Your Internet Business Plan in 5 Easy Steps

Many people wonder if they need an internet business plan before starting a new venture? The answer is yes, but not like you would learn from a business school professor.

I’ve seen far too many new entrepreneurs spend weeks working on an internet business plan. It should only take you 2-3 hours tops. What’s important is that you start taking action FAST and get to your first paycheck quickly.

I thought it would be useful to share with you the same plan that I use when starting a new internet business. It’s simple. It’s fast. It’s proven.

All you need is the following five questions.

  1. What do you want from your business?
  2. Who is your target audience?
  3. What channel will you use to communicate with your audience?
  4. How will you get the attention of your audience?
  5. What product or solution will you offer to your audience?

We also call this outline the Online Business Freedom Formula. Notice there’s no mention of executive summaries, legal structures, capital needs or any jargon best left in MBA school.  Let’s take a look at answering each of these five questions.

What Do You Want from Your Business?

Your business needs to fit who you are and provide for the goals you have in life. Otherwise, your motivation will disappear over time. The last thing you want is to create another job. Your business should be fulfilling. Here are additional questions to help you with this section.

  • What are your strengths?
  • What activities fulfill you most?
  • What are you and aren’t you willing to do in your business (e.g. wear a tie, hire employees, etc.)?
  • What kind of lifestyle do you want your business to provide for?
  • Do you want to be the face of the business or do you prefer to remain in the background?
  • If you look forward three years, what needs to have happened in your business for you to feel happy?

If you know what you want first, your chances of success increase greatly.

When I started my business, I knew I needed it to be flexible enough to let me set my own hours, work from home and live wherever I wanted in the world. I also wanted to take advantage of my love (and talent) for teaching. Another important factor was to work with new technologies that would keep things exciting.

Teaching business skills to new entrepreneurs through the Internet allow for all of those things.

Who is Your Target Audience?

Most business plans will have you start out by describing your product. Sadly, this is a backwards approach. The surefire way to make money is to find a hungry crowd of potential buyers, find out what they want most and then sell it to them.

This is why you have to define your audience before you even consider what you’re going to sell. Here are some questions to guide you.

  • Who do you enjoy associating with most?
  • What kind of people often ask you for help?
  • Who do you like to serve?
  • Who do you do your best work with?
  • If you could change the lives of a specific group of people for the better, who would it be?
  • Do they have an urgent pain or an irrational passion? What is it?

For me, it was most fulfilling to work with people who felt stuck in their current employement (or self-employment) and wanted to find something that allowed for more freedom and fulfillment.

Essentially, I wanted to work with people that were in the same position I was in 2002 when I hated my job and was looking for a way out. Seeing the profound changes in the lives of those kinds of people is thrilling to me.

What Channel will You Use to Communicate with Your Audience?

Once you have chosen your audience, the key to making money is to build up a loyal following of those people. You need to develop a strong relationship of trust. The more you get to know their pains, passions and needs the better you can serve them. The better you serve them, the more money you will make.

In order to build a following and your relationship with them, you need a channel to communicate with regularly. The exciting thing about doing business on the internet is that easy-to-use, fun and inexpensive channels are everywhere.

What do I mean by a channel? Examples include blogs, Twitter, Facebook, podcast, e-mail list, YouTube, Facebook Ads, etc. With time you should use a combination of as many of them as you can. To start you should choose one or two.

We recommend starting an internet marketing site with a blog and building an e-mail list from the people that visit it.

How Will You Get the Attention of Your Audience?

Of course, to build an loyal following for your blog and e-mail list, you have to get the attention of your ideal audience. The easiest, most powerful and most inexpensive way to do this on the Internet is by consistently creating useful content that your target audience can’t live without.

This is easy to do by posting articles to your blog. By posting valuable articles regularly, you will show up in the search engines, get shared on social media sites, be referred by word-of-mouth and attract an audience of loyal readers. The first question is:

  • How often will you post?

This depends on your time, your audience and the type of content that you chose. A good rule of thumb is 2-3 times a week.

  • What should you post about?

The quickest way to gain the attention and trust of your target audience is to solve their most burning questions. Here is an easy formula for writing your first ten posts.

  • What are the top five things you get asked all the time by your audience?
  • What are five things you wish your audience would, but they don’t know to ask it?

The answers to those ten items make up your first ten blog posts.

What Product or Solution will You Offer to Your Audience?

Being an entrepreneur is one of the best things in the world. It’s almost like magic. You get to create new value where it didn’t exist before. This is where you make money. You get paid for the value that you create.

You do this by creating a solution (a course, e-book, video series, webinar, etc.) that solves the most pressing problem or fulfills the most important goal of your audience.

How do you know what it is? You ask them. Post the question to your blog. Send it out to your e-mail list. Ask them…

  • What are your two most pressing questions about ______ ?

You can also look to see what is already selling in the market. You don’t need to break new ground. In fact, it is easier not to. If something is already selling, that means that people want it and it’s profitable. Create your own version of what is hot in the market. Put your own spin on it.

Take Fast Massive Action

Once you complete the plan above (and remember it should only take 2-3 hours) you are ready to get started. Don’t stop to design a logo. Don’t worry about whether you have chosen the right audience. Don’t stall by thinking you need a more complex plan.

There is only one thing you need next…

Your first sale!

With this plan in hand, you are ready to take action.

  1. Launch a site
  2. Create consistent content
  3. Attract a following
  4. Ask them what they want
  5. Make a sale

Get into the market and test the idea out. Make big things happen! Our Academy training walks you through this process step-by-step.

Have I missed anything? What suggestions or questions do you have about creating an internet business plan? Share in the comments below.

Comments

  1. Hey Jay thanks for this info. Also I love your podcasts. I recently started taking this advice to heart and created a blog for my Speed Reading niche. I am a speed reading instructor offline and it’s about time I try to build the same asset online as I did offline. this plan is really helpful to get me going.

    Thank you,

    JOe

    • Talk about “just in time” learning! I’m trying to find “the best” way to learn speed reading quickly! Where do I start and what is the fastest way to learn it? I read A LOT and I strangely don’t want learning speed reading to get in the way of my constant learning, but I know I need to in order to read MORE books, so I want the quickest way to do it. What do you suggest, even if it’s a mindset shift!

    • Speed Reading is a great niche. Glad to help!

  2. How do I get access to first 50 podcasts?

  3. Great post jason,i will definitely impliment these steps in my business hope so i will get good respons of audience.
    Thanks for post jeson and keep sharing ur idea’s through your post..

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