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How To Start And Run An Online Business

Article: 08. How to Prepare a Business Plan


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There are three most important criteria for measuring success in any venture. Firstly a "Plan" must be conceived followed by objective and clear cut practical steps to achieve that plan. Thirdly it is paramount to blueprint the exact critical path approach to get to your target goal of doing business on the Internet. With this "preamble" we can drive ahead in understanding the basic principles of a business plan.

Every action in our life depends on the steps we take to prepare ourselves for that purpose. Have a look at that popular motion picture "The Renaissance Man" where Bill Rago (played by Danny DeVito) comments - quote - All I know is, the choices you make dictate the life you lead "To thine own self be true" unquote. Unless you make the right choice or business plan it may not be possible to lead the life you contemplate in your future. Nothing can be truer than that! A plan is therefore the most important step in any project. It is necessary to re-emphasize that funding can be of any type - internal or external - and making a business plan does not depend on the size of the venture. Let us now consider the other parameters that will help us in achieving our life's ambitions.

What do we need to make a Business Plan? The simple answer to this most complex question is just our will power, acumen, knowledge, and intelligence.

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Consider the following basic business plan of a person about to begin a writing career on the Internet:

I am a freelance writer with many decades of experience in the field of creating communications and advertising. I wish to start an online business for writing articles and selling them to those who are in the business of buying these for their own use of reselling for SEO purposes. My basic circumstance is to write 10 articles per day of nominal 500 words each. The survey I did in the market points to an average price of $5 per 500 word article of high quality and search engine optimized. My plan is not to have any external funding but to use my savings and income from my regular job to start this venture. The time span to be in full swing is one month since I have already managed to get a few clients who wish to avail themselves of my services. This is the initial business plan that I wish to achieve in reality.

This is the ABC of any business plan.

It is however not as simple as that! One must have a product or a product mix that has a sizable market and demand. If your product does not have a good demand the efforts would be in vain until and otherwise you can create a demand or market. Just your passions may not suffice in starting your online business venture. In making a success of any online business it is better to evaluate and revaluate the product importance and life cycle before starting and one must remove those products or services that do not seem to have an immediate or direct impact on possible sales. Having said that, let us now evaluate the secondary factors that affect the making of a suitable business plan.

The Internet is a vast ocean of information, resources, products and services. Many of these businesses do not reflect immediate and tangible benefits; therefore it is necessary to exercise extreme discipline in planning or chartering out a course. Learning the basics of economics, project preparation or analysis, projections or balance sheets, and financial analysis is not really necessary however it helps in understanding the discipline of doing business in a successful manner. Here a little knowledge many not altogether be a dangerous thing!

One can look at this concept in a different light. Attribute overall importance to any venture and consider it as the most challenging of your career. It may even be useful sometimes to give due weight to your project as equal to any corporate project proposals though you do not have to write a lengthy "project report or project feasibility study"! After all, your online business will eventually become your bread and butter and must have the same importance as the projects of any corporate body or a group of business partners. What differs between the two is the size of the venture and the capital or fixed assets involved. Consequently, following several principles of good project proposals and plans will help you in progressing your personal passion or project in the right manner.

Let Us Begin

You have a product or service that is your passion or life's experiences. You are prepared to take a calculated risk of implementing this into a viable business and now are ready to prepare a sound business plan for initiating the desire of your life. Let us get started.

List the Product/Service, Business Strategy, Price, Gestation period etc in a Business Plan and then carefully review each and every step. The product/service envisaged will be marketed in a particular way at a reasonable price that will guarantee the best return on investment for the financing you plan. The logical steps like the foregoing will ensure a disciplined approach to your online business ideas and make the experience a truly rewarding one.

It is also advisable to pick up or consult a few information sources on project proposals and basic principles of economics and funding. Even if you do not intend external finance help it is useful to implement these proven ideas with your own personal finances employed in that online business. Your business plan will then have a solid foundation and all the pillars you build up on it will be long lasting and profitable. Sample business plans are also available on the Internet or in specific project oriented books and these can help you in mastering the steps you will need to apply in your own project. In a future article we contemplate introducing a preformed business plan examples that have proven to be successful in the "online" field.

In conclusion:

It may be remembered that what ever we do in our life reflects later on in our future. The plans we make and the ways we implement them has a direct bearing on the "DeVito" Principle whereby all our passions, life's experiences, and ideas of starting an online business or not materialize into that proverbial "Business Plan" and take real shape on the Internet. Many have carved a path of immense satisfaction through material success in what they started to do and you are no exception. The single most significant factor that you or for that matter every individual possesses is "knowledge"! This knowledge can be easily translated or transcribed into business reality through effective and well prepared business plans whereby you can comfortable sail through that vast ocean of Internet in the smoothest manner possible.

What makes an online business succeed? It is not really too complicated to understand since making a good plan followed by actually converting it into a "doable" job is all that is needed to achieve that 'Midas' touch. A little bit of knowledge with passion, adequate experience, the ability of analyzing what and how of doing business, and last but not the least a will to "do" will steer you through to becoming a successful net entrepreneur of the Internet Skyway!

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