Setting Up an Online Business – 2

So what’s this then?

This is the second in a three-part series of articles addressing the subject of ‘setting up an online business.’ The first part begins with a reality check and the importance of having a business plan. The second part deals with how to use the business plan and assessing progress, the third step covers adapting your plan and concludes with some encouraging thoughts from an expert who has set up many an online business, and also includes links to some useful government sponsored resources.

Implement your business plan

The business plan is a working document, it is not something to complete, have bound and place on display as a testimony to your ability to produce a business plan! No, this is just the first step in setting up an online business. It is very important, but it is just the beginning, it needs to be referred to by management (or you) as they (you) set off on their (your) journey into business.

It will be or will form the basis for motivating potential financiers to lend or invest. It is not something that should be constantly amended, but it does need to be reviewed and probably amended at pre arranged intervals (i.e. after planned stages). This is because on the one hand it must not impede or distract attention from daily work operations, but neither must it be neglected when considering ongoing strategy.

I would suggest the following topics should be addressed in your business plan:

  • business case
  • goals
  • strategy
  • marketing
  • operations (procurement and or production)
  • finance (especially a budgeted cash flow statement)
  • resources (human and technical)
  • owners, lenders and managers
  • premises (if applicable).

One of the most important parts of the business plan is the Marketing plan. This has to be informed, not by a great outburst of initial enthusiasm at the prospect of setting up your online business, but by some basic cold, hard, market research. Here matters such as likely demand, expected competition, route to market, pricing, competitive advantage, production or supply, sales and credit policy need to be considered. When considering finance, do not make the mistake of asking for too little financial support in the hope of generating early earnings. If the earnings happen, it is easy to repay any loans that you have, but if not, you could find yourself in trouble without remedy, since any review by a lender at that stage may not look encouraging.

Assess your progress

The business case mentioned above is also very important in setting up an online business and this needs to be revisited at prearranged intervals. The business case provides the rationale for the business plan, it outlines the expected cost benefit of the plan and justifies the plan. The plan is not justified at start-up and then considered justified forever after. This justification needs to be validated or modified periodically and this is done after pre-arranged stages. Fundamentally the business case begins by answering the question ‘why’. Initially the question is why begin this is modified to why continue? Without a robust answer after each stage, resources can be poured into a project without justification, and a small failure is prevented from becoming a major failure.

Get Associated With Crude Oil Business As a Facilitator

There are many entry barriers if you want to get associated with crude oil trading. The first and foremost entry barrier to this business is the amount of funds required to handle even smallest of the crude parcels. In case you have managed funds then comes the second hurdle i.e., getting allocation of crude from a refinery. Often getting allocation of oil from a Refinery is quite a challenging task, while there are many buyers willing to off take the parcels directly from the refinery the commercial supply of a refinery is limited. So does one get associated with this business and still can make some money? The answer to this can be working in the capacity of a ‘Facilitator’ in the business.

To become a ‘Facilitator’ in oil business you do not need loads of investment or excellent relationship with a refinery to get allocation of oil. What you actually need is right knowledge and expertise you hook up genuine buyers and sellers. One should be in the industry for long to have acquired knowledge related to the dynamics of this business. Your knowledge of the business will help you in identifying and impressing genuine buyers and sellers.

The first step involved in working as a facilitator is to get mandate from either buyer of the seller. It is very important that you can secure one end of the deal. You must have either the buyer or the seller in confidence before moving ahead with finding the right match. It always helps to get a written mandate from one of the parties appointing you as your legal representative in find the right match.

Once you have your legal mandate in place make your move in finding the right buyer or seller according to the case. From your past experience you might already have some leads which you can further explore for this deal otherwise internet can prove to be a useful tool here. You can visit and register with various B2B websites which offer a platform where buyers and sellers can meet. I am sure there you will find no shortage of matches you are looking for but now it is up to your skills to weed out the unwanted and fraudulent matches. It is very important that you do not pass on the details of any buyer or seller without scrutinizing them to your mandate provider. In case your recommended matches come out to be fake ones it will create a negative impact of your ability get the right match.

One your scrutinizing process is over you can forward the right match with necessary documentation to your mandate provider and seek their inputs on how to proceed on them. Direct meeting with some of the matches could be the next step to clinch a deal. You may earn a success fee or a pre agreed commission on successful completion of business.

Why You Should Consider Using Internet Marketing For Business

The information age has dawned and presently there are more people than ever online hungry for information. Many of these people will make up the ideal target market of your business. Are you online yet? Are you getting your business message out in front of them as fast and effective as possible? Are you giving them so much value that your name is the first to come to mind when they think about whatever product or service you are involved with? If not then you are leaving an awful lot of money on the table, and should consider using internet marketing for business building.

The world is full of doom and gloom about the present economic conditions, you may choose to participate in all the worry, negativity and skepticism or you can ignore it and plough on with your own efforts and invest your time a little more wisely. If you think about it there has never been a greater time to be in business due to the invention of the internet. You now have the opportunity to put your business message in front of as many people you care to imagine and you have the opportunity to separate yourself from the competition by actively building relationships. Building relationships is the key to having people come to you ready to buy, and not going out there trying to sell to them.

If you are a business person who is in doubt as to whether or not you should be using internet marketing for your own business just think bout your own habits, I bet you are starting to research more things on the internet, I bet you are even purchasing more goods and services on the internet. You can be sure that if you are doing so your target market is doing so as well. That is why you should be using internet marketing for business.

If you have the opportunity to use internet marketing for business purposes then you should really be doing so as there is absolutely no reason why you should not be doing so. Just by having a YouTube channel and a Facebook fan page you will be creating an online presence (they are free to implement as well by the way) you are exposing yourself to many people who will be interested in what you have to say.

The main benefit that you should be considering with the internet is that your whole marketing efforts are well and truly leveraged. You have the opportunity to expose your message to as many people you want to for as long as you want to. Compare that to your last direct mail campaign that you considered a success because ten people out of a thousand responded to your letter.

If you are in business, any business at all and you have a website just sitting there doing nothing like most business owners do, then you should be using internet marketing for business growth. Online marketing is nothing more than really taking your offline marketing efforts online, finding your target market and promoting your value driven message to them.

Using internet marketing for business purposes is extremely easy once you have the correct model for promotion in place and a plan for its use. To find out exactly how you could learn to market your business online check out the link below.