HOW TO DEVELOP A SUCCESSFUL BUSINESS (Part 2)
Your Business Plan
Developing a strategic business plan is an essential part of
your success. Not only will it assist you in visualizing
your business strategy, but it will also give you an
organized approach to achieving your goals.
Your plan will be used as a step by step guide to assist you
in accomplishing your goals. Without a solid plan of action,
you won’t have any direction. You’ll travel in circles and
ultimately never reach your goals.
Your business plan should include all of the
Your business summary will completely summarize your entire
business strategy from start to finish.
Your business objectives will consist of a description of
your products and services, and exactly what you want to
Your marketing plan should consist of all of the following:
=> Identify your target market
If your product or service doesn’t have a market, you
definitely won’t be successful. You must identify who your
customers will be to determine whether or not there will be
an interest in what you’re offering.
Your product should not only fill a void, but should also be
unique. The less competition you have, the better. If you
enter a market in which you’re competing against hundreds of
other products similar to yours, your chance of success will
be minimal. Develop a high-quality product that fills a void
and provides people with exactly what they want.
=> Identify your competition
You must know who your competition is in order to compete.
What are they offering? How are their products priced? How
is their website designed? How are their products delivered?
In order to compete with your competition, you must
continuously keep an eye on them. Do a search at the Search
Engines to locate your competition and evaluate their
=> How do you plan to advertise?
Although setting up a website is an essential part of your
advertising plan, it is only the first step. You must
develop an advertising plan that will drive a continuous
stream of targeted traffic to you website.
Your first step will be to submit your business to the Newspapers.
Although there are many newspapers/magazines that are
constantly trying to maintain a top listing in the traffic, in my humble opinion, it’s simply a waste of time.
Each Newspaper is different and has different guidelines
in regard to how they rank them. In addition, their
guidelines change very frequently and it is literally
impossible to keep up with them. Your best option will be to
optimize your business to the best of your ability, print posters and paste as much as possible to places that are populated. Your time can be better spent using other marketing
techniques other than fighting the Newspapers’ wars.
If you really want to build your business online, you must
be willing to invest a portion of your profits back into
your business. There are many advertising opportunities
available on the Internet that will enable you to purchase
targeted advertising very reasonably.
=> How will your product or services be priced?
Although pricing your product or service may seem like a
simple task, it is a little more difficult than you may
realize. If you price your product too low, it may be
perceived as a poor quality product. Remember the old
saying, “You get what you pay for?” A higher price is
naturally perceived as a better quality product. However, if
you price it too high, your product may not measure up.
Make sure you take your time and select your selling price
very carefully. Visit your competitor sites and see how
they’re pricing their products. Test different prices to
determine the best price for your product.
=> How will your product or services be delivered?
If you’re selling a tangible or physical product, what
courier options will you offer? What courier prices will
you charge? Will you charge higher courier rates for orders
outside your state?
If you’re selling an intangible or electronic product, will
you have security measures in place? Will your product be
password protected? How will your customers retrieve your
product? Will your product delivery be automated or manual?
=> How will you accept payment?
How many payment options will you offer your customers? Will
you have a merchant account to process credit card orders?
If you don’t want to get a merchant account, will you be
using a third party credit card processing company? Which
companies will you use? Will you accept checks and money
If you decide to get your own merchant account, you will
also need access to a secure server and a shopping cart
system. A secure server will protect your customers’
information. A shopping cart system will provide your
customer with a running total of what they’ve ordered and
the total cost.
Developing an business plan will provide you with a
road map to achieving your dreams. Plan each step very
carefully and fully research your options. Plan your work
then work your plan and you’ll be well on your way to
achieving your goals.