Are you an online business entrepreneur who doesn’t know enough to write a business plan? In this article Gilad Krein, a business expert and an entrepreneur, shares a comprehensive and simple-to-follow guide to help you write your business plan from start to finish.
What is an online business plan according to Gilad Krein
An online business plan is no different from a business plan. The only significant difference is your business fully operates online. But there are different types of online business plans.
A business plan is a document that describes a business idea, its products/services, target audience, market, business model, executive leadership, staffing, profit forecast, and how it would be financed, amongst other details.
All of this information provides a background, as well as a compass for the future of your online business. Should you need investors, it would help them evaluate whether your idea is worth their money.
It’s hard to talk about an online business plan without taking excerpts from Gilad Krein’s expert advice for businesses. He opines that every online business should have a business plan whether they are seeking investors or not.
Gilad Krein explains why you must have business plan
According to Gilad Krein, a business plan is indispensable to the success of your online business. A strong plan will help your online business grow and expend. Facts, statistics, and research about online business plans show that businesses with a business plan have been able to achieve the following.
- Offer irresistible products/services.
- Sustainable success.
- Expand their businesses.
- Get Funding.
- Maximize the potential of their staff.
- Run operations profitably.
Entrepreneurs with a business plan can make apt decisions, recruit the right staff and maximize their potential. Your online business plan helps you strategize and choose a unique selling point that keeps you steps ahead of the competition.
A business plan puts structure in place and forecasts the firm’s potential. Staff can drive their energy towards set goals. From a business plan, the leadership can continually make decisions that align with long- and short-term goals.
How would Gilad Krein write an Online Business Plan?
Gilad Krein has lots of emails and appreciation from business owners for his expertise shared via his blog.
It’s worth it that we consider how he thinks an online business plan should be written. We will augment this with information from other reputable sources.
Follow this step-by-step guide to write your online business plan.
- Executive Summary
Kick-off by writing an executive summary of your company. Think of it as an elevator pitch detailing the most important information you would need to sell your vision to staff, investors, or lenders.
Your executive summary should include business concept, goals, vision, product description, target market, marketing strategy, current financial state, projected financial state, and the team.
This is a crucial part of your online business plan; make it brief (no more than a page), and don’t leave out important details. Since it’s an overview of the entire document, we advise you to write it last.
- Describe your company
Entrepreneurs should aim to describe what the company is about and what they do in this section. It’s good that you detail the core values, ideologies, and perspective that drives your operations.
Other information to include are name, business and tax ID numbers, business structure, business model, industry, licenses, permits, value proposition, legal structure, history of your company, long and short-term goals, and the number of employees.
- Perform a market analysis
This section of your online business plan should provide a detailed market analysis report. Market analysis gives concise and precise information about your target audience, market size, market potential, informed guesses, and competitive analysis.
Thorough market analysis would make your idea investment-worthy. Also, failure to perform a market analysis would reduce your chances of success in the market.
- Outline the management and organization
In this section, you seek to prove that you have a structural organization that guarantees productivity. It’s also an excellent way to show off the leadership and their expertise in various crucial aspects of your operations, products, or services.
It’s essential to add your company’s legal structure, organizational chart, roles & responsibilities. Entrepreneurs should not leave out plans for incorporation (would it be a sole proprietorship or limited partnership?).
- List your products and services.
Already talks about your products/services would surface in other areas of your online business plan. In this section, you’d want to talk extensively about your products/services and make future projections about them.
Gilad Krein suggests that It’s best to state intellectual properties, how products are made, sources for materials, and every information you think your customers should know about your product. It’s a crucial part.
- Perform customers segmentation
This part details crucial information about your target market. It ranges from an extensive study of your target market to the classification of different people within the spectrum of your target market.
Your customer segmentation is a report of a thorough study of your potential market and its needs. There are various ways to segment your target audience depending on your products/services.
It’s common for segmentation to happen according to where they live, age range, level of education, where they work, the technology they use, values, engagement on social media platforms, Community networks, beliefs, earnings, behavioral patterns, how they spend their free time, etc.
- Define a marketing plan
Your market research and customer segmentation inform a marketing plan. In this section, entrepreneurs should detail their marketing strategy to reach out to their target market. This part of the document should include current and future projections for marketing to your target audience.
Key aspects your marketing plan should cover include the 4P’s of marketing. Information should be tailored towards your offer’s price, product, place and promotion to your potential customers.
- Provide a logistics and operation plan
An operational plan describes the workflow to bring your business idea to fruition. This aspect of the document should include important information, like suppliers, production, equipment, facilities, etc.
Depending on your business model, you may add information about inventory, shipping & fulfilment, or other specific operations.
- Make a financial plan.
Your financial plan should detail your company’s income statement, balance sheet, and cash flow. A financial plan reveals the financial health of your company. Only an organization that is afloat financially can hit its short and long-term goals or financial projections.
Write your online business plan today! It doesn’t have to be perfect; you can make a rough draft and hire a professional to brush it up.