Your new website is most likely going to be a representation of a brilliant new business that you have brewing in your brain. The good news is that these are exciting times for you! The bad news is that it’s going to take a lot of work to get your idea out there for others to invest in. A good place to begin is by crafting a business plan to wow anyone who happens to take notice.
The online marketplace is in constant flux. Websites and online businesses come and go, so a business plan is a great way to show the uniqueness of your idea and exactly how you plan to execute it. However, you may not be exactly sure on how to begin said business plan. If so, this post is for you! Below you will find the necessary steps for designing a business plan for your next project:
Step one: Get it all out on paper.
Creating a business summary accomplishes two things: getting all of your thoughts down in an organized form helps you see your plans in black and white, and also serves as a reference for you to look back on later. Your first version of a business summary will most likely be quite long-winded. As you continue to revise it, you should try to sum up exactly what you want to achieve in a paragraph or less. It may help to think of the questions that will be asked as you proceed. Try to answer them in this short summary.
Step two: Create a marketing plan.
Determine exactly who your audience is and how you will get site visitors and customers to your website. Create a plan for building a following, whether it be through social media, an SEO team or through a helpful YouTube channel. Include the types of content you will use as well as how much your marketing endeavors will cost your business. If at all possible, include a timeline for your goals, both long term and short term, as well as the expected results.
Step three: Tackle the financials.
Now, this is the step where most creatives have the most trouble. You may even want to ask for a bit of help in making sure that your numbers even out. Include product information like the actual cost of the product and how much you will charge. Also formulate overhead costs like your domain, the tools you need to support your website, and web hosting. Determine the exact quantity you will need to sell to make a profit each month. Don’t forget to include your own time, after all, you will need to pay yourself eventually.
Step four: Create a schedule.
Ask yourself, what will your business look like in six months? What about five years, or ten? Anyone looking to invest in your business wants to know that your plans are feasible for the long term. In your schedule, include expansions and goals that will have to be met before reaching the next phase. Remember that in these schedules, the more details you include the better. Factor in how you will meet your established benchmarks and what that means for your overall success.
Step five: Include your research.
Before you add the finishing touches to your business plan, be sure that you determine exactly how others in your industry are achieving and how they are reaching their own goals. By including case studies, you can be sure that you convey a sense of success within the industry you are attempting to become a part of. Many websites also include examples of business plans that you can use to evaluate your own levels of professionalism.
Step six: Show it to others.
Once you have completed the five steps above and are thoroughly satisfied with your business plan, it is time to show your work to others. Ask trusted family and friends to take a look at your design, ask questions, and try to find any holes in your logic. The more feedback you can get, the better. Before you know it, you will have a business plan outlining exactly what you need to start building your online empire!