8 Questions Every Entrepreneur Should Answer Before Writing An Online Business Plan

Whether you are writing your ideas and goals on a napkin at the corner cafe or hiring a professional writer to put your thoughts to paper, your online business plan is the lifeline to any entrepreneur’s success when leveraging the internet to promote and market your products and services. While business plans come in all shapes, sizes and formats the core elements should be the same. So make sure your online business plan is up to par by asking yourself these key questions. It can mean the difference between a successful home business and a failing one.

Key Questions Every Entrepreneur Should Ask When Writing An Online Business Plan

#1 Do you have what people want? What value do you have that people will be willing to pay for… is it a product, service, skill? You can have what YOU think is the brightest idea, but if no one if buying or no one needs what you’re selling, then you are out of luck. One of the main goals of your online business plan is to define what problems and challenges your target market needs and solve their problems with the knowledge and expertise your posses. This will help you outline the unique features and benefits of your product or service. Make sure you have them written out and use them as a reference when developing your sales and marketing materials.

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Are Business Plans a Waste of Time?

I recently attended a national entrepreneurship conference along with a number of other college instructors and well-known entrepreneurs. I found it interesting that two concurrent sessions offered conflicting points of view on business plans. One session featured a panel of successful entrepreneurs questioning the real world relevance of business plans. The other session focused on teaching students to quickly and correctly develop business plans.

I was intrigued by the panel discussion so that’s the session I attended. None of the entrepreneurs on the panel had ever written a business plan-at least to launch a business-yet they were all extremely successful. The revelation that they did not use written plans is not surprising, most entrepreneurs don’t. One reason given by the panel for forgoing a formal business plan is the natural tendency for entrepreneurs to cling to a business plan they wrote due to the investment in time and effort. The reality, they said, is that things change so much in the real world of business that the assumptions underpinning a business plan must often be altered or even abandoned to allow the business the flexibility necessary to survive. In addition, the entrepreneurs were adamant that a good plan will not make a bad idea work and a great idea probably will not be hampered by a poorly written plan-or no plan. Another concept discussed in the session was that what the entrepreneur is really selling to the venture capitalist or angel investor is the entrepreneur. One of the panelist remarked that, “If the investors believe in you, they will invest in your business.” The consensus from the panelists was that investors look for passion and vision in addition to the idea. They must be convinced that the entrepreneur is capable of persevering and making good decisions and adjustments to keep the business moving forward. Since there were college instructors in attendance, and most entrepreneurship programs require written plans, all entrepreneurs on the panel diplomatically agreed that requiring a business plan as part of a course or program of study was not a waste of time. They concurred that the process itself could offer valuable insight.

As a college entrepreneurship instructor I try to convey as realistically as I can the realities that entrepreneurs face. After attending this conference I realized that students may have difficulty reconciling the two seemingly conflicting points of view presented in the workshops. Certainly my students are aware of the statistics which suggest that most entrepreneurs enter a business without a written plan. To attempt to convince them otherwise would be disingenuous. If the panel was right why bother with a business plan at all? I believe that the answer can be found in the last nugget offered by the panel of entrepreneurs; it is the process that is most beneficial.

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From Business Plan to Web Design – Starting an Online Business

Before you officially “open the doors” of your e-business, you need to create a business plan. Turn your business idea into a plan that will help you succeed (or you may find while going through this process that it is better to scrap the idea and come up with something better).

Putting a business plan together may seem like a daunting task. I will take you step by step through the process of creating a business plan, making the process a little easier for you. Putting a business plan together will include completing a market analysis, a competitive analysis, an advertising plan, pricing, branding, a sales strategy, and much more. This article will go over some of the basics.

You will want to consider marketing, financing, your target market, distribution of your product, finding out who your competition is, etc. In addition to considering these factors, you will want to set realistic goals for your small business.

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