Can you start an online business without a business plan?

So you want to start an online business, but don’t have any idea about what type of business to build. It’s a common thought that many people have, but don’t let that excuse stop you. There are many options available that make it easier to start an online business without a business plan.

Many people will tell you that before getting into any business it is important that you have a clear plan. A Plan is use to define the structure, identity (branding), product/service and projected profitability of that business. Many more people will tell you that for a business plan to be effective it should be clearly written down.

But the jury is not all in on that point of view. 

The Jury’s still out

In 2007 Julian Lange, Associate Professor of Entrepreneurship at Babson College, Wellesley, Massachusetts conducted a study of 116 start-up ventures. The study was titled: Pre-start-up formal business plans and post-start-up performance. It compared the success rate of ventures that used a clearly defined business plan from inception to that of venture that didn’t start out with any formal business plan. The study showed that there was no statistically significant difference between the success rates for ventures that started with a business plan compared to those that didn’t. 

There are probably at least as many people who have successfully built online businesses without a clear plan over what their business would look like when they started.

Such is the range, flexibility and accessibility of varied online business opportunities. Many people see it as more important to simply jump in and work out the necessary steps along the way.

When you are building a business based around your personal interests it is possible to start your online business as a side hobby around your day job.

There is an added advantage when you are creating a business around something that you are passionate about. That way it’s easier to maintain a high level of enthusiasm for growing the business. 

“Enthusiasm is one of the most powerful engines of success…..Nothing great was ever achieved without it.” 

Ralph Waldo Emmerson

Affiliate Marketing

It is easy enough to source products/services that you can market as an affiliate. Affiliates get paid a commission for every sale they make. You can do this through familiar platforms like Amazon Affiliates, Shopify and eBay. But there are almost countless other Affiliate Agencies out there. iI is worth researching into the specific T&C’s for each agency and their area of reach. Some agencies are more particularly suited to specific geographic areas. For example the Home Depot Affiliate program is a popular affiliate set-up for North America, but does not necessarily suit an audience outside that region.

A key point to focus on if you are interested to try out affiliate marketing is to only look at promoting products that you know the quality and value of. If you try to simply spruik something that looks shiny without any personal experience of the quality of the product then your promotion efforts won’t connect with the people that you are marketing to.

Freelance creatives

Some people prefer to have more creative input into their online marketing. That’s certainly possible through OM avenues like content marketing, such as blogging, creative art/logo design, music composition etc. While there may not be as many freelance network agencies as there are affiliate marketing agencies there are still a good number to choose from. Fiverr is among the most well known but there are many others including:

Online business, home office, freelance
  • Upwork
  • Simply Hired
  • Crowded
  • The Creative Group

But then again, if you still feel that you are not one for promoting other peoples products and don’t feel that you are in a position to get into online marketing as a freelance creative there are still countless other approaches for building successful online businesses. And probably the best way to learn about that is through connecting with people who are in the trenches. Getting involved with online marketing communities is a great space to grow through inspiration. By engaging with network communities of online marketers you can learn first-hand exactly how many options are out there.

So…Can you start and online business without a business plan?

So even if you don’t have any idea what type of internet business you want to build that is not something that should stop you from uncovering how you can succeed at online marketing.

Are you ready to take control of your life? Building your own online marketing business is a great way to do that.

Getting trained in developing my own online marketing business has empowered me to embrace the shifting chaos of the world economy right now and set up multiple income streams. Click through on the link below to get access to my Mentor’s FREE Online Marketing Workshop series.

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