How is an e-business plan defferent from any other business plan?First,it must be said that there are far more similarities than differences.A business is a business and a plan is a plan,so most of what you expect to see in a business plan will also be in an e-business plan.Beyond adding an “e” to the title,what are some of the differences that make writing an e-business plan different from writing a business plan?

The Internet is unlike any other sales channel.The Internet allows companies to distribute information at the speed of light and at almost zero cost,to reach customers with both reach and range,to introduce new and innovative business models,to reduce costs and generate savings,and many,many more defferences,as discussed in your textbook.However,the Internet also creates more bargaining power for the customer,creates a more perfect information market to the customer’s benefit,and makes it easier for competitors to invade a company’s marketplace.So the first,and biggest,difference in e-business palnning is the need for the entrepreneur to recognize the different and unique capabilities of the Internet and begin to think differently,and creatively,about the opportunities and problems the Internet presents.

The Internet is global.Being on the Web means your business will be visible to an international audience.This introduces complexity for payment options(e.g.,show prices in US dollars or local currency?),distrubution channels,Web site design,and returns.

Web storefronts never close.Being on the Web means your store will be open 24 hours a day,7 days a week.Your e-business plan must account for this defference in Web hosting and customer service requirements.

The Web allows greater opportunities for personalization of content,one-to-one marketing,and customer self-service.Because the Web allows these and other customer service features,your competitors can make them part of their e-commerce strategy,so you must too.

E-commerce is conducted at Internet speed.This means Web site deployment must be planned in months,or even weeks,not years.First-mover advantage will be lost if companies are unable to move at Internet speed,and business plan readers will know that.

Customer focused.Business has always been about “getting close to the customer” but that was in a world without the potential of personalization ,one-on-one marketing data mining,concurrent reach and range,and customer relationship management.The Internet,and the customer-oriented applications that the Internet makes possible,mean that every e-business must be totally focused on the customer.

In all these ways,and more,writing a business plan for an e-business is different,new,exciting and difficult.