How to Create an Effective Web-Based Business Plan

A web based business plan can be put together in quick time when you understand the basic facts. For most businesses, it is simply an approach paper outlining the route and putting the navigation tools in place. The plan will also help you to stay focused and avoid pitfalls. The following discussion will help you understand the processing of creating an online business plan.

1. Define your business

The first part of your business plan should define your business. This should provide a brief overview of the product or range of products, your approach and goals. Your perception of the market size, opportunities for growth and demand projections will also figure here. If you have any unique selling points (USP) that should be highlighted.

2. Study competition

What competition will your business face and how you propose to take the competition on should be elaborated. Analysis of the competitors’ key words and page ranks will also help to evolve your own success formula. Using competition as a means to fine tune your own business is the secret.

3. Define revenue and expenditure streams

Business should generate revenue to sustain itself and progress. How do you propose to generate the revenue? Tabulate the cost of the product, selling price, realization, expenses, provisions and profits to understand how the cash comes in and what goes out.

4. Contingency plans

Always make sure to add contingency measures to your web based business plan. Even when you are too sure that your business will not face any contingency, it is still essential to provide for a lean patch. Understand that you can always appropriate these provisions at the end of an accounting period.

Business Plan Deal Breaker Factors

Executive Summary
It all comes down to a few words. Get it right! How much money do you need and how you will protect the interest of your investors?
Why you need to know your business competitors…and make yourself stand apart from them.
What will your market penetration be?
What is the exit strategy for your business?
The ownership and form of your business: What investors will want to know.
Know your customers: Why you need to know who your customers are for the sake of your business.
How will your business protect the interest of your investors?
How will investors make money with your business?
How much money does your company need? Why you need an exact figure before you approach investors.
How easily can you be copied?
Does your business plan explain how your customers will get to know about your products and services?

What are the factors that may hold your business back or make it thrive. How to show investors that your strategy is sound.
Identifying the key milestones for your business.
How will you measure the success of your business?
Your business lifeline: What are the 10% to 20% of activities that could account for 80% to 90% of your business success?
What key relationships do you need to sustain to help your business to survive and thrive?
Outlining the long-term and short-term goals of your business.
Identifying and targeting the factors that may hold your business back and prevent you from achieving your business goals.
How can you leverage key activities for your business to produce greater results?
How are you qualified to run your business?
Explaining the organizational strengths of your company.
Discussing the factors meaningful to your customers – How to show investors that you know your customers.
Business values to guide your company.
Assessing your resources – why you need to know the current status of your company’s resources.

Business Model
What business you are in? How you will make money? What threats and opportunities exist to your survival?
Why you need to establish your track record to impress investors.
Why do you need the money, anyway? – Explaining how investor funding will be used to achieve your company’s goals.
What business you are in? Why you need to know and how you can find out!
Preparing your business the right way: Picking the right business structure for the right reasons.
Making your business venture appealing to investors.
Establishing your long-term objective for setting up and expanding your business.

Products and Services
Why will your customers buy from you? How will you show investors that you stand out among your competitors?
Your Customers: Explaining why your customers will buy from you.
What is it about your products and services? What your business plan needs to explain about the products and services you offer.
Pricing Policies: What investors will want to know about how you’re pricing your products and services.
Keeping your customers.
How are you different? Showing your Investors that you stand out among competitors.

Industry Analysis
What are the barriers to entry into your business?
The Face of the Competition: Knowing your competitors, direct and indirect.
Protecting Your Business: What you need to consider about trademarking, copyrighting, and patenting.
Knowing your market and which factors are important to customers, clients, and partners.
How large is the industry that your business competes, or plans to compete in?
Finding your unique selling point.
Explaining the factors that affect your target industry.
Explaining government regulations that affect your industry – points your business plan should cover.
Business Planning: Barriers to Entry.
Assessing your business competition: How many companies are expected to enter your industry in the future?
Assessing the long-term security of your business – How long will it take an existing competitor or new entrant to overcome your business model’s advantages for stakeholders?

Market Analysis
Knowing your target markets and identifying them for investors.
Your market development timeframe and why it is important.
What investors want to know about your market: Is your market growing?
What are the sales trends in your market for the last 5 yrs?
What are the growth prospects of your market and what are the future sales trends in your market for the next 5 yrs?
Validating your business plan: what investors want to know about the research you have done to develop your business idea.
Specifying your markets: explaining to investors where you are going to be doing business.
Searching for untapped markets: Why you should do business with the customers everyone else ignores.
Purchase Values: What are your estimates?
Planning Your Business: How to assess the annualized market size in 2-4 years.
Knowing your target markets (and identifying them for investors).
Identifying key prospective purchasers.
How much of your target market do you intend to capture with your business?
Distribution, Promotional Methods, and Marketing Expenditure levels.
Describing historical shifts in your industry: key points for investors.
Assessing the seasonal aspect of your market.
Assessing the resilience of your business: Is the industry cyclical with the economy?
Assessing regulatory and structural restrictions on trade.

Competitive Analysis
Knowing whether your market is fragmented and why it matters to investors.
Who are the top three competitors for your business?
What are your competitors’ marketing strategies?
What are your competitors’ channels of distribution and why do they matter?
Knowing whether your market is fragmented and why it matters to investors.
Improving upon your competitors’ product offerings.
How do your competitors promote their business and why investors want to know.
How are your competitors competing? Recognizing the most important factors for your business.
Establishing your ‘market share goals’: how much of the market do you intend to capture and how fast?
Developing your pricing strategy: how to make sure the pricing of your goods or services is competitive.
Assessing the size and strength of your competitors.

Sales and Marketing Plan
Launching your business into your target market: how to prepare an initial market entry and development strategy.
Forecasting your marketing and sales expenses.
Developing a contingency plan for sales.
Creating a pricing model.
Building your sales team.
Building your marketing team.
Budgeting your sales and marketing.
Breaking down your marketing and sales budget.
Applying the 80-20 rule for profitability.

Management and Talent
Identifying your weaknesses and convincing investors you can compensate for them. Highlighting your talent acquisition strategy.
What is it you do? Why and how you should explain your role in your business.
Outlining the strengths and weaknesses of your management team.
Identifying your weaknesses and convincing investors you can compensate for them.
Creating your management team.
Building your business: how many employees do you need?

Risk Management Contingencies
Planning for the worst-case scenario: How will you mitigate any setbacks, delays, or unforeseen delays to your execution strategy?
What is your “plan B” if you cannot execute your business plan?
What are the inherent and perceived risks to your business?
What are the final projections for the first year of your business?
Planning for the worst-case scenario: How will you mitigate any setbacks, delays, or unforeseen delays to your execution strategy?

Exit Strategy
Planning for the best and worst case scenario: what are the possible outcomes for your business?
Show me the money: assessing how much of a return your investors can expect.
Planning for the best and worst case scenario: what are the possible outcomes for your business?
How organized are you with your financial data?

How Do I Build a Winning Business Plan? – Part 2

Competitor Analysis – Keep it Real

Failure to identify competitors in your business plan is a warning sign to potential investors that either:- you’ve not done enough research; you haven’t acknowledged the competition you face; or that actually the market is not large enough to support any competition. You’re not going to find anyone to invest in your business if the latter is true.

It is much better if you acknowledge realistic strengths and weaknesses of your closest competitors, and how you will address those with your business model. It also acts as evidence to the potential investor – as mentioned above – that the market is large enough to support a number of businesses. A perceived margin of safety that there’s business there for the taking.

Competitive Analysis – Prove your barriers to entry

In the part in your business plan which addresses competition, you must cover the area known as competitive barriers.

Some businesses naturally have barriers that prevent upstart competitors from getting a look in.

Take the oil industry for example. The nature of the business is such that development costs are prohibitive and the licenses for exploring viable sites are already in the ownership of the oil majors. This acts as a significant barrier for anyone fancying to start up business in the oil industry.

This does not mean that new companies do not start, rather they are few and far between because the resources and expertise required to compete are high.

In your business plan you must identify exactly what the barriers to entry into your business are and knowing these how you will prevent any actual or potential competitors from taking a large part of your customers away from you.

Some examples of competition barriers include no availability of prime sites (take supermarkets for example), legal restrictions, import duties, expensive plant and machinery, exclusive distribution licenses etc.

It is also important to consider the situation very seriously if you identify few or no barriers to entry. This may jeopardize the future growth or even viability of your business. How could you make it more difficult for competitors to take your customers. What kinds of things could you do. Could you sign them up to longer term contracts for example? Can you protest legitimately at every planning application of new competitors etc.

Competitive Analysis – Demonstrate your advantage

It is convenient whilst analysing the competition, to turn the spotlight of analysis on yourself, and demonstrate how your competitive edge is truly razor sharp, to the point of being unfair.

The typical kinds of assets that show strong competitive advantage include patented technologies and processes, proven management record of success, exclusive contracts with suppliers and customers that make it difficult if not impossible for competitors to compete on the same terms.