The online business portal will allow the company and its owners to sell and market all their service and products to wide clientele base (Choi, 2007). The company will be in a position of selling their products and services from the new stand-alone story building that will be constructed. The business is promising because of the low start up capital compared to contemporary businesses but will require similar commitment and work. The changing face of the business world requires more innovations and development of new systems. Most companies are shifting to the new changing business directions and encouraging the use of e-commerce and employing the use of information communicating technology. The use of e-commerce is different and desired because it allows minimal contact with the customers. This, therefore, requires them to have systems that are reliable and efficient to deliver the required outcomes. The use of e-commerce desires the use of computers and users who are aware of the technology. The computer systems are used to ensure full coverage of the trade processes that are required by both parties.
The management will, therefore, require studying the environment and providing systems that are suitable for the business operation. The system will need to be reliable for all the clients who will desire to purchase goods and services from the company. For the system to be effective, it will need to be securely supported to avoid hackers from intruding. It will also be placed in a place with the reliable power to ensure continuity of business all through without problems. The system to be employed will be user-friendly to enable all the users to manage their accounts and transactions with ease. It will also have a graphical user interface that has few type-ins and clicks. The technicality of the system will be simple to avoid confusion and misunderstanding on the part of the users.
The company will start its operation as an online portal within a two stand alone story building in the region. It will incorporate information technology capabilities that will enable management track their operations and also provide an easy platform for all the clients to operate in the business. The company will also track their records easily and also perform auditing functions quickly and easily. Financial accountability often becomes easy when using efficient computer systems installed with appropriate business software. The need to have high-end software will be the desire of the organization for purposes of providing quality information that can be used for purposes of making various decisions. Decision-making can be made easy when the company makes uses of systems that go hand in hand with the goals and objectives of the organization.
The system to be used will be run on a web server and will require an SQL database support. This is where all the trading transactions, profiles of customers and employee information will be stored. The use of the database will also be vital as it will enable storage of all the services and goods that the company will be offering to their clients. The company will start operating with ten employees who will increase to thirty after two years of operation. The venture will begin with a budget of $5 million an amount which is estimated to raise the company revenue to $30 million after the two years of operation.
The company will operate online, and this was decided to ensure minimal contact with the customers and also superior operation due to the involvement of information technology. The use of ICT often brings about diversity and a wider coverage that will eventually increase their levels of revenue. The customers will be required to make use of different applications that will be hosted on a server that will have the applications that will be used by both the company customers and employees. The system will be enabled to handle all the background information, and this will lead to limited contact between the employees and the customers. Such a system will reduce instances of fraud and issues of employees messing with the customers.
The employees will be charged with the responsibility of ensuring smooth operations and also conduct a thorough check on the hardware and software systems to ensure customer satisfaction. The business operation will expand on the tenet behind the trust, which will only become possible if the customers will trust the operations of the systems as a whole. The system will be in a position of offering all operations including processing and delivering of goods and services. This information will also be stored in the system database for future references and purposes of accountability and auditing. The management of the company will need to ensure that all the frameworks required are up-to-date and working properly to be able to provide better services to all the customers. Setting up the system in an advanced way will also make the company operate with minimal complexities while providing quality services to all their clients. For this reason, tailor made systems will be required for the company to meet all their operations needs. The in-house development of the system will enable them fix different issues that can only occur in the operations within the company. The system will allow the company to make realistic development that will allow them to gather various information that they require from their customers.
The system will be hosted in a server that is reliable and hosted with a company that is popular. End user applications will be developed, and a database developed on site to ensure that all the requirements are incorporated with ease. Modern computers will be used, and they will be fitted with high processing speeds and extensive storage capacities to ensure that all the information of the customers and employees are saved without problems. The company will also require antivirus software that is up-to-date to eliminate chances of viruses and Trojans from infecting the system. The use of qualified personnel will also be considered to ensure minimal errors and repairs to both the machines and the software systems. The computers will be connected to a Local Area Network (LAN) as this will facilitate easy sharing of files and information from one department to another. The LAN will also be connected to a high internet connection for purposes of easier and faster communication through the installed servers of the company. The company will also ensure that the end user application is interactive enough and attractive so that it can run or different web browsers with ease (Shannon, 2009).
Before the company begins its operations, it will require various materials and paper work to ensure their smooth operation. The company will need to conduct market research to know their competitors and also the market and how it operates all year round. It will also need to know all the products that are currently marketable o be able to produce and market them to make the company popular. Using the online platform is usually tricky hence the need to have loyal employees and only sell what the company offers. Such operations will make the company recognized and relied upon by most of its clients with ease. Identifying the target market is important as it will make the company concentrate in a single region before moving on to a different one. They will also need to assess the demand of their customers before rolling out all their products and services. This will be essential as they will incorporate all the products and services that they are not providing. Checking on the prices of their competitors will be required as it will be a platform for them to set their prices strategically. Setting high prices may send away most customers, and low prices may the company not be able to run efficiently while providing their services and products to their clients. A business plan will also go handy before all the operations of the business began.
The company will require to become registered with the VAT for purposes of remitting and paying tax to the government. This is an important part to consider because the annual threshold of the company is expected to be high. Since the company will operate using an online platform, they will need to have to follow all data protection legislations as indicated in the Constitution. When preparing the in-house online portal the company will require making use of different capabilities that will hide and keep secret all the transactions of the customers. Information that pertains to the customers and the employees will also need to be confidential. Marketing capabilities will be encouraged by the company as it will help all the targeted groups to be reached with ease. The company will budget and make use of different marketing strategies that are known to bring great results to the company. Using the social media platform will be effective since most of the company clients will be operating using the company portal. Search engine optimization capabilities will go handy with the success of the company website that will be created by the professionals. The use of SEOs will ensure the overall listing of words that will be realized easily be different search engines like Google.
To make shopping easy and interesting, the company will provide a shopping cart function in their website to make customers shop for their wares as if in a normal shopping center. A merchant account will be created and designed in a way to accommodate various payment methods. Such a provision will enable customers pay for their products and services conveniently. Before the launch of the website to the public, it will be tested to ensure that all the functions that are included can be used easily without any problem. Testing will also indicate any errors or omissions that were created when creating the website. A feedback section will be desired as it will help the members to indicate their feelings and also encourage others who feel that their desires were not met as required. There are always many risks that occur when using any online portal hence the company will provide a backup for their information and also ensure antivirus software that will eliminate any imminent threat to the operations of the website.
The 60-day window period provided for the development, and final start release of the business portal for the business will be enough for all the processes that are required. The department will ensure that all the professionals associated with the preparation and overall presentation of the required information is regularly contacted to avoid delays. Professionals from different fields will be contacted and used during the whole rolling out of the business operation. Funding for the whole process will be set aside by the company to avoid any delays due to money problems. The company will also seek advice and information from other businesses operating online to ensure quick delivery of their new portal.
Possible Risks, Constraints, and Assumptions
Operating an online business has the risk of legal prosecution when using borrowed content, codes or keywords. Companies operating using their websites have a tendency of borrowing few content materials that are similar to those who operate similar undertakings. This usually can lead to prosecutions in the event of getting information without prior agreements or written documents. Such might be indicated as plagiarism or piracy and are always not allowed for business operations. The risk of fraud is also high as people may desire to make payments with fake identities or other people debit cards. This might be bad for the company as those aggrieved might decide to sue the company or not make use of their services as required. Such problems will be solved by making sure that all the company workers and vendors operate using a similar page in their dealings.
SEO setbacks can become possible when the company does not follow all the guidelines that are set by different sites. Being removed from search engines for such a mistake might put the business on a low season for a long period as they start to get more presence on the website after being booted. This will also require more spending that might destroy the budget of the company as a whole. Getting faulty products or services from other online vendors might put the company at risk of losing their trusted customers. It is usually hard for online perfumers to ascertain the reliability of products and services because most of them are sold online. A physical check will be required by the company to ensure products and services that are genuine. The highest level of risk with such a business is the emergence of hackers. There will be a need for the company to employ professionals who will work on securing all their operations. The professionals will work round the clock and ensure that all the company information is kept secure with minimal chances of being stolen by other online operators.
The main assumption for this business venture is that it will need little startup amount and gain more clientele base in a short period. This will make them increase their earning level and as such more products and service might be included in the business as a whole. There will also be a limited amount of overheads and the opportunity to grow with ease while in the online presence.
The integration with other Systems and Infrastructure
The company will make use of modern computers that will be installed with high-speed processors and increased storage capacities. This will help them process information faster and also gather and store an unlimited amount of data at a particular time. The computers will be installed with antivirus that are up-to-date and spyware software which will help them stay safe from hackers and other unwanted intruders who desire to still the company information. The Computers will be in-house, and will be connected to a Local Area Network, which will enable the company to share information and other files with ease. There LAN will be connected to the internet, and these are those that are fast enough to facilitate communication servers that have the stored database. The users will be provided with passwords and required to log in to the system for them to make any purchases or inquiries. The end user application will also be one that is easily interactive to ensure smooth communication between the customers and the employees.
Definition of Terms
E-commerce involves the selling and buying of good while making payments through the internet. It’s a system that makes use of the internet where one needs to have a computer that is connected to the internet. This is similar to the online business as they employ similar operations. A LAN, on the other hand, is composed of different computers that have the same line of communication and linked to the server. A server is a program that provides services to users and their computers.
Choi, D. Y., & Perez, A. (2007). Online piracy, innovation, and legitimate business models. Technovation, 27(4), 168-178.
Murchu, I. O., Breslin, J. G., & Decker, S. (2004). Online Social and Business Networking Communities. (B. Furht, Ed.)Proceedings of ECAI 2004 Workshop on Application of Semantic Web Technologies to Web Communities, 5458, 241-267. Springer US. Retrieved from http://www.deri.org/fileadmin/documents/DERI-TR-2004-08-11.pdf
Shannon Belew, J. E. (2009). Starting an Online Business All-in-One Desk Reference For Dummies. Business Production (p. 840). For Dummies. Retrieved from http://mmlviewer.books24x7.com/book/id_31958/toc.asp?bookid=31958
The business will take sixty days to complete. All necessary steps for the business have been outlined below.
Name Duration Start Finish
1 Planning 20 days 5/1/15 8:00 AM 5/22/15 5:00PM
2 Research 20 days 5/1/15 8:00 AM 5/22/15 5:00PM
3 Design 30 days 5/1/15 8:00 AM 6/1/15 5:00PM
4 Implementation 60 days 5/1/15 8:00 AM 6/31/15 5:00PM
5 Follow up 60 days 5/1/15 8:00 AM 6/31/15 5:00PM
Name/Duration 1/5/15 30/5/15 1/6/15 30/6/15
Planning Research Design Implementation Follow up Budget
ITEM ESTIMATE COST ($)
Installation and training fee 50000