Keep It Simple Strategy
When the phrase “business plan” comes up, most people think of long, complicated documents that cover everything about your business and what you plan to do for the next few years.
I’ve purchased a few business plan software programs over the past few years, and I’ve never been happy with any of them. They always wanted you to put together this huge document intended to get financing for your business.
I run an internet business from my home. Because of the low startup costs, I don’t need financing!
And I don’t need to spend two weeks putting together a plan…that’s likely to change 3 months down the road when I get more in depth information and test different sales approaches.
That’s why I’ve recommended “The One Page Business Plan” by Jim Horan several times on this blog. While you can purchase it from a bookstore or from Amazon, it is more of a set of worksheets than a book. Plus it comes with all the worksheets on a CD so you can print them out or fill them out on your computer. Very, very useful.
Lately I’ve started noticing that this book is good for overall business planning when you first create your plan, but it is really too much for the regular updates you make.
The Internet sometimes changes very quickly and you need to be flexible enough in your plans to change quickly.
For example, you may be testing different sources of traffic…and you find you enjoy Adwords advertising significantly more than using joint ventures.
I have a couple of clients like that. Even though they do joint ventures at times, they prefer the complete control they have through Adwords…so this emphasized much more in their overall business plan. They spend more time on PPC than they do finding JV partners.
I have other clients who HATE everything about Adwords. No I don’t mean dislike. I mean they really hate it. So they spend a lot more time going after JV partners and search engine optimization with no attention at all paid to Adwords.
There really isn’t a “one size fits all” promotional plan…although I wish there was a single way that always worked best for everyone. We’re all unique. Luckily, there are more than enough ways to advertise online so something will fit you.
But let’s say your original plan uses a marketing strategy you don’t like following. You can always hire it out of course, but that may meaning investing more money than you originally intended. Or you can change just the marketing portion of your plan.
This of course could be done using the above book by only working on that section (it is rather easy to edit if you do the documents on your computer for easy changes). Or you could simply do a very simple business plan on a napkin.
You’d be surprised at just how many products and businesses have been written down on a napkin!
The below questions are some of the vital answers you have to have to develop your business. The key element of your business (the ultra compelling promise) should easily fit on a napkin even if you write in large print. The rest of it may take you a printed page.
What ultra compelling promise does your business make?
What keywords do you target audience use to search online?
What websites are your future customers already visiting?
How will you tap into this traffic (participation, advertising, affiliate, content, etc.)?
What are your primary business goals for the next year?
What steps will you have completed to reach the yearly goals within the next 30 days?
What steps will you compete this week?
Obviously your weekly and monthly steps will have to be changed regularly to keep up to date. You’ll also find additional sources of advertising as your expand your business along with testing to find out which promise appeals the most to your audience.
You can add a lot more complexity to your plan, but I find keeping it simple works best for me. Normally on my schedule I also have a few upcoming products I’ll put together (based out of feedback from this blog and my client’s questions) along with the topics of upcoming blog posts and print newsletter issues.
I concentrate on keeping my business plans very simple where I know exactly what I’m doing each day to stay focused on the plan.Related Entries:
- Create a Simple Marketing Plan
- Learn How to Be an Entrepreneur for Under $100
- Breaking All the Adwords Rules
- Daily Marketing Calendar
- 7 Adwords Secrets