E-Commerce Business Plan – Why and How?

March 6, 2018 Written By Hemant Parmar

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Wondering what are we going to learn about today? Let’s simplify. Think of going on a family trip. You are definitely gonna plan the itinerary, book flights, hotels cause you don’t wanna spoil your trip. You want it to be perfect and catch each and every glimpse of your holiday destination. When you are planning so much for a trip, then why not plan for your E-commerce business to make it bloom?

At What Stage should I Plan?

There is no limit at all. Whether you are thinking to start one, already started or doing business since long. In the first point, you get to lay out a strong foundation for what you are going to start. In the second point, you get to move forward in the correct direction for growing your business. In the last one, you get to streamlines processes, cut unnecessary costs and gain more profit.

Why is Business Plan Important?

I understand it is time-consuming, but it surely has value and saves you from unexpected disasters. It makes you think systematically and critically about your business ideas and thought processes. You’ll be alert for any apertures well in advance and send them on time. When you make a business plan, you carry out a lot of research which in turn is beneficial to you only. You get to learn more about your targets, industries and is well-prepared for any shortcomings.

Also Read: A Deep Dive into the Ocean Of eCommerce Business Planning

Let’s Start…

You understood why to have a business plan for your E-commerce business. Now, brush up your brains on how to make one. A high quality and high standard business plan will give you a full-fledged perception of your business. I have two options: one for start-up and the other is a traditional business plan. Emphasizing on the start-up first which comes handy when you are in a hurry.

Start-up Plan

It’s easy to form and explain. It describes only a smattering amount of information about your company’s value, purpose, infrastructure, customers, and finances.

Have a look at its elements:

Major Collaborators

When you are about to start an E-commerce business, you’ll need to collaborate with manufacturers, suppliers, dealers, marketing persons, investors as required.

Major Actions

Write down the major activities to be involved in your business. You can include the sales channel and the technologies to be involved in the process.

Major Assets

You have got to leverage resources for your business that helps to create value for your customer. It can be staff, capital or intellectual property.

Value Proposition

This element helps you figure out the value of your company in the market.

Customer Relationships

Find the bridge between your business and customers. How will they interact? In E-commerce business it will be online and automated, hence your website should be user-friendly.

Customer Fragments

Your business will be useful to a specific class of people based on age, gender, societal status and other classification factors. Define your target audience and work accordingly.

Communication Channels

You will need to decide upon the communication channels to be used for contacting your customers. Online business generally relies on email, chat, Skype or phone.

Cost Structure

Decide on the major costs involved in setting up the business, eliminate insignificant costs. This will help you reduce the operational cost and maximize value.

Revenue Streams

This is the element where you actually get insight into how your business is going to make money. It includes listing of direct sales, membership fees, partner programs, etc.

Traditional Business Plan

This plan is an elongated and detailed version. This comes handy when you have to submit your plan to investors for crowd-funding. Have a look at its elements:

Executive Summary

As the name suggests, it has to be an exclusive summary which can easily convince the investor to finance your business. It should include the growth factor of your business.

Company Description

Describe your business strengths, how your business offers a competitive edge to other fellow businesses, how your business solves consumer problems. As E-commerce business is online, physical location does not matter much but do mention which countries you will ship your products to.

Market analysis

It’s time to answer the questions like Who are my competitors? How are they better than me? What is the strategy? How can I be better than them? You’ll come to know your strengths and weaknesses.

Recommended: Way by which you can analyze the eCommecre market and how to research it

Organization and Management

The structure or your business, will it be a private organization, general or limited partnership, sole proprietor or LLC. Also, describe who will manage your business and how.

Service or Product

Your E-commerce business may sell any service or product and in-depth, the product can be physical, virtual or downloadable. This will be a brief description of the service or product i.e. its entire cycle.

Marketing and Sales

Marketing is one of the most important aspects of an E-commerce business. The main agenda here is how will you attract and retain customers. Also, add how the sale is going to happen.

Financial Plan

You have to convince the reader that your business is stable and has a financial backbone. In case if you require finances, you’ll have to describe that the funds provided by the investor will be used fruitfully and attract good returns. For already established business, including balance sheets, revenue for the past couple of years to determine insignificant costs. Predict future financial scenario of your business using charts or presentations.

Risk Calculation

Every business involves risks at some point or the other. Look out for the risks pertaining to your business and the precautions to be taken in order to prevent that risks.

In a Nutshell

Do spare some time from your daily routine to prepare an effective business plan for your E-commerce business. It will behave as a whole new guideline to your business. A strong document to present in front of the investors to secure capital. It will also act as a forecast to the future of your business and thus improving your perception of your business.

Follow each step and be prepared to face any situation without compromising on the success journey of your E-commerce business.

Do you want to start journey of your eCommerce business today? Need consultation? Talk to our E-commerce consultant today!!!

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