If you are not preparing a plan you are preparing to fail. While we’re on the subject, failure is not a bad thing. In fact, you likely want to fail as quickly as possible while you are attempting to succeed with a good plan.
So, we have our vision, we have set some goals and now it is essential to commit those ideas to a plan. All businesses require a business plan. A good plan is like a road map: it shows the final destination and usually the best way to get there.
Like any other business, you need to have a business plan for your online business. It includes goal setting, objectives and strategies for attaining them. To set specific goals for your new business, start by asking yourself a few questions:
- Why do I want to run an Internet Business?
- Who are my target markets?
- What kind of product or service are they looking for on the Internet?
- Do I have the products or services that I can offer to this niche market? If yes, that’s great. If not, how about creating my own products or better still promote other people’s products and services?
- Where is the best place to reach my target market?
- How to get more leads and traffic for Free?
- How to build relationship with my leads and turn them into repeat customers?
To develop those questions, try the following:
- Fix in your mind the goal you have set: (from previous posts) see as clearly as you can what things will be like when it has been achieved.
- Get a pad of Post-It Notes and brainstorm all the outcomes which will need to be achieved in order for the goal to be reached. Write each possible outcome on a separate note.
- Lay out the notes into a chronological sequence, showing the order in which each outcome would need to be achieved. While doing this, check: (i) That each outcome is absolutely necessary (and remove it if not – don’t make extra work for yourself!) (ii) That there are no outcomes missing (ask: “if all these things happen, will the goal be achieved?” If the answer is no, then keep brainstorming!).
Begin to narrow it down, what are the key questions? It might go something like this…
What niche should you look at? Keep in mind that you want to solve a problem, not sell a product. Find a niche where people are looking for a solution to a specific problem.
What product can you find or develop that will solve the problem– When you are starting out, Clickbank is a good place to find products. They offer good commissions, the products are digital so there is no shipping, and they offer a wide variety of products.
What keyword can you target – This is how your niche will find you. You need a keyword that enough people are searching for each week, but with low competition so that you are able to make your way to the first page of Google. (Google key word search is a good start)
What are your website skills? Do you know HTML, CSS, etc… if not, I recommend using WordPress because it is easy. As you set up your site, make sure to optimize it by using your keyword in the title, description, and several times in the body.
What strategies do you know – Pick two or three of the strategies that you feel you are best at and use them to promote your site. As you get better and faster at these, introduce other strategies as it is always best to have a diverse set of links pointing back at your site.
Plan your weekly routine – Take some time and plan what you will do each day of the week. This will make you much more productive. Make sure to schedule time for learning and researching as that is one of the most important things you will be doing in the beginning.
At a minimum summarize your thoughts in a simple format, it does not need to been complicated since we are not attempting to raise funds or find investors. You could use a simple format like this:
Name of Business
Vision for Business
Describe target market (our niche)
What will we sell specifically?
What can differentiate us from the competition? What is our unique selling position?)
What are our marketing strategies (viral, SEO, pay for click, etc.)
Goals for building the growing the business (short-term, long-term, deadlines)
Plan of action to achieve goals
You should evaluate your plan monthly – You want your internet business plan to work, right? The best way to do that is to evaluate it after following it for a month. Is it working? What can be improved? Make the changes and try it for another month. Pretty soon, you will have a streamlined operation, allowing you to do more in less time.
A good plan today is better that a perfect plan tomorrow.
Jerry Duling is a Marketing and Business Consultant, Professional Speaker, and Social Media advisor. Jerry shows businesses how to use Social Media to build their brand, generate leads and close sales. Jerry also provides individual resources for the Internet Entrepreneur. Connect with Jerry on Google+.