Hello future entrepreneur! Have you been thinking of starting your online business? You know what you want to do but don’t know how to go about it? Here’s where you should start – create an online store business plan.
A business plan is a blueprint of your online business. This includes an action strategy of what you want to do, where you want to be and how far you want to go with your online business.
Why you need a business plan
Because it will make your life better and your business goals clearer. If you don’t have a strategy, you could miss out on some crucial points that could leave the foundation of your business weak.
Also, if you want to raise funds for your online business, a good business plan may seal the deal for you. Keep in mind easy ways to raise funding for your small business when you are designing an online store business plan. You also have to assert how your business is unique in your online store business plan.
Setting up a ‘lean’ business plan
When it comes to creating a business plan for your eCommerce store, it’s always best to make a lean strategy – meaning more muscle, less fat – a solid plan that has no frills and is practical in nature.
The lean strategy or lean startup plan is basically a continuous form of planning, executing, analyzing and revising which effectively helps improve a business’ strength and weed out the weaknesses.
3 Steps to write the perfect business plan for your small business
Creating a lean online store business plan is easy. Here are a few steps that can help you come up with a plan for your online business:
Step 1: Make a Summary
One of the first things about a lean strategy is to summarise. Note that it’s different from elaborating. In this step, you should essentially jot down highlights of your business plan that includes everything. Here is an ideal list to maintain:
- Online store business name idea, founder details, your product or service offerings,
- Target market research
- Plan of execution – operations, management, accessibility
- Marketing and Sales
- Financial analysis – cost, investment, income and revenue projections.
- Risk analysis
A good business plan is anything that is 5-10 pages long that has graphics and highlighted headers. Your executive summary should be more like a condensed list of what the rest of the plan is going to be.
Step 2: Carry out a lot of customer research
One of the most popular reasons why business plans fail is because they either have too much data or are poorly written with vague assumptions and research. While you can afford to cut down on the details and skim the surface in your summary, make sure you are putting the right figures and data in the rest of your plan.
Step 3: Maintain a strategy
Make it look like an action plan – operational and functional. How can you figure out if its operational even before you start an online business? The best way to do it is to read through your plan and see if the plan can be applied to any other business! Ask questions like:
- Is it specific?
- Does it fill a real gap in the market?
- Is it doable and feasible?
Conclude your business plan with a request for funds. Re-check and reassess your business plan from time to time. While your plan would largely remain the same, your strategy could change.
Get regular feedback about your business plan. Hire a professional to design one for you, if you aren’t too sure about making it yourself.
Once your business is up and running, re-visit your plan, your actions and the results. Every month, compare what worked and throw away ideas that didn’t work.
Related Read: Business Plan Templates for Your Small Business
What does an online store business need
To start an online business, you will need:
- A website to sell your products on.
- A payments processor to collect money online.
- A marketing plan to spread the word about your business
- Funds to run all the above.
Don’t know where to start with all that? Try the Instamojo experience!
Sign up to start selling instantly on your very own, customized Instamojo store. You can not just sell products but also collect payments safely with Instamojo. What’s more? All the store links of Instamojo are especially SEO optimized to help boost your marketing needs.
The Instamojo premium online store
If you do not have the time to draft out a detailed business plan, we recommend getting started with our premium online store and figure it out on the go.
Your Instamojo premium online store comes with an array of features for you to enjoy. Once you have set up your premium online store on Instamojo, you need to start adding banner images, banner text and customising your online store to attract customers to your home page. This quick tutorial will help you set things up for your new store.