Business Planning

Business planning is an important step towards achieving the objectives and goals of your newly established business. With a business plan, you are more focused with the steps you need to take and which direction to move forward to.

A business plan guides you where you want to go. Additionally, you will have a clear timeline for your deliverables including day-to-day operations and decisions. It may seem difficult to come up with a business plan at the beginning, especially if it is your first time but after a few years and you look back at how your plans have progressed and materialized, you will be thankful for drafting a business plan before diving into new territory.

So how exactly do you plan a business? If you are interested in exploring online marketing, there are several key issues you need to be aware of. But first, let’s start with the basics.

First, ask yourself why you want to start a business. Is this purely for financial reasons or you are passionate about a certain product or industry and making money out of it is just an added bonus? Are you going to provide a service or product? Are you familiar with the nature of the business you want to undertake or will you still need supplementary classes or guidance before getting started? These questions will assist you in planning your business because it narrows down your focus into ideas that you will pursue in the next few months or years.

Now, after zeroing in on a specific industry and product or service, you need to do preliminary research. Will you be the first one to offer this business or have others gone before you? If so, what will make you different from the competition? Will you be bringing in something new and revolutionary to attract customers and potentially steal away those whose loyalties have been with companies who came before you? Who will be your target market? What is your competition like – are they small businesses or are they large corporations with multinational offices around the world?

Once you have decided to really give this new endeavour a go, then it is time to make it legal. Submit the necessary licenses and permits. Attend relevant trainings and network with professionals in the same industry to start putting your business out there. The money comes in next. Will you be financing the business yourself or will you lure investors to put their money in your business?

Start-up businesses, especially Internet-based businesses, don’t necessarily require hundreds of thousands of dollars to set-up. In fact, e-commerce is the latest thing for business-minded individuals nowadays because it is very cost-effective. With only a few thousand dollars, you can easily have a website where you can upload your products and services and begin marketing and promoting your online shop. After setting up shop, whether physical or Web-based, be prepared to experiment with different strategies to find out which ones work and which ones don’t.

Every business needs a plan. It is more effective to draft a business plan in black and white where your purpose, relevance, goals, and action plans are defined. With a business plan, you can discuss the specifics of your product – target market, overview, projected costs, priorities, timeline, and industry trends. Even if you will be starting an online business, a written business plan is still necessary. Just because you will be transacting online doesn’t mean that plans have to literally be kept in the cloud.

After finalizing your business plan, disseminate it to everyone who is and will be part of it. That way, they will constantly be reminded of what their roles are and how important will they be in the upcoming months or years.