Learn. Grow. Give

You can plan, develop, advertise, and manage your way to success using these FREE business tools and resources. Right now, you have everything you require to launch and expand your ideal company.

Creating a Business Plan

An essential and strategic tool for entrepreneurs is a business plan. In addition to helping entrepreneurs concentrate on the particular actions required for their business ideas to succeed, a strong business plan also enables them to meet both short- and long-term goals. We believe that it’s important to get experts to get this done but if you are the DIY kind, then here is a curated list of online resources to help you crack it yourself.

  • Bplans – The largest online collection of free sample business plans. Also provides helpful tools and guides to help you better manage your business.
  • Bplans’s Gallery of Samples – Over 500 examples of business plans.

Lean Canvas – Ash Maurya’s 1-page Lean Canvas template can help you break down your idea into its fundamental premises. It is modified for Lean Startups from Alex Osterwalder’s Business Model Canvas. A one-page business model is used in place of complex business strategies.

Creating your Brand Identity

A logo for a company should be easily recognisable, straightforward, distinctive, relevant, and memorable. Most essential, it must represent the company’s messaging clearly. Always take into account the many shapes and sizes that the logo will be expected to assume, such as on stationary, collaterals, and website headlines.

Important Elements of Brand Identity:

  • Wordmark or Logo. A logo or wordmark is one of the primary elements of an organization’s brand identity
  • Corporate Font
  • Style Consistency
  • Shape and Form
  • Theme Lines/Tag Lines
  • Social media templates
  • Brand Colors
  • Tone of Voice
  • Stationery
  • Product Packaging

Some DIY logo creator websites are:

Logaster – Online logo maker and generator.

Canva – Amazingly simple graphic design software that helps even non-designers create stunning layouts and graphics.

Steps to take your Business Online

Reserving your domain:
The process of reserving a name on the Internet for a specific amount of time, often one year, is known as domain name registration. You should be aware that this domain will only be yours for as long as you renew it; you cannot buy a domain name in perpetuity.
  • Find a domain name registrar like Go Daddy, Google, or Wix
  • Search for your domain name it must be unique and available at a reasonable price.
  • Finalize your domain name choice
  • Choose a domain name suffix, such as .com, .in, .co or .net.
  • Purchase the domain name
Build your website using one of the available DIY platforms:
  • Wix – Free Website builder with unlimited pages, 500MB storage, secure hosting, drag ‘n’ drop editor, and mobile site.
  • Webflow –Webflow is a no-code web design tool invented for visual web design. It can be used for designing responsive websites, landing pages, eCommerce sites, blogs, and more. Beyond a web design tool, it also has CMS (content management system), and it’s also a hosting platform.
  • Weebly – Free website builder, e-commerce platform and marketing tools—all in one place
  • WordPress.org – WordPress is free and powers 40% of the web. You will need to buy your own domain name and pay for hosting—the latter can be found for as little as $3.95 per month. In case you aren’t a coder you may need some expert help here.
E-Commerce Solutions:
  • Build your own e-commerce website using the platform and take payments yourself.
  • WooCommerce – Customizable e-commerce platform for building your online business. Integrates seamlessly with WordPress.
  • Shopify – An e-commerce platform for online stores and retail point-of-sale systems. The Shopify platform offers online retailers a suite of services including payments, marketing, shipping and customer engagement tools.
  • X-Cart – Free, easy-to-use open-source e-commerce software
  • Your product must be placed where customers go to buy. E-commerce marketplaces gives your brand the opportunity to showcase your products alongside other products from your category. Of course, at a price. Leading marketplaces charge you a listing fee &/ or commission as they drive traffic to their website and manage customer journeys. As brand awareness builds up, the margins can be renegotiated or you can solely sell from your own website.
Horizontal Marketplace
  • Horizontal marketplace facilitates the need for a wide range of customers across different sectors of the economy. It is not mainly focused on a specific category of items to sell but sells almost everything thus, reach a broader audience. Example – Amazon, Flipkart, Paytm Mall, Snapdeal, etc.
Vertical Marketplace
  • Aimed at a single market sector to serve some specific category of products to the targeted audience. Category-wise players examples of India:
  • Pharmacy – 1mg, Pharmeasy, Netmeds etc.
  • Fashion – Ajio, Myntra, Tata Cliq, Shoppers Stop etc.
  • Beauty – Nykaa, Purplle
  • Furniture – Urbanclap, Pepperfry
  • Food – Nature’s Basket, Big Basket, Grofers, Blinkit, Instamart

Creating your Magnetic Messaging

Using meaningful words to leave breadcrumbs for your ideal customers to find you. Your business’s success will be determined by the words you use. Following are the steps to delight your customers.
  • Start by defining your buyer personas – your ideal customer and not so ideal customer.
  • Your power statement is that one-liner that hooks your ideal clients and sparks curiosity to learn more about you and your offer.
  • Clearly communicating your product/service benefits
  • Reiterating product value to differentiate you from your competition and that will magnetically attract customers to you.
  • Validate their purchase and give them a reason to come back. And that’s the secret sauce!
Some tools to ace your content strategy:
  • Content Map – Content maps help make sure your content serves a strategic role in nurturing your audience. It’s one of the best ways to keep your content aligned with your business goals.
  • Monthly Content Plan – Use this template to plan and track content topics and ideas monthly.

Analytics and Retail Metrics that matter

  • Key metrics are the most significant metrics that an organisation monitors. A key metric, also referred to as a key performance indicator, or KPI, is a statistic that, by its value, provides an indication of the general health and performance of an organisation or department.
What you measure matters and grows. What are you tracking?