Often times, I see people that are quite indifferent about developing a detailed business plan for their online business – reason being that, it is inconsequential. If you are a firm believer of such a notion, I want you to desist from such shallow thinking as developing a business plan for your business is paramount whether it is an online business or not.
Without further ado, before I tell you about, “How to Create a Business Plan” let me seize the moment to explain explicitly, “Why you need a business plan”
Here are a few reasons why:
- To Solicit For Funds: It is one thing to have a bright business idea, it is another thing to have the capital required to make it happen; In most cases, that is always the problem. To solicit for funds either from banks, investors or angels, it is essential to arm yourself with a fine blueprint of your business – because that’s what they will b interested in seeing. But in cases where there is no business plan already prepared, you are seen as a joke and no one will take you serious enough to fund your business.
- To Examine The Feasibility Of The Business: An ideal business plan is composed of elements that help analyze the viability of the business and to know if it is worth the stress. The element could be the profit and loss statement, SWOT analysis etc. These components will help you forecast the possibility of that business booming.
- To Determine The Loopholes In The Business Idea: With a business plan, there is no stone that is left unturned. A detailed market survey and SWOT analysis – which are components of a business plan – will give you an idea of your competition and your weaknesses; once you are conversant with these, you will be able to devise means to tackle the challenges.
- To Strategize And Plan For The Future: A business plan gives you an idea of what you want to do, where you will love your business to be in the nearest future and coerces you to strategize on how you are going make all that possible. So, nothing is left to chance, before the business starts, you already know the marketing plan you will be employing, you already have an idea of where you should “break-even,” you already know what your ROI will be like in the next five years. This quite helpful because in cases where things don’t go as planned, you can always go back to the drawing board and know where you started getting it all wrong.
Those are a few key reasons why you need a business plan for your online business. Now that we have gotten that out of the way, let’s familiarize ourselves with, “How to create a business plan”
A business plan is usually composed of the following:
#1. Executive Summary:
This is a core aspect of your plan, which is why it comes first. As a matter fact, this is the first part an investor looks at when they get hold of your business plan, so you want to make sure it is packed with all the information that is needed.
The Executive summary, like the name implies, is like an overview of the business. This where you share relevant information about the business, it includes Company’s description, goals, and objectives, target market, start-up capital, profit estimation in three years etc. Basically one should be able to have an idea of what your business is about and how profitable it promises to be by just glancing through your executive summary.
#2. Marketing Plan
This is another core aspect of your business plan as this where you define a whole lot.
The marketing plan is basically composed of:
- Target Market: There is really no point coming up with a product where there is no market for it. Here, you can be able to study the demographic and have an idea of who your prospective customers are.
- Advertising Plan: Now, once you know who your customers are, the next line of action is to strategize on how to get to your customers. This is where you map out strategies on how you are going to penetrate the market by strategically putting up your products or services in their faces. One tool that is often used for this cause is social media.
- Competition: Of course, there will be others already doing what you are looking out to do; find them, study their strategies and develop a means to outsmart them.
- Pricing: It is a no-brainer that the price of your products or services could make or mar you. You want to make sure that your is customer-friendly and also favorable enough to make room for profit. In most cases, what is usually done is to analyze the pricing structure of your competition, calculate the amount that goes into running the business generally and also finds a way to still make room for profit.
#3. Management Plan
Here you bring to fore the key players of your business – who are those that you’ll be working with to help you actualize your goal?
Your business is as good as the management team involved.
#4. Financial Plan
All details about financing are discussed here. Here, you talk about: the start-up capital and how it came about, A financial breakdown of your expenditure in the course of running the business and also profit and loss statement.
#5. Long & Short-term Schedule
This is where you talk about: when you intend to start-up, employment plan, salaries, resumption and closing time for your online business, prospective loan procurement etc.
#6. Review Schedule
This column allows you to review your plan in the future. It helps you check progress, brings to fore the failures encountered and coerces you to re-strategize.
Finally, it is important to have another eye look at a business plan before you finally assume you are done with it; it’s just to help you proof-check. If eventually, the person can be able to talk extensively about your business idea without looking at the business plan, then you know you did a good job.
So there you have it, I hope you found this article useful.