How to Write an E-commerce Business Plan for your Start-up
It is always a good idea to create a plan for anything you wish to do. Plans help guide all your efforts in a direction that will help you achieve your goals in the most efficient manner.
Some might say that flexibility is a needed skill. While this is true, they have a vague understanding of what true flexibility is. Flexibility is not taking actions with the absence of a plan. Flexibility is the ability to adjust the plan when the plan is not working well with the current situation. So yes, planning and flexibility are both crucial skills to have.
Planning is especially important when dealing with something very crucial such as starting an e-commerce business. A lot find making an e-commerce business plan a challenging thing to do, and some try to avoid doing it. We would like to stress that a business plan is needed. To help you out, we have created this guide so that you may be able to come up with a business plan that will work for you.
HOW TO WRITE A GOOD BUSINESS PLAN
There are many business plan formats around and it can actually be customized depending on the type of business. However, a basic business plan is composed of the following sections below. You can also check this – Ultimate Guide to Business Plans by Shopify if you’re looking for more comprehensive guide on writing a business plan for your e-commerce store.
The Executive Summary is the first item on your business plan but this is usually written last. It’s a brief discussion of the entirety of your business plan. Again, it is recommended to write this last because there are lots of ideas that will only come up while you create the rest of the business plan. You wouldn’t want to waste time rewriting this part over and over again. For the meantime, skip this, and proceed to the other sections.
This section provides a discussion of your business – what it’s about, how it started, what products or services you’re catering to, and other information about the company. When you do this, try to look at it from the point of view that you’re introducing your company to someone who has little to no knowledge of it. So provide as much interesting information as you can share.
Products and Services
Although you have given a sneak peek of your product and service offerings on the company description, you’ll need a more thorough discussion of it, and this section is where you do it. Craft it in a way that if your customers would read your business plan, they will be enticed to buy your products or avail your services after reading this section.
Organization and Management
This section tells about who the people behind the business are. It’s best to have a discussion of the team, their background, and the roles they play. It’s best to highlight why each of the members of the team is best on what he or she does. Share professional background, present skills they possess, and other information that may help beef up the team’s credentials.
Understanding your market is essential. A business owner should be aware of the market he plays at. What is the status of the industry you’re at? How is the competition? Who is your target market?
Your understanding of the market can help you come up with strategies that will work. But before you’ll be able to understand your market, you will need to do a lot of time to study. Read a lot about the locality you’re serving, analyze your competitors, and read about the people you’re looking at targeting. When you do this right, you’ll have a better grasp of the market you’re hoping to capture.
Your business would have day-to-day operations. There’s no better place to define what a typical day at your company is other than your business plan. In this section, define what are the functions that are needed to be done on a daily basis and which teams are responsible for each function. Show how the teams will work to ensure that operations are done in a smooth manner. Also place here key performance indicators that will tell that a team is doing the job right.
Marketing and Sales
Your business plan should also contain a discussion on your general marketing and sales strategies. Discuss your target sales revenue, and how you intend to achieve this. You’ll also need to present strategies on how you intend to penetrate the market when you launch.
Other things to consider are the sales channels that you intend to tap, as well as marketing platforms that you wish to use.
This part is essential if you are applying for financial assistance to start your business. You should list how much you need to start your business, and the breakdown of this cost too. It’s also best to put here how you plan on repaying the money you owe. In as much as possible, provide a repayment schedule, and the source you’re looking at to pay.
Whether you’re using your own money to start your business or if you intend to loan for it, it’s best to have a picture of your business’ financial capabilities when you start operating. It’s ideal to show your financial projections at best case, at worst case, and in between. This may be quite challenging but a business owner is expected to have a grasp on how his business can perform. This is especially helpful in proving to the bank or investors that you will be able to generate enough revenue to repay them.
It is vital that you know how to come up with a business plan. While it is a challenge to create a business plan, it is very helpful. You must think of it as a necessary step before you start your business. Always keep in mind that planning is an important task to do before engaging in something as critical as starting a business.
This guide has run through the basic of how a business plan should look like. With this, you should now be ready to start writing that business plan of yours so that your upcoming business be started in the right way.
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