So...You Want A Business Plan? Here's A Kick A$$ One

22 replies
There is a rumor going around this forum that I wouldn't know a decent
business plan if it bit me on the butt. Well, I'm going to blow those rumors
all to hell with this post.

And before anybody even asks me how I know this works if I haven't done
it myself, this is the model that I've used to teach my mentoring students,
some of whom are right here on this forum and can testify that it works.

Why don't I use it? Don't feel like it, that's why. Next year, I'll be moving
towards it, but for now, I'm happy with what I'm doing.

Okay, let's begin.

Step 1 - Niche Research

You want to pick a niche that has the most potential. Too many people are
afraid of competition. Screw that! If there is a rabid buying crowd, I don't
care how much competition there is. You'll get your share of the profits. don't want to box yourself in.

Here is what I mean.

You don't want to get yourself into a niche where the options are limited.
In other words, where there is only so much you can sell these people.
I'm not going to go into details as far as what a bad niche would be, but
sit down with the one you're planning on getting into and ask yourself
this question...

"What can I sell to them?"

If the answer is one ebook on how to take corns off your toes, then the
niche is limited and there is only so much you're going to get out of it. You
want a niche with numerous possibilities.

Now, for that niche, you can go one of two ways. Actually, 3, but I don't
recommend the 3rd because it can be quite overwhelming.

The first way is wide.

For example, let's say you decide to get into the general health niche
and want to go wide. You could come out with a number of products
geared to solve numerous health problems, such as my friend Juan Walker
who has books on acne, warts, moles, cold sores and so on. He goes wide
with his niche. He doesn't try to sell 10 things related to acne. He has one
book on it and that's it. It happens to be the top selling book at Clickbank

The other option is to go deep. For example, in the make money niche,
which is what I concentrate on, there are many related products that
you could sell to making money online from traffic generation to copywriting
to you name it. And each subcategory could have numerous products.

For example.

Traffic Generation

Article Marketing
Pay Per Click
Forum Marketing
Web 2.0

And so on. You could easily come up with a half dozen products alone
related to traffic generation.

There are many niches like this where you can go deep.

Also, you want to look for niches where you can offer more than just
a product, whether it's digital or physical. You want to find niches where
your target market might be interested in a membership site that provides
them with info on a regular basis. I finally went to this model and have
close to 200 members in just a month's time. Not bad for somebody who
has no business plan. And I did it without writing ONE article.

But more on that later.

Step 2 - Product Creation

Depending on how involved it is, you will probably not want to do this all
yourself, especially if you don't have certain skills or the skills you do have
are so-so. This is an area I've been able to get away with because I can
write the kind of content that closes sales even though my graphics and
sales pages suck. Not everybody can get away with this.

In other words, outsource what you can't do.

If you can't afford to do this at the start, then either barter or start off
doing affiliate marketing the way I did...with no expenses. Then as you
are able to afford things, have them done for you.

When creating your product, you want it to be as professional as it can
be if it's something that you're not selling because of who you are. For
example, Chris and Juan's ebooks on acne, moles and so on, sell NOT
because they are Chris Gibson and Juan Walker. They sell because they
hired professional web designers, copywriters and graphic artists. Juan
told me point blank to my face one day, "You won't make it outside of IM
with the crappy sales pages you put up unless you just stick to affiliate
marketing" which is essentially what I do in those niches, and it works
just fine. I let my content sell the product, articles and reviews. It works if
you can do some kick ass writing.

Bottom line: If you can't sell your product without your name doing the
selling, then you're going to have problems.

As far as the actual product itself, make sure it's solid. Have the ebook
professionally done and proofed. It's got to look very close to a regular
book published and sold in stores.

Step 3 - Marketing

You have only 2 choices with your time or marketing
with your money. If you're going to tell somebody that you don't have
money and refuse to either get a loan or do something to get it, then you
have only one with your time, which means:

Article Marketing
Standard SEO
Blogging and Pinging
Social Bookmarking

And so on. In other words, all the activities that don't cost money.

Now, having said that, if you've created your own product, then create
an affiliate program for it or at least go through Clickbank.

Having said that, you WON'T get affiliates just by sitting on your butt and
hoping they come to you. So, this is what you have to do.

1. Go through the SEs in your niche and find sites that are in the same
niche and NOT competing directly with you. I did this with my Diceology
product and had their been a real demand for the product itself, I would
have had an army of affiliates. I personally contacted 230 sites over the
period of one month before I finally packed it in. I got many people who
said they'd promote, but the product didn't sell, so they gave up. With
a killer product targeted to the right market, this method, though a little
time consuming, works. And with an army of affiliates, you basically don't
have to do much else yourself.

As a side note, for those about to ask why I tried to promote a product
I knew had little chance of selling, it's because I wanted to. It was a
personal thing for me. I didn't expect it to sell but gave it a shot anyway.
Had I not tried, I would have always wondered what it. So there is your
answer to why I created this product in the first place. I wanted to. I
got what I expected out of it and I'm not bitching about it. So let's move

You can also use many free methods of promotion that do work in
certain niches but not all.

However, if you have the money, go the Adwords route. But before you
do, hire an Adwords expert to teach you how to use Adwords properly
otherwise you'll go broke. If you can't afford to hire somebody, get
Perry Marshall's book. It's excellent and should have you running a
profitable Adwords campaign.

Step 4 - Your Funnel

Okay, remember I was talking about going wide or deep? If you're going to
go deep, build your funnel from your cheapest product to your most
expensive. If I was going to start this all over again from scratch, I would
have a minimum of 4 products in the pipeline, priced as follows:

Product 1 - $17
Product 2 - $47
Product 3 - $97
Product 4 - $197

You want to start small because you want to qualify the people in your
list. If somebody isn't going to buy a $17 product, most likely they won't
but a $197 product and even there, there are exceptions. See, that's where
things get tricky.

Let's take the make money niche.

You're going to reach all kinds of people.

You'll reach some people who are just starting out. They have no money
and they are looking to start from scratch without much startup capital.
That's where a $17 product will be attractive to them.

Then you're going to reach professional people who want to move away
from their "jobs" and maybe they're looking for a professional home study
course. For them, even the $197 product may be too cheap for them as
they won't look at it as "legit".

This is why it's CRITICAL that you tailor your message to the market you
want to reach.

So, for example.

If I was running an Adwords campaign targeted to somebody who is broke,
I wouldn't run an ad...

Comprehensive Home Study Course
Generate A $30,000 A Month Income
From Home. Only $197

And yes, I WOULD qualify my prospect right in the ad, letting them know
this is $197. I don't want people going there thinking this is some $29.95
special. I know some don't agree with this and that's fine. But I don't want
my clicks wasted on people looking for a bargain.

Point is, that ad is targeted to somebody who is serious, and naturally
you would target the corresponding keywords.

If your message doesn't match your market, you're going to pull the
wrong people and then you end up with a list of people who don't buy
a blessed thing from you. That is why i am a fan of full disclosure. I'd
rather lose somebody who is probably never going to buy from me than
have my list ballooned by a bunch of dead beats. This is a personal
preference. Go with your own gut on this.

Anyway, as you work your list through your funnel, you can then segment
them into sublists depending on what they've bought or not bought. This
can get a little hairy but here's a simple example.

List A - broke newbies.

You pitch them your $17 product. If they don't buy, down the road, you
maybe pitch them again or pitch another low priced product until they

List B - buyers of $17 product.

Now you have a list of people who have bought from you. So now you can
start pitching your next level product, maybe $47

List C - buyers of $47 product.

And so on. This is assuming you're going deep. If you're going wide, you
may not have to do so much segmenting if any at all, especially if none
of the products are related to each other.

Step 5 - Another Niche

You repeat this whole process attacking another niche. You now have
tons of money, so you outsource the entire operation even down to the
autoresponder messages that get sent out.

And this is how you create a 7 figure income online.

Most of your time will be spent overseeing the operation. You'll no longer
be doing any of the menial work such as writing articles, ads, whatever.
You'll have a help desk and staff to handle support. You'll spend maybe 2
or 3 hours a day TOPS on your business. You'll spend most of your time
on the beech or at the track or whatever.

How long will it take to reach this point? This is where a lot of people will
probably disagree with me. I honestly don't know for sure, but I think this
is achievable within a 2 year time frame. Some might say sooner, some
might say longer.

But the key to the whole process starts way back at step 1. You can NOT
create a 6 figure business if all you have is one product with a narrow
appeal. It's NOT going to happen.

And it WON'T happen by doing little odds and ends stuff like hot trends or
whatever. If you want a long term business, this is ONE business model
that will work. Naturally, there are others (just look at Aweber) but this
one is a good start.

Again, why don't I do it? Up to now, I haven't really wanted to. But next
year, after I release my last IM product, I'm going to be adapting this
very same business model with a kick ass niche.

Now, I've obviously left out some of the details in the above post because
I didn't want to turn this into a novel, but naturally there are going to be
things you'll need to learn to start, such as how to create an autoresponder
series that converts and so on, unless you bite the bullet and hire people
to do this stuff for you. But again, it's either time or money. If you don't
have the money and refuse to go and find a way to get it, then your
only option is time.

I only had that option when I started. I was dirt broke and almost homeless.
So I had to go the free route. And even then, I was spending $200 a
month that I didn't have. Today, I can afford to spend $100 a day on
Adwords without blinking. Why don't I? Because I don't need to. I make
a 98% ROI on my marketing.

How many people can say that?

Say what you want about my business model, but it's not because I
don't have the smarts to do things the "right" way.

Whatever THAT is.
#a$$ #business #kick #plan #soyou
  • Profile picture of the author ofir
    Thanks a lot for this one...
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  • Profile picture of the author Tim Dixon
    Wow Steven, must be a contender for 'post of the year' (if there is such a thing).

    Great stuff for those that need help getting going (and even for some of us who have been doing it a while).

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    • Profile picture of the author Corwinnx

      Great post man! Great post.

      My favorite part was about having the 'Funnel.'

      It's so important to know your back end before you start promoting your font end.

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      • Profile picture of the author Sean A McAlister
        You have outdone yourself with this one Steven.
 should donate your brain to the Warrior Forum when you die. I am sure that by then there will some sort of technology out in which we can hook it up to your brain to keep these phenomenal post spewing out!

        Great stuff man!

        New Product Launches, Affiliate Marketplace

        Need More Sales? More Affiliates?
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        • Profile picture of the author Steven Wagenheim
          Originally Posted by The IM Reporter View Post

          You have outdone yourself with this one Steven.
          AWESOME POST!

 should donate your brain to the Warrior Forum when you die. I am sure that by then there will some sort of technology out in which we can hook it up to your brain to keep these phenomenal post spewing out!

          Great stuff man!

          Sean, when I die...I'm taking my brain with me for when I return from
          the last great trick.
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  • Profile picture of the author TipTopMarketer
    Very thorough and well thought out! Definitely gets my vote!
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  • Profile picture of the author Barry Walls
    Kudos do know a good business plan when you see it.

    I thought that was a good business plan too when I saw it.

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    • Profile picture of the author John Henderson
      Steven, that was a fantastic opening post. I don't understand why some people are mean to you -- I think that you're an absolute gentleman.

      (...Unless of course your OP has just prompted some WF member to drag their "How to take corns off your toes" Word doc to the trashcan... )
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  • Profile picture of the author steve m
    Great post. Basicly what your saying is that if you have the money to start with, then you can outsource your hole business plan. Even down to auto responder messages, I have been trying to make some emails and I suck, so all I need to do is get some one to do it for me for a price.

    I knew I should of listend more at school then I could right my own stuff ha ha
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  • Profile picture of the author Cash37
    I suggest everyone print this one out.
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  • Profile picture of the author Li Weng
    Great post! You could have made it into some sort of bonus blueprint to go with your products.

    - Insert backlink here -

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  • Profile picture of the author Jared Alberghini
    Decent post Steven...

    but why was the 'Product Creation' section the shortest?

    I would advocate creating a great innovative product above and beyond marketing...

    This is why nothing is made in the USA anymore... just outsource it and market the crap out of it...

    - Jared


    Join The Future: Telekinetic Marketing

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    • Profile picture of the author Steven Wagenheim
      Originally Posted by webdesignhq View Post

      Decent post Steven...

      but why was the 'Product Creation' section the shortest?

      I would advocate creating a great innovative product above and beyond marketing...

      This is why nothing is made in the USA anymore... just outsource it and market the crap out of it...

      - Jared
      Jared, the truth is, the whole damn thing is too short, but I didn't want to
      turn this into a book. Product creation? I could write 100 pages on it, from
      multiple formats to where to get your ideas from.

      I mean there's only so much info you can stuff in a forum post.
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  • Profile picture of the author Felix Makmur
    Really great tips and tricks here that I can surely implement, Steve. Thanks a lot for sharing this.

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  • Profile picture of the author traces2757
    Originally Posted by Steven Wagenheim View Post

    There is a rumor going around this forum that I wouldn't know a decent business plan if it bit me on the butt. Well, I'm going to blow those rumors all to hell with this post.
    Who in the world would ever start a rumor like that? I eat your posts up as part of my overall business-nutrition plan. And...if a business plan bit you in the butt, wouldn't you be in too much shock to worry if it was decent or not?
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  • Profile picture of the author Will Edwards
    A very nice plan Stephen - you put it well.

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  • Profile picture of the author tomw

    I don't remember *anyone* saying that you didn't *know* a decent business plan if it bit you on the butt. I have not heard this "rumour." I guess this (excellent) post is a response to one of the posts that I and others made in your "pledge" post which has now been moved to the OT forum.

    In a way, by caveating this great post in the way that you have, you reinforce the point I was making! Doh!

    Also, since you responded to the post that I made with these words,

    "Thomas, excellent and well thought out post. Kudos to you."

    I am surprised that you would, as I said, caveat this valuable post in such a way such that it creates a mountain out of a molehill, re-ignites the issue despite your pledge and lacks the good grace that many of those posts and your responses to them contained.

    For the record, I have taken the trouble to remind you of what I said, below.

    Also, as you know, such posts where made based upon the information that you made available at the time and over a long period in the past. Now that you have made this post, how do we know that you haven't simply read a MMO ebook and Wagenheim-ised it?

    J/K! J/K! J/K!

    Anyway, this is (another) great post. Well done. I'm sure many others will benefit from it, just as they have from the other 10508!




    you have always come across to me as a sweet and sensitive guy and you have always put yourself out there like nobody I've ever come across on a forum.

    But you posted a thread a couple of days ago where you detailed your day. Many where very grateful that you did this, myself included. It was a very valuable post and I'm sure many learnt a lot from it. I think that many would have been pretty blown away by the amount of work you do. I know that I was.

    My first thought was also that this is not a business. It is a (more than!) full time job. It doesn't matter whether or not you enjoy it. It doesn't matter that it is your day and you can spend it any way that you choose. The simple fact is that you put it out there and so people will express a view on it. You have to expect this.

    Danc1122 doesn't need to, nor did he, make an assumption about it because you frequently share so much (every detail it sometimes seems) about what you do to make a living. The "my day" post was just another, albeit fuller, example of this.

    The simple fact is that people do make a lot more money by working a lot less hours and working a lot smarter. You yourself have expressed a desire to do this also. Hence the new plans for the New Year. Hence the (noble) intention behind this thread.

    So my question to you, as someone who thinks of you very fondly, is why do you do it? Why do you put yourself out there so openly and then (if you think about it and review many of your posts) respond so defensively to other people's reactions to and views on the things that you share?

    Don't take it so personally. You're a star and we all love you. This will never change. You've given so much to so many. How could anyone not admire and respect you for this?

    However, I just don't understand why you sometimes sour the medicine.

    Back to your OP...

    Arguments often do serve a purpose. Through conflict comes progress. As do many of the best ideas because conflict, either external or internal, is one of the fundamental keys to creativity. It is also fundamental to successful collaboration and as you are well aware it is fundamental to storytelling. And everybody loves a great story. Particularly the dramas that happen around here every so often. These are essential for the success of any community. Particularly a forum. It builds characters and tension. People choose a side, root for the good guys in the white hats and hiss at the villains. Just like any great story or any soap opera. It keeps people engaged and interested. And as we know, when people are engaged and interested they learn.

    And that, after all, is what its all about.

    This forum is a bit of a miracle when you think about it. When we take time away from our work in the wonderful and diverse field of "marketing" we choose to spend some (often too much!) of it here, learning about marketing! In the UK we call this a Busman's holiday! Roughly translated as a pretty stupid thing to do! But we do it because we love our craft. We do it because we love this place. As it is. Warts and all. A community is only as good as it's members. Those we may view as the good guys AND the villains are all essential to making this place what it is and it would be less of a diverse, engaging and often highly entertaining learning environment without them.

    It is such a delicate miracle. Upset the balance too much and it will fall apart. Exactly like a hot summer blockbuster where the good guy never runs out of ammunition, never misses a shot, never catches a bullet, always gets an ass whooping from an angry boss, always beats the baddie, always gets the girl. It simply becomes pointless and dull. And nobody wants that.

    So why change it?

    There isn't a single shred of me that doubts your noble sentiments, but as they often say, "the road to hell is paved with good intentions."

    Help Us Rescue, Rehabilitate And Reunite Victims With Their Families

    STOP THE TRAFFIK is a growing global movement of individuals, communities and organisations fighting to PREVENT the sale of people,
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    • Profile picture of the author Steven Wagenheim
      Originally Posted by tomw View Post


      I don't remember *anyone* saying that you didn't *know* a decent business plan if it bit you on the butt. I have not heard this "rumour." I guess this (excellent) post is a response to one of the posts that I and others made in your "pledge" post which has now been moved to the OT forum.

      In a way, by caveating this great post in the way that you have, you reinforce the point I was making! Doh!
      I realize that. I have taken your constructive criticism to heart and will
      remember it for the future.

      Hey, we all make mistakes...even me.
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  • Profile picture of the author writergirlk
    Very helpful, as usual. Thanks so much for sharing this!
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  • Profile picture of the author mudmat
    Thank you sharing this business model steve! Will certainly adopt it..
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  • Profile picture of the author pavondunbar
    Hey Steven...

    As usual...awesome post!

    This guide is great for anyone who asks the question...

    Hmmm...what should I charge for my product?

    Have a great day and take care!


    PS: Don't blow things to hell! I know how much you love video games...just messing with you!
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  • Profile picture of the author GeorgiaB
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    • Profile picture of the author thebitbotdotcom
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