After you have picked a name and got all of the other legal items out of the way it is now time to make a quick plan. A sort of blue print that will help you in the coming months as you setup your online business. It will also serve as a guide to make sure you achieve your final setup and design goals.
Believe me when I say this, without a plan you may find yourself spinning your wheels and not doing things to bring your business to a launch status. This is important even if it is a quick plan sketched out on a napkin.
Develop a Quick Sales Strategy
How are you going to make money on your site, who are you going to sell to, and what are your sales goals. You dont have to be accurate to the penny on your sales figures, but you should at the very least know who and how you are going to sell your products, service, or affiliate links to. Here are some things that should be in your sales strategy.
- Write down a sale goals. I plan to sell $1000.00 per month on these product, on this venue, to this market. My sales will increase per month by a percentage amount. I will make $200.00 per month on affiliate programs through these venues with these affiliates. Or I will write 1-3 eBooks and sell 1000 copies in six months at $9.99 per copy.
- Write down your sales tactics, or how you will be meeting your sales goals. For example I will list 250 products on eBay to sell. I will write 4-6 posts per day to increase my traffic, and install up to two relevant affiliate links on those articles. I will promote my eBook on these venues and setup a referral system to increase sales from satisfied readers.
- Identify who your main customers will be, are they other bloggers, or are they in a specific market?
- Next put a deadline to these, dates, and other metrics so you can measure your success. If you do something you should make sure you have someone to measure your ROI otherwise how will you know what works and should warrant more of your time and what does not work and you should avoid wasting your time on.
Set Reasonable Start-up Marketing Goals
When you start a business you probably are not going to have a large marketing budget. In fact you are probably wondering if you need to market at all. But let me tell you this..once you develop a quick sales strategy and your initial website is done you need to market it with all your might. Everything you should do, all of your efforts, should be to market the heck out of your business. Here are some things you should include in your marketing strategy.
- Identify your target geographic area, is it the whole world, the United States, your own State, or just your neighborhood. There is no use wasting marketing dollars and efforts marketing to geographic areas not in your target market.
- Define how you are going to be different from the competition. Take your idea, product, or service and write down how you are going to differentiate yourself from the competition.
- Outline how you are now going to promote your unique idea so others will share it and come to your site, i.e. getting traffic. Social media, online advertising, email, whatever you are going to do make sure you write down more than a few.
- Set a pricing strategy, dont be the lowest price, but seek to add value to your products by adding additional items. Remember free is a price!
- Then focus the rest of your marketing strategy developing a path of least resistance to getting your product to market.
Think About and Consider your Financial Strategy
- How much money will you need to start your online business.
- How are you going to keep track of your financial records.
- Make sure you understand the costs of doing business, sales taxes, and income taxes.
- If you need more money will you take a loan, use your savings, credit cards, or go to family?
- Understand gross margins, net sales, and other financial terms so you can do a budget, break even point, to make sure you business is on sound financial footing.
Consider your Exit Strategy
This is something you should consider. At one point if any would you exit the business. Why should you consider this? So if the situation happens you will be ready to leave. Don’t consider that you will run the business until you die and it will keep you financially sound. It just doesn’t work that way. Here are some exit strategies to consider.
- If I am offered X amount of dollars for my business I will sell.
- I plan on retiring when I am 55 and I will hand over the business to my children.
- I plan on building it to go public.
- I plan on building it to be acquired by another business.
- I will work my business until I pass away and will provide for succession in my estate planning.
Remember this is a basic plan, no more than a page long. Remember this is how you will move forward with your business so make it worthwhile.
NEXT SET A LAUNCH DATE FOR YOUR BUSINESS
Take some time and think about how long, realistically, it will take to launch your website. Be honest with your assessment of your time and set that date. Then we can do the final step of setting up the basic website and a launch page.