Online Business Planning Lessons

We are winding down to the end of this short course. But we still need to go over a few things so we are going to jump right in and talk about identifying revenue sources in your .

You are working on getting your off the ground and as we have been discussing putting together your is part of that is. While every shares some commonalities, an is unique and therefore it may look a bit different from one for a traditional business.

We also know that it is important to include a section in your plan that lists your planned revenue sources. This presents a unique opportunity that offline business doesn’t have which is to generate revenue through multiple sources.

What is a Business Plan?

A business plan is a written document describing your business and outlining its future.

Let’s look at a few:

Contextual Ads

Showing contextual based ads on your website is a common source of additional income that many online businesses can quickly add to their revenue stream. When your visitor clicks on an ad, you receive a predetermined amount of revenue. The most popular form of this is displaying Google AdSense ads.

If you’re planning to include this type of advertising on your own website be sure to include it as a source on your plan.

It is a good idea to include some actual calculations to base your projections on and make sure to thoroughly explain how it generates income because many people (lenders) don’t have a full understanding of this type of income works.

For example, a website that has 4,000 page views per day and the effective CPM (cost per thousand) is $28.75 it has the potential to generate annual revenue of $42,000. It’s important to focus on the average CPM for your industry.

Don’t worry if you don’t understand this at first there is a lot of free information and even free calculators that can help you gather the data online all you have to is a search for CPM.

Business Plan Tip:


What are the measurable goals necessary for the growth of your business How will you measure these goals? With surveys, internal and external data, line item analysis, etc.


In addition to your products and services, you might decide to sell products from the Amazon site as an affiliate, which means you will sell relevant products from the Amazon site on your website and be paid a commission for doing so. It’s a good way to supplement your income, but if you are going to use this method, you will also need to define and explain this revenue in your business plan.

Affiliate Programs

Another good option similar to promoting Amazon products is promoting affiliate programs. Many owners offer generous commissions of up to 50% or more. Keep in mind that commissions do vary.

You will need to decide what types of (non-competing) affiliate offers you plan to promote, then do a forecast of how many units you believe you can sell and include that number in your projected revenue.

You can also offer your own affiliate program, which will allow others to promote your products and services in exchange for a commission. It is a great way to reach more customer without additional expenditures. However, it is better to include this under the advertising section of your plan.

Bottom line, your business plan needs to include all revenue sources that you are considering so that investors can have a ‘real’ picture of what your projected income looks like.

The more data you can provide the better. Transparency is always best.

There will be some great stuff in your last lesson.

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