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In this lesson, we will review how to write your business plan including choosing a business field, researching existing businesses in that field, choosing your business name and then writing your actual business plan.

Choose a Business Field
In choosing a business field, it is wise to consider the Law of Supply and Demand we discussed in the last session. The best way to insure a successful business is to pick a field with a big demand – in other words a lot of customers – but a limited supply. Put another way, choose a problem, product or service that is not currently being addressed by many other businesses and then develop a plan to meet that need.

Another important factor in creating a successful business is to choose a field that you are personally interested in and a field that you have already spent a lot of time researching. Starting your own successful business will require a lot of hours of your time. To follow it through, you will need to have a personal interest in the field you are entering.

Finally write down more than one idea for a business to give you other options if your first idea falls through or your business plan reveals that there is no way for your first idea to make a profit. Write down how will your business will meet an unfulfilled need and what products or services your business will provide.

Research existing businesses in that field
Next do an online or community search of other businesses like the one you want to start. A key question to answer as you research other businesses is what could you offer to customers that would be better than what customers already get from other existing businesses. Why should customers choose your business? What will be unique about your business? Write down the benefits of your business. You may want to include these in the name of your business. And you certainly should include these reasons in the first couple of paragraphs on the Home page of your business website. Also find out what the costs and expenses of other businesses might be. Are they successful? Could you use some of the ideas other businesses use to promote themselves as ideas you could use to promote your new business?

Choose your business name.
One of the most important decisions in starting a new business is choosing a unique, simple and memorable business name. Begin with a list of options. See if friends and family have ideas. Then do an internet search on each of your ideas to see if these business names, also called Domain Names, have already been taken. If a business is already actively using a Domain Name, such as Worlds Best Lemonade, then choose a different Domain Name that is a little or a lot different such as Worlds Best Lemonade Stand or Worlds Greatest Lemonade or Lots of Lemonade or Wonderful Lemonade. It costs about $10 per year to own a Domain Name and you do not need a real domain name for our course.

But if you are serious about staring a business and choosing a Domain Name that is not already taken. Occasionally, you will find that a Domain Name you want is taken but is not being used – there is no website associated with the domain. This is called “sitting on a domain” with the hope of selling it to someone else. Such Domain Names can be used by switching to a different extension such as dot net or dot org or dot us instead of dot com. Remember, if there is no website, then it is likely that there is not an active business. One needs an active business in order to protect a Domain Name.

You should also get a free Gmail address associated with your business name. We will use this business Gmail address later in our course when we create your free Gitlab account to post your website to.

Write your business plan
A real business plan for a new startup business might have several sections including arrangements for cash flow, accounting, taxes, business registration numbers, staff training, inventory control and many other issues you might find if you go online and download some sample business plans. However, for our purposes, we will use a simple business plan with the following ten sections.

Ten Parts of a Business Plan

#1 What field are you interested in and why are you interested in it?

#2 What is your business idea?

#3 What is your business name?

#4 How will your business will meet an unfulfilled need?

#5 What products or services will your business provide?

#6 How is your business different from other similar existing businesses?

#7 Marketing... How will you let others know your business exists?

#8 How much will it cost to start your business and where will you get the money?

#9 How much will you have to sell your products or services for to make a profit?

#10 Write a Sales Forecast and/or a Cash Flow analysis similar to the examples we provided in our last session.

Once you have figured out your business field and business name, write a sentence of two for each of the above ten sections. Then enter them into documents placed into folders as described in the next section.

How and Where to Store your Business Documents
Some of the most important assets of any business are the business documents you create when you make your business. There are several options for storing your business documents. The most common option is to have a business computer and store your documents on your business computer. A second option is to have an economical USB drive and store your business documents on this USB drive. A third option is to store your business documents on the Internet with a free cloud provider such as Google Drive. In this article, we will explain how to use all three of these options.

Types of Business Documents
Business documents include a document with all of the accounts and passwords of your businesses. For example, in this course we will create several sample websites. Each website will have several documents all stored in a folder. We will use these samples to build our real business website also stored in its own folder. We will soon create a free business Gmail address to receive business related emails. We will later create a free Gitlab account to display our business website on.

We could just write the following on a sheet of paper:
The name of my business is __________________________.
The name of my Gmail Account is ____________________________.
The password for my Gmail account is ______________________.
The name of my Gitlab account is ____________________________.
The password for my Gitlab account is _______________________.

But what happens if you lose the sheet of paper? Even if you store the document on your computer or on a USB Drive, what happens if you loose your computer or USB Drive? Because of the importance of your business documents, it is important to make extra copies or backups of your business documents. In other words, you want to have the same documents stored in more than one place. Put another way, you do not want to keep all of your business eggs in the same basket.

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Use your computer to make your Business Documents
You will need some sort of computer or laptop to make your documents – including your website documents. To make it easier to keep your business documents organized, you should first make a folder with your computer file manager to hold all of your business documents. Open your file manager. Then click File, Create New Folder:

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This will create a new untitled folder in the workspace.

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You can rename it by right clicking on the folder and selecting Rename. We will name the folder My New Business:

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Then double click on the folder to open it.

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Lets make two new folders inside of our business folder. We will call these My Business Documents and My Business Website.

Now double click on the My Business Documents folder to open it.

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We will create our first business document and keep it in this folder. Open your word processor, such as Libre Writer and type My Business Accounts.

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Then select these three words with your cursor. Then right click and copy these three words to your clip board.

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Then in the top menu, click File, Save As. A new window will appear with the words Untitled Document as the top. Select these words and click Paste to replace them with the three words in our clipboard.

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If we saved the file right now, it would go in our Documents folder which is not what we want. So instead, click on Home to go to your Home folder. Then click on your My New Business folder. Then click on your My Business Documents folder to open it.

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Then click Save in the lower right corner to save this document.

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Here is the document showing the business accounts for our Pet Education Center business:

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Save and close this document. Now create another document. Call it My Business Plan. Save it in the same folder as our Business Accounts document.

We now have two documents in our My Business Documents folder:

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Now let’s review how to copy these documents to a USB drive.

How to Copy your Business Documents to a USB Drive
The nice thing about USB drives is that they are very cheap. You can usually buy a 16 GB or 32 GB USB drive at an Office Supply store for under $10. The problem with USB Drives is that they are very small and easy to lose. So be sure to keep your USB drive in a special place so you will be able to remember where it is. Also remember to bring your USB drive to every class. If you have more than one USB drive, put some colored tape on your Business USB drive so you will know which one it is. To copy your Business folder to your USB drive, put the USB drive in a USB port on your laptop. The file manager should open and look like this:

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Click on the Home folder to open it.

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Right click on the My New Business folder and click Copy.

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Then click on the 16 GB Volume folder in the left side menu to open it. Then click in the white workspace. Then right click and click Paste.

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You now have a copy of your business folder on your USB drive.

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To make sure your business documents copied correctly, open this folder and the business documents folder:

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Then open your business accounts document to check it. Then close your business accounts document and close your file manager. To safely remove your USB drive from your laptop, right click on the USB icon in your desktop.

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Then click Safely Remove Drive. Wait a few seconds for the drive to stop. Then pull the drive out of the USB slot on the side of your laptop. Label the drive with tape and put it where you will remember where it is.

   How to Copy your Business Documents to your Google Drive
Just in case you lose your laptop and your USB drive, it is good to also put a copy of this folder in your Google Drive that is associated with your business Gmail Address. To make a free business Gmail account, open a web browser and go to Gmail.com and sign up. https://accounts.google.com/signup/v2/webcreateaccount?service=mail&continue=https%3A%2F%2Fmail.google.com%2Fmail%2F&ltmpl=default&flowName=GlifWebSignIn&flowEntry=SignUp

Here’s the the form used to create a Gmail account for our Pet Education Center:

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On the next screen, the phone number and recovery email address are optional. Enter your Birthday and Gender. Then click Next. Agree to the terms.

Use a password you will remember. With exclamation mark at the end. We now have a gmail account called This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

This will open your new gmail account.

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We can forward email from this account to our normal email account. But for now, we want to open our Google Drive associated with this Gmail address. Click on the little boxes near the upper right corner. These boxes are called the Google Apps.

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Then click on Drive to open it.

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The first 15 GB of documents are free. This is usually enough to back up all of your business documents. Click on the X to hide the initial screen. Then on the Google Drive screen, click the New button in the upper left corner. Then click Folder Upload. This will open your file manager. Click on the folder called My New Business.

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Then click Upload.

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Then click on the folder in Google Drive to make sure it was uploaded correctly.

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Open the document My Business Accounts with Goggle docs.

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Note that you can share this document (or your entire business folder) with other members of your business team. Close this browser tab and log out of your Google email account.

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Congratulations! You have now created your first business documents and made copies of them on your business USB drive and your business Google Drive account!

What’s Next?
In the next section, we will build a few simple websites in preparation for later in this course when we will build our actual business website.