Your business plan has been carefully drafted, written and re-written and is ready for implementation. You may have spent weeks or months writing it, and it represents all of the goals and objectives for your business. You will definitely have a website because you know that in today’s business world, that’s a necessity and it is mentioned somewhere in the marketing section of your website. There is even a line item in your start-up budget for its development and implementation, with a corresponding expense line item for hosting and occasional content updates.

Have you drafted your online business plan?

If you have not, then you have missed an important step in your business planning process. An e-business plan integrates your website and your business model and addresses website planning, development, marketing and management. It will ensure that your content targets the right customer type, enables you to realize the full value of the Internet as a marketing tool, and creates a process for informing and communicating with your customers.

For example, while listing your website with search engines will help you reach customers who are looking for similar websites, how can you entice them to search for your website? And what will they find when they get there? There are more effective methods of attracting your customers to your website than search engine listings. Are you aware of how to use them? Studies show that regular contact with customers helps to maintain your relationship with them and generates referral business. Are you aware of the best contact technologies available today? Your customers will expect content variety and incentive to return to your website. How will you ensure that those processes are in place and that they are completed in a timely manner? Your e-business plan will address those issues, as well as find the right mix of on- and off-line marketing tools, and establish procedures for e-business management.

Palo Alto Software is the first business planning software provider to include an e-business planning guide, The e-Business Primer, which can be purchased either in a bundle with Business Plan Pro software, or as a stand-alone guide. The Internet presents a wide range of marketing and communications opportunities for every business. Making those opportunities a reality requires careful planning, thoughtful assessment and directed focus. The e-business Primer provides you with the planning and decision-making tools to develop and implement your e-business strategy as you develop your business plan and place your business at the forefront of this exciting global environment. The ideas, goals and strategies you will formulate with the help of The e-Business Primer will aid you in producing a successful, well-planned e-business or e-commerce venture.

The e-Business Primer™ was developed using a combination of her technical and functional knowledge of the Internet and business world. This guide to e-business planning and implementation in four steps–plan, develop, market and manage–was written for the small to mid-size business owner and manager.

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