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Launching an e-business, or online business, has many similarities to launching a brick and mortar business. On the other hand, there are some aspects of establishing an e-business that requires the owner to follow some tips for e-business planning that differ from offline businesses. In addition to putting together a business plan, the business owner also has to put together a very comprehensive marketing plan that includes driving traffic to the e-commerce website from both online and offline initiatives as part of the e-business planning process.
The first step is to write a business plan. This is a guide that the business owner can use to help dictate the steps to put together all of the foundational pieces required to start and operate the business. The business plan should include extensive research on the competitors of an e-business and how they are selling their products or services to the same or a similar audience.
Create a marketing plan that incorporates both online and offline ways to drive traffic to the e-business site. Many website and e-business owners make the mistake of only focusing on Internet marketing efforts, but it truly takes a combination of both online and offline efforts to drive the right traffic to the website.
The amount of traffic is not the only focus for the owner of an e-business. It is also important to focus on the conversion rate, which is the number of website visitors that are turned into paying customers. When e-business planning, the owner of the business and website may want to employ some Internet professionals to help with these efforts.
One of the experts may be a search engine optimization (SEO) specialist, which helps the owner identify the proper keywords to use in the website content when e-business planning. A professional marketing writer is another professional that the owner of the site may want to include in the e-business planning process. The business owner should also make the proper plans for hiring and working with a professional website designer.
In an e-commerce business, the website designer is the key element for creating the look and feel of the site. More importantly, however, the website designer adds the functionality and behind-the-scenes technology the site needs to function as an e-business site.
For example, an e-business site that sells products needs to have a shopping cart, where visitors can add products to the cart. When the customer is done shopping, the site needs to have the functionality so that the customer can checkout.
You should check out the latest research on what people can do to make their website more user friendly, or hire a webmaster who will.
For example, I read recently that they released that something like 50% of people won't complete a purchase if they have to fill out all their details in order to do it.
That's a huge amount of lost customers for a simple thing that could have been avoided with a comprehensive e- business plan outline.
I think the most important thing when developing a small online business plan is to get a good understanding of SEO before you even start out.
No matter what you are planning to do with your business, you are going to end up needing search engine optimisation.
This is particularly true if you don't have any kind of budget for advertising, or if your budget is small. If you can manage to get your website on the first page of google for a relevant search, you've already done better than most of the people out there.
It also helps to understand that you probably won't be able to get there immediately, and plan for that as well.
I think there can be a general perception that all you have to do is build a website and people will show up with their money in hand.
It was this kind of arrogance and shortsightedness that led to the dot com bubble being burst in the 90s.
There are so many competing businesses out there already that you have to have something to set yourself apart. No matter what you are selling, someone else is already doing it. Even if your product is completely unique, you need to convince people they need it. It doesn't matter if you have an online store or not, that's how business works.
So, developing a business plan for your whatever it is that you want to do is fairly crucial, particularly if you are just starting out.
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