Retail Business Plan: First Step in Bringing Ideas to LifeAlex, July 9, 2015, 11:53 am
Every day, thousands of people successfully launch new retail businesses and make it look fairly simple. However the nice new displays in the brick-and-mortar shop, or the product images displayed in the online catalogue, are end results. They reflect months of careful entrepreneurial planning which is documented in the business plan.
It’s Only Logical
At some point, the entrepreneur conceptualized an idea for a retail business. The next step is to begin organizing thoughts and planning, and that is where the business plan enters. Developing a business plan helps budding entrepreneurs think through the elements that bring an idea to life as a functioning retail enterprise.
It requires a good deal of logic to get from idea to opening. For example, you cannot purchase inventory until you have decided what to sell and secure the necessary funding to buy it. Every business gets to its opening step-by-step, whether storefront or online or both.
Following are some suggestions to get the logic process started:
Logical Question 1: What type of retail goods and services will you sell?
- Hardware or software?
- Food products?
- General retail, like hardware or pet supplies?
Logical Question 2: Who will manage the store?
- Procure inventory?
- Hire staff?
- Manage the online product category?
- Maintain accounting records?
Logical Question 3: What is the business model?
- Both storefront and online?
Logical Question 4: What equipment is needed?
- Cash register?
- Ecommerce system?
- Software for online catalogue and in-store accounting and reporting?
- Security system?
- Storage containers?
- Computer hardware?
Logical Question 5: Where is the storefront location?
- City center?
- Strip mall?
- Multi-department store mall?
- Rented space with other vendors?
Logical Question 6: How will the location be secured?
- Rent or rent-to-own?
Logical Question 7: How will the cost of startup and early operations be covered?
- Personal cash?
- Credit cards?
- Funds borrowed from friends and family?
- Bank loan?
- Angel investors, venture capital, equity funding, etc.?
Opening a store requires a logical approach composed of a series of questions. Each answer brings the business one-step closer to making the retail business a reality. It is exciting to see the store in the mind’s eye take shape.
The business plan writing process represents more than just writing a document. Seeing ideas put into writing keeps the entrepreneur engaged throughout the planning process. The business owner is part of each and every sentence because the ideas and plans in each sentence reflect a decision made concerning the retail business.
This is true even when you employ professional business plan writers. Bottom line: Nothing goes into a business plan unless you want it there!
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