How To Write a Business Plan

Learning how to write a professional and impressive business plan is no easy task but it is absolutely key if you wish to get investment for your business. Though expert advice can be found, there is a wealth of information online and provided you do your research and work at it, there is no reason why you can not create a business plan yourself.

Though there are many different templates that can be found online, all roughly contain the same sections, though the exact titles may differ. I will now outline what those sections are and what you need to include within them. Though a single article can by no means offer you all the information you will need, it is a very good start and should point you in the right direction.

The most important thing to remember is that nobody is going to invest money in your business if you are not prepared to invest your time in developing an adequate illustration of both its current state and its intended future.

Section 1: Summary of Background

This section is simply an illustration of what brought both you and your business to this current point in time. Though this can be more difficult to write for a very new business, you still need to outline both your professional history and what brought you to this particular type of business, niche or idea.

Section 2: Business Environment

This is the section in which you demonstrate your knowledge of the market within which your business is operating. The primary means of developing such knowledge is market research and you need to demonstrate that you have been very active in doing so. Illustrate who your customers are, your competition and the current and expected shape of the market in which both operate.

Section 3: Business Background

This section is essentially the sales the pitch. It is here that you outline why your business is going to be successful. You do this through illustrating the unique selling points of your products or service and why it is that customers will benefit from them. Continuing from the last section, you discuss your customers in more detail such as their demographics and interests. You talk not only about the strengths of your business but also its weaknesses. You remember that all businesses have weaknesses and illustrating them and putting them out in the open is far more attractive to potential investors than potential skeletons in the closet. Finally you illustrate the opportunity that currently exists within your market for your business to grow. You establish exactly why now is the time that an investor will see the value of his/her investment in your company blossom over the coming years.

Section 4: Operations

Within this section, you outline just how your company currently operates. There are many factors that need to be included but one of the most important is the management team and why they can be trusted to successfully run the company. You need to offer a relatively abstract description of how and where your product or service is developed or provided. How many staff do you have, where do they work and what defined processes and operations are carried out on a daily basis in order for your business to function. How will all of these aspects of your business react to growth, will it buckle under pressure or will it benefit from economies of scale?

Section 5: Marketing

This section is essentially about establishing how you intend on selling your product or service. The first point that you need to make regards how much you will sell it for, why and this price relates to how much it will cost you to offer it. You then need to illustrate your marketing strategy and budget, who it will be aimed at and why it will work. Considering the nature of this section, I should not need to mention how important it is that you get this section right. You are essentially offering a complex answer to the simple question of will your product or service actually sell.

Section 6: Investment

It is within this section that you must both outline how much investment you want, why you want it, what you are willing to offer in return and why said offer is reasonable. The primary thing that is offered in return for investment is a share of your business and that share will of course be an estimate of your businesses overall worth. For example, if a hundred thousand dollars will get your potential investors a twenty five percent stake in your business, you are therefore valuing your company at four hundred thousand dollars. Should you wish to obtain investment, your valuation must be fair and your entire business plan must attest to that fact.

Section 7: Financial Plan

This is the section that many people need help with and yet without a well documented financial plan, you simply will not gain investment. At the very least you need three spreadsheets illustrating your Balance Sheet forecast, your Profit and Loss Forecast and your Cash Flow forecast. If you do not understand how to create professional versions of such forecasts, paying a professional to draw them up may be your only option.

How to Start a Business With No Money

This a question commonly asked by those tired of their jobs and wanting out. The primary reason that they struggle with the question is that they are looking at it from the wrong angle. There are many forms of business that simply and sadly cannot be set up without money. In order to have a business you need to sell a product. If you have no money that greatly limits the product that you can sell of course but there is one product that does not cost you a penny and that is you. You are the product. You simply need to figure out what type of product you are, how you can market and advertise yourself and then you have yourself a shiny new business.

Now for those with exceptional talent or perhaps even a wealth of experience or qualifications establishing the type of product that you in fact are is relatively simple. But what if you are not an exceptionally talented individual like most of us are not and what if you are also not overly qualified or experienced in any particular area. You may think that you are lost and that setting up a business without funds is completely outside your grasp and the realms of realistic possibility.

This is however far from the cases. I will now outline how anybody with the slightest bit of intelligence can set up a small service orientated business without any education, qualifications or experience. The answer is simple, it’s the Internet, it comes in a box. You see the online world moves primarily on money and there are many businesses both large and small and they all require services. While all the bigger businesses demand a lot from those providing said services many do not and it is these businesses that your new business can provide services for.

Should you be interested in this idea, one of the key problems that people face when they are looking to establish a service orientated business online is exactly where to look and who to trust. There are endless sites promising diamonds and anyone with a little bit of sense knows that are they aren’t the paper that they are not even printed on. The best thing to do is simply to go to big name sites that act as an intermediary between those looking for services and those providing them. Sites that offer this service include and Digital Point Forums.

In order to establish what the service that your business is capable of offering might be worth, you simply look through current and past sales. You may be tempted to try to be the cheapest but this will not really do you any good in the long term. Most employers are willing to the pay the going rate and if they are not they are probably not worth working for. Another thing to consider is that said good employers will generally stay away from incredibly low priced services as they assume that the service provided will be sub par. This is simply because it usually is, therefore offering a clearly labeled introductory discount of ten percent is okay but anything more is a mistake.

The other thing that good buyers shy away from however is those without experience and this is the second problem you will face if you are entirely new to the game. It is therefore necessary to provide examples of your work; this is an absolute key step to take. Nobody will hire somebody if they both have no experience and no example bodies of work. Therefore if you are offering something that has any form of end product be it an article, website or script, provide a link in your ad that can be followed to find examples. If the type of service you want to offer does not have any form of end product for example that of a virtual assistant than the only option you have is to accept payment after the work has been completed, together with a promise that if you don’t perform, they don’t have to pay for your service.

In conclusion, should you stick to the established sites, charge no more and no less than the going rate and get the first few buyers to see past your lack of feedback, you can indeed set up a business with no money whatsoever. It will take work of course, very hard work but you may end up finding that when you start another business in the future your concern will be how much it will make not how much it will cost to set up.

How to Start an Internet Business in 5 Steps

There are multiple different ways in which you go about setting up an Internet business. Which you choose will of course depend largely upon both the type of business you wish to create and the funds that you have at your disposal when you start. As I have written other articles for this site based on what types of business there are, I will not go into that in too much detail. Instead for the purposes of this explanation, I will assume that you have a particular product that you wish to sell and you wish to do so online. I will now outline the steps that are required.

The first thing you are going to need of course is a website. And before you can build your website you are going to need a name it. There are many avenues of thought upon how to choose the best domain name and they are too complex to go into here. The main things that you need to know are that it should be easy to remember and it should give a reasonable enough explanation as to what the site does.

The next thing that you need to do is design the site. Your options here are very much dependent on both your own knowledge of design and again the funds that you have at your disposal. Research has proven that consumers like to buy things off of shiny sites therefore if you have the funds, it can be a good idea to get yourself a professionally designed site and logo. At the same point however, when setting up any form of new venture digging yourself a mountain of debts that have to be paid off before a profit is turned is never exactly a good thing, therefore if funds are low or the future profitability of the site is unsure, try to invest as little as possible at this stage.

Once you have a website that can sell your goods, the next step of course is to get people to go to it. After all you can have the smartest site in the world with the perfect product, if nobody is aware of it, its not going to make you very much money. There are various means available online through which you can advertise your site and its product to potential customers. The first of course is to pay for your site to be advertised. On of the most popular means of course is pay per click advertising the most popular of which is Ad words; this is of course offered by Google.

The idea here is that Google places ads on both its search results and on other sites related to your product (it pays commission to the owners of those sites). Then for each person that clicks on one of those ads and goes to your site, you pay Google an already agreed amount. This is agreed upon by many to be the easiest means of getting visitors to your site, a fact proven by the fact that both small businesses and conglomerates use the system to get customers to their site.

So you know have a website that sells your products and people that are visiting said site with an interest in your type of product. The only thing that remains to be seen is whether they actually want to buy from you. Now is probably a bad time to mention that 75 percent of all small businesses fail during their first year. However one of the great things about setting up an online business is that they can be done for minimal financial investment. Provided like I said at the start of the articles you keep your costs down, there is nothing wrong with a little initial failure. If the road was straightforward, there would be far more traffic.

6 Internet Entrepreneurs Of Our Time

Fancy yourself as an internet entrepreneur? It may well be the highest earning career path that you could possibly take. While for some it’s a long hard road to bankruptcy, for others it’s not only being free to spend all day on a beach but being able to buy your own island. Here are the six most successful entrepreneurs.

Pierre Omidyar

Pierre Omidyar is now in possession of 3.6 billion dollars. Yes, millionaires are so eighties. Starting in 1995 with a little bit of web code than enabled him to auction off a laser pointer, Ebay has grown to the point to be a living breathing market place with over eighty million registered users. Mr. Omidyar has also demonstrated that knowledge of programming can be all that you need. Upon deciding that he did not possess sufficient business acumen to guide such a large company, he simply put someone else in charge. Apparently doing so does not does not harm your finances all that much. So what exactly do you do when you are a billionaire? Mr Omidyar has gone down a route rare among his peers and now primarily works for a philanthropy network that shares his names and donates hundreds of millions to non profit organizations.

Eric Schmidth

Eric Schmidth has proved that to make it rich as an internet entrepreneur you don’t necessarily need to be the guy that comes up with the new idea. Unlike Mr Omidyar, Eric Schmidth has made his money not by creating a website but by knowing how to bring direction to one. He joined Google in 2001 after the big idea was formed but far before it was what it is today. In 2004, he helped to bring the company to a public stock offering. Shares that started out at eighty five dollars a piece were worth over six hundred within just three years. The results of his exploits at Google have lead to the company now being worth over 140 billion dollars and Schmidth himself being worth 4.4 billion. Oh and when Mr Obama has a problem with his computer, guess who he calls?

Mark Zuckerberg

Though the exact means by which Mark Zuckerberg would go on to become one of the most famous internet entrepreneurs on the planet depends on whose side of the story you listen to, the success of what he has created cannot really be argued with. He created a site that started out with profiles of a number of students at Harvard. Then students from other universities were allowed to join up. The demand grew and grew eventually reaching a million members. Today Facebook is the second most popular website online, if not the first. There are currently 600 million members worldwide and preparations are already in place to celebrate, the big one billion. Mr Zuckerberg reached his first billion dollars however quite a while ago; he is currently worth 12.5 billion.

Jeff Bezos

In the nineties, Jeff Bezos was selling books online out of his garage. While it may at the time have seemed like a strange way to make money, Jeff with both computer science and electrical engineering degrees at Princeton was actually on to something. Though for the first few years, the road was certainly rocky, he continued to offer a combination of massive discounts and free shipping in a hope to change the minds of those still swearing that they would never shop online. After much perseverance, Amazon went public in 1997. The guy is now worth 7 billion. His current plans? Why, he’s going to the moon of course. His latest company Blue Origin has recently received generous funding from NASA. Apparently they think he is on to something.

Larry Page and Sergey Brin

Born in the Soviet Union, Sergey Brin parents brought him to America when he was six years old hoping that he could make a better future for himself. He met a guy named Larry Page while studying for a Ph D at Stanford. Larry was an engineering student about to start his dissertation. He wanted to focus on the internet and required someone with mathematical skills to help him in a small project that would analyze the linking structure of the web.

Together they created a search engine that looked at things differently to any other search engine at the time. They both proceeded to drop out of Stanford and work more intently on the project. This decision worked out pretty good for both of them as they ended up creating what is known today as Google, you may have heard of it? They are both now worth around 17 billion dollars and are the richest men on the list. With the growing popularity of Facebook though, whether they still will be next year is anybody’s guess.

How To Start Your Own Business in 7 Steps

Before you attempt to learn how to run a business, it is a good idea to ask yourself if you have the guts and the skill to pursue the kind of business you want. There are people who say that you need to be smart in order to succeed in running a business. While many people spend their whole lives believing this, successful businessmen mention that this is not always the case. In order to succeed in this field, you need to be brave, you need to be knowledgeable about type of business you are pursuing or the product you are selling and you need to be good with people, hardworking, creative as well as patient; and most of all, you need to know how to handle money.

Remember this: You don’t need to be a genius to be a successful businessman; however, you need to be an objective businessman. Most businessmen see their businesses fail because they disregarded the first important step in starting and running a business – the planning stage!

Noone can tell you from the start (of your business) that it is doomed to fail. It’s also unwise to predict a person’s failure just by his appearance. If you’ve heard of the life story and road to success of Bill Gates then you know better than to judge people by the way they look. From being a drop out from Harvard, he is now one of the richest men in the world.

Being an entrepreneur is a really challenging job. If you don’t know where to start or what to do, you’ll end up groping in the dark. It is for this reason that you need to plan everything very carefully. Never disregard things, even the smallest detail. Learn to pay close attention to details and to trust your good judgment as well as your instincts.

To Be Or Not To Be

The first step is always the hardest: deciding to run a business. There will always be things that will bother or hinder you from making any concrete decisions.

Market Research and Survey

The next thing you need to research or get more information on would be about the products or services you intend to sell or buy. As a tip, go for something that interests you. It is not a good idea to sell something you know nothing about.

Are You On The Map?

Subsequently, you need to plan your business location. Of course, to succeed in this field, you need to find a location that has a lot of traffic. Though it can be expensive to rent places or spaces in these areas, if there are a lot of people who pass through there, you may get a return of investment and profit right away.

Startup Capital

Thinking about where you’ll be getting the funds for your business is another important factor you should never miss out on. You won’t have a business if you don’t have the money for buying products and supplies. You also need to pay the rent in advance. Good cash flow is very important in starting a business.

Safeguard Your Arse

Fixing the business papers is also very important. You cannot operate a business without a business license. If you start your business without the necessary papers and licenses, you’ll end up paying large fines/penalties and you may even get jailed for it.

Losses – The Stepping Stone to Profits

Be ready for losses. When you start a business, don’t expect that things will flow smoothly right away. For all you know, you’ll be struggling for months until you get your own set of frequent customers. It is for this reason that you need to have good source of funds all the while you’re adjusting. Every business has encountered its ups and downs. It may take days to weeks before customers will start pouring in. This is only natural so don’t give up right away.

Be Open to Ideas and Adventures

Learning how to run a business is like learning how to ride a bike. You need to take careful steps until you get the hang of it and find your balance. When you think about it – among the many traits and skills you need to have in order to succeed in your chosen trade, if you don’t have the guts to venture into this world, nothing will happen. So you need to be brave. In choosing products that you are interested in, you also get to enjoy what you are doing. As an entrepreneur, that is actually a big PLUS!

10 Inspiring Entrepreneurs Of Our Time

The definition of success is very much open to interpretation but when it comes to entrepreneurs, it pretty much comes down to how many islands you own. In case you are considering heading down the entrepreneur path, here is some inspiration, the ten richest entrepreneurs currently on the planet. If you find it intimidating, just remember that it is always the first million that is the hardest to make or is the first billion?

Carlos Slim Helu.

Currently the richest cat out there; with a shocking 53.4 billion dollars to his name. His wealth has been amassed from a variety of places and he is the CEO of not only Telmex, America Movil but also Grupo Carso. He has also been known to dabble in telecommunications virtually redesigning the industry in both Mexico and Latin America.

Mr Bill Gates

He is consistently in the top ten and as a result is one of the most famous entrepreneurs in the list. He is currently said to be in possession of 52 billion dollars despite a seemingly endless philanthropic crusade with massive donations to various non profits as well as the development of numerous foundations. If ever there is a reason to drop out of College, this guy is it. Interestingly enough, I have noticed that he is one of the few people in the world who has at one point had more billions of dollars in the bank than years lived.

Warren Buffet

Though perhaps not as famous as Bill Gates, Warren Buffet is actually respected by far more people. Throughout his life he has demonstrated an almost savant understanding of the stock market leading to frankly astronomical long term returns on numerous investments. Like Bill he has taken a liking for philanthropy when not working as the chairman of Berkshire Hathaway.

Mukesh Ambani

Next on the list, Mr Ambani has played a key role in shaping his entire home country of India. He is one of the largest private sector conglomerates worldwide with as estimated net worth of 28 billion dollars. He is currently the chairman of reliance Industries

Lakshmi Mittal

Another name that you are unlikely to have heard of, Mr Mittal is worth 27.5 billion dollars which probably more than makes up for his lack of fame outside of the country that he was born in, India. He has primarily made his money in the world of steel and is currently the chairman of one of the world’s largest steel making companies ArcelorMittal.

Lawrence Ellison

Surprisingly enough Mr Facebook is not in fact on the list and it is Mr. Ellison that is actually the richest guy in software at the amount. He is currently worth 27 billion and works as the CEO of the Oracle Corporation which is one of the largest software companies worldwide.

Bernaud Arnault

Mr Arnauld is a French business man who has applied his typically French style to a range of goods from cosmetics to beverages. He is not only the CEO of LVMH but also its chairman and founder. You may not have heard of LVMH but you are very likely to have heard the brands that form parts of it including Dior and Louis Vuitton. He is currently worth just shy of 27 billion.

Eike Batista

Mr Batista is a far more traditional type of entrepreneur having founded many different companies. He has primarily made money within the mining field, is a Brazilian national and is currently worth 26 billion dollars.

Amancio Ortega

Mr Ortego is the second richest man in Europe having founded and currently chairing Industria de Diseno Textil. When he is not busy being a billionaire entrepreneur, he is a fashion designer. He is currently worth 25 billion dollars.

Karl Albrecht

If you have not heard of him before, you are at least likely to have been to one of his shops should you live in Europe. Along with his brother he founded Aldi which has grown to the extent that he is now the richest man in Germany with 23 billion dollars in the bank.

How to Become an Entrepreneur

Of course we would all like to fancy ourselves as entrepreneurs. After all, they are four times more likely to be millionaires compared to those that work for organisations and this includes graduates. Though it actually is possible to take courses in University that claim to teach students just how to do it, I sadly don’t prescribe to such wisdom. If you want to be an entrepreneur certain qualities are required and these qualities cannot be thought. This is evident in the endless procession of entrepreneurs who are ridiculously successful but never even went to university. Here are the five qualities that I reckon are required. Sadly you either have them or you don’t.


It is difficult to teach what this word even means in this context let alone how to actually possess it. Successful entrepreneurs however have the stuff by the bucket loads. They spot a hole in the market or they just have some idea for a revolutionary new product or service. It is this spark, this idea, that all of their discipline and hard work is based upon. Without this spark, you can work as hard as you like. Especially in current financial climate when bad ideas just fall by the wayside in a sea of debt collectors and negative reviews.


Though hard work is pointless without the spark, the spark doesn’t burn your horrible studio apartment to the ground without a hell of a lot of hard work, discipline and at times obsession. You need to be willing to work your fingers to the bone but not only that put up with naysayer’s suggesting that your idea will never make it off the ground. You need to make tough decisions and basically you need to have the balls to make them. Vision without tenacity just makes you the guy that tells his mates down in the pub all about the great idea he has and that you’ll tell them about it if they buy you a pint.


The fact that educational qualifications aren’t required doesn’t mean you don’t need to be razor sharp. The successful entrepreneurs who never went to university probably would have gotten straight A’s had they attended. To turn a brilliant idea into a successful product requires a lot of research and knowledge about the market to which the product is being born into. You need to understand what makes people buy and you need to know what the right choice is when you faced with constant decisions that could make or break your product during the early stages.

A Gambler (but not the compulsive type)

Bringing a new product to market requires investment; said investment doesn’t go back into your pocket if you are wrong. You also do not get the time which can sometimes be years that you have put into the product back. It is possible to go bankrupt; it is possible to go mad. Bringing a brand new product or service to the market is a massive gamble. Successful entrepreneurs are not only willing to take this gamble but they also know which products to gamble on. Both of these qualities are required. If you are happy to invest you’re cash in anything eventually you will go broke but if you are not willing to get behind something that you think is a winner you will never get rich.


Though it’s arguable that this is not a characteristic that is truly required, how many successful entrepreneurs had an element of luck on their side? Of course they combined said luck with skill. They combined being in the right place at the right time with having all of the above characteristics and when they saw their chance they weren’t afraid to pounce like tigers on it, but they did have a little bit of luck also.