This section is all about determining the purpose of a web business, and what can go wrong if you are not clear what the purpose is.
This section is the starting point of the PROSPRA process – Purpose, where we consider, in detail, the reasons why our web business needs to exist and produce a clear statement of purpose.
I cover Rewards, Objectives, Strategies, Production, Reaping, and Appreciate in separate sections. Though separate, there are often strong links between sections. You may find that when you get further through the processes, you have to return and refine your Purpose. Flexibility is good, procrastination bad, so get on with it, and fine tune later if necessary.
Let’s remove one huge misunderstanding to start with. The purpose of your web business is NOT to make money. If making money is one of the rewards you seek, then a clear purpose will help you do it, but it is not the purpose.
At this planning level, an Internet-based business is no different than any other business. If you are an established shrewd businessman, you might already have your purpose engraved on your heart. The rest of us need a little help getting shrewder, and a good place to start is the famous business management guru, Peter Drucker. He describes the purpose of business as follows:
If we want to know what a business is we have to start with its purpose. And its purpose must lie outside of the business itself. In fact, it must be in society since a business enterprise is an organ of society. There is only one valid definition of business purpose: to create a customer.
It is absolutely vital to grasp this concept before you start considering the nuts and bolts of your web business. It is all too easy to focus on money, and the processes to maximize revenue, but these are nothing without a clear definition of purpose.
Yes, monetary rewards are important, but they constrain purpose, not define it. A great way to define purpose is to fantasize what your web business would do if it did not have to make money. This can be a difficult concept to grasp if your sole reason for considering an online business is a way to help you pay the bills. First, be confident that an online business can easily help with your bills, and I explore this aspect of your plans in the Rewards section. Then set aside the financial aspects and think more deeply about the context you want to work in.
If you can’t get your head round this immediately, make a start on the next sections, but be sure that you have a clear statement of purpose before you start the Production stage. You have to believe in that statement, and let it inspire you whenever things become a little difficult.
If your web business is part of an established enterprise, it is likely that you can find it’s purpose within the legal documents that define it. That can be used to define the purpose of the Internet-based part of the business. For new web business startups, we need to develop our own from scratch.
I firmly believe that there is a little more to web business purpose than just to create a customer. It helps enormously if the purpose of the web business empathizes with your own purpose, or group purpose. In fact, if you are producing a web business as part of a legally established enterprise, you have little choice but to confirm with it’s legal purpose, and all members of the team need to be aware of this.
Once purpose is established, and the rest of the business plan is complete, you are going to spend a significant amount of time doing the two things that business people do: creating and promoting. It helps your chances of success enormously if you look to create customers in a market that interests and excites you.
For those of you who work, or plan to work, for yourselves, you might need to take a step further back, and determine your own purpose. As this is beyond the scope of web business, I plan to cover it in a separate website, but please feel free to discuss this in the Purpose forum here.
Internet Business Plan: Next Steps To Define Purpose
You now need to write out a statement of purpose for your web business.
However, if you are just starting out, you probably need to look at Rewards, Objectives and Strategies before you can finalize your web business purpose. The first four stages of the PROSPRA process often need to be considered together before you can be certain of your Internet business plan (the blueprint) – just make sure that you do not start Production without that blueprint.
The pages in this section will help you see why Purpose is vital to your web business, and how to define it.
- Starting Internet Business
- Why are you starting an internet business?
- Web Business Plan
- Expected benefits of your web business purpose.
- Starting Web Business
- Be objective starting web business purpose.
- Starting A Web Business
- Strategies for starting a web business with purpose.
- Website Business Plan
- Produce your website business plan purpose statement.
- Internet Business Plans
- Feel the benefit of clear, purposeful Internet business plans.
- Online Business Plans
- Appreciate the purpose of your online business plans.
And if you still need help, discuss your Internet business plan problems in the Purpose forum.