Write a Bankable Business Plan – Ten Action Steps

Action Step # 1

Define Your Company: What will you accomplish for others?

Write down all the specific needs your company will satisfy. Potential investors need to know that your business will be meaningful and marketable to people who can use your product or service. So concentrate on the external needs your company will meet. What will your product or service enable people to do better, more cheaply, more safely, or more efficiently? Will your restaurant make people’s palates delirious with new taste sensations? Will your new mouse trap help people capture mice without feeling sick to their stomachs? Will your new bubble gum scented bubble bath revolutionize the way children agree to take nightly baths?

Think of all the positive benefits your company will provide. Write them down. Admire them. Absorb them into your consciousness. Believe in them. These are the primary motivators that readers of your business plan will respect and value.

Action Step # 2

Identify Your Company’s Initial Needs: What will you require to get started?

Whether you want to buy an existing company with 300 employees or you can start your business by only adding an extra phone line to your home office desk, you need to make a list of the materials you’ll need. Some may be tangible, such as five hundred file folders and a large cabinet in which to store them all. Other requirements may be intangible, such as time to create a product design or to do market research on potential customers. You may need to hire an assistant to develop a retrievable filing system for the five hundred folders, or hire a consultant to set up a computer system that’s beyond your technical skills.

If you’re going to build a better mousetrap, you may have constructed a prototype out of used toothpaste tubes and bent paperclips at home, but you’ll need a sturdier, more attractive model to show potential investors. What exactly will your mousetrap look like? What materials will you need? Do you require money for research and development to improve on your original toothpaste tube and paper clip construction? Do you need to hire an engineer to draw up accurate manufacturing designs? Should you patent your invention? Will you need to investigate federal safety standards for mousetraps?

Next, do your homework. Call a real estate broker and look at actual retail spaces in the neighborhood where you’d like to open your restaurant. Make a chart of the most expensive and least expensive sites by location and square footage. Then estimate how much space you require and how much money you’ll need to allow for rent.

Make a list of all the tangible and intangible resources you need to get your business going. The total estimated price of all of these items will become your start-up cost whether you’re buying highly sophisticated computers or simply installing a new telephone line on your desk. If there’s any item in your estimates that seems unreasonably high, research other alternatives. But keep in mind that it’s better to include every element you truly need along with a reasonable estimate of the cost of each item, so you don’t run out of money or default on your loans. Be honest and conservative in your estimates, but also be optimistic.

Action Step # 3

Choose A Winning Strategy: How will you distinguish your product or service from others?

Although there are millions of types of businesses, there are actually only a few basic strategies that can be applied to make any enterprise successful. The first step in selecting an effective strategy is to identify a competitive advantage for your product or service. How will you establish that your product or service is better, cheaper, more delicious, or more convenient? How can you make your company more noticeable than your competitors? What restraints in your business or its industry might determine which strategy you choose?

Your competitive advantage may include designing special features not found in rival products. It may entail superior service characteristics such as speedier delivery, a lower price, or more attentive sales people. Perhaps you’re establishing an image or brand of exceptional quality or reputation. Does your product or service bestow a certain status on its users? Does it create more profits or other benefits for your customers’ own endeavors?

Perhaps you want to position your mousetrap for a primarily upscale market because the best design requires titanium and manufacturing costs will be so expensive only rich people will be able to afford your product. But maybe the mousetrap is so fantastically effective that wealthy people will want hundreds of them around their vast country homes and polo pony barns.

You must have a reason why your business will succeed. This is the competitive advantage your product or service will deliver. Once you’ve established the competitive advantage, you will be able to select the best strategy to reach your goal.

Action Step # 4

Analyze Your Potential Markets: Who will want your product or service?

To determine your targeted market, write down the demographics of the people who will use your product or service. How old are they? What do they do for a living? Will mostly women use your service? Is your product or service attractive to a particular ethnic or economic group of people? Will only wealthy people be able to afford it? Does your ideal customer live in a certain type of neighborhood, such as a suburb with grass lawns, in order to use your lawn mower? Answering these questions about the demographics of your prime market will help you establish the clear characteristics of the people you need to reach.

If you’re selling soap, you may believe that every dirty body needs your product, but you can’t start with the entire world as your initial market. Even if you’ve developed such a ubiquitous item as soap, you need to identify a smaller, more targeted customer group first, such as children under eight for the bubble gum scented bubble bath. If your soap only works with pumped well water without fluoride, you must acknowledge that your intended market has geographical limits as well.

Establishing the size of your potential market is important, too. This will be easier once you’ve completed the demographic analysis. Then you’ll be able to research the numbers: How many car mechanics, house painters or bathroom contractors are there in any given community? How many children in the United States are currently under the age of eight? How much soap will they use in a month or a year? How many other soap manufacturers already have a share of the market? How big are your potential competitors? And where do you find the answers to all of these questions?

Identifying your market is one of the great satisfactions of starting your own business. You’re thinking about the actual people who will use your product or service and how pleased they will be buying it as you are selling it.

Action Step # 5

Develop a Strong Marketing Campaign: How will you reach your customers and what will you say?

Entrepreneurs, especially inventors, often believe that their business concept is so spectacular that promoting their product or service won’t be necessary. Sort of a “build it and they will come” attitude, especially if what you’re building is the proverbial better mousetrap. One of the most common flaws I see in plans is the entrepreneur’s failure to describe exactly how customers will be reached and how products will be presented to them. Potential investors, staff, and partners won’t be convinced that your idea can succeed until you’ve established well-researched and effective methods of contacting your customers – and the assurance that once you’ve reached them, you can convince them to buy your product or service.

Marketing describes the way you will position your product or service within your target market and how you will let your potential customers know about your company. Positioning your company means concentrating on the competitive advantages you have identified: will your product or service distinguish itself by its superior quality, its revolutionary features or its ability to make your customers happier than they’ve ever been in their lives? Marketing helps you focus on identifying your competitive advantage so you can position your product or service. It also establishes the best ways to reach your potential customers and what to say to them.

When you have the right marketing campaign in place, you have an operating plan to gain market share, generate revenue, and bring your financial projections into reality.

Action Step # 6

Build A Dynamic Sales Effort: How will you attract customers?

The word “sales” covers all the issues related to making contact with your actual customers once you’ve established how to reach them through your marketing campaign. How will you train your sales staff to approach potential customers? Will you divide up your sales staff so some become experts in selling your bubble gum scented bubble bath to small, independent retail toy stores? Will other salespeople concentrate on developing relationships with major manufacturers so your product could be sold in tandem through their national distribution outlets? Will you have a sales force expert in buying television slots on Saturday morning cartoon shows or placing ads on the backs of kid-oriented cereal boxes?

What advertising and promotional efforts will you employ – two for the price of one specials or free coupons inside those same kid-oriented cereal boxes? Where can you locate lists of the greatest concentrations of children under the age of eight or whatever group constitutes your market?

In planning your sales activities, you will also need to answer questions such as: Is it ethical to contact your colleagues and clients from your former job as a door-to-door soap salesperson to tell them about your new business. Will you be the only salesperson in the beginning stages of your company? When will you know it’s time to hire more sales staff? How do you convince your clients that your sales staff will take care of them as well as you did? What will your basic sales philosophy be – building long-term relationships with a few major clients or developing a clientele of many short-term customers?

You will also need to consider how you will compensate your sales staff – with a base salary plus a commission? Will you hire full time staff with full benefits, or part time staff without benefits. How will you motivate your staff to do the best sales job possible?

Knowledge of your competitive advantage is just as important in designing a dynamic sales effort as it is in developing an effective marketing campaign. You’ll need to think about what product or service qualities will be the most compelling to your prospective customers. Then you’ll have to devise convincing language that clearly communicates this competitive advantage to your sales staff who will in turn use it when talking to your customers. In my experience, the most important element of an effective sales effort is having a sales staff that thoroughly understands your business and the needs or your potential customers. Therefore, your sales plan must address the issue of how you will create a sales staff that is as knowledgeable about your business as it is about your potential customers.

Action Step # 7

Design Your Company: How will you hire and organize your workforce?

By the time you’ve reached this stage of thinking about your potential business concept, you’ll probably have a good idea of the number of people you’ll need and the skills they’ll require to get your enterprise up and running. Keep in mind that your initial plans will undoubtedly change as your business grows. You may need to hire more managers to supervise your expanding staff or to set up new departments to meet new customer demands. Projected growth and expansion for your company should be mentioned in your business plan, but it’s not the primary focus. For now you want to secure help in getting started and convince your funding sources that you will become profitable.

Investors will want to know if you’re capable of running the business. Do you need to bring in experienced managers right away? Will you keep some of the existing employees or hire all new people? And where do you find these potential employees?

Funding sources will also want to know if any of your partners expect to work along side of you or if their obligations are only financial.

Your plan will need to specify the key management jobs and roles. Positions such as president, vice presidents, chief financial officer, and managers of departments will need to be defined along with stating who reports to whom. You may hope to run your company as one big happy family – and it may work out that way – but organizations require formal structure and investors will expect to see these issues addressed in your plan.

And as soon as you have employees, you need to consider how you will handle their salaries and wages, their insurance and retirement benefits, as well as analyzing the extent of your knowledge of tax related issues. As you think about hiring personnel and organizing your workforce, you must also confront your desire and ability to be a good boss. If you haven’t contemplated this aspect of your commitment to owning your own business, now is the time to give it serious consideration.

Action Step # 8

Target Your Funding Sources: Where will you find your financing?

As your business concept begins to take shape, you can begin to home in on the most likely financing sources. Issues such as the size of your business, the industry it is in, whether you are starting a new business or buying an existing one, and whether you can provide collateral to a lender are among the issues that must be considered in creating a target list of funding sources. Banks and other funding sources don’t lend money because people with interesting business ideas are nice. They follow specific guidelines, such as the RMA database, which are designed to insure that they will make money by investing in or lending to your business.

For the vast majority of entrepreneurs, the well-known, high profile means of raising money, such as through venture capital companies or by going public, are not viable options. Your own credit, credit rating, and business history are key factors in obtaining financing for your venture through Small Business Administration (SBA) guaranteed loans and other bank credit. Your ability to tap into your personal network of friends, family, and professional contacts is crucial to raising money beyond what your own personal funds or credit can provide. In all of these cases, there are important considerations such as the potential impact on relationships when family and friends become investors.

When you have completed this process of identifying the likely potential funding sources and writing a bankable business plan that addresses their needs and answers their questions (even before they ask them!), you will have greatly increased the likelihood of obtaining the financing you need.

Action Step # 9

Explain Your Financial Data: How will you convince others to invest in your endeavor?

The accuracy of your financial figures and projections is absolutely critical in convincing investors, loan sources and partners that your business concept is worthy of support. The data must also be scrupulously honest and extremely clear. Since banks and many other funding sources will compare your projections to industry averages in the Risk Management Association (RMA) data, I’ve stressed throughout my book how you can use the RMA figures to test your projections before the bank does. Your numbers will be more credible if they compare reasonably to the industry averages.

The actual number crunching portion of your business plan is the place to discuss how and why you need certain equipment, time or talent, how much these items will cost, when you expect to turn a profit, and how much return and other benefits your investors will receive.

More new businesses fail because they simply run out of cash reserves than for any other reason. Investors lose confidence in the entrepreneur and the business and become reluctant to invest more when projections are not met. Had the projections been less optimistic and the investors asked to invest more in the beginning, they probably would have done so. In most cases, proper planning and more accurate projections could have avoided this problem completely.

Your business plan should clearly state the amount of funds you need, how soon you require them, and how long before you start repaying investors. You should also explain what type of financing you hope to acquire, either equity (such as through the sale of ownership shares in your company) or debt (such as loans to the company).

If you’re planning to buy an existing business or already own a business you would like to improve or expand, you will also need to provide a detailed historical financial summary of how well – or poorly – the business has done in the past. This analysis should also include a comparison of this venture’s financial performance compared to the industry standards.

Action Step # 10

Present Yourself in the Best Light: What are your qualifications for bringing your plan to fruition?

The talents, experience and enthusiasm you bring to your enterprise are unique. They provide some of the most compelling reasons for others to finance your concept. Keep in mind that investors invest in people more than ideas. Even if your potential business has many competitors or is not on the cutting edge of an industry, the qualifications and commitment you demonstrate in your plan can convince others to proffer their support.

Your resume will be included in the separate appendix of exhibits at the end of the plan, so this is not the place to list every job you’ve ever had or the fact that you were an art history major in college, especially if these experiences have no direct bearing on your ability to start your own business. But it is the place to emphasize qualifying skills that may not be readily apparent from your resume.

But don’t overlook the impact being some part of your background that might even seem unrelated to your new venture. For example, having been a pilot may demonstrate that you know how to supervise a crew of people working together to make a group experience if not comfortable, at least safe. You have undoubtedly handled dissatisfied or enraged customers. Even that BA degree in art history may enable you to make your products or store more appealing to the eye.

Your unique qualifications will separate you from all the other people who have sought venture capital for similar ideas. Boasting about these skills is not hubris; it indicates that you have a highly honed business savvy.

7 Steps Effective Strategic Planning Process

This TQM article provides an insight of a typical Strategic Planning Process that was used in several organizations and proven to be very practical in implementation. the key processes of this typical Strategic Planning Process are lined up into 7 steps. Detail of each steps are illustrated below:-

Step 1 – Review or develop Vision & Mission

Able to obtain first hand information from various stakeholders (Shareholders, customers, employee, suppliers communities etc).

You may use templates to evaluate how the stakeholders think about your organization. To find out whether their action are aligned with the organization’s objectives.

To review or develop company’s Vision and Mission with the involvement of other stakeholders to ensure it is still current with the business changes and new challenges. Also use this session as a mean for communication.

Step 2 – Business and operation analysis (SWOT Analysis etc)

One of the key consideration of strategic planning is to understand internal (own organization) Strengths and Weaknesses as well as external Threats and Opportunities. These are commonly known as the four factors of a S.W.O.T. analysis.

Involvement from various stakeholders to provide their points of view about your organization is key. In the process, you will gain better buy-in from these implementers of strategies and policies.

Step 3 – Develop and Select Strategic Options

You may use templates to develop several key possible strategies to address the organization’s objectives. More important, these possible strategies are develop based on the inputs from stakeholders (step 1) and Business and Operation analysis (step 2).

It is often several possible strategies are developed and everyone of them seems important. Since it is quite normal that an organization would have several key issues to tackle, you will be able to use a proper tools to select a few from the possible strategies. You will b e able to apply several prioritizing tools as introduced in this step.

Step 4 – Establish Strategic Objectives

During this step, you will be able to view the overall picture about the organization and able to select a few strategic options objectively. Template may be used to understand various strategic options, set key measures and broad time line to ensure the selected strategic options are achieved.

While it is quite common that measures and timeline is given by top management, it is the intention of this step 4 that these measures and timeline is SMART . What it meant was Specific (S), Measurable (M), Achievable (A), Realistic (R) and Time-bound (T). when the strategic options are SMART, it will help to ease the communication toward the lower level of the organizational hierarchy for implementation.

Step 5 – Strategy Execution Plan

Many organization failed to realize its full potential of its strategies are due to weak implementation. In this Step 5, a proper deployment plan is developed to implement these strategies.

Step 6 – Establish Resource Allocation

Very often, management team assigned selected strategies to key personnel and left it to the individual to carry out the task. While most organizations operate with minimum resources, it often ends up work overloaded by individual.

Step 7 – Execution Review

One of the key success factors for an effective strategy deployment is constant review of its progress and make decision for any deviations to plan. It is vital to decide what to review and with who the review is done. New decision may be required as the status of the strategies progressed.

In summary: Follow this 7-steps in Strategic Planning will ensure various options are considered including its execution, resource allocation d and Execution Review. This 7-Steps form a complete cycle for new or existing Strategic Planning initiatives

7 Steps to Creating a Successful Small Business Marketing Plan

Small business marketing is all about determining the needs of your target market and then providing solutions to meet those needs.

These 7 steps are aimed at entrepreneurs starting a small business and those who want to create a successful small business marketing plan for an existing business.

Most small business promotions focus on how great their products and services are. Instead, you should educate your target market consistently and start building a relationship that will establish your credibility and trust. It is important to develop a marketing mindset. “Think Marketing” your products and services all of the time. It is very important to consistently market your products and services. Don’t fall into the trap of stop and go marketing. Some small business owners only market when sales are down.

You can’t have a successful small business without having a successful small business marketing plan. Effective small business marketing is the way to growth and profits

If you’re a small business owner or you want to know how to start a small business in the future, this simple 7-step plan will help you understand your business and your target market.

How to Start a Small Business Marketing Plan: 7 Steps

Begin the process by answering these questions:

1) Who — Who specifically is your target market? Who is your ideal client? What research can you do to find out more about your target market?

2) What — What products and services do your ideal clients want and need? What does your product and service do for your ideal client? What problems does your product solve for your customer? What are the solutions that your ideal client is looking for? What is your area of specialty that will differentiate you in the marketplace? What are the industry trends? What type of message will your ideal client likely respond to? What are you ultimately selling? For example: Are you selling eye glasses or are you selling vision? What is your unique mix of products and services? What is your pricing strategy?

3) Where — Where is your ideal client? Where is your customer located geographically? Where will you position yourself so they can easily find you? Where are the best places to get your marketing message to them? Will you speak to groups, hold seminars, or write a blog, newsletters or articles?

4) When — How frequently does your target market need to hear your marketing message? When are they most likely to buy your products and services?

5) Why — Why are you in business? Why do customers or clients buy from you? Why should they choose your product or service over your competition?

6) How — How does your customer buy your product or service? How are you going to reach potential buyers for your services and products? How will you communicate your marketing message? How will you provide customers or clients with the information they need to make their buying decision?

7) Marketing Mindset – Practice mastering a Marketing Mindset and you will be on the path to a profitable small business.

With these 7 steps, you can take action towards starting a small business marketing plan that targets new customers. “Marketing is about testing and evaluating your return on investment. But it’s primarily about helping people get what they want.” Master these small business marketing steps and you will be on the path to more profit and success as a business owner.

Eight Steps To The Next Level – The Business Plan, "The Engine of Small Business Development"

This is the second of a series of articles describing how small business owners and managers can drive their business growth and profitable development through the creation and implementation of a business plan.

I know the prevailing view among many small business people is that “planning” is for the larger, more substantial business and “they are too busy running their business to have time for planning”. Indeed, many small business owners are “too busy” running the business, but they ignore, at their own peril and survival, that “failing to plan is planning to fail.”

I am convinced that the small business owner will benefit from engaging in this business planning process because of the nature of carefully examining and thinking through the way their business competes and operates; – and how that will align with their determination of “what business they want to be in”.

This business planning process yields a stronger, more profitable business which provides real value to its customers and the marketplace.

The business planning process described in this article is the most logical, pragmatic and practical examination possible of the small business. This process is far from arcane or mysterious, but totally focuses on the reality of the small business environments (the business, the economy, competition, customers’ needs, wants and desires) as well as the determination and allocation of the firm’s resources).

Business Planning Process – Eight Major steps

For the past thirty years, I have successfully used the following business and strategic marketing planning process. The following process consists of eight major steps which are sequential and continuous. I will describe the nature and function of each of these steps.

This process applies to all types of organizations; regardless of size, products, services, or industry…. I have even used this process with a national religious organization.



a. Internal

b. External








With respect to the definition of your businesses’ purpose and mission, there is only one focus, one starting point; it is the customer or user of your products/services. The user defines the mission of any function or business. The question “what is our mission or purpose” “what business do we want to be in?”, can therefore be answered by only looking at your business from the outside, from the point of view of the customer or potential customer. What the user or customer sees, thinks, or believes at any given time must be accepted by your business management as an objective fact to be taken seriously.

By definition, the customer is purchasing the satisfaction of a need or want.

For example, here is a well-known and real example of a business mission which defined the way in which that company conducted its activities.

A drill bit manufacturer defined its mission as determining “what size holes customers need” their focus was directly on customer needs and not on their product specifications. They were customer-focused and very successful.

Once the mission statement has been completed develop the positioning statement for competitive advantage and prepare the USP – your unique selling proposition. “Why the business is able to provide more effective solutions and greater value than the competitors.”

2. THE SITUATION AUDIT- Internal and External

The situation audit is a description and analysis of past, present and future data (information) which provides the basis for pursuing the business planning process. It is an organized method for:

  • collecting pertinent information
  • interpreting its effect on the business’s environments (market conditions)
  • analyzing significant trends
  • projecting all pertinent factors, which could influence company activities.


The acronym WOTSUP stands for Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats and Strengths Underlying Planning. This step flows naturally from the fact base (Situation Audit). The Weaknesses and Strengths constitute an internal analysis, i.e. “what are we at good and bad at?”-

Opportunities and Threats, on the other hand, form an external analysis. From this analysis, objectives can be formulated with specific action plans designed to overcome weaknesses and threats by exploiting the business strengths and opportunities.


Assumptions make planning possible. Without the use of assumptions, planning would be almost impossible. Since planning deals with the “futurity of current decision-making” and events in the future are almost impossible to predict with unfailing accuracy; – assumptions make planning possible.


Overall objectives are the real crux of the Business and Marketing Planning Process. They deserve every last ounce of time and effort – often frustrating. The objectives form the umbrella under which the balance of the whole planning structure is built. Because of the key role they play they must be thought through and be expressed in the most specific and concrete fashion. In simplest terms an objective is… “what do you want to accomplish?” Objectives are prepared to overcome weaknesses and threats developed in the WOTSUP Analysis and to exploit the opportunities and strengths.


Once the objectives have been developed, the preparation of strategies is the next step in the process. Strategies, must explain, in a broad sense, how the objectives will be achieved.


After the objectives and strategies have been developed, describe the work to be performed. The actions must be very specific; what work is to be done, by whom, how and when.


The action programs when completed form the basis for budget preparation. The cost of each action and the revenues derived from the detailed actions generate the operating budget and cash flows for the Business Plan.

Many organizations confuse planning with budgeting. One important purpose of the budget is to ensure the business has adequate financial resources to function. Budgeting is about not failing, planning is about what is possible.

Automobile Business Plan – Four Steps to Success

Like other business plans, the contents of an automobile dealership business plan cover four primary steps towards success. These steps are “opportunity”, “capacity”, “activities”, and “results”.


The industry, customer, and competitive analysis in your business plan proves the opportunity. This should identify that customers in your local market are in need of a dealer of the type you’ve chosen to be because competitors are not fully serving their needs, or because their demographics are changing (more population, richer, poorer, more families, etc.) The opportunity could also be that a certain combination of services by your dealership could improve on what competitors are currently doing. The overall industry situation should look ahead to how the car sales market will be doing six months, one year, or more in the future, when the dealership will actually be open.


The experience of the management team, your license as a car dealer, and the financial resources the partners can bring to the table cover the capacity of the entrepreneur to jump on this opportunity. Funders reading the business plan expect that there will also be an element of cash missing from the entrepreneur’s capacity at the moment. Otherwise, they would not be reading the plan in the first place.


Marketing and operations plans cover the activities the company will engage in to bring in car buyers (and car sellers if you are a used car dealer as well), and run the business as efficiently as possible. As a small car dealer, consider how you can make up for this lack of scale, and the cost savings that come with it for dealer chains, through creativity and hard work.


Finally, the projections of business success and financial section of the plan show the results that you and investors should expect. If results take into account the full costs of the methods you’ve described, and include adequate compensation for staff and key team players, readers will be less likely to question elements on the cost side. If your revenue projections are based on reasonable, researched assumptions about the car buying behavior of your local market, then readers will be more likely to accept this side of the projections as well.

Business of Making Money Online in Nine Easy Steps

The business of making money online can be so easy that the very attempt of reading lots of information about it can even lead to much confusion and delay. This is because many people will give you different kinds of business ideas of making money online. I will briefly list nine easy steps you can follow in order to actually start making money online. At the end, you will have a focus and know that you can actually create wealth like thousands of others on the Internet by looking within, not without.

Step One: Motivation

You need to be motivated. By motivation, I mean that strong desire inside you to make money online. The easiest way to get yourself motivated is to read books on motivation. It is better to read books on motivation than on how to make money, if you are just starting out. With this, you are setting yourself on the right path to a resounding success. A book like Think and Grow Rich was the starting point of many millionaires. So, your first assignment is to read a good motivational book.

Step Two: Goals

Once you are motivated and got your mind set, the next single most important step is to set clear goals. People spend lots of money to learn how to set goals. Your country’s budget is goal setting. Your family’s financial budgetary plans are all examples of goal setting. I want to make $50,000 by the end of 2008 is a goal, but it is not clearly stated. Clearly stated goals are easily achievable. Your second important task is to get a good book on goal setting. Steps one and two will take you less than a day to get for free on the internet and read. This will sum up to give you a solid take off. With this, you will be strongly prepared for step three.


Step Three: Accessing Your skills


It is far easier to start making money from what you know than from what you don’t know. Thousands of people are already making a killing on the net from things you know. Why not look within yourself and jot down all what you know and are interested in. What did you read in school? What things are you interested in?

For example, I read Operations Research, through it, I know a lot about how to research things. Also, I am interested in reading story books, browsing, socializing, eating and preparing delicacies, visiting around the world and many more. With this listing done, you are now ready for the fun part.


Step Four: Getting a Focus

Each of the things listed above is a potential money making business on the internet. This means that you have already been where others have not, and you already know what others don’t know. You only need to do three things to turn any of those things above to money. The first is to take a single point above to start with. The second is to package it professionally. You can do this if you can read and write well. The third is to get it down to those who are highly interested in what you know. Now, let’s say I decided to focus on eating. Everybody eats right? This alone is big money. Now that you have a focus, on to step five.


Step Five: Getting a Plan

This step is very important. You cannot adequately go into the business of making money online if you do not have a plan. You must draw up a plan of how to make money with your area of focus. In my case eating. The plan should include researching into all the areas people have problems with your (focus) .In my case, eating and how other people have solved the problems others have. You will agree with me that there are thousands of eating problems as well as solutions. You should get down a solid plan of how to go about researching and documenting your findings. A quick search on free business plan templates on the net will give you a professional take off.


Step Six: Documenting Your Findings

 When it comes to the business of making money online, you don’t just take everything you see and document it. Secondly, you don’t just document them any how you like. You need certain things to assist you. It is at this stage that you will join other businesses that are related to what your report is all about and join the programs as affiliates, then put the links they give you inside your report. This crucial step can mean four to 10 extra sources of income for you.

 You also need the skill of laying out your book in a logical manner that makes it a joy to read, consistent design that pleases your customers and brings you more business, how to protect your intellectual property — no matter what you write and many more. There are professionally documented facts on these too.


Step Seven: Packaging Your Report

You will need to package your report in a way that makes it easy to distribute. To do this, you will need to know how to put your report in pdf formats, CD/DVD, videos and other forms. There are over thirty ways of repackaging your product.


Step Eight: Setting up Shop

Making money online requires a website, domain name ecommerce and auto responder services. You need to get them in place before you can start selling. They are very easy to learn and implement. Learn them well.


Step Nine: Advertising Your Business

This is the easiest part. There are 247 ways to advertise your website. You can work 1-3 hours everyday to advertise your website. You will definitely get fearful results. By fearful, I mean that you will see days when you will make money in thousands. Your only job per day is to be advertising your money making online business.

Let me conclude by saying that you should not take this as another write up. Get motivated, set clear goals, get a focus and stay focused, research, document, repackage, set up shop and advertise. These elements must certainly make you money on the internet.

Internet Marketing For Small Business – Part 2 of 5 Steps to Succeeding With Google AdWords

Continuing on from my last article ‘Internet Marketing For Small Business – Part 1 of 5 Steps to Succeeding With Google AdWords”, here are the final steps to ensuring a successful Google AdWords Campaign.

2. Understanding Quality Score:

Once you have added your keywords, Google will tell you your quality score. Its important that you have a good to great quality score in your keywords (usually rated out of 10), if you get a poor or OK quality score, it means you have done something wrong. It could be that you are bidding on the wrong keywords, that your landing page is not specific enough for those keywords or Google does not think your ad is related to your keywords or that the page you are sending people does not have those keywords in it.

The quality score will be determined from a number of things:

  • You need to have a high CTR: A high quality score must be over 1% and this will also depend on how your ads are showing up. If your ad is appearing on the 2nd or 3rd page, then this will mean your quality score is lower but if you are in the top 5 or 6 positions, your CTR should be over 1%. Therefore you need to work on getting that CTR as high as you with a baseline of 1% as the CTR. You should always get a CTR of over 1%, even as high as 15% and the way you get a high CTR is by testing. You write 2 different ads and see which ones performs better. Usually after 30 to a 100 clicks, you pick the ad that gets a higher click rate and write a variation on it. You then go on and write another ad that is different to that one and see which one performs better again (beating the control). When you have found a theme that performs very well, you can tweak your ads by adding a question mark, quotations around it, switch the descriptions lines or even change your url. You can do any of these things to tweak your ad so that you can get a higher CTR, thus a higher quality score.
  • Its Not A Bidding War….Most people when starting out with Google AdWords usually say “I want to be in the top position, at number 1 and I am willing to pay more than anyone else to be there”. This is the wrong way to go about it. It should not be a bidding war, it should be a fight over who is the better advertiser, that is what Google really wants. Google wants you to write an ad that gets the highest CTR so that they make more money ie. the more clicks, the more money you pay them. So if you can write a better ad than your competitors, Google will be very willing to reward you for that. They reward you by charging you less per click and putting you in a higher position on the page. Lets say your ad gets a 2% CTR and your competitor gets a 1% CTR, it probably means you are going to pay half as much per click and be ranked higher than your competitor because Google will know the user is having a better searching experience. Hence you should always have two ads running and check which ad is performing better. If one is performing badly, pause it, write a better ad and see if you can beat your better performing ad.

3. Tracking:

AdWords is probably the best system for tracking that exists. It is very easy with Google AdWords to set up your keywords and track how well they are performing ( i.e. by making you money). What is most important is to track whether the clicks are making you sales or converting into leads or sales. If your clicks are not converting, you are obviously just wasting money so it is very important that you track down at a keyword level which ones are making money for you. This is called keyword conversion tracking and there are a couple ways of doing it. The best way is to have Google do it for you. Google has some keyword conversion tracking code which they will allow you put it on your thank you or finished page and they will let you track a sale or a conversion.

The other way you can track conversions is by assigning a specific URL to every keyword (help can be found at the Google AdWords Tutorial). The better you understand how to track conversions, the better your results will be with AdWords. You will find that as you get more clicks on your campaign and by tracking everything, different keywords will perform very differently even though they may seem very similar. For example ‘dog training’ maybe very different to ‘train my dog’, you may find that one of them may convert much higher than the other one.

On another level, you can track conversions through the success of your ad campaigns. Some ads may perform better than other ads, for example one ad may have a price and the other may not, this means anyone that clicks on the ad with a price knows that they have to buy something when they go to that page – that ad will convert at a higher percentage than if you did not have the price on the ad. It will probably have a much lower CTR but also a higher conversion rate. This is really something that needs to be tested on every campaign to see if you are getting a return on investment because in the end the goal is to make the greatest amount of money. Track everything!

4. Bidding:

Over the years bidding has changed, it use to be bid low and then raise your bid and to see what the lowest point was. That is probably not the wisest thing to do anymore – at least not right now. Right now what I suggest is start by bidding high, what this does is allow you to get a good position on AdWords and a good CTR. As you establish the CTR, Google will recognize that you are a good advertiser and then you can lower your bid everyday to what Google is actually charging you (whilst maintaining your high CTR). What you need to figure out is whether you are getting a good returns for the money you are actually spending so if you are spending a $1 and getting $2 back – you know its worth continuing the campaign.

5. Last words:

Please don’t get emotional attached to a keyword because you ‘like’ the keyword or believe it should work. Do not expect to learn everything upfront and then go implementing a Google AdWords campaign effectively. If you have your own full time business and love what you are doing – then get a professional in to run your own PPC campaigns.

Blogging – How to Start a Simple Blog From Scratch? The 6 Simple Steps to Help You

Someone have asked me before: “I want to make some money online, but I don’t have money to even start a home business. I know I can use blogs to sell stuff, but I am not good at computers, and I don’t even know how to start a simple blog. Can you help me?” I smile. “Don’t worry”, I told him, it’s not as difficult as it seems.

Starting a simple blog with blogger.com can be a challenging task if you do not even know how to go about it. But not to worry, you can easily start a Free blog with Blogger.com and later monetize your blog with affiliate programs and ads …

Before you start to create your first blog, decide the name of your blog and get your Google email account username and password ready.

Here’s 6 simple Steps How to Start a simple Blog with a Blogger account:

1) Go to Blogger.com, and choose “Create Your Blog Now” to create your blog.

2) Create a Google Account. Do you have a Google account? If yes, just sign in with your Google account username and password. If not, create a Google Account here.

3) Enter the name or title of your blog here. For example, if your blog is on “Website Traffic”, so you may want to put “Website Traffic or How to Get Traffic to Your Website” here. Then, also, what will your your domain blog address to called? Choose a “keyword-rich title” domain preferably or an easy-to-remember domain name to reflect your personality or brand.

4) Next, choose your template. There are various great Blogger templates available, so pick your favourite template here. Click “Preview Template” here. If you don’t like your template, you can always change it later.

5) Great, your new Blogger blog has been created. Congratulations

6) Now, it’s time to write your first blog post… You can starting writing your content. If you have nothing to write, leave it, you can always come back again. Remember to “Preview” your post first before you “Publish” your blog”.

While starting your online business, you may face a bit of “hiccups” or failures along the way. However, as long as you never give up and are persistent, you should have no problem solving your online “hurdles”…

I would like to quote what Abraham Lincoln says “Success is going from failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm”. How true this is! Never lose your enthusiasm on your online business because I strongly believe that at the end of a “dark” tunnel, there is always “light”. So, have confidence in yourself, my friend, and I will see you at the top.

Easy Steps to Create a Google Email at Your Own Dot Com Free – Own a Dot Com for Free

This used to be impossible to do without paying for your own domain name, therefore, having an email at your own dot com costs.

The key to owning your own dot com email is getting a free domain name. Once you find this, setting up the email will be easy. Google just recently launched its Google Apps service providing smart business applications for email, documents, sites and more.They are willing to host your domain name for free and take advantage of their business services at no cost.

There are several companies that say they offer free domain names. Web hosting companies give free domain names as part of their hosting package. Others are just redirection services. What they really provide is a sub domain of a very short domain name. Try using this service and you won’t be able to host the domain name in any web hosting company. Why? Because you don’t really control the domain.

In order to have full control of the domain name, one must be able to control its cname, a, mx, and ns records. If you own a domain and try to host it in a free web hosting service, the host will ask you to point your domain to their name servers. Google apps will ask you to change the cname record to what they will provide. Google can also give their mx records for you to copy and paste in your domain management.

We need to find a free domain name service that supports full DNS control and domain management. One that provides free DNS and MX services.

Once you have full control of your own domain name for free, you can now sign up for a free web hosting service. Point your domain to their name servers, modify the mx record to the one provided by Google apps and presto, you got yourself a Google email at your own dot com.

All these are now possible and easily doable. Own your dot com for free and create an email address at your own dot com free.

Let’s slow down a little bit. These are what you need and look for:

1. A free domain name. You must have full control of this domain. Find a service that provides full DNS control and domain management. One that is not merely a redirection service.

2. Sign up for a good free web hosting company. One that provides own domain hosting for free. Take advantage of what they offer like large disk spaces, 100gb to 300gb bandwidth, easy to use website builder, and a Fantastico one click script installer. This is where you will host your new domain name. Get their name servers and go back to your domain management to point your domain name to the web host’s name servers.

3. Sign up for Google Apps using your domain name. Google will ask you to activate email by providing their MX record.

4. Log back in to your free web host member’s area and at your control panel, you can modify the MX record. Enter the one provided by Google.

Once completed, all you have to do is wait 24 to 48 hours for these settings to take effect. You now have your new domain name, a good web hosting service, and your Google email at your own dot com all for free. Why not build your website from here and start a new confident journey to an online business. Or just simply have fun.

The Four Steps In Your Ultimate Niche Finding Formula Give You the Product That Sells!

This article describes Tools For Marketing: specifically, the four steps in your ultimate niche finding formula that give you the product that sells!

One thing I want to emphasize right up front is this: having a niche is a good thing because it gets you to focus on one thing, and thus you can get very good at it. Main reasons people fail to be successful in the internet business are luck of having a plan, a direction, and a focused point. Therefore, having a focused point, a niche, can allow you to combine several related interests into something that is unique and solves a particular problem. In the end, having a focus and an overall goal, i.e., a niche, will make you more successful and bring you more money, long-term.

Finding your niche and the right products to promote requires a methodic way of searching for value, volume and high profit potential. The whole process has to be done right from the beginning. That is why you need a winning formula you can follow, step-by-step, from the beginning to the end. We will therefore start with the basic niche finding – niche getting – niche winning formula that you have to follow, your blueprint if you wish, that will get you results…

Below are the four steps of your ultimate niche finding formula that will maximize the potential success of your efforts to accomplish this task. They are derived from your personal interest on a topic which denotes your passion for that topic, your knowledge about the competition – because you need to know the size of the market, and your ability to do market research to find out the demand for your niche (are people out there looking for products within your niche).

1. Brainstorming a list of potential niches. As a rule, this is the first thing you need to do to determine if there has been enough interest in the market for a particular niche. The idea here is that if there is enough interest out there for a particular topic, people would have written books about it. Dummies.com is a good place to start.

2. Discover the search volume for this niche. This is the second step towards finding a profit making niche. Here is what to do: use the Google keyword tool (you can find this by Googling for it), then search for the keywords of the topic of interest – look for keywords with a very high number of global searches – 100,000, 500,000, etc. You do not want to be in the 25 million range as this niche is bound to be too competitive and therefore hard to make money with it.

3. Determine competition. In this step you want to make sure that there is a small number of paying vendors out there – paying for ads – which means they are making money. You do a Google search for key words of interest and see the number of competitors on the right hand side of Google’s web pages; must have at least 5-7 competitors.

4. Determine if there are existing affiliate products in your niche. Once you have determined that there is a niche for you out there, and enough people are searching for products in this niche, and there is some competition for that niche, meaning people are making money in this niche, then you need to look for products to promote. You do this as follows: log on to ClickBank.com – one of the biggest depositories of affiliate products, and click on “Marketplace”. Search for your keywords related to tour niche – and see if there are enough products for you to promote and sell.

There you have it. The four basic steps to find your niche, find a product for your niche, and sell it for profit!

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