How To Write A Lean Online Business Plan That Will Make You Money

When you’re getting started with a new business, oftentimes, it’s the planning that’s actually the hardest part. Many people get overwhelmed with each of the different aspects that need to be considered, but putting together a lean business plan can help to put you on the right track. 

Traditional business plans can be handy, but if you’re just getting started out, they can be overly complicated. This is why lean business plans are a great option for novices, because they get straight to the point, and give you a clearer direction of what you want to achieve. 

How To Write A Lean Online Business Plan That Will Make You Money

If you require some help in creating the perfect lean online business (see also: How To Start An Online Business With No Money)plan, we’ve got you covered. To find out more, simply keep reading below as we take a closer look. 

What Is A Lean Business Plan?

Before we jump straight in, first let’s take a closer look at what a lean business plan consists of. For those who don’t already know, lean business plans are typically for smaller businesses that don’t intend to rely on any outside investments. 

The formatting of lean business plans isn’t as rigid as others, and tends to be less formal. In addition, they’re typically less intensive, and as a result, aren’t as difficult to put together. 

A traditional business plan, on the other hand, is created with the explicit purpose of being shown to an investor.

They need to be incredibly detailed in order to show potential investors that they’ve considered each aspect of the business, as well as potential issues that might arise. 

How To Create A Lean Business Plan

Now that we’ve taken a closer look at what a lean business plan looks like, we can move on to discuss what you can include in yours. Here, we’ve created a step by step guide that you can follow in order to get started. Simply keep reading below to find out more. 

1. Identity

The first portion of your lean business plan should always be focused on identity. This means a direct overview of your businesses, along with what it does. You can talk about your target audience here too, who you hope to reach with your products or services. 

This part shouldn’t be too long, just a brief paragraph that explains all of the key details of your new business will be enough. If you want to, you can bullet point these items so that they’re even more straightforward to read. 

If you’re not able to come up with the identity section for your lean business plan, then it’s probably a sign that you need to think about your business plan more carefully. The identity portion should be very clear and obvious. 

2. The Problem 

This is the portion of your lean business plan where you’re able to explain the problem that your business aims to solve.

You can talk about some potential gaps in the market that your business might fill, or a problem that doesn’t have a solution yet, but could be remedied by your products. 

Here you can even create a sales pitch if you want. You can start drafting what you’d like to appear as a product description, or as a website introduction. 

After you’ve clearly stated the problem, you can talk about the solution that your product will offer. You should always aim to make your product or service sound as efficient, effective, and interesting as possible. 

How To Write A Lean Online Business Plan That Will Make You Money (1)

In addition, you should also show how your product offers a solution that is better or more unique than others on the market. Your business should always have a niche that sets you apart from the competition. 

3. Target 

Next, you can start discussing your target market, or in simpler terms, who your product or service is aimed towards. The more specific you can get with this point the better. After all, you’re defining the people who will buy your product or service, and keep your business afloat. 

Your target audience should also demonstrate your niche, and why the intended audience would be interested in your business. 

4. Identify Competition 

After you’ve identified and written about your target audience, you can move on to the next step which is identifying your competition. You should never skip this step, as it will be integral when it comes to the success of your business. 

Make sure that you always research online to find as many businesses as you can to find out who your competitors are.

This is also a chance for you to work on your own products and services, and develop them so that they’re more unique, interesting, or of a better quality than others out there. 

5. Business Marketing

Now you can move on to discuss how your plan to market your business. This essentially means how you’re going to inform potential customers about your product or service.

Perhaps you plan on purchasing paid advertisements, or extensive showcasing via social media. This is your opportunity to consider how you’re going to get your product or service to sell. 

Despite the fact that this is a lean plan, and doesn’t need to be extensive, you should start thinking about your marketing strategy (see also: How Can Email Marketing Fuel Your Overall Inbound Strategy?)early on so that you can get started as soon as possible.

6. Revenue 

After you’ve defined some of your key marketing strategies, you can begin to discuss revenue. You can choose how to sell your product or service, as well as any kind of package deals. 

Perhaps some of your products might do well if they were sold in bundles? This is your opportunity to define how you want to sell them. 

7. Pricing  

Next, you can begin to set prices on your products. You should make sure that the research you conducted previously into competitors also included price.

This way, you can see how much other similar products are being sold for, and offer your customers competitive pricing. 

8. Expenses

Finally, you’ll need to consider your business expenses. This means how much money you are required to spend in order to get the business up and running, including any staff you’ll need to pay. 

Here, you’ll need to identify the primary costs of the business, by doing so, you’ll be able to figure out all of the major costs that might accumulate as your business grows.

Some of these might include things like advertising, payroll, or any space that you’ll need to rent if you decide to open an in person store. 

Final Thoughts 

To sum up, when you’re creating a lean business plan, you should be as specific as possible, but not too rigid in your formatting. Make sure that you take a look at all of the key points listed above, and make a section for each of them. 

The item you should spend the most time thinking about is your identity, which is the focal point of your business plan.