How to Write an Ecommerce Business Plan [Examples & Template]
Published: July 07, 2022
If you have a promising idea for an online ecommerce business , it’s important to create an ecommerce business plan to ensure your vision has enough stock to be profitable.
Having a business plan for your online store will help you define your target market, establish your monthly and quarterly sales goals, and increase the likelihood of long-term ecommerce success.
In this post, we’ll go over what an online store business plan is and how you can create one for your ecommerce startup. Let’s get started.
What is an ecommerce business plan?
An ecommerce business plan is a document that outlines your business and its goals, analyzes your industry and competitors, and identifies the resources needed to execute your plan. It also lists the ecommerce retailers you’ll use to distribute your products and the marketing strategies you’ll use to drive sales.
Whether a company operates as a startup or has years of operations and growth under its belt, an ecommerce business plan is essential for evaluating a business and determining areas of improvement.
An ecommerce business plan is especially important, with an increasing number of shoppers conducting business online. It's estimated this number has reached over 2 billion . Having an ecommerce business plan keeps you organized and is useful when seeking investors who need to understand your company.
So, let’s dive into some examples of ecommerce business plans and what goes into writing one using our free template .
Ecommerce Business Plan Template
Download Your Free Template Here
How to Write an E-commerce Business Plan
- Give an executive summary.
- List and describe your business.
- Detail your products and services.
- Conduct a market analysis.
- Strategize your marketing plan.
- Create a sales plan.
- Outline legal notes and financial considerations.
1. Give an executive summary.
An executive summary is a one-to-two page overview of your business. The purpose of an executive summary is to let stakeholders know what the business plan will contain. HubSpot's free template offers some tips on how to write one, as I've done below:
It's important to provide an executive summary so that an investor or executive, who doesn’t have the time to read your full plan, can quickly see the most important highlights of your business.
2. List and describe your business.
This is the section that needs the most detail because it highlights what you're selling. To begin, provide an overview of your product or service. For instance, a photography company would probably list their photo packages arranged by price and services, as I did below:
HubSpot's template also provides direction on how to describe your company's purpose and break down values. It also advises businesses to include team structure, if applicable. Below that, you should go into detail about your product and service lines.
3. Detail your products and services.
Once you have described your business and its purpose, you’re ready to dive deeper into your plan. What products and services do you or will you offer? This is an opportunity to list each item and its purpose, allowing you to answer the question ‘ why?’ Why are you choosing to offer these specific products and services?
After detailing your products and services, outline your pricing model. What is the cost associated with each service? Determining price, especially as a startup, can be challenging. However, sales pricing calculators help determine the best pricing strategy.
Download This Template
4. Conduct a market analysis.
For the market analysis, provide the operational climate of the industry you're in. To illustrate, at this step, the photography company would need to analyze its position in a world of rival companies like Adobe or online services like Canva. Below, I've done a quick competitor analysis, available in the template:
Using directions in the template as a guide, I was able to come up with more selling points of the company and how it stands out from competitors.
Filling out the market analysis section of the business plan assists with providing the framework for future campaigns. You’re able to define your target market and ideal customer. Refer to my example below for how to structure this analysis in your ecommerce plan.
Good market analysis includes your target audience, projections of your company's goals, and a breakdown of the competition's goals and weaknesses. This is a counterpoint of how your business improves upon those weaknesses.
For a complete guide on how to create a market analysis, we have one here.
5. Strategize your marketing plan.
For any business, having the right marketing plan for your eCommerce business is crucial. It serves as a roadmap for how your company will build brand awareness, reach your target audience, and boost sales and revenue. As seen in this template, your marketing plan will focus on positioning strategy, acquisition channels, and tools and technology.
Positioning strategy fixates on how you will position yourself to your audience. How will you address their challenges and goals? How will you use the tools at your disposal to accomplish this?
The marketing plan will also require you to focus on where your customers come from. Are they finding your business through search engine marketing? Do they discover your business from your blog or social media accounts? Identifying your acquisition channels allows you to identify which ones to prioritize.
Lastly, your marketing plan should lay out the tools and technology your marketing team will need and use. Will you use a content management system (CMS) like CMS Hub ? List all the software and programs your company will use to execute its marketing plan.
6. Create a sales plan.
When creating your sales plan, describe your methodology, organization structure, sales channels, and tools and technology. For example, when discussing methodology, will you focus on an inbound strategy where you attract customers to your business through your content or an outbound strategy where you initiate contact with your prospects? This part of your ecommerce business plan will also require you to outline the people in charge of selling your products and services, as well as what channels they’ll use to sell your products.
Similar to creating your marketing plan, the sales plan will also require a brief on what tools you plan to use. While your marketing plan might need a CMS, your sales plan might need a customer retention management (CRM) software like HubSpot to manage your relationships with current and potential customers.
7. Outline legal notes and financial considerations.
In the following two sections of your business plan, describe the legal and financial structures. The photography company should provide detail on the legal considerations like online safety rules, ecommerce regulations, and the company's costs.
Listing legality and every cost needed to start ecommerce is crucial information for investors and stakeholders. In this section, it's important to be honest and thorough to give partners a realistic idea of how to contribute.
Ecommerce Business Plan Examples
1. maple ecommerce plan.
This sample plan, provided on LinkedIn, is for a fictional company called Maple, an online store that sells exclusive Apple products. Maple's sample plan is great because it provides easy-to-follow charts and graphics while highlighting the most important information. For example, their market analysis included a SWOT plan for the business.
Outlining the strengths, weaknesses, threats, and opportunities of Maple in this format is easy for potential investors to follow. Notating each value with a letter keeps the format consistent, which is carried throughout the plan. For businesses that find their information is best presented in graphics, Maple is a good plan to follow.
2. Nature's Candy Ecommerce Plan
Nature's Candy is an online retailer that provides nutritional supplements. Its business plan is available online and is helpful in seeing how businesses go from planning to execution. Below is a preview of its plan in the financial forecasting section.
This example shows who will be on payroll yearly, giving investors an idea of how their investment will work in the long term. Planning ahead also shows stakeholders’ dedication to starting up your business.
3. NoHassleReturn Ecommerce Plan
Fictional company NoHassleReturn's sample ecommerce plan is an expansive, detailed version of how ecommerce would translate to a completely online store. The company itself is structured to offer a way to make returning items bought from an online store a simple process, and the steps to take are featured below.
Having a sequence of processes like this is useful if your company is a niche idea. Investors and stakeholders need to know how your business will be new and unique for the market.
Even though writing out a business plan seems like a painstaking process, we have a step-by-step guide to help. This will keep you organized and keep you on track when structuring your business.
4. OGS Capital Ecommerce Plan
This sample ecommerce business plan comes from OGS Capital, where they created a test business plan for Botswana’s first private psychiatric hospital focused on inpatient and outpatient clinical health care. It features detailed sections for the business model, marketing plan, financial projects, and more. This level of detail is demonstrated below in their executive summary section.
While some ecommerce business plans will explain the executive summary through a series of paragraphs, the layout in this sample makes the information more digestible. The project is separated into sections that detail the business idea, as well as its goals and strengths. The business idea includes price projects, geographical focus, and target customers. Goals for this project are created for 10 years with specific, individual goals built at one-, five-, and seven-year time markers. Lastly, this executive summary highlights the strengths of this business plan to solidify this project and its importance.
5. Egrocery Ecommerce Plan
For centuries, people have left their homes to buy groceries from stores, supermarkets, farmer’s markets, and more. At-home grocery delivery has grown in popularity and is reflected in this sample ecommerce plan for a fictional business named eGrocery. This sample plan establishes the company as an online grocery retail business with plans for connecting customers to distributors for fast, convenient at-home deliveries.
In its business model section, eGrocery outlines how it will implement both a business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) model to get products from distributors, retailers, and wholesalers to its household customers. This section provides an effective demonstration of the company’s overall function.
6. Shannon & Shavonne Inc. Ecommerce Plan
Shannon & Shavonne Inc. is a fictional United States-based online retailer that offers its customers an abundance of products in fashion, home appliances, electronics, and more. The depth seen in this plan is particularly helpful, especially with the detail seen in outlining the business structure and each job’s roles and responsibilities.
The plan first lists all the necessary roles, from the chief executive officer (CEO) to a call center agent. It then describes the responsibilities of each role. As displayed in the image above, an information technologist (IT) would be tasked with managing the organization’s website, updating the online store, and ensuring the security of the company’s payment platform. The clear distinction of roles helps manage employee expectations and accountability.
7. Firstcry.com Ecommerce Plan
In this sample, we have Firstcry.com — a fictional ecommerce site that creates eco-friendly baby and feminine hygiene products. Because the company is looking for funding to launch the business, its plan focuses on its financial highlights and projections, which is crucial information for investors.
While disclosing what the startup funds will be used for, this plan also estimates its top-line projections over the next five years. As seen in the chart above, they include revenue, expenses, interest, and net income. The plan even breaks down how many customers per day and annual orders will be needed to reach this goal.
When it comes to building an ecommerce business plan, you’ll likely find that the more detail you include, the better.
Planning is the first step.
When starting a business, planning is always a crucial first step. If you find that you’ve launched a company without a concrete plan, it’s never too late. Successful businesses require strategy, and that’s what an ecommerce business plan gives you. It allows you to strategize what your business does, how it operates, and why it's essential. Not only does it help you pinpoint who the key players of your company are, but it helps you identify who your target audience should be.
With the steps listed in this article and the examples to take inspiration from, you’re one step closer to building an ecommerce business plan for success.
Editor's note: This post was originally published in November 2019 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.
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So you’ve decided that you want to quit your day job and start your very own ecommerce empire. That’s great!
But before you become the next Jeff Bezos (and definitely before you quit your job!), it’s worth spending some time thinking about a business plan. In this article, we’ll dive into the key elements of an ecommerce business plan, which is very different than writing traditional business plans.
Why You Should Create a Business Plan
We know that starting an ecommerce business is exciting, and it can be tempting to jump right in without constructing a business plan. READ: PLEASE DON’T DO THIS.
If you haven’t put your ideas, questions and concerns on paper, then you haven’t given your business model enough thought .
Taking the time to write a business plan might seem like a lot of work, but it can save you a lot of time and money in the long run by better preparing you for potential challenges and opportunities that you’ll face as a first-time entrepreneur. Think of it as a roadmap for your new business venture.
It’s exciting to start your own ecommerce business. However, you want to be well prepared and not jump into anything without having a solid, foolproof ecommerce business plan in place.
After all, you wouldn’t jump out of a plane without a parachute, so why start a business without a safety device in place? That safety device is your business plan.
The business plan is the brainstorming process that ensures your concept and goals are realistic.
This is more than just mental notes. True business plans take your ideas , questions, and concerns and put those in writing.
As you start creating your business plan, you’ll soon understand that it’s more than a single piece of paper with handwritten details on it. It’s a clearly constructed format of how your business will be created, how it will operate, and what you hope the future holds in terms of a successful ecommerce business.
When you write your business plan, be sure to have a target audience in mind. Are you going to look for investors or put a Kickstarter campaign into motion and use this as your descriptive platform? If so, make sure that your business plan contains everything the audience would want to know about your business (and more!). Many traditional funding solutions require a business plan in order to give you capital. However, there are alternative solutions, such as Payability that specialize in ecommerce and don’t require credit checks, a business plan, or any complicated paperwork. They can also get you approved in as little as 24 hours.
When your business plan is completed, you should have achieved the following goals:
- Knowledge: A greater sense of knowledge of the business aspects.
- Resources: The resources you’re going to need to make your business successful, such as partners, money, employees, etc.
- Road Map: Have clear set goals to take you from the very beginning of your business and onward.
- Viability: In other words, is your business possible? Will you have enough profit margins to keep the doors open long-term?
Now that you know why you should create a business plan, it’s time to move on to how you can create your business plan and get started putting your ecommerce business into motion.
How to Start an Ecommerce Business Plan
At the very beginning of the planning stages, it’s a good idea to develop a framework for your business model. This business model will continue to evolve as you create each section of your ecommerce business plan, so don’t strive for a perfect completed plan on the first try. You will be making tweaks to the plan of certain steps along the way.
There are many ways to sell products online and different business models to pursue. Research and learn from successful ecommerce business examples in the market. The exact business model you follow will be one that makes the most sense with your resources, skills, and interests.
In order to create the best online business plan with your product in mind, you need to figure out the following things:
What are you selling?
The first step to creating an online business is to learn the absolute basics of what you can sell.
- Physical products: Clothing , shoes, home goods
- Digital products: Software as a Service products, ecourses, ebooks
- Services: Consulting services, home cleaning
Who are you selling to?
- Business-to-Business (B2B): You are selling to organizations, corporations, and non-profits rather than individual customers
- Business to Consumer (B2C): This means you are selling to individual consumers rather than businesses
- Marketplace: You are acting as a middleman by bringing businesses and (B2B or B2C) customers to one website.
How are you sourcing your product?
- Manufacture in-house: You make your product or service in-house
- Third-party manufacturer: You outsource the manufacturing of your product or service to a third-party manufacturer
- Dropship: You partner with a dropship manufacturer. Basically, this means that they make your product, package it and ship it directly to your customer while your company handles the entire customer relationship.
- Wholesale : You buy goods or services from other companies in bulk and re-sell those products on your online store
- Entrepreneurship: Business & Marketing Plans
- Small Business and Entrepreneurship
- Entrepreneurship Resources
- Business Plan Resources
The executive summary will be written according to your goals, and it’s recommended that this is done at the very end of your business plan completion. This will ensure that you include all of the important factors about your business and present your ideas in a concise and complete way.
Some of the features you’ll include in the executive summary include information showing that you’ve done your research, you have concrete sales forecasts, and the main details about your brand.
When you’re figuring out your business model, you have to consider four different areas:
- Monetization strategy
- Target market
- Sales channel
The monetization strategy delves into the methods you are going to use to sell your products.
This strategy will look at different product monetization methods, including white label, private label , affiliate marketing, wholesale, dropshipping, and even selling ads.
The product industry section is where you summarize your main niche.
For example, “Vegan Skincare Products.”
In the target market section, you will write a sentence or so on who your target market, or ideal customer, is in the community.
If you’re selling vegan skincare products, your target customers might be women who embrace the vegan lifestyle and use natural skincare products in their daily beauty regimen.
The sales channel refers to where you’re going to sell your products.
For example, you might be selling your products on your own website, and this should be entered in this section.
This next section covers your company overview.
This section of your business plan will cover various features of your company, including the following:
- Company type
- Domain name
- Value proposition
- Brand traits
The brand name section lists your business name or brand name.
This is an extremely important aspect of your business plan as it’s what will set the tone for everything that follows.
Pick a brand name that’s simple yet unique and is something that can be used in a wordplay manner, if desired, but not pun-worthy.
The company is how your business operates. For example, you might label your business as an LLC, S-corporation, sole proprietor, or some other type of business organization.
The best way to determine how you should categorize your company is to speak to your accountant. There are various tax and legal aspects to forming your business in a certain way.
Speak with the professionals in the company and corporation formation field to determine how to label your company and which company type best benefits your business in a variety of ways.
This section is where you list your domain name.
Choose a domain name that is memorable and embraces the overall traits and features of your business.
And, when choosing a domain name, be sure to think of SEO aspects when doing so. You’ll find out just how much all of these things tie together and ensure a frequently-visited website is the end result.
Keep in mind that with ecommerce, the domain name is just as important as the brand name. Maybe even more so!
A value proposition is a short, crisp statement that will gauge how clear your idea is. Write this section as if you had one minute to explain your business to a potential investor or customer and then practice it over and over again.
The value proposition can be used on your ecommerce store as your company description.
Here’s a good example: Say you’re looking to start a hiking company called Atlas Hiking Co. which sells premium performance hiking shirts. A possible company description could be the following:
Atlas Hiking Co. is a lifestyle hiking company that produces high-performance hiking shirts for outdoor lovers. Our proprietary SPF40 fabric is one of the lightest fabrics on the market, providing mountain lovers with maximum comfort, both from a breathability and sun-protection standpoint. Our product is made in the U.S.A. and a portion of our profits are donated to preserve national parks around the country.
Pay special attention to all the sensory words !
The mission statement in your business plan is the “why” of it all.
For example, why you started the business, why you are selling the products you are selling, etc., can all be added to this section of your business plan.
You can make this portion as simple or detailed as you like. Just make sure to properly and clearly explain your business mission.
The vision part of the business plan is your “how” in the grand scheme of things. It is the dream you have for your company and the path you’re going to take to realize that dream.
When you write the vision portion of the business plan, think long-term. What are you hoping to achieve, not just in the near future but for the long haul of the life of your business?
Look into the future and plan out where you see your business in 5, 10, even 20 years from now.
This will help you construct the rest of your business plan if you know where you want your business to head, now and in the future.
The brand traits section is a short section in your company overview.
Basically, in the brand traits section you’re going to want to list three to five words that describe your brand.
Think of your brand personality and describe it using a few separate powerful words.
The personnel section lists all individuals, including yourself, who will be involved in the daily operations of your business. You can create a separate section for a full operations plan or add that later.
Some business owners choose to handle all duties on their own or with a partner, while others will hire individuals to fill the following roles:
- CEO (usually the business owner)
- Management team
- Customer service/logistics
- PR/Social media specialist
- SEO manager
- Advertising manager
Competitive Market Analysis
Here’s a fact you can bank on: there has never been a successful e-commerce entrepreneur that didn’t understand his/her target market cold.
That’s why this section is one of the most important in the entire business plan. It will force you to understand the industry in which you operate, the overall industry analysis and outlook, the existing competition, and your target customer demographic.
The market segment portion of the business plan will help you to put your ideas down on paper, make them more focused, and get your team together.
This area will include your niche selection, target market, and competitive analysis.
The niche section provides an overview of your niche, why you selected it, whether there’s a micro niche included, and the type of niche you’ve chosen.
The purpose of this section is to crystalize the ideas that you have and make sure they are understandable and viable.
The target market section covers an overview of your target market plus describes your market segments.
Ask yourself who your target customer is (population size, age, geography, education, ethnicity, income level) and consider whether consumers are comfortable with buying your product category online.
When listing the target market information, make sure to mention your target audience size as this is important for ensuring that your audience will be adequately covered.
With the competitive analysis portion of your market analysis, you want to list your market leader and direct and indirect competitors.
After you mention who these entities are, you need to list the characteristics of each one, such as domain name, business model, monthly traffic, and pricing range.
However, before you even get started in writing this section, you need to spend several hours researching your target market.
Here are some of the most efficient ways to research a particular market:
Google is your best friend. Look for any recent industry reports on your market of choice. This will give you a good sense of how much growth the industry is experiencing, why this growth is happening, and what are the largest customer segments. In our example of Atlas Hiking Co., we should research the outdoor apparel market.
Let’s say that through our research of the outdoor apparel industry, we discovered that there was a huge boom in youth hiking apparel. Perhaps parents were increasingly concerned about their kids’ exposure to UV rays while hiking, so they began to spend more money on their kids. We could use this valuable information to guide our business strategy.
There’s only so much you can read online. Go to a nearby store that sells similar products to yours and interview the store representative. The store rep has interacted with hundreds of interested customers, which can lead to thousands of valuable insights! It’s amazing how these insights can translate into a meaningful business opportunity.
Here’s an example:
If I were going into Billy’s Outdoor Store to research the outdoor apparel market, I would probably ask Billy the following:
- What are your best-selling products?
- What are your worst-selling products?
- Find products similar to yours and ask the representative his/her favorite features on products similar to yours.
- How much are customers generally willing to spend on these types of products?
- Do customers make repeat orders of any of these products?
- Do you get a lot of customers that are looking to buy last-minute hiking gear before they go on a hike?
Create an Excel spreadsheet of all of your competitors. In your spreadsheet, you should have the following columns:
- Competitor Name
- Price point
- Product Description
- Key Features (e.g., fabric, waterproof, slim fit, etc.)
What is the competition missing? Is there a gap in the offering? Where you can add some additional value?
After conducting the competitor analysis, Atlas Hiking Co. might find that the competition’s hiking shirts offer very few features at a low price point, but no one offers a luxury hiking shirt with additional features at a higher price point.
This is just an example of the types of insights one can gain from market research which can drastically alter your business model.
By using Google’s keyword planner and trends pages, you can get a good sense of how in demand your product is and whether it’s trending upward or downward. Google is great for a general idea, just don’t bank on it.
Some other keyword tools you can use for keyword research include Ahrefs, JungleScout, and Viral Launch. Check out this list for more ideas.
Are there nearby trade shows that you can go to? Again, creating connections with other people in your industry is a surefire shortcut to countless hours of reading on the internet. Trade shows are also a great opportunity to talk to competitors, meet manufacturers, and better understand where things are heading in your industry.
Once you finish researching the relevant industry, you should summarize your findings by answering the following questions:
- How big is the overall industry?
- How big is the specific sub-industry in which you intend to operate?
- Where has most of the historic growth in the market come from?
- Why is this the right time to enter this market?
- What are the sub-segments that are poised for future growth (e.g., youth apparel)?
- How crowded is the product category with competition?
- How is your competition distributing its product (online, retail, wholesale, etc.)?
- What’s missing from the competition’s product offering?
Products and Offers
So we know we want to sell hiking shirts, but how do you research specific products?
But for some of us, we’re not quite sure what we should sell. To succeed in online retail, you need a product that is trending upwards in a growing niche.
Different types of products
Some of the different types of products include the following:
- Convenience products: Frequent purchase products, little effort on buying
- Shopping products: Less frequently purchased in between purchases, little more effort and planning, shop around
- Specialty products: Strong brand preference and loyalty, will buy no matter what the price
The various types of niches include the following:
- Hobby niches
- Lifestyle niches
- Problem niches
- Weird/embarrassing niches
Come up with detailed specifications for each product or service you intend to sell. If it’s a hiking shirt we’re selling, we would want to have:
- Detailed sketches of the shirt
- Fabric weight, materials, type
- Key features (e.g., pre-shrunk, water-proof, SPF 40)
Future product pipeline
What are other products that you have in the pipeline? Perhaps once you’ve successfully sold hiking shirts, you’re able to leverage your manufacturing relationships to provide hiking socks and shorts. Include that information in this section.
The products and services section will cover the various selling categories of items.
These product offerings will include the following:
- Core product
Each product group will have its own purpose in your sales catalog. For example, tripwire is the product that brings customers to your ecommerce store or online marketplaces while the core product is your main seller.
Knowing what products you’ll include within each section allows you to have a firm grasp on what your main product will be and how the other types of products will work alongside your main product.
This section will also cover the search volume and Amazon pricing range.
You’ll need to calculate your true costs. You have to make sure you don’t overestimate your margins.
To tabulate your total true costs, you need to write down the costs in the following areas:
- Target price
- Supplier cost of the product
- Total cost per unit
- Net profit per unit
- Profit margin per unit
Once you complete the pricing portion, you’ll have everything on one sheet and readily accessible whenever you need it.
Marketing Plan and Operations
So, now you’ve concluded that you have a great business idea, and it’s in a growing market. That’s fantastic – but how are you going to drive traffic to your ecommerce website and get customers to buy it ? And how much can you afford to spend on your product?
Marketing is everything. It’s important that your marketing efforts match your business model.
If you have a website and no marketing, your site won’t have any visitors. With no visitors, you will make no sales. Then how do you grow and sell your ecommerce business (if that’s your long-term goal)? Even with the best possible products, nobody will buy them if they aren’t directed to them in some way.
In order to come up with a marketing strategy, you need to first know your customer inside out. You should be able to answer such questions as:
- How old is your customer?
- Where does your customer live?
- What is the population of your customer base?
- What is their education level?
- What is their income level?
- What are your customer’s pain points?
With so many channels to reach your customer, which one is best for you?
Once we know pretty much everything there is to know about our target customer, we can shift focus to our marketing strategy. You want to choose marketing strategies that equal positive conversion rates. What channels should you use to grab the attention of your customer demographic? Some of the key marketing channels include:
- Pay-per-click – this online marketing typically involves using Google Shopping campaigns and managing a product data feed.
- Affiliate sales networks – Allowing other blogs and websites to sell your product for a cut of the revenue. List the different affiliate sale networks that you plan to promote through.
- Facebook ads ⎯ Ads posted on Facebook to draw in buyers through social media means.
- Influencer marketing ⎯ Hiring industry influencers to get the word out about your product through their social media platforms and contacts.
- Social media (Facebook, Instagram , Pinterest, etc.): What is your strategy for social media, and where will you dedicate your attention?
- Search Engine Optimization : Create and promote awesome content so people find your product organically through search.
- Content marketing: Figure out how you’ll use content marketing in your business. Consider various article topics that will persuade your target audience to buy your products.
- Blogger networks: could be organic or paid through affiliate sale programs.
- Key bloggers: Develop a list of the key bloggers in your product category. For Atlas Hiking Co., this might be an influencer that blogs about the best hiking trails in America.
Finding the optimal mix of these advertising tools depends 100% on your customer segment as well as your product type. For example, a SaaS product targeting millennials will require an entirely different marketing strategy than an e-commerce physical product targeting baby boomers. Perhaps that should be a post on its own for another day!
How much should you spend to acquire a customer?
In order to understand this, we need first to discuss a concept known as customer lifetime value or LTV. In essence, this is a formula that helps you better understand how much an average customer will spend over time.
Here’s a good read on how to calculate LTV.
It’s important to remember that for new businesses, you don’t have a lot of data on customer purchase habits so it’s a good idea to be more conservative with your assumptions in calculating LTV.
Let’s say, for Atlas Hiking Co., I determine that the average LTV per customer is $300. This means that over time, the average customer will spend $300. Let’s say, on average, if I receive $300 in revenue, $100 of that will translate to gross profit before I factor in my marketing costs (basically, I’m just subtracting the cost of making the shirts).
Knowing that my gross profit is $100 per shirt is a critical piece of information because it tells me that I can spend up to $100 in marketing to acquire a customer and still be profitable!
Some of the marketing options include social media marketing and content marketing.
Think about your business model and then line up your marketing budget. Your marketing budget may include the following items:
- Sales/branded content
- SEO/blog content
- Facebook/Instagram ads
- Influencer marketing
- Marketing tools
- Niche advertising
Choosing The Right Technology
With so much technology and SaaS products out there, it’s important to understand the various moving parts and diagram how they all integrate with one another.
Some of the different elements include:
- Shopping Cart Platforms – e.g., Shopify , BigCommerce , WooCommerce , or any open-source platform
- Hosting – Nexcess , BigScoots , Kinsta , WPX
- Payment Processo r – e.g., Stripe, Paypal
- Fulfillment Center – e.g., Amazon, ShipBob
- Apps – e.g., Zipify, BuildWooFunnels, Gelato
- Accounting & Taxes – e.g., Quicken, Xero
- Marketing Automation – e.g., Klaviyo , Mailchimp
- Marketing Tools – e.g. Buzzstream, Ahrefs
- Customer Loyalty Programs – e.g., Antavo, Smile
Come up with a detailed list of the different products and services you need to run your business as well as the monthly and per-transaction cost of each of them. This will be important in understanding the impact of these services on your margins.
Matching your business model to your technology is essential, too. Certain website platforms are better suited for specific sales models.
Email marketing is another type of technology that should be carefully considered and matched up correctly with your business model.
Keep in mind that it takes, on average, 6-7 interactions with a brand before someone makes a purchase, so you need to keep using technology to get them back to your website.
As you explore the technology options and find out ways to draw potential customers in and keep them happy while they’re there, here are some key points to keep in mind:
- What you say about yourself and your products with your website content
- How you respond to questions on live chat and email support
- How to make use of chatbots
- How you connect on social media
- The information you send through email marketing
- What bloggers and influencers say about your brand
- How existing customers review your company
- How you advertise
- How you establish loyalty beyond sales
After you figure out your technology methods, you have to come up with a technology budget.
The business plan must also include the operations side of things. Determine who will be your manufacturer, secondary manufacturer, and shipping and fulfillment provider.
When looking at supply chain costs and options, ShipBob is an ecommerce fulfillment provider you can consider.
When figuring out your financial plan, evaluating and pinpointing your startup costs is essential.
The focus of the financial plan is how long it will take for you to make your money back. You also need to figure out if you need a business loan .
Traffic and conversion rates will help you determine how long it will be until you start making money back.
You’ll also want to use an income statement to detail financial information.
This section is used for financial projections, such as forecasting sales, expenses, and net income of the business. Ideally, you’ll want to create a monthly Excel balance sheet showing the following:
- Projected revenue: First, come up with your projected number of units sold and then come up with your projected revenue (Projected Revenue = # of Units Sold * Average Sales Price).
- Fixed expenses: these are expenses that are fixed no matter how much you sell. Typically, these relate to monthly SaaS subscriptions, employee salaries, or rent.
- Variable expenses – these expenses change in direct proportion to how much you sell. Common examples include the cost of goods sold and credit card payment processing fees.
This helps business owners better understand what they need to achieve to hit their profit goals. In reality, projections are usually always off the mark, but it’s good to give yourself some measurable goals to strive for.
This section should aim to answer the following questions about your product offering:
- How much product do you need to sell per year to meet your income goals for the business?
- What are the margins on your product? If you sell one hiking shirt for $50, how much do you make after paying your supplier, employees, and marketing costs?
- What is the lifetime value of a customer?
- How much can you spend to acquire customers? If you conservatively project that the average customer will spend $300 over time on your shirts, then you can afford to spend an amount less than $300 to acquire that customer using the paid marketing channels described previously.
- Do you have any big capital expenditures early on that would require you to need to bring in investors?
- Can you improve gross margins by making bigger orders from your suppliers?
There are various acquisition channels that will help your traffic to convert including:
Your revenue plan will contain a 12-month revenue forecast plan to help you map out each month of earnings.
There are different business earning models you can go through to determine how much you can make with your business.
You want to calculate how much traffic costs. This all depends on the methods you use to gain traffic to your site.
As you determine what your profit might be with your ecommerce business or ecommerce businesses, there are certain math formulas to use:
- The profit equation
- Break-even analysis
- Units needed to achieve the profit target
You should also consider how you will use fintech companies in your ecommerce business.
What are the key elements of an ecommerce business plan?
The main components of an eCommerce business plan include the executive summary, company description, market analysis, organization and management structure, product line or service, marketing and sales strategy, financial projections, and funding request, if applicable.
How do I create a budget for my ecommerce business?
Start by estimating your initial startup costs and ongoing expenses. Consider costs like website development, inventory, marketing, shipping, taxes, and any necessary licenses or permits. It’s also important to factor in a contingency plan for unexpected costs.
How do I find the right product to sell?
Research is fundamental. Look at market trends, customer needs, and competitor products. Use tools like Google Trends or social media platforms to understand what customers are currently interested in. Always consider your passion and knowledge about the product too, as this can drive your business forward.
How can I differentiate my product from competitors?
Differentiation can come from unique product features, superior customer service, better pricing, or a compelling brand story. Understand what your competitors offer and how you can do it differently or better.
Wrapping Up Your Business Plan
Careful planning is crucial to get your e-commerce business from the planning phase to the launch phase and to ensure its successful future.
Going through the exercise of writing a business plan will cement your own understanding of your business and your market. It will also position you to take advantage of lucrative opportunities while mitigating harmful threats to your business down the line.
Your turn! Have you written a business plan for your online store? Do you have anything to add? Tell us about it in the comments below!
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Business Plan Template: The Ultimate Guide for Ecommerce Businesses
A business plan is a blueprint for your business. It sets out where you want to go and how you want to get there.
While you might want to jump right into your ecommerce business and start selling, starting with a business plan is the foundation of a thriving business. Harvard Business Review found businesses that take the time to draft a business plan increase their odds at succeeding by 16 percent. And one study by McKinsey & Company found that 79 percent of executives believe a formal planning process contributes significantly to overall business strategies.
Business plans force you to think critically and strategically and can even help you acquire outside funding for your next big investment.
So, how do you put one together? We’ll go over the different types of business plans, what to include in each section, and a simple business plan template for you to follow.
Start selling online now with Shopify
Types of Business Plans
Business plans are used for different purposes. Sometimes, it’s to get the internal team on the same page, and other times, it’s to attract potential investors. Depending on who’s reading your business plan and what you’re hoping to achieve, you might adapt it to take a different layout. Here are the main types of business plans and what they’re used for:
- General: This is the business plan format you typically see and is often meant for external parties. It’s comprehensive and covers all areas of the business.
- Summary: This is a truncated version of the general business plan, sometimes as short as one page. These are better for taking around with you to networking opportunities.
- Startup: New businesses will use startup business plans, which outline the steps for launch. This is great for internal teams and attracting investors or lenders.
- Strategic: Similar to the “summary” business plan, a strategic one is high level – it’s ideal for board members and other shareholders.
- Feasibility: These outline who , if anyone, will purchase the service or product a company wants to sell, and if the venture can turn a profit. This is more commonly used to validate your idea.
- Operations/internal: These business plans are for your management team, board of directors and your high-level professional advisors. They focus on inner workings.
- Growth: Have growth goals? This business plan provides an in-depth description of how a company plans to scale. This is good for internal teams and potential investors.
- Complete: This comprehensive business plan goes into detail about finances – these companies are typically trying to secure funding.
What Is the Format of a Business Plan?
Table of contents
Executive summary, company description, products and services, industry overview, market analysis, marketing plan, operations and management, financial plan.
This is where you’re introducing your grand idea. What’s the name of the business? Who’s behind it? When was this document prepared? These are all questions the title page should answer.
As far as design goes, keep it simple. Add a company logo (if you have one), but otherwise, keep styling and graphics to a minimum. This is a professional document, not a school project.
We have a lot to cover, and it’s not always necessary to read through every single section. A table of contents makes it easier to find the sections most relevant to the reader or to refer back to sections they want to reread.
The design here should also be simple (you’ll see this is a recurring theme), with a focus on functionality.
Here’s where we start getting into the meat of the business plan. The executive summary is your one-pager, sort of like an elevator pitch. It’s important to hook readers in at this point. If the executive summary doesn’t get them excited, what’s going to motivate them to finish reviewing your plan?
So much to say, so little space to say it. The executive summary needs to be refined and focus on what will get potential investors and lenders jazzed about your idea. What’s so exciting about it? How can you instill faith in your business idea?
Aside from that, it’s important to tease the research you’ve done around making sure this is a viable opportunity. Provide high-level details about:
- Your company mission and vision
- What your business sells
- Who your target market is
- What differentiates you
- The people behind the brand
- Projections and goals for future growth
Tip: Write your executive summary last. Because it’s basically a truncated version of your entire business plan, it’ll be easier to organize your thoughts once you’ve deep-dived into each of the areas below.
Now, it’s time to get into the nitty gritty about your brand – we’re talking really nitty gritty. Details like business name and address, founding date, legal structure, licenses, ownership details, number of employees, and more.
And then the higher-level fun stuff, like company values (an in-depth exploration of your vision and mission), short- and long-term goals, and positioning in the overall market. This is where you show you’ve done your research on competitors .
Here, you define the item that’s going to turn you a profit – in our case, the physical products you plan to dropship. Create a list of each product you plan to offer (and categories, if you have a ton), your pricing strategy and anticipated profit margin, and why customers will want to buy from you.
It’s a good idea to include a bit of information about how products will be manufactured and delivered. Will you be selling direct-to-consumer or through wholesale customers? How will you package and assemble orders? How do the orders get into customers’ hands? And how will you handle returns? These are just a few of the questions you’ll need to answer.
Remember to detail some of the valuable relationships you have in the industry to reinforce your likelihood of success.
This is where we look at the industry as a whole: Who’s operating in the vertical? What do these niche customers want? What are the economic trends for the industry?
Check out sources like Nielsen and Pew Research Center for information about consumer behavior.
- D&B Hoovers
- U.S. Census Bureau
- Census Bureau’s Economic Indicators
- Bureau of Labor & Statistics
- U.S. Embassy websites (Hint: Check the sections about people who want to sell abroad for regional insights.)
You can also look for niche publications to find targeted analyses and reports.
A lot of the research you’ve put together for the above sections will inform your overall market analysis. The market analysis is a summary of the aforementioned, plus more information about your target customer.
When identifying your market, you need to consider if the size of your potential customer base is big enough to generate a profit. Use social media tools like Facebook Audience Insights to estimate the size of your potential customer base. You can also conduct keyword research to get an idea of how many people are searching for your products – and what their projected search volume is for the future.
Not that you know who you’re selling to, it’s time to establish how you’re going to communicate with them. In this section, you need to account for your sales and marketing approach – how you plan to get the word out about your brand and products.
Today’s brands have to use a multichannel approach, reaching potential customers through email , social media, SEO, content, print, and advertising .
Take what you’ve learned about your audience’s pain points and your competitor’s strengths to inform how you’ll communicate your differentiator. Pay special attention to your website and online channels for dropshipping businesses, as these will be the main touchpoints. It’s also a good idea to outline your post-sales customer remarketing and support plan.
Operations and management details the inner workings of your business. A few areas to cover include:
- Legal structure of your business
- Backgrounds of the prominent figures in your business – remember to highlight relevant experiences and accomplishments for ecommerce and/or dropshipping
- Which facilities, equipment, and warehouse space you’ll need
- Supply chain and order and fulfillment processes
Then, you’ll also want to detail the day-to-day operations. How are orders fulfilled? What tech stack are you using to automate specific tasks? Which reports do you run and how often? What third-party vendors will you be working with? If you’re a new business, include any launch schedules as well.
If you’re presenting your business plan as part of a loan application or other funding request, this is where you make the ask. You’ve already laid why and how your business will be successful, so potential lenders and investors will feel more at ease with the risk. More than a quarter of businesses claim they can’t get the capital they need – you don’t want a poorly written business plan to be the reason you don’t.
Beyond stating and asking for the amount you need, you’ll also need to prove how this extra capital is going to fuel additional growth with your company. Outline where you’ll spend the money, what you’ll be purchasing with it, and how this will generate a return on investment for your biz.
Rounding out your business plan is the appendix. This is where any supporting documentation goes. We tack it on at the end because they can turn a relatively short business plan into an unwieldy, hundreds-of-pages-long document (nobody has time for that).
The appendix is like a reference section. This way, readers who need to validate something from the earlier sections of your business plan can easily navigate to the corresponding documentation.
Simple Business Plan Template
- Business Plan: Company name
- Business address
- Phone number
- Website URL
If your business plan is prepared for a specific entity, include a line that says “Presented to:” followed by the individual and/or company name.
- Executive summary ………………………..………. page #
- Company description ………………………………. page #
- Products and services …………………………..…. page #
- Industry overview ……………………………..……. page #
- Market analysis ……………………………….….…. page #
- Marketing plan ………………………………………. page #
- Operations and management …..…………………. page #
- Financial plan ………………………………….……. page #
- Appendix ……………………………………….……. page #
Tip: Keep your executive summary to one or two pages. Remember, this is a highlight reel for what’s to come.
- Having writer’s block? Start out with something like: “‘Company name’ is an ecommerce company in the ____ industry and sells _____ to _____.”
- Brief overview of products and services
- Short industry overview
- Truncated market analysis
- High-level marketing plan
- Organization description
- Management team
- Quick financial projections
- Summary of funding request
- Business name
- Location (both where you operate and where you serve customers)
- Founding date
- Legal structure
- Ownership details
- Business ID numbers
- Tax ID numbers
- Number of employees
- Company purpose, mission, and vision
- Current status and stage of business
- Notable achievements or milestones
- Description of product(s)
- Product categories (if you plan to sell many SKUs)
- Product development stage
- Screenshots, diagrams, renderings, or photos of the product
- Product manufacturer and supplier partners
- Current pricing
- Past test results
- Anticipated future products and services you plan to introduce
- Order fulfillment
- Total market value
- Total expenditure, globally and regionally
- Industry projections
- Your differentiator
- Positioning within the industry
- Demographics of target market
- Estimated size of total market
- Predicted number of sales
- Why your target market needs your product
- How and what external factors can affect sales
- Competitor sales
- Barriers to entry
- Competitive analysis
- References to market research
- SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities & Threats)
- Target audience and personas
- Brand and product positioning
- Messaging and taglines
- Marketing channels
- Marketing budget
- Marketing materials and collateral
- Facilities and space needed
- Technology and equipment needed
- Production workflows
- Supply chain management
- Logistics and distribution plans
- Order and fulfillment processes
- Warehouse and inventory management
- Quality control checks
- Legal and accounting needs
- Founders, executive team, department heads, owners, shareholders, board of directors, consultants, and special advisors
- Ownership structure
- List of employees and salary and benefit costs
- Current balance sheet
- Two years of financial records
- Financial projections for the next five years
- Break-even analysis
- Cash-flow projections
- Income and expenses
- Startup cost
- Income statements
- Funding request
- Articles of incorporation and status
- Resumes for included individuals
- Copies of insurances
- Trademarks and patent registrations
- Supporting research data and references
- Business owner credit history
- In-depth market research and competitive analysis
- Site, building, warehouse, and office plans
- Mortgage documents
- Equipment leases
- Marketing brochures and collateral
- Links to your business website
A business plan is necessary not only for third-party individuals, but also for entrepreneurs who need to get their thoughts down on paper. Business plans hold you more accountable and break long-term goals into short-term action plans.
- Determine the audience of your business plan and cater the format and type to them. If you’re applying for a loan, for example, pay extra attention to the financial plan.
- Even though the executive summary comes first, you should write it last. You need the information gathered in the other sections to be able to put it together.
- If it’s getting too long, add supporting documents and comprehensive reports at the end in your appendix. This will show you’ve done the work and provide additional context without overwhelming the reader.
- Your business plan is a living document. Just because you have it written down doesn’t mean it can’t change. And in today’s rapidly changing world of ecommerce, pivoting is becoming the norm. You can also revisit and revise the business plan as needed.
Want to Learn More?
- How to Write a Business Plan for Your Dropshipping Business
- It All Starts with a Plan: How to Create Your Business Plan
- Business Plan Definition and Information
- How to Register a Business in the USA
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Technology Business Plan Templates
Written by Dave Lavinsky
In the rapidly evolving technology sector, where innovation and market agility are paramount, a well-structured business plan is crucial for success. It serves as a vital strategic tool for technology entrepreneurs and startups, guiding them through the complexities of product development, market entry, and competitive positioning.
Our array of business plan examples cover various technology business types, including software development companies, hardware manufacturers, IT service providers, and tech startups exploring emerging fields like AI and blockchain. Each plan is carefully constructed to address key components such as market analysis, technological innovation, scalability, funding strategies, and go-to-market approaches. These business plans are essential for technology business owners, offering a comprehensive blueprint for navigating the highly competitive tech landscape, attracting investment, and managing rapid growth. They highlight the importance of detailed and forward-thinking planning in harnessing technological advancements, meeting market demands, and achieving sustainable success in the dynamic world of technology.
Technology Business Plans
Biodiesel Business Plan Blogging Business Plan Clean Tech Business Plan Mobile App Business Plan Saas Business Plan Software Company Business Plan Technology Business Plan YouTube Business Plan
Step-by-Step Guide to Writing a Simple Business Plan
By Joe Weller | October 11, 2021
A business plan is the cornerstone of any successful company, regardless of size or industry. This step-by-step guide provides information on writing a business plan for organizations at any stage, complete with free templates and expert advice.
Included on this page, you’ll find a step-by-step guide to writing a business plan and a chart to identify which type of business plan you should write . Plus, find information on how a business plan can help grow a business and expert tips on writing one .
What Is a Business Plan?
A business plan is a document that communicates a company’s goals and ambitions, along with the timeline, finances, and methods needed to achieve them. Additionally, it may include a mission statement and details about the specific products or services offered.
A business plan can highlight varying time periods, depending on the stage of your company and its goals. That said, a typical business plan will include the following benchmarks:
- Product goals and deadlines for each month
- Monthly financials for the first two years
- Profit and loss statements for the first three to five years
- Balance sheet projections for the first three to five years
Startups, entrepreneurs, and small businesses all create business plans to use as a guide as their new company progresses. Larger organizations may also create (and update) a business plan to keep high-level goals, financials, and timelines in check.
While you certainly need to have a formalized outline of your business’s goals and finances, creating a business plan can also help you determine a company’s viability, its profitability (including when it will first turn a profit), and how much money you will need from investors. In turn, a business plan has functional value as well: Not only does outlining goals help keep you accountable on a timeline, it can also attract investors in and of itself and, therefore, act as an effective strategy for growth.
For more information, visit our comprehensive guide to writing a strategic plan or download free strategic plan templates . This page focuses on for-profit business plans, but you can read our article with nonprofit business plan templates .
Business Plan Steps
The specific information in your business plan will vary, depending on the needs and goals of your venture, but a typical plan includes the following ordered elements:
- Executive summary
- Description of business
- Market analysis
- Competitive analysis
- Description of organizational management
- Description of product or services
- Marketing plan
- Sales strategy
- Funding details (or request for funding)
- Financial projections
If your plan is particularly long or complicated, consider adding a table of contents or an appendix for reference. For an in-depth description of each step listed above, read “ How to Write a Business Plan Step by Step ” below.
Broadly speaking, your audience includes anyone with a vested interest in your organization. They can include potential and existing investors, as well as customers, internal team members, suppliers, and vendors.
Do I Need a Simple or Detailed Plan?
Your business’s stage and intended audience dictates the level of detail your plan needs. Corporations require a thorough business plan — up to 100 pages. Small businesses or startups should have a concise plan focusing on financials and strategy.
How to Choose the Right Plan for Your Business
In order to identify which type of business plan you need to create, ask: “What do we want the plan to do?” Identify function first, and form will follow.
Use the chart below as a guide for what type of business plan to create:
Is the Order of Your Business Plan Important?
There is no set order for a business plan, with the exception of the executive summary, which should always come first. Beyond that, simply ensure that you organize the plan in a way that makes sense and flows naturally.
The Difference Between Traditional and Lean Business Plans
A traditional business plan follows the standard structure — because these plans encourage detail, they tend to require more work upfront and can run dozens of pages. A Lean business plan is less common and focuses on summarizing critical points for each section. These plans take much less work and typically run one page in length.
In general, you should use a traditional model for a legacy company, a large company, or any business that does not adhere to Lean (or another Agile method ). Use Lean if you expect the company to pivot quickly or if you already employ a Lean strategy with other business operations. Additionally, a Lean business plan can suffice if the document is for internal use only. Stick to a traditional version for investors, as they may be more sensitive to sudden changes or a high degree of built-in flexibility in the plan.
How to Write a Business Plan Step by Step
Writing a strong business plan requires research and attention to detail for each section. Below, you’ll find a 10-step guide to researching and defining each element in the plan.
Step 1: Executive Summary
The executive summary will always be the first section of your business plan. The goal is to answer the following questions:
- What is the vision and mission of the company?
- What are the company’s short- and long-term goals?
See our roundup of executive summary examples and templates for samples. Read our executive summary guide to learn more about writing one.
Step 2: Description of Business
The goal of this section is to define the realm, scope, and intent of your venture. To do so, answer the following questions as clearly and concisely as possible:
- What business are we in?
- What does our business do?
Step 3: Market Analysis
In this section, provide evidence that you have surveyed and understand the current marketplace, and that your product or service satisfies a niche in the market. To do so, answer these questions:
- Who is our customer?
- What does that customer value?
Step 4: Competitive Analysis
In many cases, a business plan proposes not a brand-new (or even market-disrupting) venture, but a more competitive version — whether via features, pricing, integrations, etc. — than what is currently available. In this section, answer the following questions to show that your product or service stands to outpace competitors:
- Who is the competition?
- What do they do best?
- What is our unique value proposition?
Step 5: Description of Organizational Management
In this section, write an overview of the team members and other key personnel who are integral to success. List roles and responsibilities, and if possible, note the hierarchy or team structure.
Step 6: Description of Products or Services
In this section, clearly define your product or service, as well as all the effort and resources that go into producing it. The strength of your product largely defines the success of your business, so it’s imperative that you take time to test and refine the product before launching into marketing, sales, or funding details.
Questions to answer in this section are as follows:
- What is the product or service?
- How do we produce it, and what resources are necessary for production?
Step 7: Marketing Plan
In this section, define the marketing strategy for your product or service. This doesn’t need to be as fleshed out as a full marketing plan , but it should answer basic questions, such as the following:
- Who is the target market (if different from existing customer base)?
- What channels will you use to reach your target market?
- What resources does your marketing strategy require, and do you have access to them?
- If possible, do you have a rough estimate of timeline and budget?
- How will you measure success?
Step 8: Sales Plan
Write an overview of the sales strategy, including the priorities of each cycle, steps to achieve these goals, and metrics for success. For the purposes of a business plan, this section does not need to be a comprehensive, in-depth sales plan , but can simply outline the high-level objectives and strategies of your sales efforts.
Start by answering the following questions:
- What is the sales strategy?
- What are the tools and tactics you will use to achieve your goals?
- What are the potential obstacles, and how will you overcome them?
- What is the timeline for sales and turning a profit?
- What are the metrics of success?
Step 9: Funding Details (or Request for Funding)
This section is one of the most critical parts of your business plan, particularly if you are sharing it with investors. You do not need to provide a full financial plan, but you should be able to answer the following questions:
- How much capital do you currently have? How much capital do you need?
- How will you grow the team (onboarding, team structure, training and development)?
- What are your physical needs and constraints (space, equipment, etc.)?
Step 10: Financial Projections
Apart from the fundraising analysis, investors like to see thought-out financial projections for the future. As discussed earlier, depending on the scope and stage of your business, this could be anywhere from one to five years.
While these projections won’t be exact — and will need to be somewhat flexible — you should be able to gauge the following:
- How and when will the company first generate a profit?
- How will the company maintain profit thereafter?
Business Plan Template
Download Business Plan Template
Microsoft Excel | Smartsheet
This basic business plan template has space for all the traditional elements: an executive summary, product or service details, target audience, marketing and sales strategies, etc. In the finances sections, input your baseline numbers, and the template will automatically calculate projections for sales forecasting, financial statements, and more.
For templates tailored to more specific needs, visit this business plan template roundup or download a fill-in-the-blank business plan template to make things easy.
If you are looking for a particular template by file type, visit our pages dedicated exclusively to Microsoft Excel , Microsoft Word , and Adobe PDF business plan templates.
How to Write a Simple Business Plan
A simple business plan is a streamlined, lightweight version of the large, traditional model. As opposed to a one-page business plan , which communicates high-level information for quick overviews (such as a stakeholder presentation), a simple business plan can exceed one page.
Below are the steps for creating a generic simple business plan, which are reflected in the template below .
- Write the Executive Summary This section is the same as in the traditional business plan — simply offer an overview of what’s in the business plan, the prospect or core offering, and the short- and long-term goals of the company.
- Add a Company Overview Document the larger company mission and vision.
- Provide the Problem and Solution In straightforward terms, define the problem you are attempting to solve with your product or service and how your company will attempt to do it. Think of this section as the gap in the market you are attempting to close.
- Identify the Target Market Who is your company (and its products or services) attempting to reach? If possible, briefly define your buyer personas .
- Write About the Competition In this section, demonstrate your knowledge of the market by listing the current competitors and outlining your competitive advantage.
- Describe Your Product or Service Offerings Get down to brass tacks and define your product or service. What exactly are you selling?
- Outline Your Marketing Tactics Without getting into too much detail, describe your planned marketing initiatives.
- Add a Timeline and the Metrics You Will Use to Measure Success Offer a rough timeline, including milestones and key performance indicators (KPIs) that you will use to measure your progress.
- Include Your Financial Forecasts Write an overview of your financial plan that demonstrates you have done your research and adequate modeling. You can also list key assumptions that go into this forecasting.
- Identify Your Financing Needs This section is where you will make your funding request. Based on everything in the business plan, list your proposed sources of funding, as well as how you will use it.
Simple Business Plan Template
Download Simple Business Plan Template
Microsoft Excel | Microsoft Word | Adobe PDF | Smartsheet
Use this simple business plan template to outline each aspect of your organization, including information about financing and opportunities to seek out further funding. This template is completely customizable to fit the needs of any business, whether it’s a startup or large company.
Read our article offering free simple business plan templates or free 30-60-90-day business plan templates to find more tailored options. You can also explore our collection of one page business templates .
How to Write a Business Plan for a Lean Startup
A Lean startup business plan is a more Agile approach to a traditional version. The plan focuses more on activities, processes, and relationships (and maintains flexibility in all aspects), rather than on concrete deliverables and timelines.
While there is some overlap between a traditional and a Lean business plan, you can write a Lean plan by following the steps below:
- Add Your Value Proposition Take a streamlined approach to describing your product or service. What is the unique value your startup aims to deliver to customers? Make sure the team is aligned on the core offering and that you can state it in clear, simple language.
- List Your Key Partners List any other businesses you will work with to realize your vision, including external vendors, suppliers, and partners. This section demonstrates that you have thoughtfully considered the resources you can provide internally, identified areas for external assistance, and conducted research to find alternatives.
- Note the Key Activities Describe the key activities of your business, including sourcing, production, marketing, distribution channels, and customer relationships.
- Include Your Key Resources List the critical resources — including personnel, equipment, space, and intellectual property — that will enable you to deliver your unique value.
- Identify Your Customer Relationships and Channels In this section, document how you will reach and build relationships with customers. Provide a high-level map of the customer experience from start to finish, including the spaces in which you will interact with the customer (online, retail, etc.).
- Detail Your Marketing Channels Describe the marketing methods and communication platforms you will use to identify and nurture your relationships with customers. These could be email, advertising, social media, etc.
- Explain the Cost Structure This section is especially necessary in the early stages of a business. Will you prioritize maximizing value or keeping costs low? List the foundational startup costs and how you will move toward profit over time.
- Share Your Revenue Streams Over time, how will the company make money? Include both the direct product or service purchase, as well as secondary sources of revenue, such as subscriptions, selling advertising space, fundraising, etc.
Lean Business Plan Template for Startups
Download Lean Business Plan Template for Startups
Microsoft Word | Adobe PDF
Startup leaders can use this Lean business plan template to relay the most critical information from a traditional plan. You’ll find all the sections listed above, including spaces for industry and product overviews, cost structure and sources of revenue, and key metrics, and a timeline. The template is completely customizable, so you can edit it to suit the objectives of your Lean startups.
See our wide variety of startup business plan templates for more options.
How to Write a Business Plan for a Loan
A business plan for a loan, often called a loan proposal , includes many of the same aspects of a traditional business plan, as well as additional financial documents, such as a credit history, a loan request, and a loan repayment plan.
In addition, you may be asked to include personal and business financial statements, a form of collateral, and equity investment information.
Download free financial templates to support your business plan.
Tips for Writing a Business Plan
Outside of including all the key details in your business plan, you have several options to elevate the document for the highest chance of winning funding and other resources. Follow these tips from experts:.
- Keep It Simple: Avner Brodsky , the Co-Founder and CEO of Lezgo Limited, an online marketing company, uses the acronym KISS (keep it short and simple) as a variation on this idea. “The business plan is not a college thesis,” he says. “Just focus on providing the essential information.”
- Do Adequate Research: Michael Dean, the Co-Founder of Pool Research , encourages business leaders to “invest time in research, both internal and external (market, finance, legal etc.). Avoid being overly ambitious or presumptive. Instead, keep everything objective, balanced, and accurate.” Your plan needs to stand on its own, and you must have the data to back up any claims or forecasting you make. As Brodsky explains, “Your business needs to be grounded on the realities of the market in your chosen location. Get the most recent data from authoritative sources so that the figures are vetted by experts and are reliable.”
- Set Clear Goals: Make sure your plan includes clear, time-based goals. “Short-term goals are key to momentum growth and are especially important to identify for new businesses,” advises Dean.
- Know (and Address) Your Weaknesses: “This awareness sets you up to overcome your weak points much quicker than waiting for them to arise,” shares Dean. Brodsky recommends performing a full SWOT analysis to identify your weaknesses, too. “Your business will fare better with self-knowledge, which will help you better define the mission of your business, as well as the strategies you will choose to achieve your objectives,” he adds.
- Seek Peer or Mentor Review: “Ask for feedback on your drafts and for areas to improve,” advises Brodsky. “When your mind is filled with dreams for your business, sometimes it is an outsider who can tell you what you’re missing and will save your business from being a product of whimsy.”
Outside of these more practical tips, the language you use is also important and may make or break your business plan.
Shaun Heng, VP of Operations at Coin Market Cap , gives the following advice on the writing, “Your business plan is your sales pitch to an investor. And as with any sales pitch, you need to strike the right tone and hit a few emotional chords. This is a little tricky in a business plan, because you also need to be formal and matter-of-fact. But you can still impress by weaving in descriptive language and saying things in a more elegant way.
“A great way to do this is by expanding your vocabulary, avoiding word repetition, and using business language. Instead of saying that something ‘will bring in as many customers as possible,’ try saying ‘will garner the largest possible market segment.’ Elevate your writing with precise descriptive words and you'll impress even the busiest investor.”
Additionally, Dean recommends that you “stay consistent and concise by keeping your tone and style steady throughout, and your language clear and precise. Include only what is 100 percent necessary.”
Resources for Writing a Business Plan
While a template provides a great outline of what to include in a business plan, a live document or more robust program can provide additional functionality, visibility, and real-time updates. The U.S. Small Business Association also curates resources for writing a business plan.
Additionally, you can use business plan software to house data, attach documentation, and share information with stakeholders. Popular options include LivePlan, Enloop, BizPlanner, PlanGuru, and iPlanner.
How a Business Plan Helps to Grow Your Business
A business plan — both the exercise of creating one and the document — can grow your business by helping you to refine your product, target audience, sales plan, identify opportunities, secure funding, and build new partnerships.
Outside of these immediate returns, writing a business plan is a useful exercise in that it forces you to research the market, which prompts you to forge your unique value proposition and identify ways to beat the competition. Doing so will also help you build (and keep you accountable to) attainable financial and product milestones. And down the line, it will serve as a welcome guide as hurdles inevitably arise.
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Creating a Stellar Ecommerce Business Plan for Your Online Store
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Table of contents.
For years, you’ve purchased items from online businesses or marketplaces like Etsy, eBay and Amazon and thought to yourself, “I could do something like this, too.”
Starting your own ecommerce business may seem intimidating — writing a business plan, even more so.
However, a business plan allows you to validate your business idea, assess your financial position and create a concrete action plan for how you’ll deliver a product from the original source to the end consumer.
In other words, while the business plan might seem like it’s ultimately meant for other people’s benefit — potential investors, business partners or well-meaning family members who keep pestering you to write one — in reality, the business plan benefits you, the business owner, the most.
You’ll shape the vision and mission for your business and map out how you’ll get there. One study by Harvard Business Review found that entrepreneurs who write a formal business plan are 16% more likely to achieve viability than those who don’t.
An ecommerce business plan is a document that outlines your business purpose and goals, analyzes your industry and competitors and identifies the resources needed to execute your plan.
For example, which suppliers will you work with? What types of products will you stock? Who is your ideal buyer? How will you advertise your business? Can you afford to provide free shipping and still make a profit?
Here’s a step-by-step primer on how to write a business plan for your ecommerce store, what elements to include and how to use your own business plan to increase your chance of success.
How to Create An Ecommerce Business Plan
Business plans help entrepreneurs maintain focus on their goals and shape the day-to-day running of a new business. The key elements of an ecommerce business plan template describe blueprints for growth, projected timelines and financial goals — clarifying topics like cash flow, expenses, marketing tools and distribution channels.
Draft an executive summary.
An executive summary provides a concise rundown of the key points in your business plan. In short, it should summarize your chosen industry, business purpose, competitors, business goals and financial position. Executive summaries average 1-3 pages and are ideally under two pages.
What does your business do?
Explain the raison d’être for your startup. What problem will you solve for your customers? Who is the target audience? Where do you want your business to be in one, five, or 10 years?
Here are the main elements of an executive summary:
The problem statement or business opportunity : Describe a pain point or gap in the market that you are uniquely qualified to fill. (“As someone who used to own a convenience store, I heard many of my customers complain about the lack of healthy food options while traveling domestically.”)
Your business idea : State how you plan to approach the problem (“XYZ is a ready-to-eat meal company that lets travelers order and pack healthy meals ahead of trips so they can avoid eating fast food.”)
Company history : Describe what milestones you have achieved. Are you already working with suppliers? What is your current revenue? (“In 2021, XYZ fulfilled over 10,000 orders, generating $150,000 in revenue.”)
Industry and market analysis : Outline the trends in the market that affect your business, market size, and demand for your product. (“In 2022, the global health and wellness food market was valued at $841 billion and is projected to increase to one trillion by 2026.”)
Competition : Explain who your competitors are, outline their strengths and weaknesses, and make it clear how you will differentiate.
Timeline for key milestones : Project when you plan to achieve goals like breaking even, launching an IPO, or other key milestones.
Financial plan (if you are seeking funding from investors or banks).
What goals does your business want to achieve?
Set short- and long-term goals for your business, such as achieving a certain amount of revenue or testing a new product idea. Business goals can be general and high-level or they can focus on specific, measurable actions (SMART goals).
The most realistic goal-setting approach is to set short-term goals as stepping stones to your long-term goals. For example, your short-term goal to decrease website bounce rate by 25% within 12 weeks might help you reach the long-term goal of growing conversions by 50% within one year.
Timeframes for short-term goals can range from a few hours to a year, while long-term goals generally take 1-5 years to achieve.
What products do you sell?
Outline your product offerings and specify where you’ll source each item. Some ecommerce businesses manufacture products in-house. Others work with wholesalers, manufacturers or print-on-demand businesses to resell their products.
Curate a tight product line that demonstrates your value proposition. Why should someone buy from your online store rather than another brand? Why would someone choose your products over a substitute if you don't produce goods in-house?
Ecommerce companies sell three types of products: goods, services and digital products. Tell your readers what you intend to sell and why. List each item and its purpose. For each, you want to answer the question “why?” Why are you choosing to offer these specific products and services? How do you plan on fulfilling orders?
If you’re offering a service, explain what you do and where. Are you local? Do you travel to your customers? Will you partner with similar service providers in other areas?
How will customers access the item if you're offering a digital product? Will they download software or education videos from your site? Will they pay a subscription or usage-based fee? What about licensing requirements? Mention intellectual property ownership (if applicable) including trademarks, patents and copyrights.
Who is your audience?
Describe your ideal customer. Define your product or service from their point of view. What problems does your product solve for them? What benefits or features do customers look for when shopping for that product type?
Create customer profiles that summarize your target audience in terms of demographics (age, location, gender, etc) and psychographics (pain points, interests, buying patterns). Consider creating customer segments based on shared characteristics if you cater to a wide audience.
Demographic data should include the following points:
Meanwhile, discover your target customer’s motivations, needs and wants as much as possible. Psychographic data should include the following points:
Where are you going to sell your products?
Outline your sales channels, both future and existing. For example, your main point-of-sale might be your ecommerce site. Be sure to include stats on site traffic and conversions so readers know how your site is performing.
Still, you might also offer your products online on marketplaces like eBay, Amazon and Etsy. Explain how each of these channels is performing and how you’re optimizing them for product discoverability and conversions (eg: following SEO best practices, using high-quality images, highlighting user-generated content).
Identify your company overview.
Tell your brand's story , its purpose, and how the company was founded. In addition to the company description, provide details on how you currently run the business. List your business partners and employees and describe the business's legal structure.
The best brand names are memorable and communicate the essence of your business. Brand names gain icon status because they represent an excellent product or service, so don’t obsess over it.
That said, the right brand name can be your brand’s most valuable asset, driving differentiation and speeding acceptance. In fact, 71% of consumers prefer to buy from brands they recognize.
If you’re struggling to come up with a name, try using an online brand name generator as a jumping-off point. Remember, you’re not locked into a single brand name forever.
Describe the legal structure of your business. Is it a sole proprietorship, LLC, an S-Corp or a partnership? Consider speaking to an accountant if you’re not sure. Who is in charge of the business? List founders and officers and their contributions (both capital and expertise) to the company. Who works for the company? Include an org chart that illustrates who currently works for the business and the roles you plan to hire for . List their responsibilities, salaries and terms of employment (freelance, full-time, part-time). Your business structure affects how much you pay in taxes, your ability to raise money, the paperwork you must file and your personal liability in the event of business bankruptcy, so this information is important to lenders. Also mention if you have filed or plan to file for any applicable licenses or permits.
Register a unique domain name for your business. A catchy brand name is essential because the domain is less likely to have been claimed by another business. Keep your domain name as short as possible and ensure it includes your brand name for SEO purposes.
Your mission describes the fundamental purpose of your business. It should tell people why the business exists and how it benefits its customers. For example, LinkedIn’s mission statement is “connect the world’s professionals and make them more productive and successful.”
However, be careful not to exaggerate. An overly aspirational mission statement is disingenuous and wishy-washy — no single corporation or small business will single-handedly “change the world.”
A vision statement is a declaration of what you want your business to achieve in the future by fulfilling its purpose. It describes your company’s “why,” while the mission statement describes the “who” and “what” of the business.
Your vision statement should define your values as a business (eg: reducing waste generated by single-use toiletries) and future goals (achieving a zero-waste world by implementing a circular economy).
Tell the story of how you conceived your business idea. Say you’re a former school teacher who discovered your artistic flair from making handmade pottery in your garage on weekends. Describe how your business has grown and changed since you first started it.
Your team and key people
List the key personnel in your company. Aside from the founders and executive team, who keeps the business running each day? Here are a few examples:
Company owner — that’s probably you.
CEO — that’s probably also you.
Customer service manager.
PR and social media specialist.
Conduct market research.
Ecommerce businesses face intense competition and are liable to market disruptions because they rely on third parties (suppliers, shipping companies, wholesalers) to deliver a product or service. Knowing the market in and out will help you build a more resilient business.
A market analysis considers your ideal customer (their purchase habits and behaviors), competitors (their strengths and weaknesses), market conditions (industry trends and long-term outlook), and how your business fits into this landscape.
The point of a target market analysis is to:
Identify the most and least valuable markets.
Develop buyer personas.
Find gaps in the market to fill.
Assess the viability of a product or service.
Improve business strategy .
The first step to identifying your target market is determining your total addressable market (TAM) — the maximum market size for your product or service. Who are your customers? What are their demographic and psychographic traits? When and how often will they buy your product?
The best way to obtain a high-level overview of your customer base is to consult your social media and web analytics. These dashboards show where your customers live, their age, gender, general interests and more. You can also use U.S. Census Bureau data to pad up this information.
Analyze the strengths and weaknesses of your current and potential competitors. First, find out who your direct and indirect competitors are. You can perform a Google search of businesses that sell similar products or scope out rivals in your local area.
Here’s what you need to know about your competitors:
What markets and segments they serve.
What benefits they offer.
Why their customers buy from them.
Details of products and services, including pricing and promotional strategies.
Search for publicly available information about your competitors. Aside from that, do some of your own primary research. Visit their website and complete an order or visit their physical outlet.
Next, analyze the information. Is there a segment of the market your competition has overlooked? Is there a product they don’t supply? Did you have a bad customer experience when you walked into the store?
Detail your competitive advantage in your business plan. Don’t just list things that your competitors do — that’s not analysis. The competitive analysis section aims to persuade the reader that you are knowledgeable about the competition and that your business idea has a significant advantage over the competition.
Products and services
List the products and services you provide and how customers will access them. If you’re selling digital products, will customers have to stream or download the content? Do they pay a subscription fee to access a content platform or do they pay for each individual content piece? If you’re providing a service, will you provide it on physical premises or will you travel to customers’ homes? Will you sell physical products in a physical store or online? What is your website like? List each product, including a short product description and pricing information.
Develop a marketing plan.
You need a go-to-market strategy if you haven’t already launched your business. How will you spread the word about your business? How and where will you advertise and what is your budget? If you run social media ads, for example, what platforms will you use and who is your target audience? Will you do content marketing and SEO? A thorough marketing plan answers all of these important questions.
Define which channels match your consumer demographic. Do your potential customers spend time on Facebook or do they prefer YouTube? First, figure out where your potential customers are. Next, create attention-grabbing marketing strategies and use them to reach your customer base.
Paid marketing channels
PPC advertising : Advertise on Google’s search engine and pay only once someone clicks on your ad. You can bid for ad placement in the search engine’s sponsored links when someone searches a keyword related to your business offering.
Affiliate marketing : Embed links to another business’s products in your content and receive a commission when someone makes a purchase using your unique affiliate link.
Social media ads : Run paid ads on social media apps and platforms like Facebook, Instagram and YouTube to reach targeted audiences. Ads can use different creatives such as images, videos and GIFs.
Influencer marketing : Work with a popular influencer who will promote your products to their followers. Influencers are paid based on conversions or reach.
Organic marketing channels
Brands must use an organic marketing strategy to build brand awareness and engagement and drive website traffic.
Search engine optimization (SEO) : Optimize your website, web pages and blog posts for maximum discoverability on search engines. This involves doing keyword research for your industry, creating high-quality content that attracts and converts and using keywords in the right places.
Social media posts : Organic social media posts build brand awareness and humanize the brand by providing a behind-the-scenes look at the company and allowing you to share engaging visual content to inspire, educate and entertain.
Blogger networks : Collaborating with trusted bloggers on link exchanges can help you build website backlinks, improving your search engine ranking.
Content marketing : Organic content includes blog posts, white papers, SEO pages, and more. This gives you content to post on social media and improves the discoverability of your website. Websites that publish high-quality content consistently rank higher in search results.
Email marketing : Create email templates for new and potential customers, cart abandonment, promotions and announcements and more.
Logistics and Operations plan
This portion of the business plan covers what you physically need to run your ecommerce company. Basically, it outlines how you’ll manage the flow of goods from the supplier (you or a third party) to the consumer. You cannot start a business without an established supply chain.
Your logistics and operations plan should cover the following:
Suppliers : Where do your raw materials or products come from? Do you work with a manufacturer who produces your product idea or are you reselling products from a supplier, wholesaler or distributor? What is the minimum order value? Do they require payment upfront or after the sale? Do you have a backup supplier in case demand spikes or there is a problem with fulfillment?
Production : Will you create your own products or use a third-party manufacturer or dropshipping company? If you’re creating your own products, where will this be done? What assets and equipment do you need? What are your operating costs?
Shipping and fulfillment : Outline how the product will reach the end consumer. How long will it take you to pack and ship products to customers? Will you use a third-party shipper? Will you ship internationally?
Inventory : How much inventory will you keep on hand and where will you put it? How will you track incoming and outgoing inventory? Do you need warehouse storage space?
Establish a financial plan.
The financial section of your business plan is where you prove the feasibility of your business idea and calculate your startup costs. It includes financial projections and statements that show your business’s current financial position and project where you hope to be in the future. This is one of the essential components of the business plan, particularly if you are seeking investment funding, a bank loan or a business partner.
In this document, you’ll forecast the company’s revenues and expenses during a particular period. Total revenue is the sum of both operating and non-operating revenues while total expenses include those incurred by primary and secondary activities.
If you subtract your expenses from your revenue sources, you’ll come up with your bottom line (profit or loss).
A balance sheet helps you calculate how much equity you have in your business. It summarizes your company’s assets (what you own), your liabilities (what you owe) and equity (money invested into the business plus profits).
A balance sheet enables you to calculate your net worth. All of your assets (machinery, inventory, business premises, etc.) go in a column on the left and your liabilities (accounts and wages payable, business loan repayments, business credit card payments, taxes) go in a column on the right. If you subtract your liabilities from your assets, you get your business’ shareholder equity.
This document shows how much cash is generated and spent over a time period. Cash flow determines whether your business is primarily gaining or losing money. Positive cash flow and profit margins are important because it enables your business to repay bank loans, purchase commodities and keep the lights on.
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The Final Word
Writing a comprehensive business plan is crucial not only for staying on track in the first year or so after launching your business but also for securing funding, finding a business partner and evaluating the viability of your business idea.
FAQs About Ecommerce Business Plans
Who needs an ecommerce business plan.
Any would-be ecommerce entrepreneur can benefit from writing a business plan. In fact, the number-one mistake new merchants make is not having one. The business plan is where you’ll assess the market size for your product, calculate how much funding you’ll need and determine how you’ll produce the product and get it into consumers’ hands.
A business plan also helps you set clear goals and create an action plan to achieve them. On top of that, if you’re considering quitting your job to run your business full-time, the business plan can help you determine if this is advisable.
What are the benefits of creating a business plan?
Writing a business plan clarifies the decision-making process and helps you define your unique value proposition. Having a marketing roadmap makes you more likely to allocate your advertising and marketing budgets judiciously because you have already defined your marketing channels, strategy and target audience.
How do I start an ecommerce business with no money?
Ecommerce business models are lean by nature, meaning you can easily get started on a bootstrap budget. With dropshipping, you can start a business without stocking any inventory. Simply register a domain name, build a website and market the supplier’s products.
Print-on-demand is another low-cost, no-inventory business model where you partner with a supplier of white-label products (mass-manufactured, generic products that can be customized). Examples include T-shirts, mugs, backpacks and smartphone cases.
You can sell these items per order under your brand featuring your designs. Everything from digital printing to order fulfillment and shipping is handled by your supplier.
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Ecommerce Business Plan
So apparently everyone is jumping in to start an ecommerce business. Considering you already have your star product or service ready, you must be very thrilled to launch your business and make your first sale.
However, wait. Is your business plan ready? If you haven’t marked writing a business plan as the most important task on your checklist, you need to do that right away.
We know writing an ecommerce business plan is challenging. As a business owner of this new challenging enterprise, you don’t have much time. But this detailed guide with step-by-step procedures is likely to make the entire process of writing easier for you.
Don’t waste a minute further. Let’s dive right into the topic.
- Elements like executive summary, product or service, operations, marketing and sales plan, management team, and financial plan come together to make a compelling business plan.
- Determine marketing strategies for your ecommerce business and lay a clear action plan for building a solid brand image.
- Clearly establish your value propositions, business goals, and objectives to form relevant strategies for your ecommerce company.
- Make financial projections and consider various progressive and aggressive scenarios to establish the feasibility of your business idea.
- Identify the gaps and loopholes in your planning and make changes to your business idea accordingly.
Why do you need an Ecommerce business plan?
A business plan has many more advantages apart from helping you get approved for a business loan. Here are a few potential benefits of having one for your ecommerce company:
- Goals fulfillment: You will have to juggle multiple roles while running your ecommerce store. A well-crafted business plan will offer a roadmap to your business while helping you realize your business goals.
- Business strategies: A business plan simplifies your business strategy and helps put the strategies for sales, marketing, and operations in perspective.
- Market analysis: A business plan strengthens your stand in the market by compelling you to conduct a detailed market analysis of the industry, competitors, and potential customers.
- Test ideas: An ecommerce plan will help you realize the gaps and errors in your planning. This allows you the luxury to make changes in the business model before investing your money in it.
- Simplifies the finance: A well-structured business plan lays a clear financial plan for your ecommerce business. The figures will help you understand the profitability, costs, and expenses of the company and its viability in monetary terms.
There’s much more to it. A business plan is like a beam of bright light that will make walking through the woods easier. It’s a living document that will evolve as the business grows.
Key components of an ecommerce business plan
Wondering what goes into making a perfect ecommerce business plan? Well, these are the key components you shouldn’t be missing.
- Executive summary: The executive summary will highlight the key details of your entire business plan.
- Business overview: This section will include a brief business overview along with its value proposition, objectives, mission, and vision statement.
- Market analysis: This section will define your potential customers and competition. A detailed industry analysis and competitors analysis will lay a foundation for important business strategies.
- Products and services: Define the products and services you will sell to your ideal customer. Also, offer a brief description of each product.
- Sales and marketing strategy: Highlight your sales and marketing plan to attract your potential customers. From content marketing to social media- include every detail of your strategies here.
- Operations plan: A well-defined plan that will help you run a smooth online business. Clearly defined process for inventory, order fulfillment, sales, storage, etc.
- Management team: A brief introduction of your company’s management team and their expertise in the field.
- Financial plan: Includes detailed financial forecasts and key reports like balance sheet, cash flow, P&L, and investment plan.
There is no definite format for business plans. However, a comprehensive plan accounts for all these components and makes it effective.
How to Write an Ecommerce Business Plan: A Complete Guide
From undertaking thorough market research to creating a marketing plan- uncover every detail on writing an effective plan for your online business with this guide.
1. Get an Ecommerce business plan template
Crafting a stellar business plan is a challenge. However, it can be the most precious reward for your business if you manage to write it comprehensively.
The process of translating your business idea into a business plan is lengthy and time-consuming. One is likely to leave behind an important detail or two without any definite format.
This is why you need an Ecommerce business plan template to write your plan in a structurally organized format. A template will help streamline your thoughts, organize the vision, and bring your ideas to life effortlessly.
Let’s not look elsewhere for a perfect template. Upmetrics business plan template is intuitive and is enriched with relevant examples that can be easily used as a reference while writing your plan.
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2. Write an executive summary
Executive summary is a concise rundown of key points that summarizes your business plan. Though presented at first, it should be written in the end after you have walked through all the other aspects of planning.
Consider it as a document that will offer a brief insight into your overall business. Investors will read this part and gauge the viability of your business idea. If they find it fascinating and intriguing enough they will read it further in detail.
Add brief details of your ecommerce business, target market, problem, solution, service model, business goals, and financial figures in this section.
Adapt a narrative tone to make it interesting and keep it highly informative. And, most importantly keep it within a limit of 1-2 pages.
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3. Create a company overview section
As the title suggests, this section offers a brief company description of your ecommerce business. You must also include brief details about the company’s history in this section if it’s not a new venture.
So what does this section include?
- Name and location of the business , i.e. location of your warehouse, back end office.
- Type of your Ecommerce business , i.e. B2B, B2C, D2C, C2C, etc.
- Business structure of your e-commerce brand , i.e. sole proprietorship, Partnership, LLC, limited partnership, etc.
- Business goals : Highlight milestones such as sales or revenue goals.
- Mission statement : Describe the fundamental purpose of your business explaining why the business exists. For instance, the mission of First Cry is to offer eco-friendly baby care and maternity items to conscious buyers through its website and listings on a third-party platform.
- Vision statement : It is a declaration of what you want to achieve with your ecommerce business. For instance, First Cry wants to become the preferred brand for baby care products in the markets of North America, Asia, and Europe.
4. Conduct a competitive and market analysis
In this section of competitive and market analysis, you will dive deep into the study of the target market, industry trends, and your competition. Only a thorough understanding of these key elements will help you build a resilient business.
Target market and market opportunities
Begin by determining the Total Addressable Market (TAM) for your products and services. This part of the market analysis will offer a realistic idea of your market size.
Further, strengthen the understanding of your target market by identifying your target audience. Create a buyer persona by considering the psychographic and demographic details of your ideal customer.
Collect data from US census boards, government websites, and industrial publications for solid and foundational market research.
Lastly, identify the market trends and highlight your business strategy to fill the gaps in the existing market.
Ecommerce companies operate in a severely competitive marketplace. Understanding your competition will help you safeguard the business against potential threats and risks from your direct and indirect competitors.
Collect the data and analyze your competitors on the grounds of prices, services, quality, product offering, target market, and market size to make conclusive points. Evaluate their strengths and weaknesses using methods like SWOT analysis.
Now, detail the competitive advantage of your products and service offerings. This analysis should reflect that your business idea has a solid advantage over competitors’ offerings.
Focus on quality research. The study of the target market and competition will lay a foundation for crafting efficient business strategies.
5. Detail your products and services
After completing your market analysis, you will create a detailed section for your products and services.
Highlight all the product lines that your online business will offer. Also, mention the products within each product line and the product source.
If you are amongst the ecommerce businesses that sell digital products or services, mention those and explain how the customers will access them.
For instance, an OTT platform offers streaming services to its clients through an application.
Keep this section detailed by adding a brief description of each product and its pricing.
Consider this as a checklist of questions you must answer within this section:
- What are the products of your online store?
- Will you manufacture the products or source them from vendors?
- How will your customers buy the product- Website, application, shopping platforms, etc.
- What will be the pricing of your product offerings?
6. Develop a sales and marketing plan
By now, the readers are aware of the products and services that your online business will offer. It’s now time to tell them your sales and marketing plan.
Millions of ecommerce businesses start every year. But very few manage to crack their desired sales.
In this section, you will make sales strategies to ensure that your desired sales become achievable.
Try answering the following to form an efficient sales plan:
- Sales channels: website, application, ecommerce platforms, subscription box platforms, flash sale sites, etc.
- Sales method: Inbound methods or outbound methods
- Sales personnel: Who will be responsible for product/service sales
- Sales tools: CRM
The decisions you make here will influence the marketing strategy of your online store.
Now you need a well-rounded marketing plan to market your online store. After all, marketing is crucial to developing a brand, reaching your target customers, and acquiring sales.
In this section of a business plan, you will highlight the marketing plan for your ecommerce business. Identify the marketing channels that will be most effective for your target customers and design your strategies accordingly.
Here are a few prevalent marketing methods that can help you grow your online store:
- Content marketing: Start writing informative and useful blog posts for your target audience. Focus on principles of SEO and keyword research to grow your reach organically. Also, post guest blogs on websites to increase your chances of reaching a wider audience.
- Social media marketing: Identify the social media platforms that are used the most by your target audience and dedicate your marketing efforts accordingly.
- Email Marketing: Email marketing is the most rewarding marketing channel for thousands of ecommerce businesses out there. Explain how you will build your Email list and draw conversions through them.
- PPC: Design strategies for running paid ads on Google, Facebook, and other platforms and determine your budget for the same.
- Traditional PR: Traditional methods of publications can also help you market your product effectively. If you will be using such methods, highlight the details regarding the same.
- Influencer marketing: Will you hire or barter with influencers to promote your product? If so, define your strategy for the same.
All in all, the marketing plan should clearly define a roadmap to reach your target audience. Also, highlight different marketing tools you will use for your online business.
7. Introduce your management team
Having the right team will help you build a successful ecommerce business. So take your time and figure out the manpower needs for your business.
In this section of your business plan, you will introduce the key management members at your ecommerce store. Define their role, responsibility, experience, expertise, and achievements to prove their suitability in your organization.
Outline the organizational structure of your online store and explain how these people will be responsible for the smooth functioning of your business.
8. Outline your operational plan
Running an ecommerce store is not an easy task. From managing the backend to offering timely deliveries- a lot goes into ensuring smooth business operations.
A solid business plan cannot be complete without a detailed section of operations in it. So take your time and set your operations in line before you start with the store.
Here are a few things that most ecommerce business plans have in common. Consider adding them to your operations plan as well.
- Order fulfillment process: Everything from getting an order to delivery, managing returns, shipment, packaging, exchange, and tracking is defined at this step. Explain how the order will be fulfilled at your online store.
- Manufacturing and quality control: If the products will be manufactured in-house, what will be the manufacturing process? How will you ensure quality? Where will the goods be manufactured? What machinery will you use?
- Suppliers: Who will be your supplier for products and services? What will be the purchase terms? Will there be an agreement or contract? What would be the contingency plan in case of casualty?
- Storage: Will you dropship the products or store them in a warehouse? Where will be the storage located? How will you manage stock? What methods will you use?
- Technology and payment processors: How will the customers pay for online shopping? What payment methods are available for them? What technologies will you use to facilitate payments? How will you secure their personal information?
- Customer service: How can the customers reach you? What will be your order policies? Will there be any customer service team?
The logistics and operations plan will serve as a policy book for your organization. It will answer every query and doubt regarding the process.
9. Prepare financial projections
Now comes the most taxing part of creating a business plan- preparing a financial plan.
A financial plan is crucial because it will help you determine the feasibility of a business idea. Moreover, if you plan to seek funding for your online business, the projections in this plan will compel potential investor’s interest in your business.
Here are a few things to include in your financial plan:
- Startup costs: Estimate the startup costs for your ecommerce business . From website development to inventory costs, licensing fees, security, and software charges- include every cost that will go into establishing your online business.
- Funding source: Determine your funding requirements and what sources will you use to acquire the funds, i.e. business loans, angel investors, friends and family, etc.
- Pricing strategy: Include your pricing plan for the products and services. Consider various overhead and operational costs to determine the final pricing.
- Sales projections: Include your monthly, quarterly, and annual sales projections through different sales channels and also estimate your revenue.
- Income statement: Also known as profit and loss statement, in this key report you will forecast the company’s profit and loss for the next 3-5 years. The difference between a company’s revenue and expenses will give you gross profits and net profits.
- Cash Flow Statement: A clear documentation of cash that is generated and spent in a business. This will help potential investors understand whether your business will make or lose money.
- Balance sheet: A key summary of your business assets and liabilities that indicates your net worth. Calculate your equity in the business by deducting all the liabilities from your assets.
- Break-even analysis: Break-even will help you evaluate how long before the business will start making money.
Too much of calculations right? Not with the financial forecasting tool from Upmetrics. Simply enter your numbers in the tab and the tool will do all the detailed calculations for you. Import the data from Excel sheets and before you know your projections will be done.
Ecommerce Industry Highlights 2023
Ecommerce is a trillion-dollar industry. It’s indeed a rewarding market for anyone who wants to start an ecommerce business. But before that, you must check out these latest industry highlights of 2023.
- Global market size: The global Ecommerce market size is expected to reach 6.3 trillion dollars in 2023. There is ample room for new businesses to venture into this market.
- Online marketplace : According to Forbes , 24% of total retail purchases will be made online by 2026.
- Market leader: Amazon accounts for 37.8% of Ecommerce sales , which is far more than other ecommerce businesses.
- Cart abandonment: 48% of online shoppers abandon their carts because of extra costs on shipping and taxes. You are likely to lose your potential customers if you fail to consider these aspects.
- Frequency to shop: 79% of online shoppers will shop for something or the other at least once a month. Considering the customer segments, nearly 96% of Gen Z shop at least once a month online.
- Social media commerce: If you think websites and platforms are the only way to reach your potential customers, you are wrong. 96.9 million people in the USA are reported to shop on social media.
The US online marketplace is expected to reach 940.9 billion by 2023 end. There is enough scope for new businesses to emerge and grow in this competitive market space.
Related Ecommerce Resources
- Creating a Successful E-commerce Marketing Plan
- E-commerce Industry Statistics
- Calculating Your Online Store Startup Budget
Download a sample ecommerce business plan
Looking for help to write your business plan? Well, we have something absolutely perfect for you. Download our ecommerce business plan sample pdf and get a detailed guide to write a plan along with relevant examples.
Upmetrics business plan templates are designed specifically for entrepreneurs and business owners who want to write their own business plans. Our templates are modern, intuitive, and easily available to kickstart your plan writing.
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How to Conduct Competitive Analysis
ChatGPT Prompts for Business Plan
Frequently asked questions, can i get expert help to draft my ecommerce business plan.
Of course, you can. Writing a business plan is not an easy task. You may lose context or can leave behind an important detail while writing. A plan writer can translate your business idea into a plan efficiently with his compelling skills. If not, you can take the help of online tools and search for relevant templates to write your own business plan.
Can I customize my ecommerce business plan as per my business needs?
Absolutely yes. No two ecommerce businesses are the same. The very purpose of a business plan is to address the unique concerns, ideas, and questions relating to your ecommerce business. From executive summary to a financial plan, customize every aspect of your plan with Upmetrics business plan builder.
What are the common mistakes to avoid while crafting an ecommerce business plan?
Here are a few mistakes to avoid while drafting a business plan for your new business:
- Lack of market research
- Inadequate financial planning
- Overlooking the competition
- Not having a clear value proposition
- Undermining the technology needs
- Not considering casualties and emergencies
- Using complex language
Can I create an e-commerce business plan on my own, or should I hire a professional?
Ideally, you should be the one drafting your business plan. This is because no one knows your business better than you yourself and your business partners. So instead of hiring a professional, take the assistance of plan builders and step-by-step guides and create a compelling plan. Upmetrics AI assistant will simplify the writing process by helping you put together a cohesive write-up.
What are some emerging payment technologies to consider in your e-commerce business plan?
If you are planning to start a competitive ecommerce brand, you need to offer a bunch of payment solutions preferred by your target audience. Here are a few payment technologies you must definitely have in your business:
- QR code payments
- Mobile wallet
- Contactless payment
- Real-time payments
- Buy now pay later solutions
About the Author
Upmetrics is the #1 business planning software that helps entrepreneurs and business owners create investment-ready business plans using AI. We regularly share business planning insights on our blog. Check out the Upmetrics blog for such interesting reads. Read more
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Electronics Retailer Business Plan
Start your own electronics retailer business plan
Executive summary executive summary is a brief introduction to your business plan. it describes your business, the problem that it solves, your target market, and financial highlights.">.
Safe Current is small business unit of The Cleveland Illuminating Company (TCIC), and electric utility. Safe Current was formed and will be lead by Brian Henderson.
Safe Current has identified three key factors that will be instrumental to its sustainability:
- Ensure 100% customer satisfaction: Repeat customers and customer referrals are valuable.
- Design and sell meaningful and valuable power protection products.
- Design and implement strict financial controls. This is very important because although Safe Current is a small business unit of TCIC, they must be a stand alone entity financially and and yet they have financial and accounting responsibilities to the shareholders of TCIC.
Products Safe Current will offer two main products, surge arrestors and surge protectors. These products are made by a contract manufacturer and sold under the Safe Current brand name:
- Surge Arrestors : This is a piece of equipment that is mounted on the outside of a house or business near the meter that offers protection from external electrical surges.
- Surge Protectors : This is a piece of equipment that protects individual or groups of appliances against internal electrical spikes. All of Safe Currents protectors are of industrial grade.
Management Brian has an MBA from Case Western Reserve University and has experience working for the large telecom ATT as an assistant project manager, and Allegheny Power working in the value added services department. Safe Current has been forecasted to achieve impressive sales for years two and three, with correspondingly respectable net profit.
- To develop a profitable product for TCIC that is unregulated from the core power generation business services.
- To become profitable within one year.
- To use this business as a successful model for future ventures.
To develop a family of surge protectors and arrestors for consumers that offer safety and value. Safe Current will leverage the strength of The Cleveland Illuminating Company to help build brand recognition. All customer’s expectations will be exceeded with their innovative, useful products and complete customer satisfaction is guaranteed.
1.3 Keys to Success
- Offer every customer 100% satisfaction.
- Design and sell meaningful, valuable, power protection products.
- Design and employ strict financial controls.
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Ecommerce Business Plan Sample
Ecommerce Business Plan for starting your own online store
Are you looking for startup ideas that can easily be initiated and run from home? Well, you must then consider ecommerce business as after the prevalence of coronavirus pandemic internet sales have really shot up.
E-commerce business is based on selling things through the Internet. The line of products may vary from electronic possessions such as e-books or audio/videos to actual physical entities including clothes, furniture, toys, vehicles, etc.
To guide you about each and every aspect of this business, we are providing here a sample business plan for ecommerce of a recent startup ‘TradeE’.
2.1 the business.
TradeE will be a licensed B2C ecommerce startup that will be run through its ecommerce website. The online enterprise will be owned by Diana Blunt.
The business will sell downloadable products throughout the world, however, delivery services for physical items will be provided in just three cities, San Jose, San Francisco, and Oakland.
2.2 Management of Online Retail Store
Management is an important aspect of business as it ensures that everybody clearly knows what they have to do and there is a check on every employee to ensure a perfect workflow.
Starting an online business usually seems easy since you don’t have to personally interact with customers and employees. However, this too can end up in a mess if you are failed at managing it.
Online management is a challenge because your ecommerce site and online transactions are always prone to hackers, frauds, and copycats. To make sure that your and your customer’s data is protected and everything goes like you intended, you must write a detailed business plan.
If you are looking for how to write a business plan for online store you can take help from here.
Diana will govern the business herself. To manage the online store , the company will be hiring social media manager, digital marketing director, virtual assistants, IT specialists, and delivery personnel.
2.3 Customers of Online Retail Store
The groups that are expected to be our major customers will mostly comprise of young, adults, and senior citizens. We believe that college students, working moms and dads, and senior members of households will surely find many things to buy from us.
2.4 Business Target
Our target is to become a renowned online store in our service areas. We believe in generating profits by serving our customers with our best.
3.1 company owner.
Diana Blunt is the owner of TradeE. She has recently completed her MBA from the Lucas College and Graduate School of Business.
During the years of her graduation, she was constantly involved in learning emerging disciplines and skills such as graphic editing and ecommerce management.
Besides being tech-savvy she is also a great communicator, leader, and tourist.
3.2 Why the online store is being started
Diana had always wished to start a business that can be expanded or contained whenever she wants. Viewing her digital skills and interests she decided to go for an online shop.
Another factor that helped her in this decision was her extreme love for traveling. She wanted to start a business that she can govern without being actually present there.
From this sample business plan ecommerce you can see how the online business TradeE was planned and executed.
3.3 How the online store will be started
Before starting the business, the company owner will do research on which product line should be chosen to get the most recognition. The company will also collaborate with other online businesses to buy their products and sell them on the company’s platform.
Since the business will mainly sell toys, clothes, bags, and accessories, a storage room will be taken on rent to keep the things.
Following the making of business plan ecommerce template, the company will hire the required personnel. TradeE will seek the services of a web developer and IT specialist to create a website that fulfills the criteria of secure transactions, foolproof client database, and copy-protected access. It will be ensured that the web design is user-friendly and descriptive.
The business owner aims at hiring the digital marketing team and director two weeks before the launch so that ecommerce business marketing plan could be executed.
Products and Offers
Deciding your line of products is the most important part of your startup as it depends on your surroundings, budget, and target customers as well. Rather than being just fashion ecommerce or specifically jewelry ecommerce TradeE has decided to introduce itself as a multiple product line company.
The large range of products offerings by TradeE includes:
Clothes: We will provide all departments of garments for men, women, and children ranging from casual dresses, suits, daily wears to sports & swimming outfits. All the dresses, shirts, T-shirts and suits offered by us will be branded and designer-made.
Bags & Accessories : We will offer branded bags and clutches and a range of accessories including wristwatches, jewelry items, hats, sunglasses, keyrings, mobile covers, socks, gloves, umbrellas, hair accessories, and stationery.
Household Items : We will offer small household items such as home linens, baking dishes, baby items, and kitchen essentials.
Gifts: We will also provide packed as well as un-packed gifts to be given to people of all age groups.
Downloadable Products: We will also be selling e-books, audio and video files, games, movies, stock images, etc.
Marketing Analysis of Online Retail Store
If you are planning e commerce business you must not ignore the fact that market analysis is equally important like all other aspects of a business. Before setting out for a new ecommerce venture, you must analyze where and how you can find the most people to turn into your customers.
Especially if your online business is based on physical products you must figure out which areas for delivery services will be suitable and which cities can help you in getting a maximum number of customers.
Analyzing and discovering your target people is also essential in the case when you are making decisions about social media campaigns. Your approach to promote your startup can only be effective if you know the age groups and the mindset of your target customers.
5.1 Market Trends
Ecommerce businesses are flourishing day by day because people found it convenient to have their favorite thing in their hands by a mere click. Another reason for increased sales is that many people avoid visiting shops personally after the pandemic has hit the earth.
The figures reported by IBISWorld supports the fact that one can’t be at a loss if they devise a comprehensive and workable ecommerce project plan before starting. According to the market research company, 234,699 online businesses are successfully running in the United States. A 10.2% growth rate in the ecommerce businesses has been observed in the past five years and a 6.9% growth rate has been predicted for this year that is 2020.
5.2 Marketing Segmentation
TradeE has categorized its target customers into three groups so that their corresponding choices, preferences, and needs could be thoroughly studied. It is advisable to also classify your intended clientele when you are writing a business plan for ecommerce startup.
The detailed marketing segmentation of our target audience is as follows:
5.2.1 Young & Adults: Our major target group will comprise of young people. They are expected to avail most of our downloadable products such as e-books, music, games. Moreover, we also believe them to be the biggest buyers of our clothes, bags, and accessories.
In addition, moms, the homemakers are also included in this category. Thus, we are confident that the major customer of our home items such as house linens and eating utensils will also be catered for in this category.
5.2.2 Senior Citizens: Our second target group comprises of senior citizens. They are expected to avail all of our services. The elderly persons will also purchase household items as they usually are devoted to homemaking.
Moreover, we expect this respectable category of our customers to be the biggest purchaser of our gifts, as grandpas and grandmas are the ones who want to make kids and grandkids feel special on various events.
5.2.3 Teens & Kids: Our third target group is comprised of children and teens. They are expected to purchase accessories such as wristwatches, mobile covers, stationery, and jewelry items. We also think that they could be the major consumers of our audio and video files and games.
5.3 Business Target
Business targets as specified by TradeE to be achieved over a certain period of time are given here:
- To maintain an average rating above 4.65 throughout the year
- To increase our marketing qualified lead by 30% every four months
- To improve our lead conversion rate by 10% every month
- To reduce the time we take for delivering items by 15% by the first six months
- To earn a net profit margin of $10k per month by the end of the first six months
- To achieve customer repeat rate of 40% by the end of the first year
5.4 Product Pricing
Our prices are in similar ranges as those of our competitors. However, we will keep on providing several discounts to our repeat customers.
If you are going to start any ecommerce company such as an online boutique you must focus on your marketing plan because that’s what makes an ecommerce site successful.
Without a detailed and perfect marketing strategy, it would be very difficult for you to reach out to people who are most likely to purchase your products.
Considering its importance, TradeE will start executing its sales strategy plan two weeks before the launch.
6.1 Competitive Analysis
Our biggest competitive advantage is that we are providing a very vast product line so to increase the niches of our target groups. All our products will be authentic, and replaceable within 2 days. Moreover, we’ll be offering several discounts in the startup phase to attract more and more customers.
And finally, another thing that will be in our favor is that we will be able to deliver items fast as we are offering delivery services in the three cities that are really close to each other.
6.2 Sales Strategy
- We’ll run a campaign through social media & ensure a strong web and social media presence
- We’ll advertise our startup through local newspapers
- We’ll send gifts to our first 200 customers
- We’ll offer a 15% discount on every shopping above $60 for the first three months
6.3 Sales Monthly
6.4 Sales Yearly
6.5 Sales Forecast
Your planning for electronic commerce couldn’t be justified as ideal unless you include in it the ways you will adopt to hire the most competent persons.
Since most of the employees of TradeE will be freelance workers, the company will conduct rigorous online interviews to find the most suitable employee.
7.1 Company Staff
The company’s owner will perform the duties of CEO and HR Manager. The list of company’s required staff, as well as their jobs descriptions, is given below:
- 1 Co-Manager to manage company’s store and delivery operations
- 1 Digital Marketing Officer to manage company’s graphic team
- 1 Social Media Manager to run company’s web pages and social media pages
- 2 IT specialists/Web Developers to maintain and update company’s website
- 1 Graphic Designer to create graphic for company’s site
- 1 Content Writer to write products description and general content for website
- 10 Drivers to ensure quick delivery
- 1 Customer Care Representative to manage client’s requests
7.2 Average Salary of Employees
One of the biggest advantages of online businesses is that even if you starting an ecommerce business from scratch you won’t need a huge amount to invest. Your major spending will be the salaries of your employees and rent of your storeroom.
So in order to analyze expected profits or future investments and identify the resources that are available or could be needed in the coming days, you must prepare a financial plan.
Your financial plan should also include the details of at what financial status you would prefer to contain or expand your product line or service area.
The financial plan for TradeE is given as follows:
8.1 Important Assumptions
8.2 brake-even analysis.
8.3 Projected Profit and Loss
8.3.1 profit monthly.
8.3.2 Profit Yearly
8.3.3 Gross Margin Monthly
8.3.4 Gross Margin Yearly
8.4 Projected Cash Flow
8.5 projected balance sheet, 8.6 business ratios.
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Electronics Company Business Plan Template
This electronics company business plan template has 33 pages and is a MS Word file type listed under our business plan kit documents.
Sample of our electronics company business plan template:
Electronics Company Business Plan [YOUR NAME] [YOUR TITLE] Phone: [YOUR PHONE NUMBER] Email: [[email protected]] [YOUR WEBSITE ADDRESS] Confidentiality Agreement The undersigned reader acknowledges that the information provided by [YOUR COMPANY NAME] in this business plan is confidential; therefore, reader agrees not to disclose it without the express written permission of [YOUR COMPANY NAME]. It is acknowledged by reader that information to be furnished in this business plan is in all respects confidential in nature, other than information which is in the public domain through other means and that any disclosure or use of same by reader may cause serious harm or damage to [YOUR COMPANY NAME]. Upon request, this document is to be immediately returned to [YOUR COMPANY NAME].
2,600+ templates & tools to help you start, run & grow your business, all the templates you need to plan, start, organize, manage, finance & grow your business, in one place., templates and tools to manage every aspect of your business., 8 business management modules, in 1 place., document types included.
Home » Sample Business Plans » Wholesale & Retail
A Sample Electronics Retail Store Business Plan Template
Do you want to start an electronics store and need to write a plan? If YES, here is a sample electronics store business plan template & feasibility report. Businesses that are worth going for is a business that you are certain people would need your services or products either every day or at least once a week.
Why Start an Electronics Retail Store?
An electronics retail store falls into this category. Part of what you need to do to make headway in this line of business is to ensure that your store is intentionally positioned and you a have good business relationship with manufacturers and wholesale suppliers of various types of electronics.
One good thing about this type of business is that you don’t need to enroll in a conventional business school to learn how to start and run this type of business; it is a business that requires basic business skills such as knowledge of electronic gadgets, customer service, accounting skills, bargaining skills, networking skills, etc.
If you have decided to start an electronics retail store business, then you should ensure that you carry out feasibility studies and also market survey. Business plan is yet another very important business document that you should not take for granted when launching your own business.
Below is a sample electronics retail store business plan template that can help you to write your own with little or no difficulty.
1. Industry Overview
Electronics retail store business is part of the consumer electronics industry and this industry consists of businesses that are into the sale of a wide range of new appliances, electrical goods and home entertainment products. Many stores also offer repair services and some stores sell used goods.
Consumer electronics and appliances are staples in US households and include a wide range of items, from DVD players to refrigerators. The Consumer Electronics Stores industry, which largely relies on discretionary purchases, has been plagued by increasing external competition over the last five years.
Statistics has it that in the united states of America alone, there are about 51,615 registered and licensed consumer electronics retail stores responsible for employing about 329,256 people and the industry rakes in a whooping sum of $86 billion annually.
The industry was projected to grow at -2.2 percent annual growth within 2014 and 2019. Please note that the companies holding the largest market share in the Consumer Electronics Stores in the US industry include Best Buy Co. Inc. and GameStop Corp.
A recent report published by IBISWORLD shows that consumer confidence and spending grew over the past five years, but not enough to lift the industry out of its mild decline due to fierce competition from online retailers, discount retailers and department stores.
Considering these difficult conditions, IBISWorld expects industry revenue to fall an annualized 2.2 percent to $85.7 billion over the five years to 2019; this includes a projected decline of 0.2 percent in 2019 alone, driven primarily by improvement in the overall economy of the United States of America.
If you are contemplating opening a consumer electronics retail store in the United States, you should ensure that you carry out thorough market survey and feasibility studies. The truth is that, if you get some key factors wrong before starting your own consumer electronics retail store, then you are likely going to struggle to stay afloat.
2. Executive Summary
Chris Logan® Consumer Electronics Retail Store, Inc. is a registered consumer electronics retail store business that will be located in one of the busiest business districts in New Haven – Connecticut.
We have been able to lease a shopping facility that is big enough (a 20,000 square feet facility) to fit into the design of the kind of standard consumer electronics retail store that we intend launching and the facility is located in the heart of New Haven – Connecticut.
Chris Logan® Consumer Electronics Retail Store, Inc. will retail a wide range of new appliances, electrical goods and home entertainment products to customers and also offer repair services in conjunction with our retail operations.
We are aware that there are several consumer electronics retail store outlets all around Connecticut, which is why we spent time and resources to conduct a thorough feasibility studies and market survey so as to be well positioned to favorably compete with all our competitors.
We have an online – service options for our customers, and our outlet is well secured with the various payment of options. Chris Logan® Consumer Electronics Retail Store, Inc. will ensure that all our customers are given first class treatment whenever they visit our store.
We have a CRM software that will enable us manage a one on one relationship with our customers no matter how large their numbers grow to. We will ensure that we get our customers involved in the selection of brands that will be on our store and also when making some business decisions.
Chris Logan® Consumer Electronics Retail Store, Inc. will at all times demonstrate her commitment to sustainability, both individually and as a business, by actively participating in our communities and integrating sustainable business practices wherever possible.
We will ensure that we hold ourselves accountable to the highest standards by meeting our customers’ needs precisely and completely whenever they patronize our products. Chris Logan® Consumer Electronics Retail Store, Inc. is owned by Chris Logan and his immediate family members.
Chris Logan has a B.Sc. in Business Administration, with over 10 years’ experience in the Consumer Electronics Stores industry, working for some of the leading brands in the United States. Although the business is launching out with just one outlet in New Haven – Connecticut, but there is a plan to open other outlets all around major cities in the United States of America via the sale of franchising.
3. Our Products and Services
Chris Logan® Consumer Electronics Retail Store, Inc. is in the Consumer Electronics Stores industry to service a wide range of clients and of course to make profits, which is why we will ensure we go all the way to make available a wide range of consumer electronics from top manufacturing brands in the United States and other countries of the world.
Some of the products in our store are listed below;
- Retailing new household appliances (e.g. refrigerators, washing machines and ovens)
- Retailing new personal appliances (e.g. hair dryers, curling irons and electric razors)
- Retailing consumer electronics (e.g. radios, TVs, digital cameras, video games and computers)
- Retailing mobile phones, smartphones and accessories
- Offering repair services in conjunction with retail operations.
4. Our Mission and Vision Statement
- Our vision is to become the leading brand in the Consumer Electronics Stores industry in Connecticut and to establish a one stop consumer electronics retail store chains in New Haven and in other key cities in the United States of America.
- Our mission is to establish a world – class consumer electronics retail store business that will make available a wide range of consumer electronics from top consumer electronics manufacturing brands at affordable prices in New Haven – Connecticut and other key cities in the United States of America via franchising.
Our Business Structure
Chris Logan® Consumer Electronics Retail Store, Inc. is looking towards building a standard business that can be listed among the top – flight consumer electronics retail stores not just in New Haven – Connecticut but throughout the United States of America.
For that singular reason, we will make sure that establish the business on a solid business structure. As a result of business goal, we will ensure that we hire people that are qualified, honest, customer centric and are ready to work to help us build a prosperous business that will benefit all the stake holders.
As a matter of fact, profit-sharing arrangement will be made available to all our senior management staff and it will be based on their performance for a period of ten years or more. In view of that, we have decided to hire qualified and competent hands to occupy the following positions;
- Chief Executive Officer (Owner)
- Store Manager
- Human Resources and Admin Manager
- Merchandize Manager
Sales Girls and Sales Boys
Truck and Van Drivers
5. Job Roles and Responsibilities
Chief Executive Officer – CEO:
- Increases management’s effectiveness by recruiting, selecting, orienting, training, coaching, counseling, and disciplining managers; communicating values, strategies, and objectives; assigning accountabilities; planning, monitoring, and appraising job results
- Creates, communicates, and implements the organization’s vision, mission, and overall direction – i.e. leading the development and implementation of the overall organization’s strategy.
- Responsible for fixing prices and signing business deals
- Responsible for providing direction for the business
- Responsible for signing checks and documents on behalf of the company
- Evaluates the success of the organization
- Reports to the board
Admin and HR Manager
- Responsible for overseeing the smooth running of HR and administrative tasks for the organization
- Maintains office supplies by checking stocks; placing and expediting orders; evaluating new products.
- Ensures operation of equipment by completing preventive maintenance requirements; calling for repairs.
- Defines job positions for recruitment and managing interviewing process
- Carries out staff induction for new team members
- Responsible for training, evaluation and assessment of employees
- Responsible for arranging travel, meetings and appointments
- Oversees the smooth running of the daily office activities.
- Responsible for managing the daily activities in the store/warehouse
- Ensures that proper records of consumer electronics are kept and warehouse does not run out of products
- Ensures that the store facility is in tip top shape and goods are properly arranged and easy to locate
- Interfaces with consumer electronics manufacturers
- Controls consumer electronics distribution and supply inventory
- Supervises the workforce in the consumer electronics sales floor.
- Manages vendor relations, market visits, and the ongoing education and development of the organizations’ buying teams
- Helps to ensure consistent quality of consumer electronics are purchased and retailed/supplied in good price that will ensure we make good profit
- Responsible for the purchase of consumer electronics for the organizations
- Responsible for planning sales, monitoring inventory, selecting the merchandise, and writing and pricing orders to vendors
- Ensures that the organization operates within stipulated budget.
- Responsible for preparing financial reports, budgets, and financial statements for the organization
- Provides managements with financial analyses, development budgets, and accounting reports
- Responsible for financial forecasting and risks analysis.
- Performs cash management, general ledger accounting, and financial reporting
- Responsible for developing and managing financial systems and policies
- Responsible for administering payrolls
- Ensures compliance with taxation legislation
- Handles all financial transactions for the organization
- Serves as internal auditor for the organization
- Assists in loading and unloading goods/consumer electronics
- Maintains a logbook of their driving activities to ensure compliance with federal regulations governing the rest and work periods for operators.
- Keeps a record of vehicle inspections and make sure the truck is equipped with safety equipment, such as hazardous material placards.
- Assists the transport and logistics manager in planning their route according to a pick-up and delivery schedule.
- Inspects vehicles for mechanical items and safety issues and perform preventative maintenance
- Complies with truck driving rules and regulations (size, weight, route designations, parking, break periods etc.) as well as with company policies and procedures
- Collects and verifies delivery instructions
- Reports defects, accidents or violations
- Ensures that all contacts with clients (e-mail, walk-In center, SMS or phone) provides the client with a personalized customer service experience of the highest level
- Through interaction with customers on the phone, uses every opportunity to build client’s interest in the company’s products and services
- Responsible for monitoring and recording inventory and stock levels, electronic sales associates periodically check inventory, comparing it to expected levels, taking note of discrepancies or missing stock.
- Help customers choose electronic equipment and devices, such as mobile phones, televisions, game consoles, and computers.
- In addition to selling electronic equipment and devices, he/she also process returns and exchanges, inspecting returned items for signs of damage as they process returns via cash or credit card. Additionally, enter returns in the store’s point-of-sale (POS) system and return items to inventory or to shelves.
- Support sales goals by promoting value-added items such as extended warranties and device insurance. They present customers with information regarding replacement costs and insurance coverage, usually during the checkout process.
- Consistently stays abreast of any new information on the organizations’ products, promotional campaigns etc. to ensure accurate and helpful information is supplied to customers when they make enquiries
6. SWOT Analysis
Any profitable business or a business with prospects is bound to be competitive and as a new business you must be ready to compete in the industry and competing in the industry means that you must follow due process of establishing a business.
We are quite aware that there are several consumer electronics retail stores all over New Haven and even in the same location where we intend locating ours, which is why we are following the due process of establishing a business.
We know that if a proper SWOT analysis is conducted for our business, we will be able to position our business to maximize our strength, leverage on the opportunities that will be available to us, mitigate our risks and be equipped to confront our threats.
Chris Logan® Consumer Electronics Retail Store, Inc. employed the services of an expert HR and Business Analyst with bias in supply store chain business to help us conduct a thorough SWOT analysis. This is the summary of the SWOT analysis that was conducted for Chris Logan® Consumer Electronics Retail Store, Inc.;
Our business is located in a city with people with high purchasing powers and also, we can boast of having good business relationship with top manufacturers in the consumer electronics manufacturing industry and wholesale distributors in and around New Haven – Connecticut.
A major weakness that may count against us is the fact that we are not yet a major wholesale distributor, we are a new consumer electronics retail store outlet and we don’t have the financial capacity to compete with multi – million dollar stores when it comes to retailing consumer electronics at a rock bottom price.
Products sold by consumer electronics stores are often discretionary. Therefore, a rise in per capita disposable income increases consumers’ propensity to purchase industry goods, leading to growth in demand. Per capita disposable income is expected to increase in the coming year, representing a potential opportunity for the industry.
We have been able to conduct thorough feasibility studies and market survey and we know what our potential clients will be looking for when they order consumer electronics from us; we are well positioned to take on the opportunities that will come our way.
Online retailers are major competitors to industry operators. These retailers sell consumer electronics and appliances, often at lower prices than consumer electronics stores due to the lack of fixed costs, attracting customers away from industry players. The percentage of services conducted online is expected to increase in the coming year, representing a potential threat to the industry.
7. MARKET ANALYSIS
- Market Trends
If you are conversant with the Industry, you will quite agree that the changes in disposable income, consumer sentiment, ever changing trends and of course the rate of homeownership are major growth drivers for this industry. No doubt, a massive rise in consumer confidence has also contributed in helping the industry experience remarkable growth, but uneven performance in these drivers has led to slightly constrained revenue growth.
So also, the rising demand for both building renovations as a result of increasing disposable income and consumer sentiment, will result in revenue growth, but profit margins will stagnate as consumer electronics retail stores keep prices low to attract more sales amid growing competition.
A close watch on industry activities reveals that the retail market for consumer electronics was hit hard by the recent economic downturn and experienced a decline in revenue in recent time. The construction of new homes is a primary market for industry products, so as housing stats increase, demand tends to follow. Moreover, as home builders have increased their use of electronics, demand for complementary consumer electronics has risen.
8. Our Target Market
We have positioned our consumer electronics retail store to service residents in New Haven – Connecticut and every other location where outlets will be located. We have conducted our market research and feasibility studies and we have ideas of what our target market would be expecting from us.
We are in business to supply a wide range of consumer electronics to the following;
- Home Remodeling Companies
- Facility managers
- Households in and around our store locations
Our Competitive Advantage
A close study of the consumer electronics industry reveals that the market has become much more intensely competitive over the last decade. As a matter of fact, you have to be highly creative, customer centric and proactive if you must survive in this industry. We are aware of the stiff competition and we are prepared to compete favorably with other leading stores in New Haven – Connecticut.
One thing is certain, we will ensure that we have a wide range of consumer electronics available in our store at all times. It will be difficult for customers to visit our store and not see the type of consumer electronics that they are looking for.
One of our business goals is to make Chris Logan® Consumer Electronics Retail Store, Inc. a one stop consumer electronics shop. Our excellent customer service culture, online store, various payment options and highly secured facility will serve as a competitive advantage for us.
Lastly, our employees will be well taken care of, and their welfare package will be among the best within our category in the industry meaning that they will be more than willing to build the business with us and help deliver our set goals and objectives. We will also give good working conditions and commissions to freelance sales agents that we will recruit from time to time.
9. SALES AND MARKETING STRATEGY
- Sources of Income
Chris Logan® Consumer Electronics Retail Store, Inc. is in business to retail a wide range of consumer electronics to residents of New Haven – Connecticut. We are in the industry to maximize profits and we are going to ensure that we achieve or business goals and objectives.
Chris Logan® Consumer Electronics Retail Store, Inc. will generate income by;
10. Sales Forecast
One thing is certain when it comes to consumer electronics retail stores, if your store is stocked with various types of consumer electronics and centrally positioned, you will always attract customers.
We are well positioned to take on the available market in New Haven – Connecticut and we are quite optimistic that we will meet our set target of generating enough income/profits from the first six months of operation and grow the business and our clientele base.
We have been able to examine the Consumer Electronics Stores industry, we have analyzed our chances in the industry and we have been able to come up with the following sales forecast. Below is the sales projection for Chris Logan® Consumer Electronics Retail Store, Inc., it is based on the location of our business and other factors as it relates to consumer electronics retail stores startups in the United States;
- First Fiscal Year (FY1): $350,000
- Second Fiscal Year (FY2): $550,000
- Third Fiscal Year (FY3): $750,000
N.B: This projection was done based on what is obtainable in the industry and with the assumption that there won’t be any major economic meltdown and there won’t be any major competitor retailing same consumer electronics within same location. Please note that the above projection might be lower and at the same time it might be higher.
- Marketing Strategy and Sales Strategy
Before choosing a location for Chris Logan® Consumer Electronics Retail Store, Inc., we conducted a thorough market survey and feasibility studies in order for us to penetrate the available market and become the preferred choice for key players in the industry of New Haven – Connecticut.
We have detailed information and data that we were able to utilize to structure our business to attract the number of customers we want to attract per time. We hired experts who have good understanding of the industry to help us develop marketing strategies that will help us achieve our business goal of winning a larger percentage of the available market in New Haven – Connecticut.
In summary, Chris Logan® Consumer Electronics Retail Store, Inc. will adopt the following sales and marketing approach to win customers over;
- Introduce our consumer electronics retail store by sending introductory letters alongside our brochure to offices, home remodeling companies, households and other key stake holders in New Haven – Connecticut
- Ensure that we have a wide range of consumer electronics from different manufacturing brand at all times.
- Make use of attractive hand bills to create awareness and also to give direction to our consumer electronics retail store
- Position our signage / flexi banners at strategic places around New Haven – Connecticut
- Position our greeters to welcome and direct potential customers
- Create a loyalty plan that will enable us reward our regular customers
- List our business and products on yellow pages ads (local directories)
- Leverage on the internet to promote our business
- Engage in direct marketing and sales
- Encourage the use of Word of mouth marketing (referrals)
11. Publicity and Advertising Strategy
Despite the fact that our store is well located, we will still go ahead to intensify publicity for the business. Chris Logan® Consumer Electronics Retail Store, Inc. has a long – term plan of opening outlets in various locations all around Connecticut, which is why we will deliberately build our brand to be well accepted in New Haven before venturing out.
Here are the platforms we intend leveraging on to promote and advertise Chris Logan® Consumer Electronics Retail Store, Inc.;
- Place adverts on community – based newspapers, radio stations and TV stations.
- Encourage the use of word of mouth publicity from our loyal customers
- Leverage on the internet and social media platforms and other platforms to promote our business.
- Ensure that our we position our banners and billboards in strategic positions all around New Haven – Connecticut
- Distribute our fliers and handbills in target areas in and around our neighborhood
- Advertise our consumer electronics retail store business in our official website and employ strategies that will help us pull traffic to the site
- Brand all our official cars and trucks and ensure that all our staff members and management staff wear our branded shirt or cap at regular intervals.
12. Our Pricing Strategy
Aside from quality, pricing is one of the key factors that gives leverage to consumer electronics retail stores, it is normal for consumers to go to places where they can get cheaper prices which is why big player in the industry attract loads of clients.
We know we don’t have the capacity to compete with multi – million – dollar consumer electronics retail stores but we will ensure that the prices and quality of all our electronics are competitive with what is obtainable amongst consumer electronics retail stores within our level.
- Payment Options
The payment policy adopted by Chris Logan® Consumer Electronics Retail Store, Inc. is all inclusive because we are quite aware that different customers prefer different payment options as it suits them but at the same time, we will ensure that we abide by the financial rules and regulation of the United States of America.
Here are the payment options that Chris Logan® Consumer Electronics Retail Store, Inc. will make available to her clients;
- Payment via bank transfer
- Payment via credit cards
- Payment via online bank transfer
- Payment via check
- Payment via mobile money transfer
- Payment via bank draft
In view of the above, we have chosen banking platforms that will enable our client make payment for purchase of our consumer electronics without any stress on their part. Our bank account numbers will be made available on our website and promotional materials.
13. Startup Expenditure (Budget)
From our market survey and feasibility studies, we have been able to come up with a detailed budget of establishing a standard consumer electronics supply business in New Haven, and here are the key areas where we will spend our startup capital;
- The total fee for registering the Business in New Haven – Connecticut – $750.
- Legal expenses for obtaining licenses and permits as well as the accounting services (software, P.O.S machines and other software) – $3,300.
- Marketing promotion expenses for the grand opening of Chris Logan® Consumer Electronics Retail Store, Inc. in the amount of $3,500 and as well as flyer printing (2,000 flyers at $0.04 per copy) for the total amount of $3,580.
- The cost for hiring Business Consultant – $2,500.
- Insurance (general liability, workers’ compensation and property casualty) coverage at a total premium – $2,400.
- The cost for payment of rent for 12 months at $1.76 per square feet in the total amount of $65,600.
- The cost for shop / warehouse remodeling (construction of racks and shelves) – $20,000.
- Other start-up expenses including stationery ($500) and phone and utility deposits ($2,500).
- Operational cost for the first 3 months (salaries of employees, payments of bills et al) – $60,000
- The cost for start-up inventory (stocking with a wide range of electronics such as new household appliances (e.g. refrigerators, washing machines and ovens), new personal appliances (e.g. hair dryers, curling irons and electric razors), consumer electronics (e.g. radios, TVs, digital cameras, video games and computers) and mobile phones, smartphones and accessories et al) – $250,000
- The cost for counter area equipment – $9,500
- The cost for store equipment (cash register, security, ventilation, signage) – $13,750
- The cost of purchase and installation of CCTVs – $10,000
- The cost for the purchase of office furniture and gadgets (Computers, Printers, Telephone, TVs, Sound System, tables and chairs et al) – $4,000.
- The cost of launching a Website – $600
- Miscellaneous – $10,000
We would need an estimate of five hundred and fifty thousand (450,000) US Dollars to successfully set up our consumer electronics retail store in New Haven – Connecticut.
Generating Funds/Startup Capital for Chris Logan® Consumer Electronics Retail Store, Inc.
Chris Logan® Consumer Electronics Retail Store, Inc. is a private business that is solely owned and financed by Chris Logan and his immediate family members. They do not intend to welcome any external business partners which is why he has decided to restrict the sourcing of the startup capital to 3 major sources.
- Generate part of the startup capital from personal savings
- Source for soft loans from family members and friends
- Apply for loan from the bank
N.B: We have been able to generate about $150,000 (Personal savings $100,000 and soft loan from family members $50,000) and we are at the final stages of obtaining a loan facility of $400,000 from our bank. All the papers and documents have been signed and submitted, the loan has been approved and any moment from now our account will be credited with the amount.
14. Sustainability and Expansion Strategy
Part of the plans we have in place to sustain Chris Logan® Consumer Electronics Retail Store, Inc. is to ensure that we continue to make available a wide range of consumer electronics, retail our products at competitive prices, improvise on how to do things faster and cheaper. We are not going to relent in providing conducive environment for our workers.
From our findings, another factor that kills new business is financial leakages. In order to plug financial leakages, the management of Chris Logan® Consumer Electronics Retail Store, Inc. adopt the use of payment machine and accounting software to run the business.
We are quite aware that our customers are key component to the growth and survival of our business hence we are going to continuously engage them to give us ideas on how to serve them better. Chris Logan® Consumer Electronics Retail Store, Inc. will make sure that the right foundation, structures and processes are put in place to ensure that our staff welfare are well taken of.
Our company’s corporate culture is designed to drive our business to greater heights and training and retraining of our workforce is at the top burner. We know that if that is put in place, we will be able to successfully hire and retain the best hands we can get in the industry; they will be more committed to help us build the business of our dreams.
- Business Name Availability Check : Completed
- Business Registration: Completed
- Opening of Corporate Bank Accounts: Completed
- Securing Point of Sales (POS) Machines: Completed
- Opening Mobile Money Accounts: Completed
- Opening Online Payment Platforms: Completed
- Application and Obtaining Tax Payer’s ID: In Progress
- Application for business license and permit: Completed
- Purchase of Insurance for the Business: Completed
- Leasing of facility and remodeling the shop: In Progress
- Conducting Feasibility Studies: Completed
- Generating capital from family members: Completed
- Applications for Loan from the bank: In Progress
- Writing of Business Plan: Completed
- Drafting of Employee’s Handbook: Completed
- Drafting of Contract Documents and other relevant Legal Documents: In Progress
- Design of The Company’s Logo: Completed
- Printing of Packaging and Promotional Materials: In Progress
- Recruitment of employees: In Progress
- Purchase of the needed furniture, racks, shelves, computers, electronic appliances, office appliances and CCTV: In progress
- Purchase of initial supply of household appliances (e.g. refrigerators, washing machines and ovens), new personal appliances (e.g. hair dryers, curling irons and electric razors), consumer electronics (e.g. radios, TVs, digital cameras, video games and computers: In Progress
- Creating Official Website for the Company: In Progress
- Creating Awareness for the business both online and around the community: In Progress
- Health and Safety and Fire Safety Arrangement (License): Secured
- Compilation of our list of products that will be available in our store: Completed
- Establishing business relationship with vendors – manufacturers of consumer electronics and wholesale suppliers: In Progress
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IR-2023-210, Nov. 13, 2023
WASHINGTON — With the nation's tax season rapidly approaching, the Internal Revenue Service reminds taxpayers there are important steps they can take now to help "get ready" to file their 2023 federal tax return.
This is the first in a series of special IRS "Get Ready" reminders to help taxpayers prepare for the upcoming tax filing season in early 2024. A little advance work now can help people have the paperwork and information ready to file their tax returns quickly and accurately. As part of this education effort, the IRS has a special page outlining items taxpayers can look into now to get ready to file their 2023 tax returns.
Get helpful information to file through IRS Online Account
Taxpayers can create or access their Online Account at IRS.gov/account . New users should have their photo identification ready.
With an Online Account taxpayers can access a variety of helpful information to help them during the 2024 filing season, including:
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Tips for choosing a tax pro
Tax professionals play an essential role for taxpayers and the nation's tax system. There are many types of tax return preparers, including certified public accountants, enrolled agents, attorneys and many others who don't have a professional credential. Preparers should be skilled in tax preparation and accurately filing income tax returns. Taxpayers trust them with their most personal information.
Most tax return preparers provide outstanding and professional tax service. However, choosing the wrong tax return preparer hurts taxpayers financially every year. Be sure to check tips for choosing a tax preparer and how to avoid unethical "ghost" return preparers .
People can use the IRS Directory of Federal Tax Return Preparers with Credentials and Select Qualifications .