Old Meets New in the Web Store Business PlanWritten by David Johnson
Continued from page 1
Management Plan Identify key players who will plan, build and maintain your online operation. Donít forget to include personnel in charge of your back-end systems, such as customer service (check out www.workz.com/manage/cs.asp), order fulfillment, warehousing, and shipping. Determine what tasks will go to existing staff and what tasks you will outsource to consultants, so your business plan clearly states where these responsibilities will lie.
Financial Plan Decide what technical functions are necessary to your Web site and research costs of delivering those functions. You can use a turnkey solution to get your site up on Internet (such as AOL or Yahoo! Store), or you can pay for technical expertise and bring these functions in-house. (Try www.workz.com/build/vendors/host.asp.)
Once youíve determined your technical requirements, calculate how far your existing capital will go and then decide whether to seek additional capital investment. If youíve been thorough in developing rest of your plan, you íll be able to project income versus expense based on estimated site traffic and visitor-to-order ratios (the number of visitors compared to number of buyers on a site). Your investors will require this type of forecasting.
Remember old saying, "The more things change, more they stay same." E-commerce strategy combined with a traditional small-business format is winning formula for your Web store business plan.
David Johnson is the founder, president and director of workz.com. He is a lifelong entrepreneur, small-business expert, and Internet pioneer. He decided to create a trusted resource of objective how-to information to help other small businesses. Because of David's experiences, workz.com continues to provide answers and solutions to the overwhelming issues and challenges facing small businesses on the Web.
Selling - Blending E-Commerce and Store Front SalesWritten by John Warzecha
Continued from page 1
case that quite often a sale will occur, not based on what needs are met. but on extras that come with package. The only way that you can find out bells and whistles that will sell your system is by listening. Someone can have features similar to IBM, Compaq or Panasonic, but they can sell their own system by emphasizing features that fill a need that customer never knew he had- his hot buttons. These needs are discovered by asking questions and then listening. Here are a few cardinal rules: don't be patronizing or condescending- don't assume that you always know what is best for customer, or that your superior product knowledge entitles you to decide what is best for him. More importantly, don't try to sell most expensive item on market. This is very short-sighted. It has been shown that an unhappy customer can affect up to two hundred potential future customers. For example, a store owner was looking for a new cash register. He came into our showroom looking at some very sophisticated Point-of- Sale systems. He was impressed with flash, bells and whistles. I listened to his needs. I could have sold him $4,000.00 piece of equipment, because he wanted it, even though he didn't need it. His requirements were assessed and he was told that all he needed was a three hundred dollar cash register. It was essentially a cash box that would give him a total sales printout at end of day. When it was explained to him that his needs were for a simple cash recording system, he appreciated fact that we had looked beyond his enthusiasm and sold him an appropriate item. Eight months later, when his business had expanded dramatically and he needed an expensive system- where did he go? He came back to us and ended up buying $14,000.00 worth of POS equipment. An initial small commission turned into a very sizeable order a short time later because customer had been listened to. People resent being patronized or treated as if they are not aware of their own needs. They appreciate your advice but that advice should never be stated as an imperative. You may get initial sale because of pressure tactics but long term ill-will can result in missing out on substantial commissions. There is also another interesting fact: once someone has come to you after checking out your web site, and they have bought from your retail outlet, their next purchase will probably be from your web-site. This is providing that you have sold them what they needed, and not what you wanted them to buy.
John Warzecha, sales trainer, educator, and speaker, who holds a B.A., B.Ed., and an M.A., is V.P. of Communications at Wyka-Warzecha Enterprises, http://www.wyka-warzecha.com, a site devoting to helping website designers achieve amazing special effects with easy to use Java based products.