Planning Your Web Hosting Business, continued - Preparing for Risks
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Nobody likes to think about how things might go wrong with a new venture. But if you want to be successful, you do need to be prepared in case the worst happens. There are certain risks that are inherent in every industry, and web hosting is no exception. Those risks should be noted here (and again, this is where doing your homework comes in handy).
There are also certain risks that are specific to any new venture. Any young company faces certain dangers. What if one of the founders or officers suffers a debilitating illness or dies? They could be difficult or impossible to replace. Many firms will buy life insurance, with the company as the beneficiary, to mitigate this kind of risk. This of course brings up the other thing that belongs in this section, namely, how you plan to respond to these risks if and when you have to deal with them. If you have experience dealing with these particular risks, this is also a good place to mention that point.
Another good thing to put in this section is your timeline. While you have already talked about your future plans in other parts of the document, you might want to summarize them here. You can do it in a timeline format, which gives you a nice at-a-glance view as to what your targets are and when you hope to achieve them. Another advantage of using a timeline is that you can also go “backward” by showing what you have already accomplished as far as achieving your goals: skills acquired, employees hired, research completed, web host found if doing reseller web hosting, customer packages created, that sort of thing.
A timeline that shows your targets makes a good counterpoint to the list of risks. It can help clarify your focus: “here are my goals, here are the things that could get in the way of my achieving these goals.” Thus, putting the two together in this way helps to give you a good context. If the entire business plan can be seen as a map, this section can be thought of as the dotted line along the road you plan to travel. This doesn’t mean that the rest of the plan isn’t important; with the research you’ve done to flesh it out, it’s what helped you draw that dotted line to begin with.
If you want more information about business plans or starting a new business in general, the Small Business Administration’s website (http://www.sba.gov) should serve as an excellent resource. Among other things, it features articles that can help you learn about starting, financing, and managing your business. Good luck!
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