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Is a Marketing Plan the Missing Link in Growing Your Business?

By: Yvonne A Jones Category: Marketing

In a few days it will be June, which is the end of the first half of the calendar year and the beginning of the second half. This could be a ‘new’ beginning for your business or the continuation of your momentum in growing your business.

Over the past two weeks I’ve been reevaluating my business overall to determine what steps I need to take to move it to the next level. A periodic appointment with yourself to evaluate your progress is important to determine if you’re staying on track.

An honest evaluation will reveal how you’re doing, but it can also mean that you have to revise your strategies as the path you’re on may not be producing the results (more…)

Critical Elements of Your Written Business Plan – The Sections (Part 2)

By: Yvonne A Jones Category: Business - Entrepreneur, online business, Uncategorized

The first part of your business plan takes into consideration your target audience, what they expect, and how the product or service you will be providing will meet or exceed their needs and expectations. 

The following sections will apply across the board, but keep in mind that if your audience includes investors, venture firms, and or banks, your business plan would be much more detailed.  These are ‘bare bones’ guidelines written with the entrepreneur, solo-professional, or small business owner who needs to have a written business plan to serve as a guide or track to run on.

 When organizing a business plan, break it down into sections such as:-

 1.  Business summary – The product or service you will provide.  What you will have to offer must be clearly defined.  Imagine that a stranger is reading your document.  By the end of the first paragraph your reader must clearly understand whether you will be (more…)

Critical Elements of Your Written Business Plan – Part 1

By: Yvonne A Jones Category: Business - Entrepreneur, online business

If You Don’t Know Who Your Target Audience is, You Cannot Serve Them Effectively.

The first step in creating a Business Plan is to identify who your “target market,” “target audience,” or “ideal client” is.

This is a critical first step.  By starting a business online you have become an online marketer.  Whether you’re selling a service or products you will be in the business of marketing.  It therefore means that your marketing message must be crafted to attract and meet the needs of your particular audience, in order to produce effective results.

If you attempt to target everyone, you’ll probably have very little impact on anyone as your message and methods of delivery will be diluted.  Your message must educate your audience or market on how your product/s or services will meet or exceed their expectations.  They need to know how they will benefit by (more…)

Start Your Online Business with a Written Business Plan

By: Yvonne A Jones Category: Uncategorized

“If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.”

The above quote may be regarded by some as a cliché, but it is also a very true statement.

You’ve decided to start your own online business and may fall into one of these categories:

  • You’re brand new to starting a business
  • You’re brand new to starting on online business
  • You have an offline business but want to build an online presence in order to attract more clients or customers

What You Have in Common

The common denominator  for all three groups is that in order to reach your goals and experience success, you must have a plan in writing (more…)

How To Set-up a Business Plan for Your Online Business

By: Yvonne A Jones Category: Uncategorized

Everyday new businesses are started on the internet.  Some persons start an online business for fun, some with the intent of making some ‘extra money’ while others have a purpose in mind: that of starting a ‘real business’ to provide a regular income online.  Regardless of the reasons, one factor that most persons omit to take into consideration is the need to have a business plan.  What is a business plan? http://www.google.com/url?q=http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/business_plan describes a business plan as “A summary of how a business owner, manager, or entrepreneur intends to organize an entrepreneurial endeavor and implement activities necessary and sufficient for the venture to succeed.”  Your business plan for your online business should clearly explain the what, why, when, who and how of the project.

Based on the above I can hear someone saying, “I don’t need a business plan.  After all an online business is not like a brick and mortar business…”  And that’s true.  However, by setting up a business plan, you are laying out a roadmap to success. It will help you to develop your business goals and strategies, as well as provide you with a better understanding of the marketplace. It will also highlight any business strengths or weaknesses that you may have, as well as providing you with an opportunity to take a close look at your competitors. While this is optional at the outset, it would do no harm to include financial projections, historical data and growth expectations into your business plan.  If your goal is to make money, you will need to document what your resources are at the outset, and what it’s going to take to reach your goal.

One vital concept of your plan for success in an online business endeavor is to identify your target audience.  This way you will know how your service, your product, or your knowledge can specifically meet or exceed the expectations of your audience.

Your business plan may be broken down into the following seven sections:

1. Business summary – The product or service you want to provide.

2. Market analysis – Research on the product or service and how the competitors are doing.

3. Product positioning – How to make it more prominent compared to your competitors.  Or, what need is not being filled in your area that you can fill.

4. Market strategy – How are you actually going to market it? Every business must have a marketing plan otherwise you are setting-up yourself for failure.

5. Customer analysis – Look at what the customer wants or needs.  How will you find out?  Feedback, surveys, etc.

6. Financial analysis – What you need to invest in order to set up the business and to keep it going while it is just getting started. You’ll need at the minimum a domain name, a hosting service, and an autoresponder.  I use and recommend GoDaddy.com for domain name registration, and AWeber.com for e-mail autoresponder service. Click on the links to take you directly to both sites.

7. Overall business goals – What you hope to achieve in, say, a year’s time or even 5 years’ time.  Short-term and long-term goals.

Although you may be thinking  you need pages and pages of information, which could cause you to hesitate, keep in mind that the sections listed above can be condensed into just about two pages.  This is for your reference, and should serve as a guide which you can refer to from time to time in order to determine your progress.  And, above all, make it your determination that once you have created a business plan for your online business you will stick with it.  As your business evolves, you can amend as you see fit.

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