Business Plans – How to Start Writing a Plan For Your Business

Your business map should expand your mind and get you thinking about what your business is going to look like and what you’re striving to achieve. This small business map should really get you excited and motivated to make it all happen.

A business map (i.e., business plan) is your 9 to 12 month map of what you want to accomplish in business.

Usually, business maps contain many items, but remember you’re not going to do them all at once. You’re going to do them over a period of time – just as Rome wasn’t built in one day, your business won’t be built in one day. Just keep clearly and strongly focused on what you want to accomplish and stick to your goals at all times.

Usually, there are 5 key parts to any business map or business plan. If you are going to a local bank for a loan, most loan managers are more than willing to tell you the parts of the business map, but most of the time, the parts are left without explanation, so you fail to understand what is required of you.

The first part is the core message which is a one sentence to at most one paragraph statement about what your business and product has to offer that makes it unique and stand out from the rest of the products. Spend some time thinking about this and write it down (try to get it down in just one sentence to one paragraph at most).

Once you have your core message into one sentence, expand a bit on it – usually about half to one page long just on the one sentence you managed to construct. In this elaboration, you have a chance to get very clear up front about what you’re offering, with what benefits, before you even create your product. This is very fundamental in helping you to focus on customers and what you will deliver. Call this elaboration an elevator pitch if you want. As an example, in less than 30 seconds, what will you say to get across to the person you’re talking to about what you do and what you have to offer?

The clearer, more specific and succinct you can make this elevator pitch, the better it is going to help when you start doing your marketing, sending out emails, getting affiliates, and all the people you want to have rally around you. Let’s be realistic here: the better you get at this, the better off you will be. So listen to any feedback you get along the way and tweak it until everyone just says, “Aha, I get it!”

The second part is asking how you are going to generate revenue by questioning your product line. What are you going to market? What is your entry-level or front-end product, continuity product, backend product?

When I refer to a continuity product, I am referring to a product people pay you every month to receive. It is an extremely important aspect of a successful online business because it provides that consistent and dependable income.

What are your backend products going to be? In other words, what are the bigger packages that sell at a higher price you can offer your customers who are passionate and want more of what you have to offer, and where you make more money?

Most of the time, the people on your customer list will want more if you have to offer it. What are those other products going to be?

You will be wanting to add a short description of each product — of what that product is going to look like, the benefits offered to people, the price, the bonuses it could include and similar things.

If you are an affiliate, this is a good source of generating your revenue. Remember, this is your 9 to 12 month plan, so you’re not going to have all these items on your list from the very beginning. At this point, it is imperative to keep in mind that if you don’t know where you’re going, then you will never get there!

Part 3 is answering the age-old question of how are you going to generate traffic to your website?

What about a blog (if you haven’t already been blogging about your business, then you better get busy without any more delay!), SEO traffic, pay-per-click advertising, affiliate traffic.

Just keep in mind that you must describe briefly your sources of generating traffic (thereby generating revenue) and the expected results from each of your traffic sources in your business map.

Part 4 is outlining your marketing plan. Basically, the marketing plan is simply creating the right habits. If you want your business to be successful over the long-term, it comes down to doing a few simple things on a consistent daily basis. That’s what success in business comes from, especially an online business.

Your marketing plan is something you’re going to be consistently doing, working on, implementing, testing, refining, tweaking and improving. Some of these activities could include posting to your blog, promoting your blog, submitting to article directories and/or making contacts and networking with other people in your marketplace. Be creative; add to this list on a daily basis.

Part 5 is all about showing the projected numbers in your business. Start with the 3 month projection, and then move onto the 6 month, the 9 month and finally the 12 month projection.

At this point, you should be extremely excited because you will see that you can have that money from your business by following your own business plan or business map if you will.

This may sound silly to some, however; your business plan, your business map or whatever, should be fun and innovative. When you approach someone with that plan or map, you should project excitement, not insecurity or indecision, show fear or any other negative behaviors.

When you present this plan to anyone, it should be with a smile on your face, hope in your heart, and your whole body conveying confidence!

Is it time to rethink your business plan or business map with a more positive outlook on your business?