Planning Your Web Hosting Business, continued
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Welcome to the second and final part of this discussion about planning your web hosting business. Last time, I gave you only half of the roadmap for what goes into a business plan. This time, after a recap, I will give you the other half.
In my previous article, I explained that web hosting was a business just like any other. Sure, it has its own unique challenges, but you want to approach it as a business. That means that you want to have a plan before you proceed.
I also mentioned the six parts one usually finds in a business plan: the executive summary, the enterprise, the market, operations, organization, and key risks/timeline. Since I did not have the room to cover all six in the previous article, I covered the first three.
To review, then, the executive summary gets written last because you need the information in the rest of the plan to fill in the information. It provides an overview. It should include what the company is about, who the founders are, and what your “vision” is. It should explain the market opportunity. If you are using your business plan to seek funding, it should also explain what you plan to do with your funding. It should also cover where you are now and where you hope to be in the future (say five years from now).
The section talking about the enterprise describes your company’s product or service and what its advantage is in the marketplace. With so many different web hosting companies in the field, this is particularly important. If you hope to compete, you need to have some kind of focus.
I went into a great deal of detail about the section that covers the market. And rightfully so—if you hope to compete, you’d better do your homework. You need to know the industry, your market size, your niche, who your competitors are, and how you will reach your customers, among other things. It can seem more than a bit overwhelming, but the point isn’t to paralyze you; it’s to help you understand that there’s work to be done, and research is your friend.
So much for the recap. Now I will cover the remaining three parts of a business plan: operations, organization, and key risks/timeline. While these parts may not seem as important as, say, the market section of your business plan, they will give you and anyone who reads the plan a better handle on how the company is projected to operate on a day-to-day basis.
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