If you’re thinking of launching a concept for an E-commerce company, It’s crucial to develop an eCommerce business plan to ensure that your idea is backed by enough funds to make it profitable.
The business plan you create for your online shop can assist you in defining your ideal market, setting your quarterly and monthly sales goals, and improving your chances of long-term success.
If you want your business to succeed, you’ll need to begin with an initial business plan. Lacking a plan for a business is among the main reasons businesses fail, and it’s an easy step you can take at no cost. Furthermore, companies that have created a plan have demonstrated to be more prosperous than those that do not.
Table of Contents
- 1 What is a business plan?
- 2 Types of Business Plans
- 3 Why Business Plans are important for eCommerce business
- 4 How to write an ecommerce business plan
What is a business plan?
The business plan can be described as a document that outlines a strategy for a company outlines its objectives and plans to achieve these goals. It provides a company’s go-to-market program, projections of financials market research, the business’s purpose, and the mission statement. The key employees responsible for achieving these goals could be listed within the plan of business together with a timetable.
Types of Business Plans
There’s no standard size for every business plan since various businesses are currently available. From startups with one founder to enduring well-known brands that need to keep up with the competition, every type of company requires a business plan customized to its customers’ specific needs.
1. Startup Business Plan
One of the most commonly used business plans, the startup business plan, is used to develop brand-new business concepts. The plan will create the foundation that will eventually lead to a company’s growth.
The main issue with a startup’s business plan is that it’s written entirely from the ground up. Startup business plans usually rely on the existing data in the industry and provide specific business strategies and go-to-market plans.
2. Business Acquisition Plan
Investors also use business plans to purchase existing businesses, not just for new businesses.
An effective business strategy for a company that is already in existence will describe how an acquisition could alter the business’s operating system, what will remain the same with the new owners, and why things might be different or remain the same. In addition, the business plan should explain the business’s condition and why it’s on the market for sale.
For instance, if someone is buying a failing business, The business plan must describe the reasons for why the company is being bought as well as what the owner is expected to take to turn the business around, including references to previous financial metrics and sales forecasts following the purchase, and a justification for the projections.
3. Business Repositioning Plan
If a company wants to stay out of the acquisition, change its name, or even try something completely new, CEOs or owners create a plan for business repositioning.
- Accept the current state of the business.
- Develop a vision of the future of your company.
- Explain why the business should (or must) be repositioned.
- Define a method to determine how your company will modify.
Businesses that plan to restructure do so in a proactive manner or retroactively because of a change in market trends or the needs of customers. For instance, Pizza Hut has announced plans to change its branding since it believes the company needs to move away from dine-in and towards delivery. This decision was made after observing decades of industry and business developments and acknowledging the necessity of repositioning itself in the direction of the future of its industry.
4. Expansion Business Plan
Expanding a successful business into a different location requires a business plan since the venture could be focused on a different market and require more capital.
Fortunately, the expansion business plan isn’t as complicated as an initial business plan in that it isn’t a start from the beginning. Instead, this kind of plan focuses on revenues, sales, and the success of previous areas. While it’s a great indicator as these are, you should not depend too much on them because it’s an entirely new venture that may either succeed or fail for many reasons.
Why Business Plans are important for eCommerce business
Knowing how to write a business plan without understanding its importance isn’t enough. There are many more crucial aspects to creating a successful business; each e-commerce business must have a solid base that starts by preparing a business plan.
Business Plan = GPS
You’re the person driving this company, and you’ll be spinning around, losing time and money when you don’t know exactly where you’re headed. A solid business plan will guide you through starting and expanding your business. The plan is the business’s GPS. If you ever lose your way, you can rely on your plan.
It Helps You Generate Ideas
It’s much easier than it appears. It could appear like a terrifying dark cloud threatening to overtake you; however, once you get into the process, your creative juices flow, and you’ll realize you’ve got plenty of ideas. It could be the first step in your new venture; therefore, templates for your business plan and guides on how to prepare can assist.
It Can Help You Understand the Market
Ensuring you’re reaching your target audience is the most crucial element of an e-commerce company. If you’re trying to reach all of the people, it will be impossible to reach anyone. Therefore, a significant part of your business strategy needs to include creating an avatar for your customers. This avatar represents your ideal customer. They’re the ones who purchase everything you sell since they love your brand.
It Helps with Funding
If you’re searching for financing or business partners, You’ll require a plan for your business. The strategy you have developed will demonstrate to the investors you’re confident about your work, that you know the industry, and that investing in you is the best option for investors.
It’s a Great Way to Keep Track of Accomplishments
There’s no better method to reflect and see what you’ve always imagined come to fruition. Plan out the next few years of your life as a business plan. You can review the progress as it rolls into place and tracks your accomplishments. The business plan is a “to-do” list for your new business.
How to write an ecommerce business plan
1. Give an executive summary.
An executive summary can be one a one-to-two pages of your company’s overview. An executive summary aims to inform all stakeholders about your business plan. HubSpot’s template for free offers suggestions on how to create one, which I’ve used in the following:
2. Define and list your business.
This part requires the most details because it is the best way to showcase the products or services you’re selling. Start by providing an outline of your service or product. For example, the photography business might list their photography packages in order of pricing and services. This is what I have done below:
The template of HubSpot also offers guidance on how to present the mission of your company and break down the company’s values. It also recommends that businesses include team structures and structure, if appropriate. After that, you need to discuss your service and product lines in detail.
3. Define your services and products.
After you’ve outlined your business’s purpose and goals, You’re ready to dig deeper into your strategy. What services and products do you or intend to provide? This is the perfect opportunity to write down each item and its function, allowing you to answer ‘ why?’ Why do you choose to provide these items and services?
After you have outlined your services, products, and pricing, you should outline your pricing plan. What is the price of each service? The process of determining price, particularly for an entrepreneur, is difficult. But, sales pricing calculators aid in determining the most effective pricing strategy.
4. Analyze market conditions.
In the market analysis, you must provide the operational conditions of the field you’re working in. In this stage, the photographer will need to evaluate its place in the world of competitors such as Adobe or online services such as Canva.
The market analysis section of your business plan will help you create the foundation for future marketing campaigns. You can define your ideal market and customer. See my example below to learn ways to arrange this research in your e-commerce strategy.
A good market analysis should include your intended audience, projections of your company’s goals, and an analysis of your competition’s strengths and goals. This will help you determine how your business can overcome these shortcomings.
5. Plan your marketing strategy.
In any company, the marketing strategy is essential. It provides a blueprint for how your company can increase brand recognition, reach out to your public, and increase revenue and sales. In the following template, the marketing strategy will concentrate on strategy for positioning along with acquisition channels, tools, and technologies.
The positioning strategy focuses on positioning yourself to your target public. What are you going to do to meet their issues and goals? What are the tools you have at your disposal to achieve this?
The marketing plan will require you to consider where your customers are coming from. Are they finding your company via the use of search engine marketing? Are they finding your business via your blog or social media pages? Identifying your acquisition channels will allow you to know which you should prioritize.
Finally, your marketing strategy should outline the tools and equipment your marketing team needs and will use. For example, do you plan to use a CMS like CMS Hub? Check the programs and software your business will use in executing its marketing plan.
6. Create a sales plan.
When developing your sales plan, explain your method of operation and the structure of your organization, along with sales channels, tools, and technologies. For instance, when you discuss your methodological approach, do you concentrate on an inbound approach where you bring customers to your business via your content or outbound strategies that engage with prospects? This aspect of your eCommerce business plan also requires you to define the individuals responsible for selling your services and products and the channels they’ll utilize to sell your goods.
Like the marketing strategy, your sales plan also requires an outline of the tools you intend to employ. While your marketing plan may require an online CMS, your sales plan could require a customer retention administration (CRM) software such as HubSpot to maintain your relationship with your current and prospective customers.
7. Legal notes outline financial aspects.
Explain the legal and financial structure in the two subsequent areas of the business plan. The photography business should give details on legal issues such as online safety regulations as well as eCommerce laws, as well as the costs of the business.