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He compares online business planning in 2010 to steering a boat or a car: "if you're driving your car with GPS turned on, you have a final destination, but depending on traffic and weather, there needs to be an ability to change direction and take a detour."Dig Deeper: The Best Industries for Starting a Business Business Plan for an Online Business: Steps for Creating Your Business Plan The web is a powerful tool for companies of all types, and as it has changed, so have the types of companies who prosper.The four main purposes of Internet sites, as described by noted columnist Rhonda Abrams in , are transactional, content, promotional and relational.

Consider your management summary to be a resume of the qualifications and work history for the people involved in your startup.

If it's a smaller venture, which many online businesses tend to be, you'll want to play up your understanding and expertise in the digital space.

The barriers to starting an online business are lower than ever, and that includes the writing of the traditional business plan.

Here's a guide to tapping into the emerging technologies market and how to plan for it.

If you can find a way to show that you have innovative ideas and marketing strategies, you're a step ahead.

And in today's business landscape, those innovative ideas must include a social media strategy (yes, Facebook, Twitter and more)."I love the word personality when it comes to finding your personality in the social space," says Brendan Gallagher, the VP/Group Creative Director for Emerging Technologies at Digitas.

While sales, revenue, and established users will be catchy in a business plan, you also want to describe how much capital you already have and will need, what the cost of operation will be, and what type of accounting you plan on utilizing."The beauty of starting an online business, if you don't have hard sales numbers," says Berry, "is that you can at least get the site up and live, get a module, get going in a way that is more practical and more close to reality than it was in the past to show potential investors what they're spending on."Dig Deeper: Financial Projections Model Business Plan for an Online Business: Measure the Market and the Metrics Focus specifically on the demographics and users you're looking to hit with your new business, and how your price and costs might compare with what the market wants to pay.

This is the spot to list your existing competition and what they're doing right or wrong, and remains one of the most attractive and important sections to lure investors or lenders.

Lou Dubois is a Philadelphia-based Social Media Editor for NBC Universal's local news affiliate (WCAU-TV).

He is an experienced writer, editor and marketer who has worked with and written about Fortune 500 companies and small businesses, focusing on social media, emerging technologies, small business success, entrepreneurship, sports business and corporate policy.

" Using social media to evangelize a category or vertical that is your product is an important piece to this, because that's how you find influencers.