10 Skills That You Need to Run an Online Business by Yourself

Creating a Business Plan
Even in today's digital economy, an old-fashioned business plan is crucial for keeping on track. TLFurrer/iStock/Thinkstock

You're a would-be digital mogul, you've got an insanely great idea, and you can start a business with just a few keystrokes, without changing out of your pajamas even. So you might think that a business plan — a written document that describes your business concept, market potential, strategy for growth, potential risks and capital needs — is as obsolete as paper ledgers and accordion files.

The truth is, though, in the undisciplined, disorganized online world, being disciplined and organized is all the more crucial for turning that idea of yours into a viable business model. Otherwise, when you suddenly discover that everybody wants your revolutionary new widget, you may have no idea how to scale up to meet the demand, and you'll end up losing the market opportunity.

But don't worry — you don't need an MBA from Wharton to write a good basic blueprint for success. The U.S. Small Business Administration's website provides an easy-to-follow, step-by-step guide. Additionally, Google searches are likely to turn up sample plans for your business sector, which you can adapt to suit your needs [source: Ngai].