Here comes the good part, and I must say that it’s actually fun too.
To create a blog, you’ll have to do research on your target market, figure out the operational and start-up costs, and so on. So why not document those things along the way, in a business plan that guides you, and provides a reference for the future?
Step 1: Business idea
In this section, you will have to note down what your business idea is. To make it more fun, write down how you actually zeroed down on your business idea. Make it short: don’t go over one page. In fact, try not to go over half a page.
Example: “My business idea is to start an online store which will sell superman merchandise to kids. I wanted to do this since my children love Superman toys and there isn’t any store that exclusively sells them online. I can entertain my kids as well as make some profit. I’ll use my blog to engage my customers and build a loyal following.”
Step 2: Business requirements
What does your business or blog require to get started? What is the timeframe in which you expect each task to be completed? It’s good to make an Excel spreadsheet and paste it into your business plan so you have all the information in the same document.
Don’t include costs here. When it comes to the timeframes you’ll need to factor in, be realistic. Optimism is good, but your business decisions needs to be based on facts.
Example for small blog business: “My online store will be ready in approximately three months’ time. I’ll also need the help of some web designers and developers to build my online store. Then I need to get a decent hosting for my business website.
“I will spend three hours a day on this project, as I have a full-time job as well. For my blog, I’ll write the contents. I’ll also hire an editor to manage the content of this site (and occasionally contribute to it while I am busy with my main business).”
- “Designing the site: 15 days (I am smart so I’ll use the StudioPress theme for my blog—the one that powers problogger.net)
- Coding for the site: 45 days
- Tweaks: 5 days
- Setting up merchant account with : 5 days
- Getting necessary stock: 10 days
- Planning for the launch: 1 day
- Hiring people to maintain my business: 10 days”
“So that makes it a total of around three months for the site to go live. I’ll also need to put some money aside for this. I think I have it in my savings account. If not, maybe I’ll ask my wife really nicely.”
See how I broke down the requirements into smaller requirements? This makes it easier to adjust your plan if something goes off track. Also, don’t try to be formal in the way you phrase things. Your business plan is for your reference, not for someone else.
Step 3: Business model
There are many business models you can choose from. Normally for ecommerce stores, the business model is kind of traditional: you make a product, then customers pay for items they want. But in certain businesses, the model may be different. For your blog, your business model might be selling services, selling other peoples products for commission (affiliate marketing), or something else.
Whatever it is, make sure you have a very clear idea about how you are going to make money from your business. This is very important.
Example 1: “I’m going to use my online store to sell products. I will get product from <insert your vendor here> for a nice discount if I buy in bulk. Then I will sell it for a slightly higher price.