Introduction to the e-Business Plan Tutorial

We assume you are at the beginning of the e-Business Plan Tutorial for a variety of reasons:

Overview of the Tutorial

The e-Business Plan Tutorial is a set of lessons that guide you through the process of writing the various sections of your business plan. Typically, each lesson begins with a description of what you will learn and do in the lesson. Most lessons contain one or more assignments that produce a part of your e-business plan (e.g., write a mission statement, identify three target markets). A compilation of all 20 tutorial assignments is included in Appendix A of this tutorial. After the tutorial is concluded, it is up to you to put all assignment outputs together into a coherent e-business plan.

Frequently key points or activities in the lessons are illustrated by reference to Purma Top Gifts. Purma is a fictitious country and Purma Top Gifts is a fictitious online gift shop that proposes to sell fairly expensive, high quality products that are made in Purma.

Most business plans have a similar structure that matches the structure of this tutorial, as outlined in the following table. The table also includes questions that are answered in each lesson.

Lesson

Title / e-Biz Plan Section

Relevant Questions

1

Introduction to the e-Business Plan Tutorial

What is the purpose of this tutorial?

What is assumed about the tutorial's target audience?

What is Purma Top Gifts?

What is the structure of the tutorial/business plan?

2

Fundamentals of e-Business Planning

What is a business plan?

What is a business case?

Why write a business plan?

When do a business plan?

What makes an e-business plan different from a traditional business plan?

3

Writing a "Read Right" Plan

Why is how a plan looks as important as what it says?

What is the content of the introductory sections of the plan?

What professional formatting standards apply to a business plan?

4

Executive Summary

What is an executive summary?

When should you write an executive summary?

5

Business Description

What does your industry look like?

What is your mission statement? Goals? Objectives? Business model?

What customer needs does your product/service fulfill?

What products and services will you offer?

6

Market Analysis

Who are your customers?

How many customers are in your target markets? Are these markets growing? steady? declining?

7

Competitor Analysis

Who are your competitors?

What are their strengths and weaknesses?

What specific attributes does your product or service have that your competitors' don't?

What are your sources of competitive advantage?

8

Operations

How will the product be produced or the service delivered?

How will customer service be delivered?

Who is on the management team and what do they contribute to the business?

How will Web site hosting and development be managed?

9

Financial Statements

What financing is required to implement the business plan?

Who will provide the financing?

How profitable will the business be?

10

Making an Effective Business Plan Presentation

What are the fundamentals of making an effective presentation?

What makes an average presentation great?

The author of this e-Business Plan Tutorial is Dennis Viehland, an Associate Professor of Information Systems at Massey University in Auckland, New Zealand. He has been assisted in the development of this tutorial by comments and suggestions from instructors and students who have used this tutorial. Their collective contribution is gratefully acknowledged.

So, once again, welcome to the e-Business Plan Tutorial. We hope it is a useful and productive learning exercise for you.

Navigation Guide for the e-Business Plan Tutorial
Introduction to the E-Business Plan Tutorial
    Top Ten Resources for Writing an e-Business Plan
Fundamentals of e-Business Planning
Writing a "Read Right" Plan
Executive Summary
Business Description
   Mission Statement
   Business Goals
   Project Objectives
   Business Model
Market Analysis
Competitor Analysis
Operations
Financial Statements
Making an Effective Business Plan Presentation
Appendix: e-Business Plan Tutorial Assignments

This e-Business Plan lesson was last updated on June 7, 2005. Questions, comments, and suggestions for improvement can be sent to Dennis Viehland (d.viehland@massey.ac.nz).