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Thread: Business Plan

  1. #1
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    Business Plan

    I have bought my reseller account recently but I think I need a business plan. I have been reading the tutorials here but I am still unsure of the things that I need to include in the business plan. Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
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    I think just go out and start selling , u will learn more practical than ponder over a business plan.

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    Currently, I am have started sponsoring a few websites in exchange of advertising inventory and the revenue is not bad for the moment. It is as if the clients are paying for their web hosting.

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    DO NOT do wat booncuan said. DO NOT DO IT (no offence boonchuan). In the thread "$7428k to spend...", I have given a guide to writing a business plan.

    Seriously. You HAVE to write a business plan. It could have been a mistake buying a reseller account so quick, but better late than never!

    I found a MAJOR flaw in my plans that could have cost me £Thousands had I not planned ahead in my bus plan. Do you wanna risk that? I sure as hell know I wouldn't.

    It took me 2 weeks to write the business plan, not long, and I found many things out in it.

    My plan is 11 pages long (I have been told it's pretty short), and details marketing plans, advertising campaigns, income/expenses, customer estimates, break-evens information, target customers, pricing plan, payment, expansion and loads more.

    BELIEVE ME, it IS worth writing a business plan. Many a business has failed due to lack of planning, DO NOT be one of these businesses!

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    That's exactly why I am writing my business plan. I started my business plan before I bought the reseller account but have been redoing it all along as I can't seem to get it right somehow.

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    Thanks but I have read that already. I am trying to get more practical advice from people who got their own business plans as I believe there's more to it.

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    No offense Sir! Just that I saw too many ppl with lots of biz plans but never take a step towards achieving their goals, biz plans is impt but has to be sustained by actual practical steps. I had work in big corps. All but talks all but papers....so normally a little phobia towards biz plans

    [QUOTE]Originally posted by will7
    [B]DO NOT do wat booncuan said. DO NOT DO IT (no offence boonchuan). In the thread "$7428k to spend...", I have given a guide to writing a business plan.

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    That's quite true too as I am currently on internship with a MNC. There's always talk and papers but I still think it is always good to have the plan to look at so that I feel more motivated in working towards my goal.

  10. #10
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    K boonchuan. Just follow your business plan and, if it is a good business plan, all should go to plan. Good luck!

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    You do not really need a perfect business plan. There are a thousand factors in this business that you don`t know before you start selling. You need some ideas on how you are going to do things and how much it will cost you etc. Once you have that you will have to make experiences. You will have to waste a few thousand bucks in order to learn how it works. If you are asking me there is no way around that.

  12. #12
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    If I need a few thousand bucks to learn then I really need a good business plan. At the moment, I am spending a small amount of money for my reseller account while trying to sponsor a few decent websites for their advertising inventory before I venture out into getting customers for paid hosting.

  13. #13
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    >If I need a few thousand bucks to learn then I really need a
    >good business plan.

    What I wanted to say is that there are things you can't plan.

    For example if your business plan says: "I will spend 1000 Dollar a month for advertising and gain 30 clients that way" - How do you want to know if 1000 bucks will result in 30 clients. The ROI rate is one of the factors you don't know before you try and there are 1000 other factors. You can't make a plan without experimenting and that involves costs...

    What I suggest is:

    Make a very basic plan at the beginning...then try and find out the factors. Then when you have the factors make a more detailed business plan.
    Of course you must be very careful. If you make a mistake it might break your neck... Its like in that movie named Cube - does anyone know that

  14. #14
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    Thomas, base all plans on break-even. If you don't get that many customers, you are losing money. You can tell this if you know what you're gonna charge. Then, every customer after that is profit.

    I planned, using break-even info & estimates, that if I moved onto my own servers (from Ded.), then I wouldn't be making much more (or possibly less) to warrant the move, so that was taken out. You see, I could have lost £Thousands.

    Yes, mistakes will most likely occur, but you have to try to prevent MORE of those mistakes happening.

  15. #15
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    Hi ORin,

    Hope this helps you out, someone (wish I could give them credit but I don't remember) forwarded this to me to help me out. It's the best plan that I've seen that could be translated over to web hosting, helped me out a ton. Very detailed.

    http://bplans.com/spv/3301/

    Good luck in the future,

    Rich

  16. #16
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    Originally posted by bizwired
    Hi ORin,

    Hope this helps you out, someone (wish I could give them credit but I don't remember) forwarded this to me to help me out. It's the best plan that I've seen that could be translated over to web hosting, helped me out a ton. Very detailed.

    http://bplans.com/spv/3301/

    Good luck in the future,

    Rich
    Thanks, bizwired! That's a really detailed plan, definitely something I need to guide me along.

  17. #17
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    Originally posted by boonchuan
    I think just go out and start selling , u will learn more practical than ponder over a business plan.


    A business plan should contain a general outline of just about everything. All fees, all expenses, budgets, estimated ROI, licensing rates, support setup/planning, billing setup/planning, etc. Basically, anything related to your business.

    You need a business plan, without it you have no idea what you're jumping into.
    Last edited by Amdac; 11-01-2004 at 02:08 AM.
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  18. #18
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    Originally posted by boonchuan
    I think just go out and start selling , u will learn more practical than ponder over a business plan.
    I agree, although you do need some kind of road map infront of you. I started HTTPme with a vision and a reseller account. I had no elaborate business plan, and just had lots of ideas on a whiteboard. BTW, most of those ideas were all wrong too. heh.

    You will learn most of what you need to know, as you progress. Just take things 1 day at a time, and learn as much as you can from those hosts who have gone before you.

    It also depends which level you want to start at. If you're starting from the reseller level, then that's pretty safe. You can earn while you learn, but you need to keep your wits about you.

    If you're starting from 10 servers and a couple of staff, then you need to lay out the cashflow and have a very good idea of what you're doing. You'd probably need to have been through this before and are very experienced, or have a wad of cash to burn,. while you learn from all the mistakes you'll make.
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  19. #19
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    Originally posted by Amdac


    A business plan should contain a general outline of just about everything. All fees, all expenses, budgets, estimated ROI, licensing rates, support setup/planning, billing setup/planning, etc. Basically, anything related to your business.
    Laugh away all you want. boonchuan gave some good advice, and I partially agree with his advice. boonchuan runs a successful hosting business with 100+ servers, and can talk the talk, because he has walked the walk. If folks want to laugh that off, then that's fine with me. boonchuan knows that you learn while you earn, as it's a matter of climbing that ladder each day, and each day you learn something new, and add to your knowledge.
    You need a business plan, without it you have no idea what you're jumping into.

    I built HTTPme without a "business plan", so it can be done.

    Unless you've built a hosting company previous, you will have absolutely no idea what "you're jumping into", so trying to work it all out in advance, is practically a total waste of time. But hey, if it makes you feel better.
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  20. #20
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    Oh, and before anyone says I'm not advocating folks setting up a hosting business without some kind of business plan/vision/road map. I personally believe a very strong vision/dream/passion is critical for success in this industry.

    But as I said before, unless you're very experienced in this industry, you'll have very little clue of what to expect when making a business plan, until it hits you, and all the forward planning in the world won't amount to all that much, in the harsh reality of running your hosting business.
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  21. #21
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    Hmm... I would say while being practical is good, I think someone like me still need something black and white to remind me of my goals in case I stray off course...

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    Originally posted by Aussie Bob
    BTW, most of those ideas were all wrong too. heh.
    That's exactly why I said a business plan is essential. Yes you can start a business without one and waste money and resources, but there's absolutely no reason not to sit down for an hour or two and plan things out ahead of time, possibly saving thousands of dollars and many mistakes down the road.
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  23. #23
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    Originally posted by Amdac
    That's exactly why I said a business plan is essential. Yes you can start a business without one and waste money and resources, but there's absolutely no reason not to sit down for an hour or two and plan things out ahead of time, possibly saving thousands of dollars and many mistakes down the road.
    Maybe having a reseller account for a few months and trying to attract customers whilst learning a bit more about the tech support side and how time consuming it can be would be beneficial before writing a business plan.

  24. #24
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    Originally posted by Deefer
    Maybe having a reseller account for a few months and trying to attract customers whilst learning a bit more about the tech support side and how time consuming it can be would be beneficial before writing a business plan.
    Tech support is an obvious requirement for any web host company, this is knowledge obtained before starting by means of simple research.

    All businesses need a starting point.
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  25. #25
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    Indeed, I find myself lacking in terms of technical support knowedge so I guess it is better off with my reseller account and website sponsorship. Once I am breaking even or have a stable income, I will start moving forward by getting either a semi-dedicated server or VPS. But which is better and more economical?

  26. #26
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    Aussie Bob Thanks for the compliment, u belong to my generation hehe, nowadays it seems the competition is very different. To be honest, if I am starting at this time, I dont know if I will be successful. Bob, what do u think if you are starting out at this time. Those who started out this time and succeed, I really respect them.

  27. #27
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    Originally posted by Amdac
    That's exactly why I said a business plan is essential. Yes you can start a business without one and waste money and resources, but there's absolutely no reason not to sit down for an hour or two and plan things out ahead of time, possibly saving thousands of dollars and many mistakes down the road.
    I remember spending days on end getting my ideas out and onto my office whiteboard. I wish I had a photo of that whiteboard, as it would be interesting to remember my train of thinking. That served its purpose, and got the ball rolling, where each day I naturally adjusted the plan of attack. That for me happened in my head, and on the whiteboard, but each to his own.
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  28. #28
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    Originally posted by Amdac
    Tech support is an obvious requirement for any web host company, this is knowledge obtained before starting by means of simple research.
    Tech support knowledge could also be gained from real experience, running your hosting business. If a host is starting at the reseller level, their reseller supplier can help them out with any issues they have, so they are earning while they are learning.

    There's no hard and fast rules here, and each business is so unique, as people are unique. What worked well for me, might not work for other folks, or visa versa.
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  29. #29
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    My comment on tech support was in regards to the quote of how time consuming it can be, not on the knowledge itself. I was stating that you should have a general idea of the amount of support required before starting a business. There's enough information in these forums alone to put together a fairly good picture of what to expect when starting a web host company.
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  30. #30
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    From my point of view, requirement of tech support gets higher as the number of customers increase but, however, starting out by sponsoring websites, I am not actually obliged to give support but providing as a voluntary act though I am trying to help and learn at the same time.

  31. #31
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    Originally posted by Amdac
    . . . There's enough information in these forums alone to put together a fairly good picture of what to expect when starting a web host company.
    Possibly so, but nothing beats real life experience.

    Hey, each to his own. I got to where I wanted to go, so it was great for me. Not everyone has that kind of experience, and we're all vastly different.
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  32. #32
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    Originally posted by boonchuan
    I think just go out and start selling , u will learn more practical than ponder over a business plan.
    That's probably the last thing you should do

  33. #33
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    I do think boonchuan has a business plan somewhere down the line, even a mental one in his mind. Practical and hands-on experience combined with a business plan should be a good start.

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    I can only remember a few things, I am already old and senile was thinking more of rosewood or oak (coffin) rather than able to remember so long passed....but basically

    1. To keep the operations self sufficiency and financing.
    (I start from the affliate reseller slowly built up to server to colo etc)
    2. To ensure the company can last a long time
    (Meaning sell within your means, 1 gb for US$1 can give you (1) but u wont't last). When I started I make sure I can last 2 years at least.

    As in all biz, internet or otherwise keep overheads low, keep operations stable and efficient. And keep your promises. I am a Chinese Singaporean, in Chinese culture trust is very important and I believe it is a good value in any biz or culture. Trust building is very important also.

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    Another thing to add maybe your accountants may disagree, dun incur debt, for eg even though u can theoretically have up to 60 days interest free on your credit card, dun take it. It may seem stupid , but when I started paying for my servers using credit card , I estimated the amount I will spend on the 1st day of the month, and send the bank a cheque, keeping a credit in the credit card. I may be losing out on the interest but it sure helps to ensure you spend within your means. All bills no matter if they come with a 30 day grace etc was paid promptly by next day mail. This ensure the whatever money left over is the money u really have, not borrowed money.

  36. #36
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    That's quite true. I don't have credit card, only a debit card at the moment. That should keep in me inline then. I can only spend when my account got money in it. You will notice that I'm from Singapore and I am a Chinese as well.

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