Strategic planning

Planning the web strategy for your business means creating an action plan to future-proof your online business operations.

This means taking into consideration emerging trends like mobile computing, the changing face of search engines and social media to name but a few of the most important considerations.

In can be a simple matter to integrate an e-store into an existing sales system.  But the there are many factors that need to be considered when adding a virtual store to a business that is already operating a physical store.  There are additional new steps to be incorporated into the retail process and an increase in some stages to be planned for.  There can be an entirely new range of work tasks to be assigned and met daily, weekly and monthly.  These processes are quite apart from the electronic requirements of creating an e-store and promoting it, setting up transaction facilities and online ordering.

Experience and knowledge are valuable skills to have on board when making your strategic plans for Internet business integration.

It is vital that all actions and their consequences are considered at the strategic planning stage so that appropriate systems can be created and deployed, so that development can be staged and so that development matches funding availability over time.

Some web projects are entirely experimental.  A business person may have a great idea in mind but only a small part of it is tested online for viability.  If that is successful then further stages are developed on the same basis.

As well as providing some theoretical direction for development the strategic planning phase of business web development also provides you with a brief of work required in more or less detail as required.  A brief of this kind provides you with a tangible statement of what you expect to have developed over what timeframe.

This is an excellent basis on which to get quotes for work if you anticipate tendering the development work out.  As all tenderers will receive the same brief it is reasonable to expect that your will be comparing apples with apples when examining the bids.  There are all the usual provisos that go with the fact that many bidders will seek to diverge from the brief in order to offer “better” and incomparable options together with arguments intending to persuade you away from your chosen path.

Having a strategic plan is also a great benefit when much of the work to be done in development is largely intangible, i.e there with will be little to show physically for the volume of effort to be spent on producing your business website.  A strategic plan document is a useful tool to show colleagues, managers and committees who require some form of physical evidence to help justify expenditure.

Strategic plans can be simple well-commented action lists or comprehensive documents with illustrations, charts, lists and detailed justifications.  The level of detail can be tailored to suit your requirements and budget.

Learn about strategic digital communications planning in this slideshow by James Burnes…

[slideshare id=879256&doc=building-blocks-of-business-online-1230642720796136-1]