Business plan for your e-commerce
Do you want to launch and create your e-commerce this year? If you think that it is enough to open your Shopify or Nexcess and wait for a flood of customers, you are making a big mistake.
Of course you can do it and apply the rule I launch and then we’ll see … But in reality a business is not built by chance or by luck.
For my part, it is essential to write a business plan for your online business or for your business in general. You need to know where you are starting from and where you want to get to.
You may say to yourself that you’re not a startup and you don’t have to convince anyone to provide funding for your project. But no matter what, having a good strategy and a roadmap is vital to get started.
Defining a business plan in advance will avoid many surprises, like having to deal with a lower number of sales than you expected for example.
In today’s article, I will show you the main steps to create a business plan. You can start applying it today.
Why do you need a business plan for your e-commerce ?
One answer that should convince you: To avoid surprises and not to fall down!
When we have an idea or an e-commerce project in mind, especially if we are harassed by YouTube and Facebook algorithms that show you individuals who have earned millions with dropshipping (you can read our articles here and the software we use Autods and Dsmtool) we want to realize our project and earn millions as soon as possible!
We already see ourselves with a successful store, and we have the feeling that writing a business plan will waste our time. Wrong!
“After seeing some videos of pseudo-experts on YouTube, many beginners say that it’s too easy and just click a button!
I myself have been dropshipping for over 4 years: I share my experience with you, It’s a lot of work. But obviously you can make a lot of money with it.
If it doesn’t make you money, it is certain that a business plan can save you a lot of money.
By the simple fact of writing your business plan, you can indeed realize that your project is not as perfect as you thought.
Another argument in favor of a business plan is that if you are well on your way to your goal and need funds, your business plan can be a powerful tool in dealing with investors and banks.
1- The summary of the business plan
This is the first thing your potential investors will read if you are looking for financing. The summary gives a first impression of your project. I advise you to be brief and to put a figure on your project. Your summary should not exceed one page. You can do this after you have completed your entire business plan.
Your business plan summary should include:
– The presentation of the idea.
– Who is behind the e-commerce. (Your person.)
– Basic data.
2 – Your company
What you will bring more than your competition:
– Your Mission.
– Your Vision.
– Your Values.
I advise you to do a SWOT analysis for this step because it is essential.
What is a SWOT analysis?
SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. A SWOT analysis is a technique for evaluating these four aspects of your business.
You can use SWOT analysis to make the most of what you have, for the greater good of your business and its management. You can also reduce the risk of failure, by understanding what you’re missing and eliminating hazards that would otherwise catch you off guard.
Best of all, you can begin to develop a strategy that sets you apart from your competitors, and thus gain a foothold in your market with a branding strategy if you are financially strong enough.
How to Use a SWOT Analysis
Once you have reviewed the four aspects of the SWOT analysis, you will probably be faced with a long list of potential actions to take. You’ll want to build on your strengths, strengthen your weaknesses, ward off threats, and exploit all the opportunities available to you.
But before you do, look for potential connections between the quadrants of your matrix. For example, could you use some of your strengths to open up other opportunities? And, would even more opportunities be available by eliminating some of your weaknesses?
Analyze the external aspects:
Analyze the internal aspects:
3- Analysis of the environment
A business plan must contain an analysis of the company’s environment.
If you think that the existence of competition is a negative point, you are wrong.
The lack of competition is in fact much worse, because it means that there is insufficient demand and therefore a lack of customers. One of the principles of marketing is to go to markets where there is already a customer base and established competition.
Your business plan should show that there is competition, but not enough to make it a threat. Turn it into an opportunity!
Analyze the strengths and weaknesses of your main competitors. This will give you a clear idea of how to overcome them.
On the Internet, it is very easy to know who your competition is, especially if you are tackling a niche in your project. For example: a pet store, a fitness product store… You just have to look at the best positioned pages on Google for your main keywords to establish a competitive analysis.
For example, is dropshipping the same in your country? Before opening a store, consider the legal aspects of your project.
This section is about Tech stores. I think that a store that launches on this sector is more on the lookout than other sectors.
4- Values Products and services
What will my product bring to my customers?
This is the basic question you will answer in this part of your online store’s business plan.
You must identify :
– Your potential customers
– The solutions you bring to solve their problems
If there are similar alternatives on the market, show what is the added value of your e-commerce.
5- Marketing plan
5-1 Aesthetics of the store
Now it’s about making sales.
Another typical mistake of online and offline stores is to put a lot of effort into the aesthetic preparation of the store. I advise you not to neglect this aspect but it is not essential to make sales. An uncluttered store, simple for navigation with pages that convert easily is a thousand times better than a store full of colors!
Think of a website, when it is just starting out, as a desert where no one goes. Telling your family and friends to visit your website is not enough: the most difficult thing is to make strangers come to your e-commerce and make purchases.
In a business plan, the marketing plan answers one question:
How will we succeed in attracting visitors to our store on a consistent basis?
This is an important part to take into account and to anticipate. Obtaining visibility is a long term work that we must plan.
How to get traffic for our store?
– Social networks
– Videomarketing and YouTube.
– Content marketing.
– Paid traffic: Adwords, Facebook Ads, Google Shopping, soloAds etc.
6- Operational Plan
The operational plan includes your daily life as an entrepreneur : working hours, location, order of your daily tasks, etc.
It reflects the flow of tasks to be done for the e-commerce and how they are divided.
If you are the only one in charge of the e-commerce, you need to reflect what your routine will be.
Consider that at the beginning, your main tasks will be related to promoting your e-commerce, but that over time, you will need to :
– Manage returns.
– Provide customer service.
– Dealing with unforeseen events.
– Manage the stock.
– Negotiate with suppliers.
– And so on.
You’ll certainly need to revisit the operational plan later, but it’s important to get a sense of your daily life as an entrepreneur beforehand.
7- Financial Projections
If you are an entrepreneur you need to have a short, medium and long term projection in your mind.
Answer this question : How will my e-commerce be in 1, 3 and 5 years?
Answering this question will allow you to define a guideline to reach your goals.
8- Financing request
This is the last aspect to include in your business plan, in case you want to apply for financing. You must detail the amount of funding requested as well as the concrete use that will be made of each euro requested. Put yourself in the shoes of the person to whom you are making this request and think about the information you would like to have about the shares of your company if you want to become a partner, the commissions, the interests…
Finally, a business plan for your online store facilitates the success of your business by giving it a direction to follow. Writing an effective plan for your online store doesn’t have to be a chore, do it with desire and precision you won’t be disappointed.
If you spend enough time gathering information about your business, your competition and your future projections, your business plan can be a MAPS to achieve your sales goals.
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Happy selling to you folks!
Here’s to your success 🔥