Are you excited with the prospect of starting an internet business? Before you start seeing truckloads of cash, you need to think straight and write out your business plan. A well-thought out business plan can prevent costly mistakes that you might make in operating an online business.
Before starting an online business, you must devise a business plan. This is very important because planning (or lack of it) is the key to your business’ success or downfall. Whether your business idea is new or just a new take on an existing one, you will need a business plan to proceed with putting things in place.
The first thing to do is to find a fresh new idea or a new spin on an existing idea, that you can use to create an income online. Start the plan with a mission statement or a description of your business. Once you write out a summary, you should already be able to identify your business objectives and aims.
Now it’s now time to start creating the marketing plan for your online business. This is harder than the mission statement, but you will need it to address your business specifics and develop a strategy to promote your products and services.
When you’re developing your business’ marketing strategy, here are some factors to consider:
Your target market refers to the customers that will be visiting your web site. Since your business is based online, you will need to generate sufficient traffic to make your website profitable. Your target audience can include mothers, business executives, teens, older adults, or even kids.
Competition is one thing that you have to pay a good deal of attention to if you want to succeed in your online business. You need to know your differentiators and come up with a product or service that is different from that of your competitor.
If your product or service is similar to others, you need to visit their site and identify your competitor’s weaknesses so you can improve your products or service to improve on theirs. This will help you estimate the costs of creating and marketing your product as well as devise a marketing strategy that is unique to your website.
You need to spend some time learning various ways to effectively advertise your online business. Explore the value and use of search engine traffic, paid traffic, banner ads, blogs, and articles. You can then decide how to use these marketing tools to advertise your product/service online. Spend a good deal of your time on the marketing plan because it is one of the most important parts of your business plan.
Product Pricing Strategy
Have you decided how much you are going to price your product or service? You will have to study your competition in order to fix your price. Your price should be neither too high nor too low. You need to ensure that your customers can afford to pay it, while allowing you to make a decent profit. Put yourself in the shoes of your customers and study the pricing strategy of related products and services so you can make an informed decision.
Are you going to implement all the steps yourself or outsource specific tasks to experts? Which tasks will you outsource and to whom? How much will it cost you to get them done in-house? What is the most efficient way to implement your business plan without running out of cash ?
Where is your business capital going to come from? Are you going to finance it from your savings, take a loan or invite partners, venture capitalists or angel investors to help you finance it? How are you going to manage your cash flow and who will help you maintain accounts? These are all factors that must be worked out when writing your business plan.
If your product is a physically-delivered product, you will have to decide on a shipping method and price that is acceptable to your customer. Since your business is online, plan for the possibility of getting customers from different parts of the world.
Post the shipping details on your website clearly. If your products are valuable, include shipping insurance, especially if you need to ship outside your country.
Mode Of Payment
Most online businesses accept credit cards and if you choose this option, you will need to decide between merchant accounts or third party processing centers. Some online businesses accept money order or checks. Will your business accept them too?
You need to plan for all these factors when you write your business plan. It is one way to give your nascent operation the best chance of succeeding. A business plan is vital to any business whether online or offline. After creating a well-thought out business plan, you can now launch your new online business with much more confidence.
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