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Website first or business plan first - HELP

    • 8 posts
    August 9, 2009 11:45 AM EDT
    Business plan is definitely the way to go first.



    RiujinZero8/9/2009 4:39 PM

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    The ever so jovial site admin of ThePendex.com, a web development firm catering to the needs of the small business owner.

    • 205 posts
    December 8, 2006 10:20 AM EST
    Agreed - who`s to say you can`t do both.  In some ways a website will help force you to make tough decisions about things like your target market, value proposition, and marketing strategy, as all of those should be elements of your website design process.

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    chuck fuller

    • 205 posts
    December 13, 2006 1:49 AM EST
    Without a doubt fonz, having some sort of end goals and plan in mind is crucial before you leap into building out a website - I think this discussion was more geared toward the question of whether or not you`ll want to completely wrap up your business plan with a bow before you even think of launching an online presence.

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    chuck fuller

    • 205 posts
    December 14, 2006 2:14 AM EST
    Glad you could derive some benefit from the discussion lainhk - please be sure to update us when your site goes live!

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    chuck fuller

    • 4 posts
    December 6, 2011 4:04 AM EST

    I think setting up your webpage before you have a business plan is kind of like starting off on a road trip before you have picked a destination. The direction you are headed is more likely to be wrong than right. :)

     

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    couch grass

    • 56 posts
    January 1, 2007 7:00 AM EST

    I agree with the posts of doing both at the same time.

    The Business Plan is mostly a theoretical document created for you to follow. When you’ve finished the first version (before your business is actually up and running) realize that it won’t be the last version.  As mentioned earlier, it’s a “living” document 

    A website is almost like a mini-business plan, but in a fast-forward environment.  The website is going to reflect much of what your business plan represents.  The website is a practical, real, physical and brings to life what you have proposed in the business plan.

    I always found it comforting that I could change the mock-up of my website as I make major changes to my business plan.  Seeing the website helped to me visualize the ideas of the business plans and put them in to a real context.

    Happy New Year and good luck the WWW and BP!

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    Daniel the Denim Doctor

    • 36 posts
    December 6, 2006 9:17 AM EST
    I think you should go with your rough plans and build out the concept website. You want to have a clear objective with a clear audience, but after that you`ve got to test to see if there`s really an opportunity here.

    What you want to build out is a concept - not fully functional, crazy software that has all the bells and whistles. You should network within your target market and select a few people to "check it out" If the feedback is positive and you feel like you`ve got something, THEN refine the business plan.

    I know the SuN community is very pro-Business Plan. In my opinion, though, there`s very little value to creating a full-fledged business plan at this stage of the game. Have a rough document that gets your objectives and market on paper, then build a product concept out with those things in firm mind. If it creates some buzz and you see real potential, polish the plan with the financial forecasts, team descriptions, etc.

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    Dan Pickett
    Principal
    Enlight Solutions, Inc.

    www.enlightsolutions.com
    www.twitter.com/dpickett

    • 36 posts
    December 7, 2006 2:25 PM EST

    Starpointe,
    I agree with enlighDan, about creating a rough sketch. I know we are all Pro-Business Plan here at Start Up Nation, but... How ficticious is your business Plan`s Forecasting?

    I think what he should do is... Start his business on a Goal List... A small two page Business plan that he can edit every week, every month as the business grows.. and once he has enough information... It is much easier to come up with the Business Plan..



    Thanks Nuevolution - I think you expressed my recommendation better. I never said don`t have a plan - it just doesn`t have to be refined at this stage of the game - if you need finances, then that baby better be pristine - but, if you`re feeling out the market, develop a strategy, research your target audience, and build a concept to use in focus groups.

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    Dan Pickett
    Principal
    Enlight Solutions, Inc.

    www.enlightsolutions.com
    www.twitter.com/dpickett

    • 731 posts
    December 7, 2006 10:42 AM EST

    Web Site first or Business Plan? It almost sounds like: What came first the chicken or the "Egg"?
    My recommendation is to work on both at the same time. Although, starting a business plan is the most appropiate way to start, what you need to do is, instead of a business plan.. Set a Goal List: In your goal list define what you want to do, and by when. Everytime you hit your goal, Write down how you accomplished that goal and what you are going to need to get to the next step. You web site will help you See the picture better. Why? because it`s not written on Concrete, you can always go back and modify code, images, and content.
    Use both to accomplish your goals.
    Once you have a list of your goals and what you did to accomplish those goals, it would be easier to put your business plan together.
    One more thing before you begin with your busiess plan: create a simple S.W.O.T analysis... SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats...
    For example: What are you Strengths? (perhaps a good programmer)
    What are your Weaknesses? (shy when talking to customers)
    What are your Oppurtunities? (Technology, No competition or something)
    What are your Threats? ( 9/11, Economy, Capital, and so forth.)

    I use this on a regular basis, to see where the business is at and what I need to do to improve. You can use it to give you a small peep, of what is out there.
    Just a suggestion!!

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    Edgar Monroy
    Web Developer / Owner / Consultant
    When starting your own business the need to "know-how" is greater than money!
    http://www.nuevolution.net

    • 731 posts
    December 7, 2006 12:00 PM EST

    Starpointe,
    I agree with enlighDan, about creating a rough sketch. I know we are all Pro-Business Plan here at Start Up Nation, but... How ficticious is your business Plan`s Forecasting? How did you come up with those funny numbers with a trail of ,000,000,000.(zeros)... How much can one know about their target market when writing their business plan? Unless you are in that industry already?
    But... Honestly How did You Forecast? What lead you to believe that those numbers are correct.
    I think what he should do is... Start his business on a Goal List... A small two page Business plan that he can edit every week, every month as the business grows.. and once he has enough information... It is much easier to come up with the Business Plan..

     

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    Edgar Monroy
    Web Developer / Owner / Consultant
    When starting your own business the need to "know-how" is greater than money!
    http://www.nuevolution.net

    • 14 posts
    December 5, 2006 10:05 PM EST

    I have online info resource idea which I would like to get up and running. My business plan is in its first draft.. My ideas are on paper, on word, etc. My content can be updated anytime.. the question is this...

    Do I create the website first to start generating hits - then submit business plan (as it might change) and go and get my clients/vendors/partners etc..

    OR

    Do I wait until my business plan is submitted, register the business, find the clients, then do the webpage.

    HELP - mind going crazy

     

     

    • 14 posts
    December 5, 2006 10:41 PM EST

    Imeant finalize the bizz plan, and show prospective clients.

    I am needing a mock up site to show prospective clients, hence thinking I should build the website now... the site will contain information on events, directories and online forum for upcoming brides. I have the funds to build the website now so I can show clients... but should I finalize the bizz plan first and register the business, or see how many hits I get in a month before selling the info????

     

    • 14 posts
    December 13, 2006 3:42 PM EST
    Thank you everyone - very valueable. My website is now currently being constructed and will definetely force me to review market strategies. I wont be going live for a while, but having the construction of the page enables me to understand and review content strategies. Thanks again
    • 31 posts
    December 7, 2006 11:27 AM EST
    Buy the domain name you want to use and put up a "coming soon" page.  This will ensure that you own the name and you can start to see how much traffic that page gets.  Don`t waste time at this point prettying it up though. 

    Now finish your business plan.  With all due respect, I disagree with enlightDan.  Yes the SUN community is very pro business plan for a reason.  In creating a business plan, you`ll do feasability and market research.  You`ll find out how desirable your business idea is before investing too much other time/effort into it. 

    If you discover in the end that there`s no market for it...all you`ve lost is the $5 you spent on the domain name.  Otherwise, once you`re business plan is done, you`ll already have the seed planted to start building your business. 

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    Ryan J StarPointe Marketing Website Development, Hosting & Marketing Consulting

    • 31 posts
    December 13, 2006 8:28 AM EST
    I apologize for the misunderstanding.  No you absolutely don`t want your business plan bronzed and buried in a time capsule.  It will always be a living, breathing document that you`ll change and update.  Your goals will change.  Your vision will change.  Your forecasts and assumptions will change as well as your operating procedures. 

    I was simply advocating taking some time to set goals and objectives and making sure you know where you want to end up before jumping in and opening your doors.  Naturally, that`s the fun part and it`s tempting to start with that but so many entrepreneurs start with that and that`s why most startups fail and many spin their wheels for years before really taking off. 

    But yes, definitely get out there and get your feet wet.  Get some experience in the market.  You`ll never succeed if you don`t rub shoulders with the people you`re wanting to sell to.  

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    Ryan J StarPointe Marketing Website Development, Hosting & Marketing Consulting

    • 234 posts
    December 5, 2006 10:12 PM EST
    Setting up your webpage before you have a business plan is kind of like starting off on a road trip before you have picked a destination. The direction you are headed is more likely to be wrong than right.

    What do you mean when you say "business plan is submitted" - to whom are you submitting it?
    • 2 posts
    December 31, 2006 9:40 AM EST
    I saw this today, and apologize if the advice is too late in coming.  My advice to you is to view the biz plan the same as you do your website... Always open and able to change as needed.  In this case, there should be no question about whether or not to continue with the site launch -(notice I avoid the word completion).  In working with so many start-up companies and the like - aversion to action is almost always the killer to prosperity.  We tend to fall into this rut of "analysis paralysis" as I like to call it.  I have a tendency to be a bit of a `go for it` type business person and have found my greatest rewards are hidden beneath the biggest (perceived) risks I`ve taken.  Experience has taught me that no blog or bit of advice will convince a person to take an action against their personal gut feeling/motivator, so I`m sure you`ve already decided what you`re comfortable with.  If it helps at all, I`ll opt to point out the obvious... Which action will provide the biggest payoff to you and your business in the long term?  Someone mentioned creating a goal list in line with your plan, that`s good advice.  If you know what your desired outcome is - go for it.