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:
- Executive Summary: Write this last. It?s just a page or two of highlights.
- Company Description: Legal establishment, history, start-up plans, etc.
- Product or Service: Describe what you?re selling. Focus on customer benefits.
- 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.
- Strategy and Implementation: Be specific. Include management responsibilities with dates and budgets. Make sure you can track results.
- Web Plan Summary: For e-commerce, include discussion of website, development costs, operations, sales and marketing strategies.
- Management Team: Describe the organization and the key management team members.
- 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!