It All Starts With A Plan

Congratulations, you’ve found a product, or discovered an idea that answers a problem that people have come to the internet to solve. You’ve found a niche that has room for you. While the excitement of your new discovery still has a warm glow this is the perfect time to sit down and pencil out the details.

It’s time to create a business plan or map that will guide you through the process. It doesn’t matter if you are just looking for a little pocket money or want to earn enough to feed the family; a business plan is an important part of the process.

For those day dreamers a business plan will help keep your feet on the ground and for those of us who need encouragement to go forward — a business plan will guide you.

You have some raw data from which will help you build your plan. It’s time to pencil it out to see if your idea will meet your expectations. By the time you are finished you’ll know the kind of financial and time investment this business will take.

Unless you plan on going to the bank for a loan, you probably don’t need a full blown business plan, just a basic guide to help you explore your new niche and mine it for gold. Here are a few considerations when putting your plan down on paper (or computer).
Describe your business.

Decide what your goal is for this business. Do you want to sell a single product or products, a service or exclusive access to a membership site? Who are your customers and how will you solve the problem they are searching for. Write down anything unique that may set your product or service apart.

Form of business

Are you going to run this website on your own or will you have a partner? Will it be a smaller part or a larger business plan? Should you create a separate company or corporation?

What Is Your Current Situation

How much time do you plan on spending creating and maintaining the business? Is this a full time business or a sideline? If it’s going to be a full time business, how long can you survive without an income while the business grows? If it is a sideline business, how will you balance your life with the businesses needs as it grows?

The Future and Goals Put down your goals for the business. Do you intend on starting this as a part time business — is your long term goal to become a full time income? You should not only think about the short term but long term as well. Consider how you’d like to conclude the business.
Take a look at the Industry and traffic you can expect

You’ve done your research with wordtracker. Look at the numbers. How many potential visitors can you expect to your site. Keyword tracker has a prediction tool on how many potential searches will be done in the near future — if you can get top placement on the search engines — how many visitors can you expect? How many other sites are out there already?

Check Out Your Major Competitors

What are you competitors and how are they doing business. How will you break into the field? What do you plan on doing different? What is your ‘unique selling proposition?’
Marketing Strategy

How will you draw in customers to your site? Are you planning to market your business by using a blog? Will you partner with an Internet marketer? Will you rely solely on the Internet? Will you use SEO building tactics or will you use pay per click advertising? How much do you plan on spending?
What are the start-up costs How much will this business cost to start and run? Do you need a new computer, a website, a shopping cart or will you need to start an eBay store. What are all the costs associated with this new business.

If you are looking for start up capital, you should create a complete business plan. But, even just filling out the questions above will help you focus on your goals and give you a clearer understanding of what it will take to get your business going.

Pencil out an exit route next. Ask yourself, what would be the perfect conclusion to this business?

And, last but not least, consider adding a marketing strategy to your business plan. How much will you pay to get traffic? How much is a qualified lead worth to you if you are going to use a pay per click campaign? If not, how will you drive traffic to your site, and much can you afford to spend.

Once you have these elements in place you are ready to start putting your online business together.