Creating a Business Plan
1. Decide on the products or services your business will provide.
- For example, let’s say you’re a trained graphic designer with experience in web design. You might use these skills to start a web-design business.
Tip: When deciding what products or services to offer, consider if you want your career to be exclusively online or if you want to create physical products, such as arts or crafts.
2. Determine how much time you can spend on your business daily.
- Since it will likely take time for your business to become successful, it may be best to start out part-time.
- Some businesses may be more flexible than others. For instance, freelancing as a web designer or selling crafts may allow you to work when you want, while jobs like consulting may require you to work around a client’s schedule.
3. Do market research to find out if there’s demand for your product or service.
- For instance, you might call local businesses to ask if they’d be interested in hiring a freelance marketing consultant to run their social media accounts.
- If you’re selling a product, you could show it off at a local market or to friends you think would be interested in it to see what type of response it receives.
- You don’t need to do marketing research to start a business, but it can help you increase your chances of success.
4. Make sure your products and services are a good fit for an internet business.
- Financial planning
- Selling your own art, jewelry, or crafts
- Creating gift baskets
- Doing graphic design
- Offering editorial and writing services
- Being a virtual assistant
- Developing website.
5. Set a budget for starting and continuing your business.
The costs of starting your business will vary dramatically depending on the specific type of business being offered. For example, a home-based online book store requires inventory that you need to purchase. Alternatively, a service-based business may require little start-up capital. Estimate how much money you’ll need to get the basic materials for your business. Additionally, there are a few general costs that are central to most online businesses, which you need to add to your budget:
- Website hosting – Chances are good your business will require a website. Web hosts are the services that keep your website up and running. They usually cost $7-$19 per month, depending on how much technical support they offer and the size of your site.