Ecommerce Business Plan
If you’ve been thinking of venturing into the world of infinite possibilities and profits, the time is ripe, as the e-commerce business sector seems to flourish despite all market disruptions. However, common to all businesses, starting an e-commerce business is not easy and comes with a multitude of demands and decisions that need to work well in tandem. Nevertheless- the idea of setting up, launching and running a store or website where designers, creators and entrepreneurs can all come together to sell their wares is more achievable today than it ever had been- thanks to the internet.
You are right! The ideas flowing inside your head make perfect sense. However, while we understand that you might be excited about embarking on a whole new journey, the number one mistake that many new entrepreneurs make is failing to put aside the thrill of ambitions for a while and focus on the most practical steps ahead. Ecommerce business plan is what proves to you if your ideas are worth pursuing.
If you have a question about “how to plan e-commerce business”? Then the first step towards the e-commerce planning process is to write a business plan for eCommerce startup – more than solely securing an investment. A well-documented e-commerce business plan clarifies your strategy, helps you identify potential roadblocks, and gives you a clear-cut estimate on what you will need in the way of resources. The task might seem long and tedious, like a home assignment. Not all the rewards of a well-crafted business plan may seem viable immediately. However there is great sustainable value in finding time to step back and research the ideas generated and market you are looking to enter and analyse the tactics that are put forth. This kind of research and study pre-launch paves the way for a more efficient and sustainable future growth post-launch.
What is an Ecommerce business plan?
Let it be a b2b eCommerce business plan, eCommerce retail business plan or, business plan for eCommerce startup; A business plan is a vision board of the imagined future of your business; it details what your business would do, its offerings, leadership, staffing, finance plan and each and every aspect of your business.
The importance of a business plan
Generally speaking, the purpose of a business plan is associated with securing a loan or funds needed to take your business off the ground. But there are many other compelling inevitable reasons that need to be considered, while choosing to write a business plan:
- Validate your online business idea and model
You will need to think long and hard to narrow down on the perfect business model. Even the best business idea can go in for a toss if you are not able to sustainably build growth and traffic. There is no single model that works for everyone, if you do not want to invest heavily at the start, drop-shipping or print-on demand is a good choice, if you envisage having a storefront or a warehouse full of goodies you need to work with a warehousing or wholesaling retail model. A business plan will help you evaluate each of these tangible models, and understand each of its scope and the amount of time, money and resources that will need to be invested at the start.
- Validate Target Market and Products to sell
While there’s no shortage of products to sell for an ecommerce business, this is the area where most new entrepreneurs get stuck on. It can be hard to tell which are worth pursuing and which are not, but you have to niche down to a profitable product profile. Choosing your niche is the most important decision for your e-commerce store. Hence, it is worthwhile to do some considerable research prior to committing to a decision.
You can’t be sure if your products would sell if you have no clue on who you are selling to. Who are your ideal customers? What are their needs and preferences? How many people can you target at a go? You will need to do some in-depth research for detailed demographics and numbers.
- Marketing Goals and Strategy
It’s important to think through your marketing strategy prior to launching your online store. This will enable you to engage with your customers through a variety of channels and platforms. Most newbies in the e-commerce market tend to fizzle out due to a . If lack of knowledge about their products and the related market. After all, all your planning and execution would amount to none if you can’t attract enough customer traffic to your store. How will you get the word out about your niche of products? While crafting your online business plan, you will be forced to brainstorm on actionable steps to narrow your marketing strategy and drill down to clear-cut tactics to drive it. So, It is recommended to include a marketing plan for an eCommerce startup while making a business plan.
- Build Partnerships
Let’s face it, your online business might be flourishing but if you are not associated with the right people to carry out your vision, then achieving the desirable growth might be far-reaching. Attracting the right talent and leaders to support and guide you throughout the journey is essential to building growth partnerships. If you need to seek buy-in from the right people that might seem to be the right fit for your future journey, then you need to be able to present them with a clear-cut ecommerce business plan. An elaborative and clear-cut vision of your goals saves much time for your partner, letting them judge for themselves if they align with your goals and vision.
- Secure Funds
If you are applying for a business loan or seeking funds from an investor then a solid business plan is a mandate. A business plan is the standard way to prove to your investors that your business is worth betting on. A business plan mandates key details on your income statement, cash flow projections and balance sheet. Planning your finances can make a huge difference in your future journey, between a successful and scalable growth and getting caught off guard by unforeseen expenses and unsustainable profit margins.
As we have now laid down the stark importance of a business plan, let’s now take at what a business plan holds as its contents:
- Executive Summary: A high-level Overview of the business, that persuades reviewers to read further. It should distill down all the key points in the whole document.
- Company Description: Elaborate on your business structure, business model, objectives etc.
- Market Analysis: An analysis of how large the targeted market is, your business position in the market and overview of the competitive landscape.
- Products and Services: Details of products that you plan to sell, sourcing plan and method of shipping etc.
- Marketing Plan: How do you plan to get the word out on your business?
- Logistics and Operations Plan: How do you plan to turn raw materials into products and get them to your customers?
- Financial Plan: income statement, cash-flow projections and balance sheet.
For the highest-value points for turning your ecommerce business idea into reality, like clarifying your goals, setting up a strategy, knowing the competitive landscape and understanding the market you can always count on your business plan, even though you might have no plans to pitch investors. It can help you mark immediate action plans for your business and identify those potential gaps in your plan that may turn into issues in the future. This act of planning is invaluable to every business owner.
Why DFX to develop “Ecommerce Business Plan” ?
Whether you need a good get-start to start writing your business plan or have a plan that you are seeking to verify and update, DFX can help in inculcating an e-commerce business plan that best suits your priorities. DFX combines years of experience in e-commerce business development and financial expertise to uncover key elements and present your numbers with confidence in a fully customizable winning business plan.
In the visioning exercise, the objective is to lend clarity and comprehension to the business idea under consideration. It often leads to discovery of potential bottlenecks as well as better ideas and inputs.
The idea behind conducting a SWOT analysis is to identify the existing strengths and weaknesses in the light of the business vision for formulating effective planning and strategies later on.
Ecommerce business need to function and move ahead as one organized unit. In this module, our experts shall define the internal organisation structure of the proposed business entity. We will also map the scope of work and functioning of the external stakeholders (i.e. agencies, consultants, vendors, suppliers, etc.).
IT system strategy shall also be defined which shall cover the assessment of the IT and software requirements of the business spanning across various line and staff functions. The timeline for implementation of every software application shall also be done to ensure that business operations are initiated as per schedule.
Process Strategy shall be a part of business strategy wherein you will learn about how to make your startup business enterprise more process-driven and less people-dependent. You will uncover tools and strategies critical to achieve the same. The module will cover how business processes and operations are defined and how they can be improved and improvised in a planned and systematic manner.
Marketing begins with the idea of ecommerce business or a product/service itself. Everything that places a business enterprise in the right spot at the right time is mostly about marketing decisions and strategies. DFX experts shall work closely with your business and devise "Go-to-Market" and "Business Launch" marketing budgets and strategies so that your business starts off with the right note.
Your advertising and promotional efforts would be meaningless if you fail to generate the targeted sales levels, consistently and efficiently. Managing and controlling sales can cover a wide range of factors including data analysis, goal-setting, feedback and reporting, skill training, defining workflow, leaderships and monitoring, time management, incentives, etc. In this model, you will learn about formulating a robust sales operations strategy for your business.
It is important to let the ‘numbers’ validate your business model before taking a deep dive into it. In this section, DFX experts shall help you assess the financial requirements and commercial viability of your business project.
Good budgeting ensures that you are spending your investments and revenues judiciously. If you go spending unplanned, you are almost certain to deviate from your profitability goals. Budget allocation serves as a business’s expenditure roadmap. As a part of the business financial strategy, this module will cover the approaches and guidelines for effective budget allocation.
By determining the action plan, we arrive at the implementation plan with duration of the project. It maps the sequence of tasks that must be completed on time; otherwise the project will get delayed. In this module, you will learn to map the critical path that leads to the launch of your business on time. It will help you channelize your focus and efforts on priority basis and help you stay organized during the entire process.
Do's & Don'ts are well-defined within implementation plan to avoid anticipated road-blocks in ecommerce business journey
25 - 45 days.
Step 01 - Request for Quote
Step 02 - Service Quote Finalization along with SLA (Service Level Agreement)
Step 03 - DFX Experts start working on your business
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