Online Business - options, tips & other

Making Money Online Essentials – A Business Plan

Hi I’m KerryAnn and these are my thoughts for a business plan and making money online.

Do you have a business plan?

Making Money Online Essentials - A Business Plan

I believe that if you want to start a business you should do a business plan.

It does not need to be a one hundred page document, but rather an outline of what you want to achieve and what steps you will need to take to get there.

It is similar to setting your own goals and is different for every business.

In the online world it is easy to get caught up doing lots of things that may help, but then get side-tracked and head in many different directions. There is so much information out there and so many different ways to go about things.

Is the information up to date?

There are also so many gurus in cyberspace that it is hard to work out what is a good tip and what is an outdated tip. Sites and search engines continually change the way they look at the data and what worked a couple of years ago may not be accurate for today.

Likewise, sites can change the rules and you need to be informed of what you can and can’t do today within the site. Unfortunately, people do not go back and update or delete old data. This means you can be on the wrong track because you found information that is outdated.

The internet is a continual revolving door and if the information you receive is out of date, you will either be thrown out on the pavement or will continue to go around and around not knowing how to steer yourself in the right direction.

I am a novice, so I have been on the roundabout for the last couple of years trying to find direction. I have joined many programs, purchased software, read heaps of books and information, read blogs and surfed anywhere between 20 and 60 hours most weeks.

Some weeks I have been working 7am-9pm every day, stopping only to shower, go to the loo & eat. And I am still just starting. I’m sure I have probably forgotten more than has sunk in.

Are you on a limited budget?

Some people mock those who are on a limited budget who try to find ‘free’ information simply because they want people to buy their, often expensive, product. I believe, however, that people should gain as much free information as they can.

This way you can try different ideas and try to improve your knowledge. If you are able to access a better information base then you can make better buying decisions rather than being swayed by sales hype and adrenaline.

This is why I aim to eventually set up an information website with some free up to date content and software recommendations to help those just starting out with information and ideas along with a low-cost membership section so I can have a community of people gathering and sharing information.

This would also have my tips on various aspects of making money online.

I hope that I can help others to find direction by sharing my findings. Of course, as time passes I may find different ways to do things and the web will continue to offer different software and throw up walls to climb over, but I aim to succeed.

So, like any bricks and mortar business a plan of operation should be a must. It will be constantly changing as you evolve your business.

How can you get started on your business plan?

Firstly, your product can determine your business premises style. Therefore you do need to work out whether you want to do entirely digital or have a physical product or a combination of both.

An example would be an e-book about dog training, a blog about some (not all) things you talk about in the book without giving away the entire secret, and/or a website selling dog leads and treats.

Do I need a website for my business?

Making Money Online Essentials - A Business Plan

Many businesses will require a website of some description.

If you are selling your own products, you will need an e-commerce website with a shopping cart so that people can find your products and buy them from you.

If you choose to sell on a platform such as eBay or Amazon, it is still recommended that you have a website.

This website could be to promote your products and encourage people to purchase from the online platform.

It could be a website to make you look legitimate to potential suppliers and product manufacturers.

Your website is your online business card and gives you credibility. this

How do I set up a website?

The best way to set up a website, in my opinion, is through a website called Wealthy Affiliate. Despite the name, it is a website that teaches you to build a website from scratch.

The focus is on building a blog and promoting products through affiliate marketing, however, there are many other features and many members have e-commerce websites and online business that promote through other mediums such as email marketing and social media.

I built a website within this platform simply to have a website to show suppliers when I visited China trying to source products to sell on Amazon.

What else is available in Wealthy Affiliate?

Making Money Online Essentials - A Business Plan

I have a website for my Australian business and another for a brand name that I use simply to have an online business card.

Each website is hosted and backed up within my Wealthy Affiliate membership.

I currently have five websites, including this blog, and it costs me about US$1 a day. Much cheaper than paying hosting and backup elsewhere. I do need to pay an annual fee for each domain name, but I would have to do this even if I did not have a Wealthy Affiliate membership.

You can find a full review of this wonderful website in my blog post What is Wealthy Affiliate all about – this may shock you.

What is your business premises?

You need to work out what your main premises will be. (website, sales platform, email list, subscription site, software, blog etc). It can vary depending on your product. You can then decide if you wish to add extra premises to work alongside the main one.

You need to then work out whether you need others to help you deliver your product or service. This could be a human employee in person or virtual assistant, freight companies or perhaps digital delivery companies.

What equipment is required for your business?

There may be equipment such as phones, internet, packaging, insurance, software, legal and accounting, office supplies and the like. All businesses have running costs.

An internet business should be treated as a business if you wish to make money from it. If you wish to make money then you need to be professional.

Selling goods out of your garage is fine, but you need to ensure that they arrive on time, are legal and are working as described. You still have to source the products and advertise them.

If you ever wish to change your lifestyle and give up external work you need a business to help you do so. A business which helps you live well is much better than one which just gives you a job.

A business that continues to make you money with only minor adjustments (like new product research) is the ultimate of businesses. A business which forces you to spend hours and hours each day presenting information and trying to get new customers is not my idea of a dream business.

How can people find your business?

Making Money Online Essentials - A Business Plan

Then finally, you need to work out how you wish people to find you. This is where advertising and promotion comes into play. One method is by using Pinterest and I have done a series of blog posts on setting up a Pinterest profile.

What is a Pinterest Profile?

How to pin – What to write in the description.

How to make images for Pinterest

What to pin – content is king

What is a Pinterest Dream Board?

Pinterest marketing strategy – build your Pinterest business.

Pinterest is just one of the many ways that you can promote your business. This is true of a bricks and mortar business, or an online business. There are many more.

What is your marketing strategy?

Your business plan should have a marketing strategy. My Pinterest marketing strategy is just one strategy that I am working on. I will shall all my strategies, successes and failures as I move forward building my online business.

You will also find many strategies from the blogs of members within Wealthy Affiliate. This is a community all helping each other to build their online businesses. That review page again is What is Wealthy Affiliate all about – this may shock you.

I hope you enjoyed this post. Please share on social media and spread the word. You can use the share buttons on this page.

If you have any questions please use the comments box below.

KerryAnn

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