It used to be that if you wanted to start up a web-based business that would sell, for instance, monkey-based decor (my mom would keep you in business all by herself), you would go out and buy a domain name like http://www.barrelofmonkeys.com, build a website, launch it, do some online ad buys and search engine marketing, and away you go.
That is no longer the reality. Now every web business plan may include, and probably should include, a plan for building a widget that a web user can install on their MySpace or Facebook page (monkey art for your personal profile!). Perhaps another gadget that users can start up on their custom homepages like iGoogle, MyYahoo, Netvibes, or Pageflakes (monkeys in the news!). Oh, and you’ll also need a version of your presence available for mobile devices, and perhaps a custom version for more highly interactive devices like the iPhone (buy monkey items on the go!). For some web businesses, their whole success is based on these extensions.
Your home website is still important, but the internet is changing – expanding in reach and getting more distributed – such that it’s a fallacy to think that your online business can be competitive if all you have is a website.