Create an E-Commerce Business Plan

"Many people have great ideas for online businesses, but the truth is that few people can translate those ideas into reality. It's a complex process and it takes knowledge, vision, persistence, technical skill, money, and just as much business acumen as it takes to make a bricks-and-mortar business successful. There are many pitfalls for the unwary, so it helps, before you start, to create a realistic business plan that is as complete as possible."

This article from John Bremner provides a good overview and details specific to the development of an online business. For example, he states, regarding the website aspect of the business plan:

"There are also a number of other questions you need to answer about your solution:

What will be your business domain name?
What are you going to sell?...
What information will you provide for each product? Will you show pictures? If so, how will you obtain them?
Are you going to need a transactional or a display site?
Will you have multiple departments or just one? Will it be a vortal, a portal, a shopping mall, or a single shop?
Is web-space an issue?
Will you be taking credit-card details? If so, who will be your Payment Service Provider, and what will be your security arrangements?
Will you be letting out web space on your site to others as a way of increasing revenue streams, or not?
Are you aiming for a worldwide market, or a local market?
How will you achieve search-engine registration and maintenance?
What will the site look like?...
Who is going to run, update and maintain the site?
How will you keep customer information safe? If you are not using an Applications Service Provider, what will you do about data backups, how will you provide telephone support for visitors to your website, and how will you deal with problems?
How will you keep track of stock and orders, arrange delivery, and deal with complaints, returns, refunds, out of stock items, and order tracking?
What shipping options will you offer?
Will you have a special offers area?
How can you generate additional revenue through your website? Advertising? Subscriptions?"