9 Steps to write an ecommerce business plan:
To successfully launch an online store
Are you thinking of selling a product online and wants to launch your online store to the world?
That’s great it’s a right time. Opportunities are growing faster day by day.
As we all know an e-commerce business is very exciting as it offers endless opportunities for entrepreneurs with very easy and quick way. But before your launch you have to make sure that you are fully prepared with your business plan. Without business plan it’s difficult and risky to welcome your new business.
Business plan helps you to unite your ideas and thoughts together and help you to stay focused on your goals. It works as a roadmap which help you to get your way to successful business.
Now let’s start with your business plan and follow nine steps to build, launch and grow your e-commerce business worldwide.
1) Company Summary
In this section you will introduce your company to the rest of the world. Here you will need to include an overview of all the requirements to make your business successful and focus on the key points:
» What are your goals and objectives?
» Who you are as the owner and your partners if any?
» Whom you want to employee?
» What type of product and services you want to deliver?
» To whom you are going to deliver?
2) Your Products
After company history comes the most essential part of your business plan that is your products. In this section clearly outline all of your products, inventory and packaging. Make sure you include:
» What products are you selling and what you want to sell?
» How your product is different, unique and better?
» Availability of products?
» From where you are sourcing your product? Are you a manufacturer?
» Are there Competitive advantages or disadvantages from other competitors?
» Pricing of your products and your margin?
3) Market Analysis
Before starting your online store you should determine how suitable a particular market is for your business. Market analysis is not just important but one of the best part of a successful business. You can look at the new market, understand your competition and evaluate your current market through market analysis. Market analysis is performed by taking into consideration certain factors like:
» What is the size of market?
» Growth rate of the market?
» What are the current market trends?
» Profitability of the market?
» How much cost is required for product sale?
» How well the distribution channels are?
» How to understand your competitors
4) Strategy and Implementation
In this part of your business plan you will have to provide a summary of your overall strategy and its implementation. Here you need detailed strategies, customer service and acquisition and forecasts for sales. You have to identify the factors that are favourable and unfavourable to your company objectives.
To execute your strategy you need a milestones to be executed. Set your milestones that work like checkpoints and occurs into the way to ensure that you keep your business on track. Categorize your milestones into well-organized list that allows you to easy modification or alteration if needed.
It’s important to strategize your business to make your company grow.
5) Marketing Strategy
Now you are sure about your business idea and products it’s time to know how you will market your business and your sales strategy. Here you should have clear vision of your mission, product branding and most important how you will communicate with customers.
Marketing strategy starts with understanding your audience. It’s important to describe your target customer based on age, gender etc. Also define target market by becoming familiar with all aspects of market to grow your company.
Promotion is another important aspect of marketing strategy so build online awareness for your brand, product and services. Go for online advertising, social media, a blog, SEO and other online resources.
6) Web Plan
Now it’s a time to create your online store, here you might need to do some research to build your ideal e-commerce site. Make sure you have consider all the development requirements you need to design your site.
During this phase draw wire frames keeping in mind that your design should be simple and easy to tell customers that what products you sell and make it possible to customer to buy product easily.
This design will be the visual representation of your site so design it effectively in a way that target customers would find it good store to shop. You can use different online tools to make your web design like Photoshop etc.
7) Management Summary
Management summary is important for the business plan as it include all the information regarding the management of your company. This section highlight your team members. Describe your team in more detail like:
» Who are they?
» Why you are hiring them?
» Their Qualification and background?
» How you are going to assign them their specific role in business?
» How much each employee will cost you?
» What value will they add to your company?
8) Financial Plan
You have already explained how your business will operate, now talk about your expenses and profits.
By creating a financial plan it’s easier to make financial decisions and mapping out your financial future. When you are creating your financial plan keep in your mind following factors to make your financial planning successful.
» Your budget and current financial situation.
» Cash flow analysis, which shows your income and expenditure.
» Your assets and liabilities.
» Projected profit and loss.
» Projected balance sheets.
» Funding requirements.
» Risk assessment.
9) Exit Plan
Final part in your business plan is your exit strategy it may seems odd to talk about exit this soon as everyone starts a new business expecting success.
But talking about exit is just as important as how your start. There are practical reasons why one should plan exit early if your business is successful make a profit, if not successful then exit plan helps you to limit your losses. Think long term involvement in your exit strategies:
» Are you selling the business?
» Are you merging with other company?
» Do you have specific timeline for this project?
» Are you going to shut down the business and liquidate?
Best thing about exit plan is to limit your exposure to excessive debt and plan how to optimize a good situation. To have a clear vision of your business where it is going, its growth and success, its limitations and risks you have to spend some time to make a successful business plan using these steps.
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