The Maverick Entrepreneur™ Series
6 Steps to Writing a Business Plan for Your Internet Business
by STC Staff Writer
A business plan is the first thing you need to do if you are starting a new business.
It is designed to outline your goals, business strategies, financial goals, and marketing plans. When you have a business plan in place you are taking steps to make sure that your business is on the best path toward success, and it’s also a tool for presenting to financial investors for funding, loans, and even attracting quality employees. Most successful companies have prepared a strong business plan.
An internet business can be operated differently than a traditional brick and mortar company. Nonetheless, it still needs a business plan for better success potential. The difference is that the financial, management and marketing details should reflect a growing online market.
6 Basic Steps to Writing a Quality Business Plan.
Step #1 – Your Business Summary
If your business operates only on a website, you should take the time to describe all of your site’s aspects, primary features, and benefits to the customers. Answer questions like who is going to run the business, what does it offer, who does it target, competition, niches’ served, etc.
#2 Create an In-Depth Marketing Plan
Your marketing plan need for you to gather a great deal of research so that you can do this quite sometime before you ever create your business plan. However, you need to make sure the information hasn’t become outdated by the time you incorporate it into your business plan. Include your pricing plan, your checkout options, etc.
#3 Provide the Details on Your Management Team
Explain the details of your major team members. Their duties, how much they will be paid, benefits, etc. Make sure you provide enough detail for investors to understand your management team’s role.
#4 Create an In-Depth Financial Plan
This should include your startup capital, operating costs, and your profit forecast and various intervals such as 6 months, 12 months, 2 years, etc.
#5 Create a Business Schedule
Your schedule needs to include now, the immediate future and your long-term plan. This would include things like the date you are going to open your online door, when employee hiring will take place, and when any loan will be repaid, etc.
#6 Write an Executive Summary
Write an in-depth executive summary that includes research as well as an easy to understand explanation of your business plan. Your summary should be broken down into sections and each should have its own title. This will help the information flow better for anyone who chooses to read it.
You can locate and utilize free business plan templates online if you feel confident you know enough about business to complete one and have extra time for this approach. Or you can use either a business plan software or online (Cloud) program to accelerate your progress, offer guidance on how to complete your plan, and even sample completed changeable templates for hundreds of SPECIFIC business.
In Conclusion – Online Tools or Specialized Software Make Writing Your Business Plan a Breeze
Writing a business plan can be challenging and a bit of a daunting task. Now thanks to online options it no longer has to be. You can quickly and easily create a sophisticated business plan that’s ready to use with your investors or bank.
Starting a business is tough work by itself, and then you once needed to learn the art of business plan writing, which is a talent unto itself. Not anymore. Now online tools have the skills and will do the hard work for you.
All you need to do is fill in the information as you are asked for it. This is a safe and effective way to put a business plan together. Of course, you still need to have all the information available about your business.
These online tools will even remove the need to have an accountant, creating financial forecasts based on the information that you provide. Most applications will generate a Balance Sheet, Cash Flow and Income Statement also called a Profit and Loss statement.
Of course, you need to ensure that you choose the right online tool to provide the type of detail you need, as there are now several of them available.
The more people that look at your business plan the more streamlined it’s going to become. Most online tools allow you to freely share your creation so that others can ask their questions and include their input to help you create a better business plan. You might invite colleagues, clients, your accountant and anyone else who could be a valuable asset.
Look for an online business plan tool that allows you to create charts and graphs, which are extremely pleasing to the viewer’s eye and make information available at a quick glance. The ability to create charts is extremely important in your business plan presentation, as it will peak the reader’s interest.
When you are done, many business plan writing applications will rate you on how you did – provide you with a report card of sorts. This will help you to make sure that you have covered everything you need in the business plan you’ve created – now is not the time to miss anything! It will also show you where you may have been weak, which gives you the opportunity to tweak things
Online business writing tools make it easy for anyone to create the business plan they need to get the backing they want.
I have used Palo Alto’s Business Plan Pro as a business consultant to create business plans for clients for over 25 years. It’s very easy to use, has almost no learning curve, and affordable. CLICK HERE for more information about features, and pricing. There are very cheap software programs designed to make business plans too.
I have a couple, tried them and continue to stick with the leader of the pack, Business Plan Pro or it’s online equivalent “Live Plan Pro” also by Palo Alto Software, on a subscription basis. Business Plan Pro is actual software you can use for years.
If you are interested in additional information as outlined in this article, need assistance in applying this information, or just want more resources, contact us for FREE (no obligation) and we will do our best to accommodate you.