How To Write A .Com Business Plan

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Overview

Online business is booming,and you're ready for a piece of the e-biz pie. Maybe you've developed a brilliant idea for a ".com" business that is sure to reap big bucks,or perhaps you run an established small business,and plan to take your concept online.

How can you convince an investment "angel" to fund your dreams of expansion? What you need is a business plan—your path to success,the best way to win investment dollars from venture capitalists...

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Overview

Online business is booming,and you're ready for a piece of the e-biz pie. Maybe you've developed a brilliant idea for a ".com" business that is sure to reap big bucks,or perhaps you run an established small business,and plan to take your concept online.

How can you convince an investment "angel" to fund your dreams of expansion? What you need is a business plan—your path to success,the best way to win investment dollars from venture capitalists or from individual investors.

This guide tells you how to do just that,detailing not just the steps but offering advice from successful entrepreneurs,leading venture capital executives,and noted e-biz experts.

In addition,the second-half of the book comprises a

"Dotcom" directory. Author Joanne Eglash has sleuthed out the top resources for e-biz entrepreneurs,and she reveals where to find what you need to get your dotcom off and running — and to make it a success. You'll find detailed information on "virtual" government agencies and free publications,resources for young entrepreneurs,management and recruitment Web sites,incubators,marketing and advertising,and even more.

Succeed in the Wired World Whether you're an entrepreneur with a great e-biz idea,a business owner who wants to enter the dot-com domain,or the owner of a popular but currently unprofitable Web site,you need a business plan to get your concept online,attract investors,and reap the benefits of the growing online business boom. How to Write a . Com Business Plan is the only "how-to" book that focuses on the unique needs and requirements of the online arena. Here you'll discover how to address the Internet-related subjects that distinguish onlinebusinesses from more conventional entrepreneurial pursuits,from search engines to site security. Using two fictional sites as case studies throughout the book,Silicon Valley journalist Joanne Eglash demystifies the creation and implementation of the business plan,complete with step-by-step checklists and interviews with successful Internet entrepreneurs,venture capitalists,and other e-commerce experts.

Learn how a well-developed dot-com business plan can help you:

* Secure financing,wow prospective investors,and lure top employees

* Lay out a roadmap for your future,both for you and your colleagues,for tomorrow—and the next five years

* Evaluate how you can most effectively manage your business and market your product or service—and create a blueprint for implementation

* Develop descriptions of your company,your financial projections,and ways you can beat the competition

. . . and much more,including an invaluable Dot-Com Directory to help you locate information about a range of relevant topics. From mission statements and financial management to choosing and registering that all-important make-or-break domain name to the reality of the long hours your newbiz-dot-com will require,this much-needed,easy-to-use guide will set you on a solid path to e-success today.

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What People Are Saying

Netsurfer Digest
K, so you look around and you think that the dotcom boom is over. Not for a minute. Despite media hype of dying Net companies, quite a lot of venture capital is still going to Net-related startups. Only these days, the money is a bit smarter and more interested in business plans which actually make sense. Which is where a book like this comes in. While you may be able to find advice, checklists, and examples in other business plan books, what sets this one apart is a large collection of online and other resources designed to give e-biz entrepreneurs a leg up on the daunting startup tree.--Netsurfer Digest
Christine Harmel
Highly concentrated ... if you are an entrepreneur seeking to build an online business, let this serve as your guidebook. Joanne's advice is right-on. Concise, yet thorough and witty - this book is a timely resource for those who are looking to build an online business. Packed with useful tips on writing your business plan, getting financed, marketing and launching an online business, Joanne Eglash has tapped some of the best in the business. She includes useful examples and gives solid advice. Much of it is advice I give my own clients who are writing business plans and launching Internet ventures - I'll definitely direct them to this book/hand them a copy of this book. (Christine Harmel, CEO, The Interactive Resource)
Douglas H. Kass
Any entrepreneur dreaming of on-line success will benefit from Eglash’s step-by-step guidelines, informative do’s and don’ts, and useful checklists. (Douglas H. Kass, CEO, Viewpoint Group, Inc.)
Rozella Kennedy
A useful, honest guide to helping you develop your .com business plan for the daunting world of Internet entrepreneurship. (Rozella Kennedy, Producer of Job Wise - Moms Online at Oxygen.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780071357531
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Companies, The
  • Publication date: 11/20/2000
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 208
  • Product dimensions: 0.44 (w) x 7.50 (h) x 9.25 (d)

Read an Excerpt

Chapter 2: Executive Summary

If Yogi Berra were asked to write an executive summary, he would probably pause, sigh, and reflect, "But what if I write it and no executives read it? It's deja vu all over again!"

Ouch.

But seriously, folks. I recommend that you skip the Yogi Berra jokes, references to your children (unless you are selling a product or service for kids), and other potential wince-isms in your executive summary. Remember: many prospective investors use the summary as a way to decide whether your plan is worth additional time-and you don't want to make them groan or feel sick on the second page. If you must be cute, save it for your appendix. (See Chapter 11 for details.)

So, now that we've set aside the bad jokes (at least for the moment), let's look at the facts. Want some incentive for writing a dynamic executive summary? Here's the reality: an outstanding executive summary is an absolutely essential element in winning investment dollars from venture capital, venture catalyst, and/or individual investor "angels" for your lightbulb lollipalooza of an idea. These folks' desks are piled to the ceiling with BrightBusinessPlans-dot-coms. And they're going to read your executive summary first. If it doesn't whet their appetite for more, you can bid a fond farewell to all your hard work!

There are two frequently used methods for writing an executive summary:

  • The Write It First School of Thought, which is based on the theory that you can then use this summary as an outline for the rest of your business plan.
  • The Write It Last Philosophy, which is based on the theory that you can combine sections from the preceding parts of your plan to use inthe executive summary

I recommend a third method. Do a quick-and-dirty draft at the onset. Then, during your "final flourishes" (as outlined in Chapter 11), you can smooth the rough edges, add and modify as needed, and voila! You have an executive summary fit for the grandest of poohbah executives.

What does an executive summary contain? The summary provides the reader with an overview of:

  • The company mission statement and company description
  • The management
  • The competition
  • The market and your customer
  • Your product and/or service
  • Marketing and sales
  • Operations
  • Financial projections and plans

It is essential to prepare this section with care. Remember: many of your readers will glance through the summary first. If it seems like a winner, they'll continue. If not, they will simply move onto the next business plan.

One common mistake is to overwrite the executive summary, cramming in every iota of information. This everything-but-the-kitchen-sink approach might seem like the way to impress your readers.

Wrong. Bankers, venture capital firms, individual investors-all these folks have one trait in common: they value their time. You should too. So, keep your executive summary succinct and clear. Your goal is to capture your readers' attention, not drown it.

Because you are creating a business plan for an Internet business, you must also demonstrate how you will get site traffic on an ongoing basis (and why they'll keep comin' back). What I'm referring to here is the "stickiness" factor. Before you rush off to purchase a virtual version of glue, here's what I mean by stickiness. It's the features that make visitors linger at your Web site and give them reason to return time after time-in a nutshell, the qualities of your site that increase both new and return visitors.

Addressing this element helps present your site as a winning proposition for investors. And remember: if investors buy the snapshot of your vision, they'll continue. For example, in the executive summary for Grrlbiz.com, I would note our plans to offer free e-mail accounts (one way to guarantee that visitors will return: they need to check, compose, and manage their free Grrlbiz.com e-mail accounts); changing content, such as columns by experts; community involvement and opportunities for interaction, such as chats and discussion boards; and contests. But remember: this is just a first draft. Don't let the importance of your executive summary overwhelm you so much that you belabor it. Look at it as an opportunity to capture all your ideas in just a few pages.

If you can't complete all the sections (such as the financial details), don't worry. The "final flourishes" chapter is when we'll fill in all the blanks! So, although you will need to revise this section after the other chapters are finished, you'll benefit and save time later by creating this draft as a reference point.

I Cannot Tell A Lie

Here's something to remember as you write your summary and throughout your business plan preparation: tell the truth...

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments and Dedication ix
Part 1 The Plan
Chapter 1. Introduction 3
What Can This Book Do for You? 4
Why You Need a Business Plan 5
What's in This Book 6
Speaking of a Dot-Com Directory... 7
A Picture's Worth 1000 Words 8
Now, a Word (or Two, or Three ...) About Venture Capital Firms 8
Why CW Is Now WC--And How I Know 9
Chapter 2. Executive Summary 13
Two Common Approaches--Plus Here's My Version 14
I Cannot Tell a Lie 15
Guidelines 16
Your Mission, Should You Choose to Accept It, and Company Description 17
The Management 18
The Competition 19
The Market and Your Customer 19
Products and Services 20
Marketing and Sales 21
Operations 22
Financial Projections and Plans 22
Checklist 23
Chapter 3. Mission Statement and Company Description 25
Crafting Your Mission Statement 25
Try a Brainstorm Break 26
Company Description 27
Using Statistics in the Right Way 30
Checklist 31
Chapter 4. The Management 33
Name That Manager 34
Do You Suffer from Organization Anxiety? 36
Your Mileage May Vary, But... 37
Recruiting 38
Uncle Sam Has Advice, Too... 40
Checklist 41
Chapter 5. The Competition 43
Spell It Out--And Search It Out 44
Adding Depth to Your Competitive Analysis 45
Recognize the New Challenges in the Internet Era 46
Sit in Your Potential Customer's Chair 48
Achieving "Customer-Minded" Attitudes 49
Visit the Enemy 50
What's Up Ahead? 52
Checklist 53
Chapter 6. Your Market and Customer 55
Who Is Your Customer? 55
Playing the Numbers 57
A Meditative Moment, Please 59
Customer Care 61
Checklist 62
Chapter 7. Products and Services 63
Have a Seat 63
Developing the Product 66
In Vendors We Trust? 66
Standing Out in the Crowd--A.K.A. Outstanding 66
Money, Money Everywhere 68
Checklist 68
Chapter 8. Marketing and Sales 71
Attraction Equals Promotion 71
How Much Is That Doggie in the Window, and How Can I Buy It? 73
Rites of Research 74
Sales and Service 75
Strategic Thinking for Those Baby Boomer Boxer Shorts 76
Spec Out Those Specifics 77
There's a Method to the Madness 77
Checklist 78
Chapter 9. Operations 85
Let's Begin the Operation 88
Uncle Sam Has Some Suggestions 88
Go with the Flow 89
Day by Day 90
Policies and Procedures (Yawn) 91
Dotting the Dot-Com: Detailed Data 93
Checklist 93
Chapter 10. Financial Projections and Financial Management Plan: Going for the Gold (and Green) 97
Know Thy Numbers Tolerance 98
Elementary, My Dear Watson 99
The World Is My Village 100
Consult the Internet Gurus 101
What Really Counts for Financial Figures 103
Checklist 106
Chapter 11. Final Flourishes 109
Append That Appendix 110
Give Yourself a Title 111
Table Time 111
Don't Judge a Book By Its Cover...and Other Final Notes and Nits 112
Want More Tips, Including Tiptoeing Around Traps? 114
Last, But Not Least... 115
Checklist 116
Chapter 12. Sample Business Plans 117
Introduction 117
Turnip-Chips.com Business Plan 118
Part 2 The Directory
The Overview 135
Best-Bet Web Sites 135
Uncle Sam Can Solve Your Problems--Well, Some of Them... 138
A Little Light Reading: Online and Print Publications 142
And the Search Is On 144
Does the "E" in E-Commerce Stand for Easy? 146
Dancing the Management Minuet 149
Naming, Registering, and Designing Do's and Don't's for Your Site 152
Of Dollars, Incubators, and Garages 156
Lexicon/Vocabulary/Argot/E-Biz Slang/A-Virtual-Rose-by-Any-Other-Name Glossary 162
Marketing and Advertising: Show Me the Customers! 166
Customer Service... Do It with a Smile 169
No Lawyer Jokes, Please: You Never Know When You'll Need One 171
Breaking Through the (Virtual) Glass Ceiling: Sites for Female Entrepreneurs 174
Young at Heart--and Age: Web Sites for Young Entrepreneurs 177
It's Back to School Time: Colleges and Universities with E-Biz Aids 179
Bits & Bytes 181
Index 185
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First Chapter

CHAPTER 1Just a little over five years ago, Amazon.com existed only in its creator's vision. Access to the Internet highway was often a bumpy ride, and the typical retail entrepreneur placed "location, location, location" high on the list of essentials for success.Welcome to the brave new Webbed World! Amazon.com is viewed as one of the most stellar successes in the Internet sky. Surfing the Web has become just as easy and fast-and in some cases, a heck of a lot more educational, entertaining, and exciting-as TV channel surfing. More and more entrepreneurs these days regard a great domain name as infinitely more valuable than the location of their business.The Internet has become a force to be reckoned with in the business world-and woe unto you if that force is not with you. Consider the statistics. As reported in the marketing resource Web site eMarketer (emarketer.com), recent researchers have shown that "purchases on the Net are quickly catching up with shopping." One study indicated a more than 40 percent increase from 1998 to 1999 of PCs involved in e-commerce, amounting to 37 million PCs. In addition, eMarketer reported that "the number of computers used to make online purchases jumped 72 percent, which is double the increase of those who went online just to shop."Pretty impressive.The pervasive and persuasive power of the Internet literally struck home with me when my mother (until recently, a self-described "computerphobic illiterate") became an Internet addict. It happened so insidiously. In early March, she was debating acquiring a computer "with one of those connections so I can e-mail my cousin, because she got a computer."As she reflects on her experience in becoming an Internet entrepreneur, Elizabeth says, "I love my life. I love what I have been able to accomplish in a short amount of time. I have zero regrets and would do this again in a heartbeat." She offers this advice for would-be dot-com entrepreneurs: "Love what you do and make it your passion, because you spend so much time at it. There are so many people who want to start a company to chase the IPO (Initial Public Offering) gravy train, but they have no knowledge of the business. Know how much money it truly takes, to build a brand-the Amazons of the world did not come cheap. Another piece of advice is not to let rejection deter you. If you really want it, you can make it happen. Of course there is a time to let certain things go, but I don't know how many times people have told me, 'Wow-how can you start your own business? It will never work.'"Throughout this book, I've included this type of information and direct quotations from those immediately involved in the exciting, ever-changing world of e-commerce. In other words: people actively engaged in a realm that you are about to explore. So consider this book your travel guide to that brave new world. And now, without further ado: upward and onward on the Internet ramp!By mid-May, Mom was clicking off e-mail messages right and left, in between hopping from a Web site to a newsgroup to a chat room (where she created a new persona for herself, "MomFreud"). And of course she had to check all her favorite shopping sites, to see if they had any specials. "It's so wonderful! I have the world in my living room," my mother raved. "Not to mention my choice of the most fabulous shopping malls."I fully expect a candidate for president to run soon on the "An Internet Connection in Every Living Room" ticket. My mother's experience convinced me: if entrepreneurs snooze, they lose when it comes to the e-commerce game. Dot it with a com.WHAT CAN THIS BOOK DO FOR YOU?You've been watching the world of electronic commerce explode in terms of profitability and expansion. Even the smallest dot-com businesses are getting a sizable byte of investors' and venture capitalists' dollars. And you're thinking, "If Mom-and-Pop-dot-com can make it, why can't I?" You can answer that question yourself-by replying to these three key queries.1. DO YOU HAVE A PASSION FOR YOUR NEW ENTERPRISE?It's a wild, wild Internet world out there-which translates, for online entrepreneurs, into long hours. If you relish your new venture and wake up each morning excited about focusing your complete attention on your newbiz-dot-com, you increase the odds of success. You'll enjoy cherishing and nurturing your business-and that devotion will translate into a quality product or service.2. DO YOU HAVE A SUPPORT SYSTEM?No, we're not talking tech support, customer support, or a house that's been earthquake-reinforced (although if you live in California, that's a good idea). When you're starting a business, you need someone in whom to confide, someone with whom you can share your joys, challenges, and dilemmas. Couple that with the fact that creating an online venture involves minimal human interaction and long hours alone at the keyboard, and it can get mighty lonely. So, whether it's your "significant other," your best friend, and/or your 12 brothers and sisters, it helps to have a friend. I know one new business owner who says, quite seriously, that he would never have succeeded if it had not been for his dog Toto, who "listened faithfully and solemnly to all my trials and tribulations-and regarded a long walk and extra doggy biscuit as the ultimate reward."3. ARE YOU CONFIDENT THAT THIS IS WHAT YOU WANT TO DO?Confidence in yourself and your newbiz-dot-com is another way to measure the likelihood of your success. If you believe in yourself and your work-with the self-assurance and faith that the Internet highway is, to misquote Robert Frost, "the road that will make all the difference" in your life-then you're ready to board the e-commerce train! This guide is the ticket for a successful and profitable voyage.WHY YOU NEED A BUSINESS PLANA business plan should be regarded as an absolute essential, whether you're:
  • A bright-eyed and bushy-tailed entrepreneur with a GreatIdea-dot-com.
  • The owner of a "real-world" business who wants to enter the dot-com domain.
  • The proud possessor of a very popular-but currently unprofitable-Web site who is ready to garner more than compliments from your success!
When I told a friend that I was writing this book, she said cheerfully, "Well, I'm starting my own business, but I certainly don't need a plan! I'll be the only employee, and I'll be working from home. And I'm financing it with the haul I took in from trading Internet stocks!"Hmmm. The product that my friend (let's call her Cheerful Cherie) plans to market is her homemade jam. She hopes to sell it to gourmet stores locally and, via a Web site, to retail customers worldwide. What I gently suggested to Cherie-and what I would advise anyone who wants to start a business without a plan-is that she pretend that, rather than starting a business, she's getting prepared to build a house on her own. "Would you construct your house without some type of blueprint?" I asked her."Of course not," Cherie said indignantly. "I'd need to have a plan to follow. And what if I discovered I couldn't do it on my own? I'd have to hire someone to help, and I'd need a blueprint for that person to follow."Exactly.By creating a business plan, you build:
  • A résumé that can make or break your ability to secure financing, wow prospective investors, and lure top employees.
  • A roadmap for the future, for both you and your colleagues, a way to plan for tomorrow-and the next five years.
  • A method for evaluating just how you can most effectively manage your business and market your product or service, and a blueprint for implementing those concepts.
  • A way to develop descriptions of your company, your products or services, your financial projections, as well as a method for detailing how you can beat your competition-all of which you should have in place before you begin.
Thus, the answer is: "Yes, Cherie, you need a business plan to build a solid foundation under your dream castle in the air."WHAT'S IN THIS BOOKBy following the steps detailed in this guide, you can create a plan for a successful and profitable dot-com business. In addition to recommendations and tips for what to include, I offer "red-flag warnings" on what to avoid. For example, there's a Silicon Valley start-up anecdote about a would-be Web entrepreneur with a truly can't-miss idea (this techno-urban legend doesn't reveal what that surefire concept was, of course). He spent a full year researching every aspect of and writing about his business, from creating a mission statement to evaluating his competitors to projecting his financial statistics. Then our entrepreneur sent in his business plan to the top venture capital firms, confident that he'd procure all the money he needed. He received 100 percent "no-go" replies. Why? Because Mr. Can't-Miss also couldn't spell. He considered grammar something that "elementary school kids gotta study, but why should I care?" His typing ability wouldn't have won any awards either. All those elements, coupled with the fact that he scribbled in some additional notes before xeroxing his proposal on a copier that was low on toner, made for an almost unreadable plan. So, as you'll learn in Chapter 11, on "final flourishes," those so-called little things can mean a lot when it comes to finalizing your plan Just one more note before you focus on your business plan. Even if you have an absolutely brilliant idea for a dot-com business that is guaranteed to reap Major Money from the bonanza of opportunity that the Internet presents these days, I recommend that you play "Name That Site." In the online world, the right name can make or break a company. Take the time to do an informal usability test with your prospective name for your new site. Ask friends, neighbors, the mail carrier, and the dentist what they think of your dot-com name. You want something, such as Make-Money-Over-Night-dot-com, that is guaranteed to attract attention-and investors. Just remember: registering your domain name immediately is a must in these days of "I'll-Pay-You-A-Million-Dollars-For-That-Great-Dot-Com-Name!" If you don't, you run the risk of someone else becoming the master of what was supposed to be your domain.For more details on choosing and registering a site name, see the Dot-Com Directory later in this book.SPEAKING OF A DOT-COM DIRECTORY . . .Part Two of this book includes your very own Dot-Com Directory. In it, you'll find information about topics ranging from how to research your target market to where to locate venture capital firms. Although most of the recommendations are online (as only befits an Internet entrepreneur's book), I've also included some suggestions for a little light reading. Keeping up with industry and business publications will help you stay on top of market trends. Not to mention that it's one of the best ways of tracking just what your competition is up to, and learning about that new kid on the Internet block!A PICTURE'S WORTH 1000 WORDSJust as a picture's worth 1000 words, a relevant example can be more helpful than 1000 pages of conceptual chatter. Which brings us to two sites that I've concocted to illustrate my points throughout this book: Grrlbiz.com and Turnip-Chips.com. Grrlbiz.com is designed to encourage girls and young women to become entrepreneurs and to educate them about finance and the business world. It will utilize experts in various areas as columnists and "chat room" experts, in addition to bringing in the services of venture capital firms, banks, women's groups, the federal government's small business and businesswomen sections, and existing groups such as Junior Achievement.Turnip-Chips.com, in contrast, markets an imaginary product that looks and tastes like potato chips. It is low-calorie, seasoned with antioxidants and other health and longevity ingredients, and a winner in a variety of taste tests throughout the nation. In addition, Turnip-Chips.com's manufacturing features a gigantic turnip slicer and outdoor gizmo that will bake the turnip slices with the power of the sun.Throughout this guide, I'll use these two sites as case studies to help you understand how to implement the information. NOW, A WORD (OR TWO, OR THREE . . .) ABOUT VENTURE CAPITAL FIRMSAny Internet entrepreneurs out there who haven't heard the buzz about the money available from venture capital firms? Raise your hand. Hmmm. That's what I thought. The increase in funding from venture capital firms has garnered enormous publicity lately. And yes, it's true: these folks have big bucks to invest in prospective companies. But remember: before they'll show you the money, honey, they want reassurance that you have a profitable plan that will succeed.Once you get the plan, well, you've also probably heard or read the reports of Ordinary Joes and Janes making a million overnight.Is it fiction? No. The statistics and stories are indeed impressive-and encouraging. For example, the San Francisco Chronicle reported that venture capital financing into Internet companies in the quarter ended March 1999 increased nearly a third more than the previous quarter, totaling $2.1 billion. And ZDNet recently cited forecasts showing that, by 2003, e-commerce internationally could generate $3.2 trillion.Now, aren't you glad that you decided to invest in a book that will guide you to a business plan appealing to those venture angels out there?!WHY CW IS NOW WC-AND HOW I KNOWUsed to be that you could read a book or two on writing a business plan, grab yourself one of those prettily packaged, create-your-own-business-plan-in-a-day software programs, and voilà! You had a business plan fit for a blue-suited banker. It probably ranged from 100 to 200 pages, and contained an extensive executive summary, because Conventional Wisdom (CW) said that was how long it should be and that the exec summary section was guaranteed to be the most important.Then e-commerce turned CW upside down and inside out. Which is why, in addition to studying all those business plan books, I turned to the key players who could clue me in: the Web Connoisseurs (WC). My mavens ranged from Guy Kawasaki, founder of Garage.com and former Apple Computer evangelist, to Brad Garlinghouse, a general partner with @Ventures, the venture capital arm of CMGI, to a variety of Internet entrepreneurs. In general, recommendations for the length of a business plan and views on the most important sections differed considerably from CW.Brad Garlinghouse, for example, notes that @Ventures receives more than 1000 business plans each month. He recommends that you make your business plan "short, concise, and to the point. Over 25 pages is too much." There are three areas in a business plan to which he gives "the most attention. And frankly, these are the first areas I read. If I don't make it past these, I never see the rest: (1) team-the most important factor of success; (2) market opportunity-how large the business opportunity is; and (3) competition-who the existing players are. Everyone has competitors, and failure to acknowledge this is a big mistake. Moreover, failure to identify some obvious competitors indicates lack of awareness and understanding of the market."Brad also views domain names as "very important. They need to be short and catchy. It's not a coincidence that some of the most successful Web sites (and public companies) are short words (e.g., Yahoo, Excite, eBay, Amazon). We have spent amazing sums of money acquiring the 'right' domain name. Furniture.com is one example. Carparts.com is another. We're actively buying domains right now for other companies."Guy Kawasaki of Garage.com warns about assuming that citing millions of statistics will automatically result in millions of investors' dollars. "Every plan we see says that 'IDC predicts that by 2005 this market will be $20 billion,'" he says. "These external verifications are meaningless. The idea has to make inherent sense. No analyst's prediction can overcome an idea that doesn't make sense." I also asked Guy about the value that he places upon a Web site's domain name, noting how many in existing sites have decided to play the name change game (Computer Literacy, for example, recently changed its site name to Fatbrain.com). "If the company had a killer domain, it would help," agrees Guy. "For example, Loans.com, Car.com, Clothes.com, or Garage.com. But a mediocre domain isn't a deal breaker." And he contends that "no business plan should be more than 20 pages. So the process is to send a short exec summary to see if there's interest. If there is, then meet and leave a 20-page plan."Entrepreneur Elizabeth Slocum, the founder of e-consults.com, says that she "firmly" believes in the power of business plans. "I think the business plan is a great tool or roadmap for the entrepreneur. It gives one direction and an ability to stay on track. It also gives one realistic goals to aim for. Business plans are a necessity for obtaining funding." Elizabeth's company "addresses the how-to of e-business by defining a company's online strategic role and assisting in the design, deployment, and marketing of successful e-business initiatives." As she reflects on her experience in becoming an Internet entrepreneur, Elizabeth says, "I love my life. I love what I have been able to accomplish in a short amount of time. I have zero regrets and would do this again in a heartbeat." She offers this advice for would-be dot-com entrepreneurs: "Love what you do and make it your passion, because you spend so much time at it. There are so many people who want to start a company to chase the IPO (Initial Public Offering) gravy train, but they have no knowledge of the business. Know how much money it truly takes, to build a brand-the Amazons of the world did not come cheap. Another piece of advice is not to let rejection deter you. If you really want it, you can make it happen. Of course there is a time to let certain things go, but I don't know how many times people have told me, 'Wow-how can you start your own business? It will never work.'"Throughout this book, I've included this type of information and direct quotations from those immediately involved in the exciting, ever-changing world of e-commerce. In other words: people actively engaged in a realm that you are about to explore. So consider this book your travel guide to that brave new world. And now, without further ado: upward and onward on the Internet ramp!
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 10, 2000

    Excellent Guide for Startups

    I bought it because I have a great idea for a startup, but I was not sure how to get funding. This book was exactly what I needed because it had detailed information about why I need to create a business plan, how to get financing, etc. Plus the directory of online resources was great!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 29, 2000

    Synopsis of Book

    From Silicon Valley in California to Silicon Alley in New York, journalist Joanne Eglash goes where no business planning book author has gone before: into the heart of 'Dotcom Land.' Her interviews with successful Internet entrepreneurs and e-commerce experts, coupled with her research on what it takes to develop a successful dotcom business plan, make this book required reading for anyone who has or wants to create an online business. The guide includes detailed steps that lead you through the process required to create your own business plan, with a 'Dotcom' directory that completes the picture. In that directory, you'll find the top online resources for e-biz entrepreneurs, from Web site security to government regulations, networking groups for women entrepreneurs, management and recruitment Web sites, incubators, marketing and advertising, and more. In a virtual nutshell, it's the essentials you need to put your online business on the Internet path to success!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 12, 2000

    Great Guide for Internet Entrepreneurs!

    I've read articles by this journalist, and this guide for e-biz plans is a guaranteed winner!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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