My friend, Greg Balanko-Dickson, has decided to jump off the risk cliff out of his comfort zone and you all get the benefit.
You may be familiar with Greg as he is an occasional guest blogger on this blog. He’s brought you the wonderful articles such as Business Blogging Strategy: Build Trust and Rapport, Relationship Geeks Building a Relationship 2.0 Network, When was the last time you read your own blog?, Prevent Blog Pollution, True Confessions of Early Adopter Turned Blogger, and Writing a Blog and Engaging Readers.
In “My Business Transformation Project: Taking My Own Advice“, he’s announced a major project that will benefit all bloggers who want to turn their blog into a business. He’s taking on a book project on writing a business plan to develop your business model.
A business model is the way a company plans to generate revenue and make a profit from operations. A business model includes the components and functions of the business, as well as the revenues it generates and the expenses it incurs. For example:
A restaurant’s business model is to make money by cooking and serving food to hungry customers. MacDonald’s cooks and serves food to hungry people, so does Wendy’s and so does the local Steak House – what they serve and how they serve it is very different – it is their ‘business model’ that differentiates them and makes them competitive and appealing to a certain market segment.
A web site’s business model might not be quite so clear, as there are many ways in which they can generate revenue. For example, some make money (or try to) by providing free information or service and then selling advertising to other companies who want to reach the people using the free service or information. Then there are those who choose to sell a product or service directly to customer they reach on-line.
Why is a business model important?
Your business model defines the style, the way you plan to deliver your goods and services, and sets a standard. It becomes a touchstone, a benchmark, a way to differentiate yourself from others serving the same market.
A business model defines how you plan to compete, it communicates how you create additional ‘value’, and becomes the magnet that draws customers whose needs are in alignment with your business model.
The process of building your business model will help you identify new opportunities, learn more about your business, and become the competition – the guy to beat.
In the process I am creating you will likely discover something that you can use to completely transform your business. You will figure out how to breakthrough major obstacles, discover a unique way of delivering value to the market – all which will lead you to increased sales and profits.
A business plan and model helps to define your blog, blog purpose, blog intent, blog brand, and identity. It helps guide you through the choices and options in how to generate income for your blog, as well as developing indirect sources such as consulting or workshops, or even products.
Without a business plan, trust me, you’re flying blind, floundering around trying this and that and poking at possibilities instead of focusing on what works and tossing the rest.
Greg is asking for your help, too.
In a nutshell, he knows this is information that is important to you. He’s been a business coach for many years, author of two books helping businesses get and stay on the right track towards building their business, and what comes out of his head and into his blog is important. I know what he has to share is important, the reason I love having his blog here and share his insights on business and blogging with you.
In that vein, he is offering a few people access to his blog/wiki he will be working on to write his next book. From this, he will be publicly posting some of the material and would like to offer you access to the private material in exchange for help publicizing the public material. He wants to rely totally upon word-of-mouth advertising to get the news out about his project. What better way than through the best word-of-mouth marketing out there: blogs.
If you are considering monetizing your blog or use your blog as part of your business and you are still floundering with the concept of a business plan, I highly recommend you take him up on his offer.
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Copyright Lorelle VanFossen, member of the 9Rules Network, and author of Blogging Tips, What Bloggers Won't Tell You About Blogging.