Develop Your Business Plan As a Web Host

A business plan defines your whole business strategy, where to start with and where your business will lead you in future? To create a business plan you must know the details about the business you are going to start.Why a Business Plan is required?Before starting a business everyone needs to know where your company will stand in next 10 or 15 years that depends on you for how long you can carry on your business plan. After collecting all the necessary information regarding your business you have to assemble that in order which results in a proper business plan. The essence of your business plan is based on:Goals: Define your goals properly and strategy to achieve them.
Problem & Solutions: What you are going to do in any sort of crisis? How you can handle it?
Financial Issues: How much finance you have? And how long you can survive with it? How are you going to manage you business profit and loss?Business Plan Duration:While writing a business plan you should keep that in mind, how long your business plan can survive? For that you have to do market research about the business you are going to start, it pros and cons. The success of your business can tell you how long your strategy will work?Flexibility:Your business plan must be flexible, if things doesn’t workout according to the plan than what will be your next step? Most of the people got stuck in the situation where they don’t have enough flexibility in there business plan. So your business plan must be flexible enough so that you can make changes according to the twist and turn in the market.Web hosting Business Plan:If you are planning to start a web hosting business first you have to define your business plan. Your business plan must have consists of following elements:Define your Business Strategy:Most people got confuse in the beginning that where to start off. If you are starting a web hosting business and you don’t have much idea about it started off with a small investment. Initially get a reseller web hosting plan. In reseller hosting plan you are allow to host websites as a third party. Certain amount of space is reserved on a server for reseller account and he has permission to rent it further on the behalf of his own company. A reseller can have a shared server or he can rent a dedicated server. Many known web hosting companies had started off as a reseller and now they are giants. So starting of as a reseller can turn out to be a huge company.Market Analysis:Before doing anything one should analyze the conditions or situations. So as in the business you have to analyze your market place and how things work in web hosting business. While performing a market analysis you have to keep these things in mind, what are you offering? Where you have to start? Why you choose this business? And how you will compete? Market analysis will clarify your targeted clients and competitor so you can define your web hosting plans keeping market trends in mind.What are you going to Offer?First you have to decide what sort of web hosting plans you can offer? There are many cheap web hosting companies offering cheap web hosting plans. What is your uniqueness? A Reseller can provide any type of hosting plan depending on what sort of account he is using himself? As a reseller host you can offer shared web hosting, Virtual Private Server (VPS) hosting plan and dedicated server hosting plan. Also you can define your own price and packages. To beat your competitors you can define many discount packages. Attract them with cheap offers or provide some additional services.Marketing strategy:Marketing is another important aspect of a business especially when you are new. Let the others know you are here. You have to promote your web hosting business, for that you can use ads, social media, affiliate marketing and other online resources. Marketing strategy must be defined clearly keep in mind your targeted clients and other related companies. A healthy marketing can boost up your business so your marketing campaign must offer attractive web hosting plans.Financial Plan:Most important aspect of any business is “finance.” What you going to invest in the business? How much financial resources you have? And how long you can survive with any output from your business? Market survey will help you to decide how much investment is required to set up web hosting business? Keeping in mind all the available financial resource you can define your business scale, whether you are going to start your business at small or large scale.As if you are starting as a reseller host you don’t require much investment. In financial plan you have to keep record if incoming and outgoing cash so you can keep an eye on what you are earning? And how you have to spend it? Keeping in mind all these factors you can develop an efficient financial plan.Operations and Management:As in the beginning you are starting as a reseller host so you don’t have to worry about many operations. You hosting company will take care of your hardware maintenance and other complicated issues. Also they will provide you 24/7 customer support. In future when you move on to the bigger level, you will require more space and manpower to perform these operations. Depending on the growth of your business you have to define your needs in term of hardware, software and resources to maintain all this setup. List down all the operations you have to perform and how many people are required to perform these operations. In web hosting business you have to maintain your many different client accounts including there web hosting plan and services they are getting.All these elements are essential to develop and efficient business plan.

How To Start Trading Your New Business

So you’ve decided to start a small business and you’re ready to get started but how do you start trading your new business?Here are some things that you will need to consider to get your new business idea off the ground.Sole Trader or Limited Company?The first thing to consider is whether you are going to trade as a sole trader or a limited company. The type of small business that you are going to start will largely determine which option that you choose.A sole trader is a business that is owned by one person (with no staff) who is solely liable for the company’s debts and fulfilment of contracts. This type of business tends to be favoured by traditional skilled tradesmen like gardeners, plumbers, decorators, plasterers etc.The advantages of being a sole trader are:Having full control over the business.It is easy to set up as there are fewer regulations to comply with. You will just need to ensure that you contact the Inland Revenue to advise them that you are self employed within 3 months of starting the business.You won’t have to complete a lot of forms unlike limited companies, but you will nevertheless, need to have accounts prepared ready for your annual self assessment tax return to declare annual profits and tax liabilities.As there are no staff you will keep all of the profits yourself, which can remain private as you will not have to declare them to Companies house.You will not have to register the company and therefore can be known as anything hence why so many sole traders refer to themselves as “trading as…”You can build up a more personal rapport with the customer.It will be cheaper for you as accountants will charge you less as they will only need to complete a profit and loss account for you.The main disadvantages to this type of company are:You will be solely liable for any failures or liabilities such as your business failing or property being damaged.It can be harder to compete with larger companies who have more staff and can therefore complete work quicker.If you become sick you will have no income. Even though you can take out critical illness insurance, some will not pay out until after 1 month.If your business fails you could be forced to sell your personal assets, such as your house, to fulfil your liabilities.However, as your business becomes more successful you can minimise the risks by forming a corporation or limited liability company instead.Limited CompanyUnlike being a sole trader, when you form a private limited company your are registered in such a way as to ensure that you have limited liability, with your company and personal finances being kept separate. A limited company is owned by shareholders and operated by directors. By registering your company as a limited company you will need to consider the following:You will be subject to corporation tax.If you anticipate turning over £77k or more per annum you must register for VAT.As a director you will have more legal, financial and administrative responsibilities.You will have less control over the overall running of your business as you will be answerable to the shareholders.You will need to register with Companies House and will be required to submit an annual return along with annual accounts to them each year.N.B.The difference between a private limited company and a public limited company is that in a private limited company all of the company shares are in private hands whereas in a public limited company the shares are owned by the public.The main advantage of registering a business as a limited company is that directors and shareholders only have “limited liability” and therefore their personal assets cannot be touched, unlike being a sole trader.StaffingWhen you start a small business you are in effect becoming self employed and will therefore need to inform the Inland Revenue that your income may change. Even if you keep an existing job you must still inform the Inland Revenue.The same applies if you are going to employ staff. You have an obligation to collect and pay their PAYE contributions to the Inland Revenue. The Inland Revenue will them provide your new business with a PAYE number and an account office reference number.You can either do this yourself or you can appoint an accountant to all of this for you and to pay the wages and salaries on your behalf, which is what I do with one of my larger businesses.Choosing a small business nameCreating a good name for your business is important. When choosing a name for a business, it is important to make sure that the name is not already in use, otherwise you could be sued.You can either check with Companies House whether the name you have chosen is available or if you are considering an online business or having a website for your business you can go online using sites such as Go daddy to check whether the domain name that you want is available.I personally used to think that when naming a company you should make sure that the name reflects what your business is about, but many people argue that the name should be something that is easy to remember or one that is unusual and leaves a lasting impression like “confused.com” or “funkypigeon.com”. After all who would have imagined that these types on names would turn into multi million pound enterprises?If you plan to start a limited company, then you will need to register a company name with Companies House. They in turn will issue you with a company registration number that will be unique to your new company.Companies House will then keep details of your new business including account and address details, for third parties to be able to view.Small Business insuranceRegardless of what small business you start, you will need to take out a small business insurance to protect your business and your customers. There are many specialist insurance brokers who can put a package together to suit your company’s requirements.Make sure that you have your insurance cover already set up before you start your small business venture to ensure that your equipment and your premises are insured whilst you are setting up your business.Once you have implemented the above points, you will be ready to start trading your new business.

Building a Sellable Business: 10 Things Often Overlooked

Eventually, every entrepreneur realizes they cannot work in their business forever. For most entrepreneurs, this is the time they begin thinking of exit. Here are ten things you should think about before that faithful day.StandardizationThe first thing I will like to mention is standardizing services or products. In the onset of a business, an entrepreneur figures things out as he/she develops. As time elapses, the entrepreneur figures out what works and settles into a way of doing business. This usually happens at the $100,000 mark. The problem with this is the knowledge is embedded in the head of the owner. The owner often fails to communicate this knowledge to new hires. There is kind of an “unspoken standard” or “way of doing things”. People learn “the unspoken way” haphazardly. By not standardizing, the owner’s loses 50% of the value of the business when it is time to sell. Nobody wants to buy a business when all the knowledge is in the owners’ head and if they do there are usually lots of contingencies tied to the deal.DelegationMost entrepreneurs have this false belief that they are the best: No one can do anything as well as they do and without them the business will fail. This false belief enslaves them into believing they have to work harder than anyone to achieve success. They have a hard time even getting away from their work for one hour. The biggest problem with this, is you limit your business growth. They are people smarter than you and people who can do the job better than you if you just let them. If you have standardized your systems, delegation becomes easier: All the new person has to do is follow the systems you have created.Knowledge ManagementKnowledge management is not an issue that can be ignored in the information age. How we share information with staff, customers and vendors should be very well defined and preserved for consistency. Whether you use an intranet for communication with your staff and external stake holders or simply a cloud database, is irrelevant. What is relevant is that the method you use is efficient in capturing and transferring relevant information.InnovationInnovation is the development of a new idea or developing a more effective design or process. Innovation could be in the form of redesigning your workforce, upgrading your technology, restructuring your offerings to match customers taste, etc.Every product has a life circle. A product goes from growth, to mature phase and finally hits a decline. Innovation is required to stay competitive, if not your product life cycle becomes your business life cycle. Keeping tap of the external environment lets the entrepreneur see what processes, products or services need to be developed. As an entrepreneur, you should be a member of a trade association in your industry, read their magazines, and keep track of new developments. Keeping track of industry trends is important to your future existence. The external environment is consistently changing and the only way to build a sustainable business is to innovate.Financial SystemsThe financial plan of most business owners goes as far as purchasing QuickBooks and once a year completing their tax return. If they are more prudent they might look at the financial reports developed in QuickBooks monthly. While this is better than nothing, business owners can do a lot more in improving their financial position by investing in better financial systems. For instance what controls do you have in place to ensure the information in QuickBooks is accurate? Just like anything else, if you put garbage in, you get garbage out. Moreover what about the structure of your financial accounts, are they capturing the information you need. When you look at your financial reports, do you have answers to the most critical factors affecting your business? All of these questions are addressed in the way your financial system is designed. Investing in having a professional design the system is worth the headache you will save down the road. Moreover, be careful not to commingle funds and keep your financial records as clean as possible. Good financial records are worth a lot when selling your business.Planning and BudgetingPlanning and budgeting is the process of telling your business where you want it to go rather than it telling you where to go. Small business owner fall into the trap of thinking that they cannot control what direction their business will take so they do not plan. Planning and budgeting go hand in hand. A budget is simply the numbers behind the plan. Having a plan and delegating the responsibilities of certain aspects of the plan is crucial. With a plan and a budget you can plan and execute on your business goal. Also business buyers like to see a history of business planning and budgeting. This increases the amount they are willing to pay as they are less anxious about being handed down a sham.Developing key metricsOnce you have a plan and budget in place, you need a way to determine if you are on track. Metrics are used to measure how things are going. Usually metrics are measured against a budget developed using a strategic plan. Monitoring metrics on a regular basis can point you to where your business is failing before it actually happens. Some metrics you may want to track are: productivity rate, net margins, customer retention rate, customer acquisition rate, etc.Tax PlanningTaxes have a big impact on what percentage of your net profits you keep. Tax Planning should be done before you sell. By structuring transactions differently you might be able to save more money on taxes. Do not wait until after selling to decide what you will do for taxes: When you get your cash after sale, you will be rest assured you have taken the best possible steps to minimize your taxes.Exit PlanningMost business owners do not plan for the day they will leave their business. They work until the day they determine they are burnt out. The problem with this is the business owner does not leave the business with the best value possible. Working with a consultant should be done couple of years before you plan to sell. If you wait too long your business may become unsellable. The top two factors that affect business value are:

what is going on in the economy and,

how it particularly affects the industry you compete in.

If you hit a time of decline, no one will want to buy your business. Selling in a timely manner, will help you take your time to identify the best buyer who might be able to take your business to a level you were not capable of doing on your own.Another mistake I see is because business sales rule of thumb are usually based on a multiple of industry revenue, entrepreneurs think they will hold on to the business till they reach a revenue mark and then sell. This is a false thought because you never know what bad fortune may befall your business before you sell. Moreover, if you try to manipulate sales to increase revenue, a smart buyer will discover this during the due diligence process which will kill the sale.Lifestyle PlanningBusiness owners have the propensity to work without giving much attention to their personal lives. Lifestyle design should be integrated into the lives of business owners if not burn out is certain. This includes what kind of lifestyle you want after you exit your business. Do not neglect to take care of you or you will burn out and be no good to anyone. You should have a system of rewarding yourself at specific timelines in your business. For instance, I take frequent vacations and this helps me renew the love for what I do.Do not make the mistake of thinking you will retire from your business and spend the whole day on the beach or playing golf. If you have spent your life working hard to build a business, you will get bored with just sitting on the beach doing nothing. Moreover, people die faster after retirement if they choose to do nothing.