Your Ultimate Action Business Plan
Business people will always stress that having a well researched plan is critical, before you start your business.
Although creating a business plan is often an important step in the evolution of a business, particularly if you need financing or you are not experienced at running a business, it is not necessarily the essential first step.
There are two key elements that should be completed prior to the business plan:
- The business model
- The strategy
What is a Business Model?
While the word model often stirs up images of mathematical formulas, a business model is in fact a story of how a business works. In general terms, a business model is the method of doing business by which a company can generate revenue.
Both start-up ventures and established companies take new products and services to the market through a venture shaped by a specific business model.
There are six basic elements of a business model:
Articulate the worth proposition
The worth generated to users by using the product
Identify the market segment
To whom and for what purpose is the product useful; specify how revenue is generated.
Define the value chain
The sequence of activities and information required to allow for design, production, marketing, delivery and support for its product or service.
Estimate the cost structure and profit potential
Using the value proposition to identify profit potential
Describe the position of the firm with the value network
Who and what are your link suppliers, customers, accompaniments and competitors in your niche market.
Formulate the competitive strategy
How will you gain and hold your competitive advantage over competitors or potential new entrants.
Using both a business model and strategy, building a home business takes hard work and persistence, but it’s a whole lot easier to make money at home when you have a blueprint to follow.
These proven strategies provide a solid format so you can make money while avoiding some of the trial and error that comes with starting a business from scratch.
Use Marketing Techniques that Work
Analyze each marketing opportunity to see if it will benefit your business for the long haul.
Some advertising opportunities seem reliable, but actually soak up your dollars without any long-term results.
The type of marketing that’s worth trying is the type that attracts targeted customers, that can possibly help you make multiple purchases and refer others to your business.
Example: If you sell e-books about home business, target those who are interested in starting a home business and who might also be able to share your products with other home business owners.
Once you assess how the market forces are affecting competition in your industry and their underlying causes, you can identify the underlying strength and weaknesses of your own business. And by doing so, determine where you stand against each force and then establish a plan of action.
Positioning the company
Match your strengths and weaknesses to industry, build defenses against competitive forces or find a position in the industry where forces are the weakest.
You need to know your capabilities and the causes of the competitive forces.
Influencing the balance
Take the offensive, for example use innovative marketing to raise brand identification and distinguish your product.
Exploiting industry change
An expansion of industry can bring changes in competition.
For example, in an industry life-cycle growth rates change and/or product segregation turns downward. If you can anticipate shifts in the factors underlying these forces and respond to them there are huge profits to be made.
What are the trends that govern the market you’re in and what is their influence on the market?
Advertising campaigns that don’t work are those that promise thousands of visitors to your website, but offer no promise that these visitors are remotely interested in your products.
Some advertising sites will allow you to choose your category for targeting, but the categories are so vague that there’s no guarantee you’re reaching a target audience.
These programs seem very cheap, however are usually very wasteful and disappointing.
Use Targeted Marketing
Make the most of your advertising dollars by finding very specific (or targeted) campaigns.
These can be paid media buys using keywords, such as classified ads, content article marketing, and e-zine advertising.
Each of these methods can be costly, but they can also be very targeted. So, you’ll reach your audience and have more of an opportunity to sell your products and gain repeat business.
If you want to make money online, it’s essential that you find highly targeted methods of marketing.
Once your home business is established and you begin to make sales, use every opportunity to up-sell your customers.
This means offering an additional item or service to your customers each time they make a purchase.
Customers are more likely to add an extra product while in the middle of a purchase than to return later.
You can up-sell using squeeze pages or check boxes on the order form. Either way, you’re encouraging customers to buy more during each visit, which can increase your bottom line.
Build for the Future
Always give customers the best service possible so they will buy from you again.
This is crucial element to building a lasting and successful business.
The easiest customers to reach are those who have already bought from you before. Repeat customers represent an opportunity for you don’t only want to make money now, but also in the future.
Make certain that your customers are respected and the quality of your product and service is first class and they will show you loyalty and trust each time they need your business.
Treat every customer as though they’re going to spend hundreds of dollars with you over the next few years and your home business will grow.
Use Other Tools to Make Money
Having a home business doesn’t mean you can’t use some of the same tools that other businesses use.
Create business cards, thank you cards, brochures, sales letters, and referral cards to send to your clients.
These can go a long way and can continue selling for you when you’re not able to speak face to face with a client.
In addition, keep your website up-to-date and follow up with clients using e-mail.
Create a newsletter and offer useful tips based on what your customers need. This is a great way to get customers back to your website without using pushy tactics.
Whether selling e-books, software, or other products and services, keep your business name before the customer as much as possible.
So if you are starting a business, despite the work involved, a plan can prepare you for the obstacles ahead and help ensure your success.
A plan is something that many small businesses fail to create; however, many owners are adamant that having a well written action plan is one of the keys to their success.
Creating a plan forces you to consider possible obstacles to your business and helps prepare you to find solutions that will assist you to overcome them.
Taking the time to do this gives you a measuring tool to verify if your business is growing properly. You can gauge your success on how close to the plan your business has actually performed.
Perhaps you’ll do worse, or perhaps you’ll do better, either way it helps you determine how well your business is getting on.
If you have never seen a business plan before you may be concerned that is too difficult a proposition for you to manage on your own.
If that is the case then we have a marketing action plan that you can follow. It is based on proven methods and strategies that will help you take those vital steps toward creating a successful business.
A business plan will be an essential guide and silent business partner indicating where you need to improve and helping you stay one step ahead of your competition.
Make it a priority to have this crucial road map for your business.