Everyone knows how important planning is. From as complex as strategizing how to defeat an enemy kingdom in a war, to as simple as planning for your next holiday outing, it cannot be denied that plans are integral to success. This is even more factual if you apply it to entrepreneurship because in a way businesses are little kingdoms that are actively or passively fighting against each other for the money of clients. Competing brands battle it out through product formulas and advertising. One brand of detergent will say it can totally clean your soiled clothes even if you just soak it in it, while its competitor will say it can do that and make your clothes softer because of the fabric softening agent they’ve incorporated in their detergent formula. In that scenario, the latter is the winner, but the battle is not yet finished. The loser in that round is sure to fire back with a better detergent formula or maybe with a more popular advertiser for their product. Behind all that, meticulous planning is done. And if you have an online business, no matter how small it is, you should do the same. You should have an online business plan.
Your online business plan will be what anchors you to your intended purposes for your business. In it will be indicated your mission and vision, how you plan to achieve those through people and finances. It cannot be a two-page essay. It should be as detailed as possible as it will be what you will show people with whom you can have professional relationships, such as investors, vendors, lenders, and banks. Here are some other tips when drawing up your business plan:
You should have a sound business concept in order to not make the common mistake of not selecting the right business from the start. You’re dealing with precious capital here, and you don’t want to experience the pain of seeing all that money you’ve saved up go down the drain because you simply thought this online business was cool, not considering your capabilities and your passion for it.
Understand your market by test-marketing the service or product you plan to offer the people. It is only common sense to do that. If you’re selling T-shirts, try marketing some of those to people close to you first and let them spread the word about it also to see who among their social circles like your product.
You should consider the industry your business will be a part of. It must be healthy, growing, and stable, and this is important especially if you’re a beginner in being an entrepreneur. Refrain from trying to make a huge drop of water in dry soil when you can join in other small clouds drizzling on it.
Look for capable people you can work with, and know your capabilities yourself. You will be a key ingredient in the online business plan you draw up. Assess your résumé and those of the people you will be involving. Look for people you can admire, who are smarter than you, more hardworking than you. This will be a great encouragement in the future when you get burned out or lose track of your original goals. Also, consider your and their financial handling skills. This is obviously very important as business is primarily about the circulation of money, from it being capital to it being profit. Draw up a good business plan and you’ve already done almost half the job of starting your very own online business.