A business plan can be a make-or-break for any business. It’s safe to say successful enterprises all have the same solid foundation with a great business plan, including the ones in e-commerce. This article will show all the steps to build a practical business plan for an online store. If you are thinking about running an online store, don’t miss out on this guide.
Definition Of A Business Plan
A business plan is a document that describes a company, its products or services, how it will make a profit, its leadership and human resource, finance, operation model, and other details critical to its success.
A great business plan helps companies set goals and strategies to achieve them and introduce them to investors. If your business is an online tool, your e-commerce business plan is the roadmap. First, define your business – your vehicle – then describe where you want to take your business and how to get there.
Why You Need A Business Plan For Online Store
Your eCommerce business plan is the most important strategic document for your business.
When you write a business plan, you will:
Gain a deeper understanding of your business
Writing a business plan means you need to check all the factors relevant to your business. Thus, you get all the details about your business and understand it better.
Identify the resources you need
You have a great business idea. Now you have to gather resources to make it happen. Look at three categories of resources: financial, physical, and human, and see what you need to fulfill the requirements for these resources.
Create a roadmap for the future
This document is your game plan for success. You will describe your growth strategy, sales goals, and personal ambitions. You’ll set milestones and identify key performance indicators (KPIs).
Evaluate your competitors
By having a plan, you will find out about your competitors’ strengths, weaknesses, what you can learn from them, etc. The answers you discover are beneficial in helping your business compete with others.
Opportunities are everywhere – you need to know where to look. You can form marketing partnerships with companies whose products complement each other.
Key Sections In A Business Plan For Online Store
1. Executive summary
An executive summary distills your business idea into a clear and compelling one-page outline.
It should provide a high-level overview of your business. With a glance, reviewers will understand the type of business you run, what you do, and what makes your business stands out. Your executive summary should include:
- Business concept
- Business goals and vision
- Product description and differentiation
- Targeted market
- Marketing strategy
- Current financial situation
- Human resource
2. Company overview
This part of your business plan should answer two fundamental questions: Who are you, and what are you doing? Answering these questions can explain why you are in business, what makes you different, what represents you, and why you are a good investment.
Here are some components to include:
- Corporate structure (are you a sole proprietorship, general partnership, limited partnership, or corporation?)
- Business model
- Company Vision, Mission, and Value Proposition
- Background information about your company or its history
- Short- and long-term business goals
- Team, including key personnel and their salaries
3. Market analysis
To be successful in e-commerce, you need to understand your target market. Before writing, do research about your industry and the long-term prospects for that particular industry.
A market analysis should include an overview of how big you think the market for your product is, an analysis of your company’s position in the market, and an overview of the competitive landscape.
4. Products and services
In your executive summary, you give a brief overview of your product or service. Now is the time for details. Whatever you sell, write down detailed descriptions, its benefits, potentials, and all other factors that you’d like your customers to know.
Make your product and service sections digestible: keep paragraphs short, stick to non-technical language, and use bullet points to emphasize product attributes. If you have testimonials from pre-launch product testers, include them in this section of your business plan.
5. Marketing plan
Customers directly influence your marketing efforts. You should outline your current marketing plan and future direction for the business and connect and retain people.
Most marketing plans contain information on four main themes. How much detail you provide in each case depends on your company and the target audience.
6. Logistics and operations plan
This is the workflow you implement to bring your ideas to life. Depending on your business, the logistics and operations plan should cover the following:
- Shipping and fulfillment
7. Financial plan
Almost all businesses require a certain amount of capital to get started. Some entrepreneurs present their start-up costs, and others form alliances with wealthier partners. Still, others are looking for angel investors, launching crowdfunding campaigns, or raising business loans.
Typically you want to include three main views of economic data: the income statement, the balance sheet, and the cash flow statement. It may also be appropriate to have financial data and forecasts.
Common Mistakes When Writing A Business Plan For Online Store
- Financial projections: This is one of the most common mistakes in business plans. Investors want to know where your business is now and where it’s headed in the future. So if the project is too optimistic and the forecast is not explained, the plan will be rejected.
- Competition: If you overemphasize your match, investors will worry that the company will not survive. Focus on a niche that sets you apart from the competition
All searches must be verified and attested. Using incorrect or outdated information, you discredit the rest of your business idea and plan. The only way to address these weaknesses is to include a detailed strategy on how you intend to manage them.
Hiding Your Weaknesses
Don’t hide your weaknesses, but don’t overemphasize them either. Every company has its shortcomings, but you’ll keep investors out if you hide them or overemphasize them.
Even if you never set out to reach out to investors, a business plan for online store can help you identify clear, intentional next steps to grow your shop gradually. Whether you’re writing a business plan for an online store, brick-and-mortar store, or growing your existing business, you now have a comprehensive guide and the information you need to start your next phase of business.
If your business already has a complete and thorough e-commerce business plan and is looking for legit e-commerce service providers to achieve its goals, then contact Tigren. We provide the best e-commerce development services at affordable prices for different businesses.