One of the things that my Mum loved to say to me growing up was ‘failing to plan is planning to fail’. As a child it never made much sense to me. After all, wasn’t some part of the fun in life living things up to spontaneity? But, when I really began to take my online entrepreneurship seriously, I couldn’t help but admit that she was right. With so many things being my responsibility I can know clearly see the value of being thoroughly prepared for anything and everything.
If you have only just tapped into the world of blogging or building your own online business, it can be super tempting to just skip all that arduous ‘admin’ labour and get right into the more exciting and creative elements of being an entrepreneur.
I totally get it. Having a desk job is personally a nightmare to me (but my sincere respects to anyone who does it well!
But, it is so important that you start a business with a solid business plan outline. What does this mean? Well, in order to create a solid foundation for your business to lay on, you need to create a poppin’ business plan outline for your startup.
Yep, sounds super high and dry aye? However, if you do a really good job of it, your blog business plan outline can act as your guide to entrepreneurship success.
Creating your own blog business plan outline can be super intimidating – especially if you never really had experience in the corporate, business or marketing world in the past. In fact, I won’t blame you if you’re having shivers sent up your spine this very moment! But I promise you, it’s really not as difficult as it seems.
Think of your business plan as a puzzle: you just need to have all the right pieces to make it whole. Well, at this point, you might wonder exactly how on earth you should know which pieces you need. Don’t fret my sweet solopreneur, I have created the ultimate blog business plan template for you to follow.
The business plan will include different things for different niches/industries and different business purposes/directions i.e. are you going to use your business plan for your own reference or are you going to use it to approach potential sponsors? Either way, this blog business plan template will show you exactly what a blog business plan should include and help you streamline the entire business plan writing process!
But, if you haven’t quite taken the leap of faith to start your money making blog, check out my 7,500+ word ultimate beginner’s guide on How to Start a Money Making Blog to begin your journey as a profitable blogger. Use my step by step money making methods to earn your first $1K as a blogger!
The Step by Step Guide on What to Include in a Blog Business Plan
1. Your Blog Business Overview
Before you can dive into the nitty gritty elements of your business plan such as marketing and budgeting strategies, you have to provide an overall summary of your business. This overview should touch on all the little details such as what makes your business tick.
This component of the business plan will include things such as what your business structure is, what your business mission statement is, where your business is located and what your business offers.
The business plan will include all the necessary details to answer these questions and even though this can be kind of overwhelming, don’t stress! Simply sit down with a notepad and pen, do a bit of research and begin writing down your blog business plan basics.
Believe me, you’ll have all of this answered in no time!
2. Products and Services
The next thing that you should know about what a blog business plan should include is this…
If you want to be a business, you need to offer something in return to your customers. So, it should make total sense that one of things that a business plan should include is a description of your products/services.
While I might have been a wee lazy bum as a kid, growing up, I was probably pretty pedantic about making things as orderly as I could.
Personally, I think it is an awesome idea to organize your products/services in categories. For example, if you are a freelance writer, then you could organize your writing services based on niches i.e. fashion, beauty, lifestyle etc.
When you do this, you can also create a short and sweet description of each of your services.
Obviously, in order to be a business, you need to offer something to customers. So, your business plan should also describe your products and/or services. This doesn’t just help you to create a detailed and comprehensive blog business plan outline, but it will help streamline the entire blog business plan writing process.
3. Setting Your Rates
The next element on my blog business plan template is this section on sales. This is the aspect where you have to describe the pricing structure for your products/services.
For example, the blog business plan should include how much you will charge and why you are charging that price. For maximum impact, you could also write about any relevant research that shows your potential customer base why your pricing is fair.
Essentially, the blog business plan will include a pricing guide and a quick summary of why you deserve the prices that you’re asking for.
4. Marketing Plan
Of course, what a blog business plan should also include is marketing. It isn’t enough just to set the price – how exactly are you actually going to reach out to your potential consumers?
This portion of your blog business plan should detail the marketing tools and strategies that you are planning to use in order to sell your business to potential clients/customers.
For example, do you plan on launching Facebook Ads? Growing traffic through Pinterest? Or placing banner ads on other website/blogs? Regardless of which trick in the book you intend on employing, you need to map them out here!
5. Analyze Your Target Market
This next part on what to include in a blog business plan takes into account the fact that if you want to effectively reach your clients/customers, then you have to know who they are.
And nothing helps to figure this better than a good ol’ market analysis.
Yep! Market analysis makes you sound like one of those cold, high flyin’ business men yarning about the fluctuating economy in a glass-walled conference room. But, it is actually a very important part of what to include in a blog business plan.
A market analysis is what a blog business plan should include if you want to actually begin seeing profits. So, to start off, you should describe the current state of your industry, the demands of your niche, the size, the estimated growth and any notable trends.
One other key element of your market analysis is also trying to identify who your ideal customer is. For example, the blog business plan will include information about what gender you are trying to reach, what ethnicity they are, what age range they fall into, whether or not they have defining characteristics etc.
Playing detective to your target market will guide you in channelling your marketing tactics in the most effective way.
6. Analyzing Your Competition
Sadly, there is a lot of head to head competition out there in the business world. It’s pretty cut throat at times, so it is so important that in this next part, you learn what a business plan should include… a competitive analysis.
It’s crucial that you stay informed on who your direct competitors are. Use this section to describe your current competitors and their rivaling businesses. For example, what things do they do really well and what things do you think you could do better?
Now, the business plan will also include what you believe sets you apart from your competitors. If you don’t have a ‘defining’ quality, then what is going to give you the competitive edge over your competition? Figure out what it is that you have to offer that nobody else does and then outline the ways you will consistently shake off your competition!
7. Financial Plan/Budget
Everybody’s favourite part 😉
This portion of my 7 step blog business plan template is all about the money, money, money (Jessie J dance party here!)
What to include in your business plan?
This section should discuss all and any relevant financial information about your blogging business.
If you are going to use your business plan to approach a sponsor, then you need to determine the amount of money that you need in order to begin (and maintain!) your business.
Once you have decided on that, you should describe any continuous business expenses that you are aware of i.e. insurance, taxes, supplies etc.
However, you can’t neglect to describe the amount of money coming in i.e. what is your estimated return? And what is the breakeven point for your business>
Let’s be honest, any investor or bank isn’t going to invest funds into your business without seeing a solid plan. So, if you want to maximize the likelihood that your business receives those funds, you have to prove to them that you have seriously thought about the best places to spend their money.
In this section, the business plan will include some super frustrating number crunching for sure. But, if you just tackle the numbers head on with a handy sidekick (I love you CASIO), then you can do it with ease!
Don’t forget to grab your FREE blog business plan workbook to help you define your audience, grow your following and create raving lifelong fans that consistently buy from you! Click the image above to receive your copy immediately!
Hopefully my blog business plan template helped you to seriously streamline your business plan writing process and show you exactly what to include in ablog business plan in order to make it smokin’ and poppin’ and all those snarky words with no G and no Y 😉
Be sure to check out the ultimate beginner’s guide on How to Start a Money Making Blog to begin your amazing blogging journey. Follow my step by step method to earning your first $1K as a blogger!
Drop a comment below and share with us your take on what to include in a blog business plan. Let’s build our businesses together, you and I!