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Participating The business is connected to the Internet and has an email address which provides participating in the online world.
Supporting The business has a website which promotes and supports the existing business activities.
Expanding The business uses its website to develop new businessactivities and to accelerate growth.
Assimilating The online and offline business activities and operations are fully integrated and mutually dependent.
Transformed The use of Internet technology by the business has fundamentally changed its core business and the way it operates and projected it onto a higher level of business activity and profitability.
Strategic issues: How else can we use the Internet to improve profitability?
Management: Do we have an up-to-date and appropriate website strategy, policy and procedures? Are we using email responsibly?
Content and features of the website : Is the quality and scope of content and its maintenance as good as it could be?
Revenue: What else can be done to generate revenue via the Internet?
Efficiencies and cost savings : How else can the Internet be used to cut business costs?
Marketing and promotion: Are we doing enough to promote our Internet services? How could we do it better? Are we using it effectively enough to manage customer relationships? Are we using email correctly - ie according to ethical uses of email and avoiding spamming?
Supplier/distributor management: How can our use of the Internet improve the way we manage our suppliers/distributors
Any information transmitted over the Internet can be intercepted at any point if appropriate security precautions have not been taken. This is particularly important where businesses are using broadband technology because of its continuous connection to the Internet.
Unauthorised users can take your data and disclose it, modify it, destroy it, sell it or post it on the web.
They can hi-jack your homepage or your website, overload systems so customers cannot contact your company, shut down production lines and forward confidential staff details, personnel records and quality assurance reports.
Improving – Doing business with government online
e-government refers to the use of information and communications technologies to improve the efficiency, effectiveness, transparency and accountability of government.
Consider the range of business activities that you engage in where there is a requirement or need to work with government. These activities might include:
starting-up a business
applying for licenses and permits
training and apprenticeships
importing and exporting
grants and financial assistance
closing down a business
Improving – Doing business with government online
Investigate whether these services, help or information are available online by exploring the relevant sections of the following websites:
Business Entry Point (BEP): an online government resource for the Australian business community
The Commonwealth Electronic Tender System (CETS): a web-based e-tendering facility operating as a pilot system
Doing Business Online with Government: assists suppliers to trade electronically with Australian Government agencies
Commonwealth Purchasing and Disposal Gazette : The business opportunities section of the Government Advertising website. provides information on government tenders to the public free of charge and The Gazette Publishing System (GaPS) located at, contains information about resulting contracts and standing offers and provides searching and reporting facilities for users.
Improving – Managing the supply chain and logistics
A supply chain encompasses all activities and information flows necessary for the transformation of goods from the origin of the raw material to when the product is finally consumed or discarded.
This typically involves distribution of product from the supplier to the manufacturer to the wholesaler to the retailer and to the final consumer, otherwise known as nodes in the supply chain. The transformation of product from node to node includes activities such as production planning, purchasing, materials management, distribution, customer service and forecasting.
Ultimately the ability to do business effectively depends on the efficient functioning of the entire supply chain.
An e-marketplace is an electronic exchange where firms register as sellers or buyers to communicate and conduct business over the Internet.
Services offered by e-marketplaces include business directory listings, electronic catalogues for online purchasing of goods and services and trading or transaction services.
E-marketplaces that are worth considering are those that interconnect with other marketplaces and allow low-cost connection to a firm’s financial accounting systems.
There has been significant rationalisation in the number of e-marketplaces operating over the last few years, and careful consideration is needed before making a commitment to join an e-marketplace, to determine whether it is appropriate for your business needs.
One of the components of interacting along the supply chain is the cataloguing of products that could be used as inputs for the next node in the supply chain.
Putting this catalogue online can improve internal business efficiencies and ultimately the functioning of the entire supply chain.
An e-catalogue is an online presentation of information on products and services that are offered and sold by an organisation.
For organisations that do not have a large range of products or services, putting its catalogue on the Internet is not a difficult task. However, for those with large product lines and many service offerings, multiple buyers, complex supply-chains and logistics, converting to an e-catalogue system is a complex task and requires careful planning and implementation.
Can be very cheap start up costs (domain $8, hosting $10) when compared to other business such as owning a shop, for example a pizza takeaway has to buy ovens, ingredients etc..
You can run your business from anywhere
Low overheads (hosting and maybe staff costs)
The internet is still a open market, lots of opportunities for new business models exist.
If you get it right you can have super fast growth. For example You tube was only started in Feb 2005 and was sold for $1.65 billion in October 2006. It only took them 21 months to grow to be worth 1.65 billion which is amazing.
Low barriers to entry which means that it is easy for someone to set up a website and compete with you
Business models can easily be copied, look at youtube and how many copys of their site exist.
Can take a bit of time to train yourself, for example if you were to start a sandwich shop you can pretty much start making sandwiches without much trouble whereas to make a website you need a bit of knowledge and skill
Spam – you can spend a lot of your time dealing with spam emails and sales people telephoning you trying to sell you directory listings.