Affiliate marketing is my full-time job, and I think that I treat it like one. I have an office in my house devoted to work and I spend most of the normal business hours in it. I have an EIN that I use instead of my SSN. I have a P.O. box that I use for business correspondence. But I have lacked one crucial thing: a formal business plan.
I set goals. I hold myself accountable. I make plans on a weekly, monthly, and quarterly basis. But a true business plan is more than that. It’s about making your business profitable. It’s about tracking revenue. It’s about figuring out where you can find new opportunities.
I first heard an affiliate really seriously talking about a business plan when I heard Sabrina Malone from WorkingMom.com talk about it at Affiliate Summit. It interested me because my business is in many ways similar to hers. I liked what she was saying about treating our websites as true businesses with projections and accountability.
I next heard about affiliate business plans from Todd Farmer when I joined AffPlan. In addition to explaining business plans with an outline and guide, he includes a number of templates that I never would have even thought to draft for myself including:
- 12 Month Cash Flow
- Projected Balance Sheet
- Breakeven Analysis
- Opening Day Balance Sheet
- Profit and Loss Projection
- Profit Projection
- Sales Forecast
- Startup Expenses
- SWOT Analysis
I’m partial to AffPlan because of my role in it, but the Business Plan portion is 100% Todd’s and amazing to me. If you are not treating your affiliate websites like a business, you owe it to yourself to investigate putting together a business plan.
The AffPlan cost is currently $17 for everything you see above plus AffPlan Express, information on how to build affiliate sites from scratch, and much more. The price is about to go up in the next couple of days (and may already be increase by the time you even read this).
Take it from someone who thought she was running a business but realized she was missing some crucial pieces. Going through the process of creating your business plan will open your eyes and get you thinking more creatively about how to grow and manage your websites.
Do you currently have a business plan? Have you considered creating one?