Developing A Business Plan For Your Online Business
Unless you have concrete goals, you’re going to be wasting time building your “business”. I know guys who just do things on a daily basis hoping that something will come of it. The truth is that most of the time, doing won’t get you anywhere.
If you were to say… start a blog with the intent of making money – but not actually prepare a business plan…. You may be writing blog posts every day for the next decade before anything happens.
You need a plan… You need to know who your market is, what your message is, how you’re going to market and ultimately monetize. I learnt early on that without working out the exact metrics, you’re going to really struggle. So here’s exactly how you should develop your business plan:
1. Who’s Your Market?
No matter what business you’re in, no matter what you’re trying to sell or even give away for free, you need to define your market. You must work out exactly who you’re going to market to. You can target as large or small audience as you like, just figure it out.
Next find out the exact demographics of your market and learn how to cater to them. Targeting a small market will allow you to establish yourself as an authority pretty quickly, but it’s not always profitable. Think about things like:
- How well can you monetize the market?
- Who is your competition?
- How much money are other people making in the niche?
- Is it evergreen?
2. What’s Your Message?
We all have a message, or at least should have one. As no matter what you’re selling, a product or service, whatever it may be… there must be a clear message behind what you’re doing. Without one you’re not going to do all that well.
This is basically what you bring to the marketplace. What’s your message and why should people listen to you?
3. How Are You Going To Make Money?
Before you think about marketing, what’s your exact business model? Are you selling 1 core product? Is it your own or an affiliate offer? What does your sales funnel look like? Are you ready to receive traffic? How many affiliate offers/cross promotions are you going to push? Even if you have your core product, business opportunity or whatever it may be, how are you going to get people to buy it?
Are you going to send people straight to a sales page? Are you going to offer some kind of freebie, build a list, sell something cheap and then sell your core product? How are you going to convince people to purchase? Develop your sales funnel!
4. How Are You Going To Get Traffic?
Marketing your business is the most crucial part. A business is dead without marketing and online, marketing is essentially traffic. There are tons of ways of generating targeted traffic online. There’s:
- Article Marketing
- Pay Per Click
- Media Buys
- Solo Ads
- Social Media
Traffic generation is at the heart of every successful online business. Without traffic, you literally have nothing. Even if you have your systems in place, customer support, shipping or whatever else, it doesn’t matter unless you have traffic. You must setup a solid traffic generation strategy to fuel your business.
You need to know how much time and money it costs to get X amount of traffic and which option is most feasible. Work out an exact traffic generation strategy and stick to it!
5. Work Out The Metrics
This one is huge and it’s where most people go horribly wrong… Because people rarely do this. Let’s say you’re selling a toaster. It’s a really nice toaster and it toasts your bread in like 5 seconds flat. That would be your selling point LOL. Anyway, you need to have your website, capture page, video presentation/sales page and follow-up all setup. Once that’s done all you have to do is focus on fueling your business with targeted traffic.
When the traffic comes in, you need to A. figure out how well your capture page converts and B. figure out how well your sales page converts. Once you’ve worked out those two figures, you know exactly how many visitors you need to drive to the capture page to make a sale.
It will take a little while to get those figures (lots of traffic), but after a few months you’ll have a rough idea. Let’s say the capture page giving away a free toaster report converts at 10% and the sales page converts at 10%. It’s also a $100 toaster to keep things simple. That means you make $100 per 100 visitors you send to the capture page. 10 people opt in and 1 person buys the toaster.
That tells you exactly how much you have to spend and what you’ll get. Next you just have to work out how much it costs to get those 100 visitors and the best method of doing so. If you’re using pay per click you might be paying on average $0.60 per click which I reckon is absurd in the toaster niche.
That means to make 1 sale; you have to spend $60 on pay per click ads. Not bad right? But 60% of the $100 you’re making is going on advertising. Not including all the extra costs, so that might be profitable. From there you can tweak your sales page for better conversions, sell different stuff. Offer a low cost product to subscribers and then sell them on the $100 toaster later…
…The point is tweak, tweak, test and tweak.
From there you can try new things like paying for a virtual assistant to do article marketing, blogging and all that boring stuff. Working out those exact metrics will enable you to get an exact figure of how much you need to spend to make a sale. Using that golden information you can choose to invest it all in more traffic or pay off expenses, whatever you want.
- Use deadlines!
- Constantly tweak and test conversions!
- Always try new things!
- Be very flexible with your ideas!
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