Creating an Affiliate Business Plan

Even without the traditional storefront business, having a business plan can help 
you immensely – both immediately and in the long-term. You can achieve two things:

  1. A clear path for success. The number one goal of any business is to achieve
    success. A business plan enables you to lay out a solid path and make adjustments
    as you go.
  2. Time & Task Management. With a clear plan, you can gain the ultimate resource – time.
    Extra time can then be used to further your business. With each goal you set, there are
    a number of tasks required to meet that goal. Then you can plan out your day, week,
    month, quarter and year.
    *See Diagram 1 for prioritizing tasks

Both of the above benefits make creating an affiliate business plan worth while. The
bottom line is, a solid plan can lend itself to success – all that’s left is to create one.

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Why you should create your own business plan?

Since you’re likely already developing your business and marketing goals, it makes sense
to use those goals to create your own plan. With a clear understanding of your goals and a
task oriented plan to achieve those goals, you’ll be well on your way to success.

By using your goals and your business plan as your guide, you can make a positive impact
on your business and, in turn, your bottom line.

Moreover, it doesn’t matter how big your business is or how high your income is; business
planning is an important component of every successful entrepreneur. Just like a business
plan is to an established company, every affiliate will benefit from its creation.


What is a business plan?

The word “business plan” comes from the old-fashioned business concept of a “blueprint,”
or a document describing the essential aspects of the firm (and its corresponding finances).

A business plan is similar to a contract. The purpose is the same: to outline, in detail, what
it is the company expects to accomplish, the steps it will take to get there, and the consequences
should those steps be altered or not taken.

There are several general definitions of a business plan. One is simply an informal company
proposal. As the name suggests, this is a basic idea of a company proposal. Its goal is to
attract investors or funding for your company’s development. It is also commonly used as the
outline for a business plan.


What should be included in the business plan?

Here are some tips to help you create a solid plan, as well as future-proof it for future updates:
Determine how much time you want to spend on each component of your business plan, in
time and money. Budget.

You could choose to create a plan that acts more as a series of ‘To-do’ lists. Each time you
have a new goal to achieve, prioritize it in the plan and set out the steps you will take in
order to meet your goals.

Below are the ten essential components of a formal business plan:

Executive summary.–This is a good way to get a mission statement
Business description. – This is formal
Market analysis and strategy.— You did this when you picked your niche
Marketing and sales plan. – Necessary
Competitive analysis. – You did this when you picked your niche
Management and organization description.–This is formal
Products and services description. – Good to have
Operating plan – Standard Operating Procedures


For affiliate marketing however, there are just 4 components you want to consider from
the beginning:

  1. Executive Summary
    [Company Name] ______ (write what you do such as helps, provides, sells, manufactures, etc.)
    ______ (write what you offer such as food, services, software, etc.) to ______ (write who
    your customers are such as teenagers, new parents, business managers) with the following
    benefits ______ (write your benefits, e.g., faster, more reliable, lower cost).

For example: Jones Pastry Shop sells freshly baked good to local residents in and around
Springfield. We are unique because we have amazing tasting products in a convenient location
at reasonable prices.


2.  Marketing and Sales Plan
Target Customers – Customer Analysis

Below are several demographic (e.g., age) and psycho-graphic (e.g., values) variables to describe your target customers.

Age
Income
Gender
Location
Marital Status
Family size
Occupation
Language
Education
Values/Beliefs
Activities
Business Size
Other

Briefly explain the characteristics of your target customers.  At the Wealthy Affiliate this is part of the training.


3.  Products/Services & Pricing
Briefly explain your products/services and your pricing of them.

Promotions Plan
The following is a list of tactics you might use to attract new customers.

Banners and/or Billboards
Blogs, Podcasts, etc.
Classified Ads
Coupons
Direct Mail
Email Marketing
Event Marketing
Flyers
Networking
Newspaper/Magazine ads
Online Marketing (SEO/SEM/Social Media)
Partnerships/Joint Ventures
Press Releases/PR
Radio Ads/TV Ads/Infomercials
Trade Shows
Word of Mouth / Viral Marketing
Other


4.  Standard Operating Procedures
Daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and annually.  What you are going to do everyday to obtain your goals.


Conclusion

In essence we have discussed why you need a business plan and what you need to
have in it. Though it is probably a good idea to do the formal Business Plan as it covers
your company as an LLC filing and takes care of your tax obligations, as well as your
chosen accounting operation so you can determine your gross and net profits, I would
wait until you really start to make some money. Just remember to track all money
transactions, cost &/or revenue. (Save all of your receipts)

You can find several applications online by doing a google search to get templets for a
formal business plan with cover and everything.

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So tell me, what do you think?  If you have any questions, please leave them or any comments below in the box provided.

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