I wanna build me a website!

At the v7n forum an enthusiastic programmer decided he wanted to build himself a FSBO website for the UK market. Only he gave his site description and when other forumites came back with warnings that the FSBO market was pretty tough and cornered by the big realtor franchises he obviously had no idea what FSBO stood for!!!

FSBO: For Sale By Owner, usually real estate.

It’s a term that is catching on as the industry grows and while it’s not in common conversation yet if you are planning a business you should at least know the catch phrases of the industry.

Now, I’m as guilty as the next person of throwing up a website and having a go. But if you are planning for this to be more than a hobby, for it to be a proper business then it’s essential to have a written business plan…

Over at BPlans.com they give this list:

  1. Executive Summary: Write this last. It?s just a page or two of highlights.
  2. Company Description: Legal establishment, history, start-up plans, etc.
  3. Product or Service: Describe what you?re selling. Focus on customer benefits.
  4. Market Analysis: You need to know your market, customer needs, where they are, how to reach them, etc. Include in here the competition and how they will react to a newcomer. What barriers to entry have they built up to prevent your new business harming their existing business.
  5. Strategy and Implementation: Be specific. Include management responsibilities with dates and budgets. Make sure you can track results.
  6. Web Plan Summary: For e-commerce, include discussion of website, development costs, operations, sales and marketing strategies.
  7. Management Team: Describe the organization and the key management team members.
  8. Financial Analysis: Make sure to include at the very least your projected Profit and Loss and Cash Flow tables.

Don’t be fooled into thinking that #6 is the only one that matters. All that other stuff needs to be worked out too, even if it’s just you doing the doing. After all, if you’re not working on this business you could be working on something else!

There are plenty of other sites out there offering business help and it’s important to search around for the sites that focus on your specific requirements – is it an industry, like real estate, or affiliate marketing or is geographical where you need legal advice pertinent your location.

And don’t be put off by the need to formalise your plan, it’s just a first step to success!

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Sarah King Written by:

This is my website.

26 Comments

  1. chadh
    May 3, 2006

    I work for a company that is helping in the FSBO market. emongoo.com. One of the things that I have noticed about working here is that they really know what they are talking about in every respect.

  2. December 13, 2006

    I think that’s why most affiliates fail: No business plan, just throw a site together and wait for dosh to roll in!

  3. December 13, 2006

    Nice article you have here! I have used BPlans.com before and they have some great material. I have to agree with Affiliates World, that the reason why most affiliates fail is that there is no business plan, which is vital to knowing the ROI. They send traffic to the product owner’s webpage and that’s it.

  4. December 17, 2006

    Hey thanks for that info about bplans.com. I am sure guilty of the throwing up a site and thinking about it later. I will check out the blans site now for more ideas.

  5. December 18, 2006

    This is exactly what i think about a business plan .. really nice work

  6. December 19, 2006

    Isn’t it all very well to have a business plan and go through all 8 steps before you start. After all this is what they teach in the business schools. But just the cost alone of doing it the proper way will make it a non starter for many aspiring entrepreneurs.

  7. December 30, 2006

    Yeah it’s tougher than most people think lots of time and effort needed else no mula

  8. January 6, 2007

    Successful businesses don’t happen accidentally. There may have been times that it looks like an accident, but upon closer scrutiny, the founder has made some plans and pursuing it relentlessly.

  9. April 18, 2007

    Yes.. Basically when i first started making websites, and wanted to open a business, it would never take off. This is because i never used to plan the actual business. I used to have a fully functional website with no custom. I am totally re-thinking everything now1 Business plans are very important

  10. Great Article with some sound advise. I blieeve people would enjoy much greater success if they would follow the 8 point summary you’ve listed. Advanced Planning is a key element to success in everything we do, including building a successful website….

  11. May 17, 2007

    “I have to agree with Affiliates World, that the reason why most affiliates fail is that there is no business plan, which is vital to knowing the ROI”
    so true having been in business myself…
    nice blog!

  12. May 29, 2007

    great blog with good clear advice, building a website requires alot more than just content for example page layout hidden txt and valueless sub-domains.

  13. I think if we treat an online business just like a legitimate traditional business and exert the same effort in plannning and implementing, we are one step ahead from competitors who do noty do the same.

  14. July 12, 2007

    True. Without a plan, working online can get you distracted easily. Have a plan. Stick to it.

  15. September 2, 2007

    Some take the internet busines like a hobby and expect to make millions. Sorry guys but you have to work at it . I have a camera business and like anything else it needs propre care.

  16. September 8, 2007

    Well I have lots of plans. Was harder to implement that it sounds on paper.

  17. September 9, 2007

    I went to the Princes Trust for funding the first time, they turned me down because I the plan i had done with the help of the Job center was pants.

    I had a load of help from business link who are a government backed scheme in the UK for free business advice, then I went back to PT, with a complete business plan and I got my funding.

    I think you need a BP to see what your aims and objectives are for the business, and that its important to review it and keep it up to date.

    if you don’t you can forget some important info, or that niceh thought you had.

    Cheers

    Drew

  18. September 12, 2007

    True that those new affiliate marketer don’t plan and jump into it. End of the day, they don’t success and blame it that it is a SCAM…

    Doing affiliate marketing is just like doing a business, the only different is low starting cost. like we can use Squidoo to start the affiliate marketing.

  19. September 13, 2007

    It never ceases to amaze me just how many people fail to start witn even a rudimentary business plan. Hopefully they will take note of your essential pointers.

  20. September 20, 2007

    Done the same – got knocked back. Took time to sit down and put pros and cons on paper and got the funding… use it every time now

  21. September 20, 2007

    You never been to buisness school?

  22. September 21, 2007

    Malcolm – most people haven’t been to business school. I have, however, and that is why I am so aware of the potential problems people face – and the importance of a business plan.

  23. September 26, 2007

    Most important is that you make a complete and visable plan before starting anything. Its worth really taking your time building up a feasible business model, and then taking things from there.

  24. October 16, 2007

    I started over 2 yrs ago with my perfume website and just now starting to learn all the mistakes i have made along the way. Perfume,discount perfume are pretty tough words to get listed. I did not plan well enough or have the knowledge i needed to do things right for my perfume site.

  25. November 10, 2007

    Yeah have to agree that to make things work online, you really need to pan and understand and plan the direction you are heading in.

    Only once you get that bit right can you expect to take things to the next level

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