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Community Based Business Planning to Help You Monetize Your Passion

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Submitted by Teo Graca and Stephen Adler | RSS Feed | Add Comment | Bookmark Me! | IBC

The most powerful connections are made face-to-face, and they can be enhanced through technology. Community-based businesses can find what they need because so many people share effective strategies for referral marketing, best practices in marketing, and technology to enhance relationships and success. Each community you build can be unique and there ARE best practices from other communities that can help you see how they became successful in what they do.

There are 3 key areas to focus on in your business plan, which saves your organization from the pitfalls of failure.

Personal Development - It is vital that you are effective in your communications and presentations to others. In this area, focus on social graces, your elevator speech, and the best practices associated with communications in-person and online.

The Business Plan - It is imperative to have a living document that sets forth your goals and branding strategy. Whether your passion is green living, farming, technology, etc., working out your written revenue, sales, and marketing models is necessary to evaluate the viability of your plan. Most standard business plans can be adapted to any business, which includes everything you need to qualify for capital, grants, loans and other funding sources. Proper funding that can guarantee 3-5 years of operation gives your idea what it needs to succeed. More importantly, your plan establishes a clear path toward your vision so you don't waste time and money creating a successful business - it gets you where you want to be quickly with less mistakes on your way there.

Technology Support - Although we teach the value of in-person networking and events, relationships can be maintained through technology. Technology allows you to automate many of your communications, such as event and other announcements, so that you can focus your time on your in-person efforts. This is also absolutely necessary for efficiency in your advertising and promotions so that your web presence becomes your virtual store front. Technology allows your message to be delivered 24/7 and allows people to get what they need at their convenience, not yours (you can only be in one place at one time)!

The following steps allow you to develop yourself personally and participate in conversations around your passion to build your plan. There is nothing you can't do when you set your mind to it, so let's get started.

Step 1: Take our Entrepreneur Assessment to get a feel for your strengths and weaknesses and how you fit into your business. If you have any weaknesses, you can delegate tasks associated with them to others.

Step 2: Register with social media sites dedicated to your niche and passions. Members get inside information that is only available to their groups. It is easy to do and provides access to more information on things that can help your business plan - find groups that create prosperity through cooperation. Create a web page and profile on these social sites, create blogs, participate in discussions, message other members within your communities, comment on other blogs and discussions and import content you create on other article and blogging sites like Article Advocates.

Step 3: Set up a separate domain name and website for your company, even if it is a micro site (one page website). This can be attached to an opt-in page so that you can collect contact information from people interested in your project and business. Micro sites can be used as landing pages for your business and are inexpensive to build - you can build your own sites for free in many cases now. Micro sites are also easily integrated social media sites, blogging systems, Google, Yahoo, aWeber and more valuable tool-sets, as well as a full fledged content management system help you market your products and services. Become the hub of your industry.

Step 4: Publish 1-4 or more informational and/or promotional articles per month to create your sales funnel. This provides two significant benefits. It draws traffic from social media sites as these articles are shared, and it increases search rankings for every referenced website in each article. Most email marketing systems have a syndication model incorporated into their platforms, which exposes your information on a number of other social communities.

Your marketing system can be designed in many ways, but the key to success is having a plan and then executing it. Your plan will change as you go, but having a plan allows you to measure the changes and successes to find what works and what works best. This give you a much more direct path towards your goals.

Details on these programs are now available to Internet Business Certification students. See the IBC website for details.

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