Many people who work online for a living skip this critical step for business success. They think either their “company” isn’t big enough to warrant a business plan or that plans are only used to acquire financing and they are using personal funds for business expenses.
My advice is to write a business plan no matter what. Even if your “business” is just you, one blog, and a couple hours each week spent writing. A business plan gives you focused objectives and a clear and detailed idea of what your business is about.
Here are the components of a basic business plan. Use only the ones that apply to you.
- Business Description – This section should detail the mission, goals and objectives of your company. A mission is a straightforward and concise sentence explaining the purpose of your business. If this plan is for your eyes only don’t worry too much about the language – just write it so you understand it. Goals are what you want to do with your business in the short term while objectives are where you eventually want your business to be. For example a goal is to create a blog that is updated weekly while an objective is to establish yourself as an expert in your niche.
- Business Model- A business model talks about how your company will be run. For example: home based, sole proprietor, partnership, LLC, or whatever. If someone would take over your business if you fell ill or no longer could work you can state that here too.
- Marketing Plan – This is just a section for you to list or lay out your plans for getting customers (or readers) and advertising sales.
This is just the very basics. It’s enough to get you to a point where your company seems more like a “real” business. If you are interested in learning more about writing business pans you can check out the Small Business Association or SCORE.