Attention Newbie! -- Creating a Business Plan

By: Mona Moore

If you've ever attended an industry "newbie" seminar, or read some of the articles in Klixxx Magazine and on Klixxx.com, you will have seen a "getting started" tip that included "creating a business plan". Dozens of books have been written about business plans and how to write one. Creating a business plan is essential in any industry - but especially in an Internet-based business that you will be running and financing on your own. Even if you expect to have low start-up costs and will be doing all of the work on your own, it's a good idea to have a plan in place that will help to keep you on track.

All business plans should be built to evolve. Traffic and user-interest trends change; your business could grow unexpectedly or take off suddenly. Your plan should be designed to expand and evolve with your business. Don't be afraid to make a few modifications to it when necessary - in fact, it is a good idea to review your plan on a monthly or quarterly basis, comparing it to the results your business has achieved to that point in time.

There are many different ways to create a business plan and, as usual, you will need to determine which type of plan will suit your needs best. This article features an outline of the two most commonly used types of business plans in order to help you make an informed decision - and help you get your business ideas on the road to success.

The Short-term Business Plan

A short-term business plan should include a simple outline of the type of business you would like to build along with your goals for the first month, first quarter and possibly to the end of the first year. Your goals could include how many sites you want to build, the traffic you would like to have - even how much content you would need to obtain and collect in order to build a pay site that you would launch at the end of that first year.

Some people like to use charts or check-off lists to help them see when they meet their individual short-term goals. One chart could include daily traffic uniques at the thousand, two-thousand; three-thousand, etc. marks and another could include daily, weekly or monthly conversions and sales. Of course, the plan itself, the goals included and the items tracked will vary depending upon the type of online business you plan to build - and of course, will be different if you have a partner(s) or employee expenses to tally as well.

Finances should play a role in any business plan. A budget for a web site's development would include purchased software, content, hosting costs, annual domain registration, programming/design services, accountants, tax preparation, lawyers and other legal professionals. If you are building a pay site, you would also need to budget and set-up processing and customer service, along with membership-area creation/maintenance, affiliate program set-up/statistics and quite a few other costs that your basic "free site" webmaster would not have to consider.

The Long-term Business Plan

Similar to the short-term version, but obviously with an eye to the broader future, the bigger picture, the long-term business plan should focus on goals for the first month and then expand to quarterly, annual and possibly multi-year goals. For example, if your plan involves building up targeted traffic sources via free sites, galleries and blogs, you should have a set figure that you are aiming for in respect to the volume of traffic you will need in order to begin the next part of your plan.

The next part of your plan could include the creation of your own pay site, affiliate program or even a large networked hub of niche-specific targeted sites. This portion of the plan could have a timeline that would include year two and have specific goals - financial achievements, addition of the affiliate program with X-amount of affiliates, etc. Then the next step of your plan would be more long term - the continued building of your empire, generation of traffic, branching out into other areas, adding other pay sites in other niches - even perhaps creating your own in-house content.

The sky is the limit, but the key to achieving on-going success is not to lose sight of where you want to end up a year or more down the line. The continuous day-to-day responsibilities of running any website, of building up traffic and keeping up with trends and your competition is more difficult than many realize - but can also become monotonous. Your never-ending list of obligations and maintenance work can sometimes make it feel as if you'll never achieve your goals. If you make a plan, stick to it, but allow it to grow with your business. Your plan will help you stay on track and find your own success in the world of the online adult industry.

Entrepreneurship
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