Remember back in 1994 when the big boom happened, and then the big bust! A funny thing has been happening lately, and it appears to be picking up speed, especially in the main stream. Now this may seem like old news, or you might even think, well DUH! I wrote a long while back I wrote a 2 part article that, everyone will eventually be an affiliate marketer of something, and part 2 is here – the future of business is an online business, and it’s easier than ever for anyone with a laptop and an Internet connection to beat the big guys. If you haven’t considered starting an online business, ask yourself one thing, how long will you be working at your current job (if not self-employed), even if you are forced into retirement, you’re probably going to need to continue generating revenue somehow.
Let’s say you’re 50 an older, what will you do if you suddenly find yourself out of work? This isn’t fear mongering, it’s real, and it’s becoming more and more common each passing day, are you prepared, is it even on your radar.
This morning I received an email from a firm pimping a series of eCommerce Tutorials to build an online store, this is the list in the email:
– Build a product catalog
– Create a shopping cart
– Manage product options
– Add checkout
– Learn about payments
– Compare gateways
– Learn about shipping
– Learn about hosting
Anyway, you get the idea. I would suggest these are not the items most people want to know how to do when just getting started, at least they shouldn’t be. Mostly because, and I’m generalizing so don’t get all out joint. Most people struggle more with what business to start, and want some kind of assurance the thing will make money and succeed. But those topics may help you, they aren’t the place to start in my humble opinion.
I like to do my grocery shopping early in the day, like 6AM early…not because I like mornings, but I like it when the store is dead slow : ) I happen to go down the magazine isle, I noticed a rag with big bold letters, and it said,”Step By Step – How To Setup An Online Business 2014″, this is a mainstream well know magazine to boot! Yes I opened it up and started to review it. Now, considering that I make my living online, I’m often curious about how mainstream views this Internet online business thingy, and I was also curious about what they were teaching. I don’t have the time and frankly I’m not convinced you sit here and read it all if I wrote it, but let’s just cover some points anyway.
The magazine broke it down into four areas, Planning, Building, Selling, and Marketing. I’m not going to go into details, there’s just far too many topics to cover for a blog post.
The Planning sub-section heading was, Start The Right Business and had 13 sub-topics from going into business to finding money. I have to admit I was surprised how much they covered, and how much I actually have used over the years teaching clients and in my workshops. One area that caught my attention was called, “Why An Internet Business”. You probably have your own reason’s but, the biggest reason is, you can reach billions of buyers from your bedroom, or wherever you want to work from.
This also had 13 sub-sections from finding a home for your business to creating an app for your business, the main heading was titled, “Create The Right Website”. This section was mostly about the technical stuff, should you use WordPress, where to host your site, good web design, registering domain names, getting your site written, video & sound, and creating an app for mobile devices.
Maximise Your Sales is the main Title for some 14 sub-sections. How to set up on eBay to making money from your own Amazon shop.
The sub Title, “Find New Customers”, I’ll admit everyone wants to know the answer, but most don’t want to do the work. This topic has 24 sub-sections, I told you there was lots of work, from an introduction to marketing to making your business thrive.
The reason I mention these two situations is because a new NORMAL has revealed itself, the second industrial age is now real, the second industrial age is you doing business online, we’re talking about it more, it’s being written about in almost all the mainstream magazines, and it has been taught online forever, the business landscape has changed! For years you have seen magazines convincing you to go into business for yourself (Bricks & Mortar), today, it’s about going into business for yourself online (Clicks & Pages). Where are you in this journey? If you need more information, the first thing to do is, sign-up for my Future Of Business updates on the right side bar, then take some time to read my blog, I’ve shared about this and much more.
Remember, the future of business is online!
If you must write a business plan, you just can’t move forward without one, keep it simple. Don’t think in traditional terms, just do a simple business plan, something you can refer to as a guide. Here are 8 points to consider if you MUST write a business plan:
- Executive Summary – I would write it after you’ve done the next 7 points. Keep it short, one page.
- Company Description – Legal establishment, history, start-up strategy, etc.
- Product or Service – Describe what you’re selling. Focus on customer benefits.
- Market Analysis – You should know your market, customer needs, is there a need, where they are, and how to reach them.
- Strategy & Implementation – Be specific. Include management responsibilities with dates and budgets. Make sure you track results.
- Internet Strategy – For E-Commerce, include development costs, operations, and sales & marketing plans.
- Management Team – Describe the organization, and the key management personnel.
- Financial Analysis – Include your projected profit and loss, and cash flow tables.
You could have someone review this plan to ensure it’s a viable business, be sure this person or firm is capable of doing so. Be careful here, you could get stuck trying to make it perfect, don’t, just write as briefly as you can, unless you’re applying for funding, they want all the details.