Making An Internet Business Plan: Follow The KISS Rule


If you've never made a business plan before, it can seem like a daunting task. Gathering all the information and putting it together into a complete whole will appear to be a huge effort. It doesn't have to be. In most cases, there are already plans you can follow that have all the work laid out for you. Just follow the KISS rule - Keep It Simple, Sparky!

You can use the outline and structure of other people's plans to create a "layout" for your own work. Don't copy or steal other people's work! You'll be doing yourself a disservice and may even be in violation of copyright laws. Use their work as a starting point for your own.

Keep in mind that you are making a draft plan, not carving your business plan into stone. Be flexible and conversational. Avoid using language that is formal and impersonal. This draft is for you to build a working model of your business, not impress a board of trustees or a bank loan officer.

Make sure you include every system, method, practice and resource you will use or need to make your business work. Leave nothing to chance or guesswork. It's better to put in too much now and edit it later than leave out a key point and build a defective plan. If you discover a missing element that requires you to modify a major part of your work, go ahead and do all that reworking now. Don't put it off until the final draft.

Once you have a finished draft, review it yourself. Then have someone you trust, who is knowledgeable about business, review it for you. Be ready to correct any flaws and accept criticism that is aimed at improving your plan. If you get the distinct impression that your "critic" is just trying to shoot holes in your idea, without any constructive advice, politely wait for the end of the review and leave. Go find someone that can actually help you.

You also need to be honest with yourself. If everyone who sees your plan finds the same flaws, accept the fact that you've missed something and revise your work accordingly. If you truly know that you are right and they are all wrong, bear the criticism with humor and patience but keep to your plan.

Now that you have your revisions and amendments, it's time to put it all together into a final draft. Again, write your plan in Plain English, not "business-ese". Say what you mean and keep it simple. If you need to use specialized terms or jargon, make sure you define each one and explain how it works for your business. The easier it is for a layman or novice to understand your plan, the clearer it will all be in your mind as you use the plan to create the actual business.

Many of the goals, sales figures, income expectations and other "metrics" of your plan will require guesswork. Since you cannot accurately predict what you have never done before, it's best to err on the side of caution. At the same time, you don't want to be too cautious - declaring that your quarterly growth estimates are "wildly optimistic" is counterproductive (albeit funny when reduced to writing).

Try to find examples of similar measures in other business plans and figure out how they arrived at the numbers shown. When all else fails, pick a figure and write it down. Let the reaction of others guide you as to whether or not you're too high or too low. Again, if you're convinced you are right about a specific measure, be ready to explain how you reached that number.

Now, you're ready for the big time - the finished plan.

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Jo Han Mok is the author of the #1 international business bestseller, The E-Code. He shares his amazing blueprint for creating million dollar internet businesses at:

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