it simply contain product reviews. Perhaps it will be a combination of both (best way).
- How will I accomplish having a successful business? – Set some initial goals, as well as, some long-range goals. Also describe how you intend to reach those goals. Again, be specific. These may change over time as you become more familiar with your business, your customers, and your website. That’s OK. However, everyone needs a starting point, so you should list: how many posts will be written each week, how many product reviews, and how much money you hope to make from your Affiliate Programs each month, and each year. Your long-range goals should predict your intended business growth over the next 3 – 5 years.
Once these initial questions have been satisfactorily answered, you should also know the answers to the following question before you begin to create your Business Plan:
Who Needs a Business Plan?
Anyone starting a new business needs a Business Plan. Anyone already in business should already have a Business Plan. Therefore, anyone who is planning to start a new business or is already conducting business should definitely have a Business Plan. Remember the old adage: ‘he or she who fails to plan, plans to fail’.
What is a Business Plan?
A Business Plan is simply a plan on how you will setup and conduct your business for maximum success. It will contain a set of short-term and long-term goals, and how you intend to achieve those goals, as well as, a set of Financials in order to keep your Income and Expenses on track.
Why Do I Need a Business Plan?
There are many reasons why you need a Business Plan. Some of the key reasons are:
- It will help you set goals and help you to better achieve those goals.
- It will help you to focus on your customers and how they will ultimately make you successful.
- It will teach you the Financials that are needed to be in place to keep your finances on track.
When Do I Need a Business Plan?
It is best to have a Business Plan at the starting stage of your business. However, if you are currently in business, but do not currently have a Business Plan, it is time to incorporate one. Even if your business is somewhat successful, having a Business Plan in place will help you to attain much more than you may have ever dreamed.
Where Can I Find a Sample Business Plan?
There is a sample Business Plan available through the SBA (small business administration). It is a general, comprehensive plan, appropriate for most businesses, so it will include certain areas which will not be needed for an Affiliate Marketing Business.
I have created a sample Business Plan which has been customized for those who wish to engage in an online Affiliate Marketing Business. My plan eliminates or modifies certain sections of the SBA plan to make it more appropriate for an online Affiliate Marketing Business. Those sections are generally not needed in Affiliate Marketing, since this plan is more for ‘your eyes only’, as apposed to those in other types of businesses who may be seeking funding from outside sources in order to conduct their particular business.
See my Step-by-Step Instructions in my (3) other Posts about creating your Business Plan:
- How to Make a Business Plan for an Online Business
- How to Make a Business Plan – The Information
- How to Make a Business Plan – The Financials
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How Do I Create a Business Plan?
Your Business Plan will first outline the type of business that you are going to be in. It will identify that business as primarily a service business, retail business, or wholesale business.
You will outline the services or products that you intend to offer, who your target customers will be, and how you will differentiate yourself from your competition. It will also outline where your office will be, whether in your Home or some other place. You will also need to identify how your customers will contact you and provide that contact information.
Next, you will need to choose a business structure, whether a Sole-Proprietor, LLC, or a Corporation. You will also choose a business name, website domain name, and a website host for your business. An online presence is important nowadays, since more and more people are either searching online or purchasing products online.
In closing, I hope that you do not take creating a Business Plan too lightly. It is a very important step on your road to success. Although it can be a little bit time-consuming to complete, it will be time well spent, as it will benefit you greatly on your journey.
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