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Introduction

Who is this book for?

This book is really for anyone who is planning, managing, implementing, or considering online tools and solutions for a business or organization.

Perfect for:

  • New business owners
  • People who are considering starting a business
  • Existing business owners who want to take a brick and
  • mortar establishment online
  • Business owners who want to revamp an online presence
  • People who manage the web presence for a small or medium sized company
 

The Internet Plan is a workbook and guide developed primarily for business owners and entrepreneurs. It helps you understand the business opportunities and tools available with online technology such that you can develop your own strategy for your organization’s online presence. It isn’t intended to be a comprehensive guide for all the various technologies in all businesses. It focuses on how people view, find and engage with your business online. The Internet Plan won’t delve into the technologies needed for business operations such as accounting or document storage. What we will delve into is the world of domain names, website options, email and email marketing as well as blogs, social media, SEO, Ecommerce and a few other key tools and technologies.

Although the workbook is geared towards those who are not necessarily knowledgeable about or comfortable with technology, it can be also be useful for those who know a whole lot about Internet technology because it guides you to connect web tools to your business objectives, creating a comprehensive Internet Plan. Whether you are more of a do-it-yourself sort of person or you need help from experts to launch the technology, this book can help. Your Internet Plan should go hand in hand with your business goals and objectives and it is completely dependent on your marketing plans, so we’ll spend some time in the first part of the book making sure you have the answers to a few key marketing questions before we dive into the meaty work of developing The Internet Plan for your business.

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How to Use the Book
The book follows a basic form in each chapter. First there is an UNDERSTAND section where we review some need-to-know topics about the specific technology discussed in the chapter. After that, you have the opportunity to EXPLORE your needs as they relate back to your specific business situation and then finally we have you FOCUS your choices and create some next steps. At the end of the book, we’ll guide you to pull it all together into a one-page plan.

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Keep It Simple
It is important to keep your Internet Plan simple, so we have you write it all on a single page. Why? Because any plan that can be presented simply will be one that can more easily be implemented and managed. If you need more than one page to capture the plans, then there is a good chance that you have prioritized too much. And one of the mantras I live by is that you can’t have ten number-one priorities. So this workbook will encourage you to prioritize your needs such that you can focus on what is most important for you at this stage of your business. You can always return to the book later to find the items that didn’t make the top of your list. In fact, it’s such a good idea to keep a ‘parking lot’ list of the items you want to add to your online presence at a later date that we provide a way for you to capture those items at the end of the workboo

Your Active Role in this Process
You may be thinking “Oh, I can just read through the text in this book and make some decisions and move forward.” While you could do that, I believe that if you do, you will miss the most valuable aspects of The Internet Plan. Writing things down has you think differently; it makes things real in a way that just thinking does not. Writing will also give you the opportunity to iterate through your ideas. While you may have some good ideas at the beginning, as you move through all the sections and write about your perspective on the various web tools and how they may or may not support your business, you will likely revise your thoughts. The book is intended for you to be fully engaged. While an individual exercise may not be needed, take the time to complete the focus exercises at the end of each chapter and to pull it all together at the end into a single plan. Creating The Internet Plan for your company will be an extremely good use of your time as a business manager or owner, helpful not just immediately after you complete it, but weeks and months later as well, when you are in the midst of implementation. The Internet Plan for your company should be something that you reference over the course of several months to keep you grounded in your intentions while you transform your plan into action.

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