Business Plans - How to Start Writing a Plan For YourBusinessBy Loretta CrowderYour business map should expand your mind and get you thinking about what your business is going to look like and what you're striving to achieve. This small business map should really get you excited and motivated to make it allhappen.A business map (i.e., business plan) is your 9 to 12month map of what you want to accomplish inbusiness.Usually, business maps contain many items, butremember you're not going to do them all atonce. You're going to do them over a period oftime - just as Rome wasn't built in one day, yourbusiness won't be built in one day. Just keepclearly and strongly focused on what you want toaccomplish and stick to your goals at all times.Usually, there are 5 key parts to any business mapor business plan. If you are going to a local bankfor a loan, most loan managers are more thanwilling to tell you the parts of the business map,but most of the time, the parts are left withoutexplanation, so you fail to understand what isrequired of you.The first part is the core message which is a onesentence to at most one paragraph statementabout what your business and product has tooffer that makes it unique and stand out from therest of the products. Spend some time thinkingabout this and write it down (try to get it down injust one sentence to one paragraph at most).Once you have your core message into onesentence, expand a bit on it - usually about half toone page long just on the one sentence youmanaged to construct. In this elaboration, youhave a chance to get very clear up front aboutwhat you're offering, with what benefits, beforeyou even create your product. This is veryfundamental in helping you to focus oncustomers and what you will deliver. Call thiselaboration an elevator pitch if you want. As anexample, in less than 30 seconds, what will yousay to get across to the person you're talking toabout what you do and what you have to offer?The clearer, more specific and succinct you canmake this elevator pitch, the better it is going tohelp when you start doing your marketing,sending out emails, getting affiliates, and all thepeople you want to have rally around you. Let'sbe realistic here: the better you get at this, thebetter off you will be. So listen to any feedbackyou get along the way and tweak it untileveryone just says, "Aha, I get it!"The second part is asking how you are going togenerate revenue by questioning your productline. What are you going to market? What is yourentry-level or front-end product, continuityproduct, backend product?When I refer to a continuity product, I amreferring to a product people pay you everymonth to receive. It is an extremely importantaspect of a successful online business because itprovides that consistent and dependable income.What are your backend products going to be? Inother words, what are the bigger packages thatsell at a higher price you can offer yourcustomers who are passionate and want more ofwhat you have to offer, and where you makemore money?Most of the time, the people on your customerlist will want more if you have to offer it. Whatare those other products going to be?You will be wanting to add a short description ofeach product -- of what that product is going tolook like, the benefits offered to people, theprice, the bonuses it could include and similarthings.If you are an affiliate, this is a good source ofgenerating your revenue. Remember, this is your9 to 12 month plan, so you're not going to have allthese items on your list from the very beginning.At this point, it is imperative to keep in mind thatif you don't know where you're going, then youwill never get there!Part 3 is answering the age-old question of howare you going to generate traffic to your website?What about a blog (if you haven't already beenblogging about your business, then you better getbusy without any more delay!), SEO traffic, pay-per-click advertising, affiliate traffic.Just keep in mind that you must describe brieflyyour sources of generating traffic (therebygenerating revenue) and the expected resultsfrom each of your traffic sources in your businessmap.Part 4 is outlining your marketing plan. Basically,the marketing plan is simply creating the righthabits. If you want your business to be successfulover the long-term, it comes down to doing a fewsimple things on a consistent daily basis. That'swhat success in business comes from, especiallyan online business.Your marketing plan is something you're going tobe consistently doing, working on, implementing,testing, refining, tweaking and improving. Someof these activities could include posting to yourblog, promoting your blog, submitting to articledirectories and/or making contacts andnetworking with other people in yourmarketplace. Be creative; add to this list on adaily basis.Part 5 is all about showing the projected numbersin your business. Start with the 3 monthprojection, and then move onto the 6 month, the9 month and finally the 12 month projection.At this point, you should be extremely excitedbecause you will see that you can have thatmoney from your business by following yourown business plan or business map if you will.This may sound silly to some, however; yourbusiness plan, your business map or whatever,should be fun and innovative. When youapproach someone with that plan or map, youshould project excitement, not insecurity orindecision, show fear or any other negativebehaviors.When you present this plan to anyone, it shouldbe with a smile on your face, hope in your heart,and your whole body conveying confidence!Is it time to rethink your business plan orbusiness map with a more positive outlook onyour business?When you consider all the aspects of being anonline business entrepreneur or even a store-front entrepreneur, the pile of material seemsinsurmountable! However, if you look at thatsame mountain of material from the right angle,it is not as high and can be a challenge that can beovercome by most dedicated people!