Boutique Business Plan Template
Written by Dave Lavinsky
Over the past 20+ years, we have helped over 10,000 entrepreneurs and business owners create business plans to start and grow their boutiques. On this page, we will first give you some background information regarding the importance of business planning. We will then go through a boutique business plan template step-by-step so that you can create your plan today.
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What Is a Business Plan?
A business plan provides a snapshot of your boutique as it stands today and lays out your growth plan for the next five years. It explains your business goals and your strategy for reaching them. It also includes market research to support your plans.
Why You Need a Business Plan
If you’re looking to start a boutique business or grow your existing boutique, you need a business plan. A business plan will help you raise funding, if required, and plan out the growth of your boutique to improve your chances of success. Your boutique business plan is a living document that should be updated annually as your company grows and changes.
Sources of Funding for Boutique Businesses
Regarding funding, the primary sources of funding for a boutique business are bank loans and angel investors. Regarding bank loans, banks will want to review your business plan and gain confidence that you will repay your loan and interest. To acquire this confidence, the loan officer will not only want to confirm that your financials are reasonable. But they will want to see a professional plan. Such a plan will give them the confidence that you can successfully and professionally operate a business.
The second most common form of funding for a boutique is angel investors. Angel investors are wealthy individuals who will write you a check. They will either take equity in return for their funding or, like a bank, they will give you a loan.
Venture capitalists will not fund a boutique business. They might consider funding a chain, but never an individual location. This is because most venture capitalists look for millions of dollars in return when they invest, and an individual location could rarely achieve such results.
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Below is a boutique business plan example outline. It should include the following 10 sections:
Your executive summary provides an introduction to your business plan. Still, it is usually the last section you write because it allows for an overview of each critical section of your plan.
The goal of your Executive Summary is to engage the reader quickly. Explain to them the type of boutique you are operating and the status; for example, are you a startup, do you have a boutique business that you would like to grow, or are you operating a chain of boutiques.
Next, provide an overview of each of the subsequent sections of your plan. For example, give a brief overview of the boutique industry. Discuss the type of boutique store you are operating. Detail your direct competitors. Give a summary of your target customers. Provide a snapshot of your marketing plan. Identify the key members of your team. And offer an overview of your financial plan.
In your company analysis, you will detail the type of boutique business you are operating.
For example, you might operate a boutique focused on:
- High-End Fashion
- Sports/Athletic Clothing
- Kids Clothing
- Wedding Dresses
- Hip Hop Clothing
In addition to explaining the type of boutique business you operate, the Company Analysis section of your boutique business plan needs to provide background on the business.
Include answers to questions such as:
- When and why did you start the business?
- What milestones have you achieved to date? Milestones could include sales goals you’ve reached, new store openings, etc.
- Your legal structure. Are you incorporated as an S-Corp? An LLC? A sole proprietorship? Explain your legal structure here.
In your industry analysis, you need to provide an overview of the boutique business.
While this may seem unnecessary, it serves multiple purposes.
First, researching the boutique industry educates you. It helps you understand the market in which you are operating.
Secondly, market research can improve your strategy, particularly if your research identifies market trends. For example, if there were a trend towards local boutique businesses with online counterparts, it would be helpful to ensure your plan calls for a significant online presence.
The third reason for market research is to prove to readers that you are an expert in your industry. By conducting the research and presenting it in your plan, you achieve just that.
The following questions should be answered in the industry analysis section of your boutique business plan:
- How big is the boutique business (in dollars)?
- Is the market declining or increasing?
- Who are the key competitors in your local market?
- Who are the key suppliers in the market?
- What trends are affecting the industry?
- What is the industry’s growth forecast over the next 5 – 10 years?
- What is the relevant market size? That is, how big is the potential market for your boutique. You can extrapolate such a figure by assessing the size of your niche’s market in the entire country and then applying that figure to your local population.
The customer analysis section of your clothing boutique business plan must detail the customers you serve and/or expect to benefit.
The following are examples of customer segments: college students, sports enthusiasts, soccer moms, techies, teens, baby boomers, etc.
As you can imagine, the customer segment(s) you choose will greatly impact the type of boutique business you operate. Clearly, baby boomers would want a different atmosphere, pricing, and product options and would respond to other marketing promotions than teens.
Try to break out your target customers in terms of their demographic and psychographic profiles. Regarding demographics, include a discussion of the ages, genders, locations, and income levels of the customers you seek to serve. Because most boutique businesses primarily serve customers living in the same city or town, such demographic information is easy to find on government websites.
Psychographic profiles explain the wants and needs of your target customers. The more you can understand and define these needs, the better you will attract and retain your customers.
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Your competitive analysis should identify the indirect and direct competitors your business faces and then focus on the latter.
Direct competitors are other boutique businesses. They are most likely local businesses that sell similar items to you.
Indirect competitors are other options that customers have to purchase from you that aren’t direct competitors. You most likely will have online competitors; companies that sell the same or similar items to you, but which operate online.
For each direct competitor, provide an overview of their businesses and document their strengths and weaknesses. Unless you once worked at your competitors’ businesses, it will be impossible to know everything about them. But you should be able to find out key things about them such as:
- What types of customers do they serve?
- What products do they offer?
- What is their pricing (premium, low, etc.)?
- What are they good at?
- What are their weaknesses?
With regards to the last two questions, think about your answers from the customers’ perspective. Look at review websites to gain this information.
The final part of your competitive analysis section is to document your areas of competitive advantage. For example:
- Will you provide superior products or services?
- Will you provide products that your competitors don’t?
- Will you make it easier or faster for customers to acquire your products?
- Will you provide better customer service?
- Will you offer better pricing?
Think about ways you will outperform your competition and document them in this section of your plan.
Traditionally, a marketing plan includes the four P’s: Product, Price, Place, and Promotion. For a clothing boutique business plan, your marketing plan should include the following:
Product : in the product section you should reiterate the type of boutique you documented in your Company Analysis. Then, detail the specific products you will be offering.
Price : Document the prices you will offer and how they compare to your competitors. Essentially in the product and price sub-sections of your marketing plan, you are presenting the items you offer and their prices.
Place : Place refers to the location of your boutique business. Document your location and mention how the location will impact your success. For example, is your boutique business located next to a heavily populated office building, or gym, etc. Discuss how your location might provide a steady stream of customers. Also, if you operate or plan to operate kiosks, detail the locations where the kiosks will be placed.
Promotions : the final part of your boutique business marketing plan is the promotions section. Here you will document how you will drive customers to your location(s). The following are some promotional methods you might consider:
- Making your storefront extra appealing to attract passing customers
- Social media marketing
- Search engine optimization
- Advertising in local papers and magazines
- Reaching out to local bloggers and websites
- Local radio advertising
- Banner ads at local venues
While the earlier sections of your business plan explained your goals, your operations plan describes how you will meet them. Your operations plan should have two distinct sections as follows.
Everyday short-term processes include all of the tasks involved in running your boutique business such as serving customers, procuring inventory, keeping the boutique clean, etc.
Long-term goals are the milestones you hope to achieve. These could include the dates when you expect to serve your 1,000th customer, or when you hope to reach $X in sales. It could also be when you expect to hire your Xth employee or launch a new location.
To demonstrate your boutique business’s ability to succeed as a business, a strong management team is essential. Highlight your key players’ backgrounds, emphasizing those skills and experiences that prove their ability to grow a company.
Ideally, you and/or your team members have direct experience in the boutique business. If so, highlight this experience and expertise. But also highlight any experience that you think will help your business succeed.
If your team is lacking, consider assembling an advisory board. An advisory board would include 2 to 8 individuals who would act as mentors to your business. They would help answer questions and provide strategic guidance. If needed, look for advisory board members with experience in boutique businesses and/or successfully running a boutique and small businesses.
Your financial plan should include your 5-year financial statement broken out both monthly or quarterly for the first year and then annually. Your financial statements include your income statement, balance sheet, and cash flow statements.
Income Statement : an income statement is more commonly called a Profit and Loss statement or P&L. It shows your revenues and then subtracts your costs to show whether you turned a profit or not.
In developing your income statement, you need to devise assumptions. For example, will you serve 25 customers per day or 100? And will sales grow by 2% or 10% per year? As you can imagine, your choice of assumptions will greatly impact the financial forecasts for your business. As much as possible, conduct research to try to root your assumptions in reality.
Balance Sheets : While balance sheets include much information, to simplify them to the key items you need to know about, balance sheets show your assets and liabilities. For instance, if you spend $200,000 on building out your boutique business, that will not give you immediate profits. Rather it is an asset that will hopefully help you generate profits for years to come. Likewise, if a bank writes you a check for $100.000, you don’t need to pay it back immediately. Rather, that is a liability you will pay back over time.
Cash Flow Statement : Your cash flow statement will help determine how much money you need to start or grow your business, and make sure you never run out of money. What most entrepreneurs and business owners don’t realize is that you can turn a profit but run out of money and go bankrupt. For example, you may need to purchase inventories now that you can’t sell (and get paid for) for several months. During those months, you could run out of money.
In developing your Income Statement and Balance Sheets be sure to include several of the key costs needed in starting or growing a boutique business:
- Location build-out including design fees, construction, etc.
- Cost of fixtures
- Cost of initial inventory
- Payroll or salaries paid to staff
- Business insurance
- Taxes and permits
- Legal expenses
Attach your full financial projections in the appendix of your plan along with any supporting documents that make your plan more compelling. For example, you might include your boutique’s design blueprint or location lease.
Boutique Business Plan Summary
Putting together a business plan for your boutique business (or an online boutique business plan) is a worthwhile endeavor. If you follow the boutique business plan example template above, by the time you are done, you will truly be an expert. You will really understand the boutique business, your competition, and your customers. You will have developed a marketing plan and will really understand what it takes to launch and grow a successful boutique store.
Boutique Business Plan FAQs
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How to Guide to Making an Online Boutique Business Plan
Have you ever felt contented when going to a nice boutique shop and everything they sell just screams “your style” and then you’ll have an idea of making your own products and just sell them online?
Then why not start your own Online Boutique Shop where every product is designed by you, right from its style to the texture and color of the product or sell items that are more of your style.
Starting a boutique shop is hard, same as starting an online boutique business plan. But, before you start hand-picking items or designing your products, first you’ll need to form a business plan.
Creating a business plan will start from making an Executive Summary down to projecting a Balance Sheet but don’t think about making a formal business plan just yet unless if you really needed it if your a company that will attend in events like the Business Plan Event.
So, in this guide, we will help you create an online business plan that will give your business a strategic growth or raise money for your online boutique business:
3 Rules in Writing an Online Boutique Business Plan
First of all, you’ll need to know the rules in writing a business plan:
Rule # 1: Make it Short
Writing an Online Business Plan should be short and direct to the point because One, Reading a 50-page Business Plan or more will just bore your audiences and Two, writing a business plan should be a tool that helps you run and grow your business. A plan that you’ll continue to use and polish over time
Rule # 2: Write Simply
When you write a business plan, make it so in a simple language where everyone of any ages can understand it. Your audiences are not all expert when it comes to business so learn to adapt.
Rule # 3: Be Confident
Don’t let other entrepreneurs intimidate you, remember not all of them are experts and most of them are still learning as they go. You don’t have to make a fully detailed business plan just yet, you can actually start with a one-page business plan that is called a Lean Plan and then you can, later on, build a more detailed business plan.
The Contents of an Online Business Plan
These are some of the titles that a business plan contains. A good business plan should be a document where you can always return to regularly to check and update if your sales, customers, and marketing tactics actually work or not and to know if you got your budget and predictions right.
Making a plan sets the goals that you want to achieve and you should use this to keep track of your progress and adjust things as you go. Below are some of the contents of Business Planner.
1. Executive Summary
This is an overview of your business plan. It should summarize the key points of the document to save time for the readers and to prepare them for the upcoming topic. It summarizes the documents’:
- Target Market
- Financial summary
- Funding requirements
The executive summary is sometimes called an important part of the business plan because it must get your readers’ attention to make them read the whole business plan.
And since this is an overview of your whole plan, it is commonly written on the last page.
This part of the plan is where you’ll explain how the business started, how you solved your problems, who are your target customers and how well your products are sold online in a detailed way. You will also mention here on how you plan to expand your online business in the future.
Most of your readers will already know a bit about your online boutique shop because of the executive summary, but unlike there in this part of the document, everything about your business’ success and struggles are explained here in details.
3. Carrying out the Task
In this section, it will contain your marketing and sales plan, your current and future operations, and how you’ll measure your success as time goes by.
4. Target Market
Whether your business is a boutique or not you won’t need to put in many details in here. However, you should know who your customers are and how many there are. Because if you don’t have enough customers buying your product or visiting your online shop then that could be a warning sign.
Try to learn more about Market Analysis, it can help you to reduce the risk of your business from going down. Understanding your potential customers and your market conditions will give you a better chance of developing a practical product or your services.
5. Company and Team
Of Course, if you have a big company you should also include how your company was founded, who are the founder and the business partner and the growth in numbers of your employees throughout the years.
But if you are just on your own and just started a new online business you can probably skip this part or just write about how you came up with starting an online shop on your own.
6. Financial Business Fund
All starting businesses should have its own financial fund, without this then your business plan isn’t complete. Coming up with your financial fund, it should contain:
- Pro Forma Income Statement
- Pro Forma Cash Flow
- Projected Balance Sheet
You should also include who your rivals are and what products they sell that competes with your own products and your business solutions to the customer’s problems. List down your competitors and show how they compare to your business plan solutions and products and you can indicate if your competitor has the particular feature of your product and solution or not.
All businesses have competitors whether if it is a direct or an indirect competition. Investors will want to know what your advantages are against your competitor and how you’ll differentiate yourself from them.
You may include an appendix or not on your business planner. If you want to add a picture of a product, a table to further prove the details of your solution or products, or if you want to add something that is too long or just out-of-place to include in your business plan.
Steps on How to Start An Online Boutique Shop
Today you can create your own online boutique without knowing computer codes, hiring a designer, hiring a computer specialist, or spend thousands just to start selling stuff online. Because of Online Store Builders, many non-technical people can now sell their products online on their own.
Using an Online Store Builder for your products can help save your time, effort, and money when you open an online boutique shop. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to start your online boutique shop.
#1: Choose a Platform
If the boutique that you are planning to create only has 50 products below then you can check these online builders for small boutiques, Wix , Squarespace , and Weebly . But if it’s over 50 products then you should check Shopify and Bigcommerce .
when choosing a builder to start your online boutique shop then I recommend testing first the builders.
Select and customize your template that will attract customers to your site, on the internet the quote “Don’t judge a book by its cover” surely does not apply. So when customizing your template make sure that the design will grab the attention of the customers or they’ll go look for another online shop.
#3: Adding Products
When adding products make sure that they have a different page to make it easy for your customers to find what they are looking for, like making a category for Pants, Sandals, Shirts, Dress, etc. In that way, it’ll keep your customer’s happy and make things convenient.
#4: Customize Pages
Customizing your products’ pages is like showcasing your products outside a physical boutique shop. You can change the layout, add video to your product pages, add a filter, make your “add cart” more visible, the products’ prices and captions, and many more to give your customers all the information they needed.
#5: Payment and Shipping of Orders
Set up a payment processor that allows your customers to choose how they will pay for their product via credit or debit card or services like PayPal. This way you can start making money from you online boutique shop.
For the shipment of orders, you should probably think about how you want to do this. Whether, if you want to add shipping charges in different regions like locally or internationally, make the charges the same for all products, or offer your customer an express delivery with an additional charge.
You might also want to consider how you’ll pack your products or if you want to personalize them like putting freebies or a small card thanking them for their purchase to encourage them to return on your site.
This guide not only helps you on how to make an Online Boutique Business Plan but also guides you on how you’ll start your own Online Boutique Shop. When making a business plan try making a Lean Plan first, just write down the things you’ll need for your business’ growth. You can just update it if you need a more formal business plan.
And if you plan to build an online boutique shop we recommend that you try Wix when selling a small number of products, and Shopify if your planning to build a bigger boutique.
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How to write a boutique business plan
There’s a lot to consider when you’re opening a clothing store . A boutique business plan doesn’t just help you stay organized, it’s an essential tool to share with potential investors and other collaborators.
Here’s a simple guide on how to write a boutique business plan that can clearly communicate your goals.
A clothing boutique business plan should include a number of standard components. Each one will help you clarify your vision and strategize for the future.
Start thinking about the technology you’ll need, including a retail POS system that combines in-person operations with eCommerce, and streamlines the process for managing inventory, invoices, and employees.
1. Executive summary
An executive summary should read like an elevator pitch for your boutique business plan. How would you succinctly sum up the concept for your boutique and how you aim to serve your target customer? What are you going to offer that stands out in the marketplace?
Though your boutique business plan should begin with an executive summary, it may be best to write it after you’ve drawn up the rest of the plan. You’ll also want to include a basic rundown of how the business will work financially.
2. Company description and overview
Tell a story about the boutique you want to open. Who are your ideal customers, and what kind of experience will you give them? What will they get at your boutique that they won’t get anywhere else? This is where you identify your brand and describe what’s unique about it.
Honing your mission statement as a brand will also help shape future decisions. Be clear about how you envision your business, so you can return to it as a blueprint.
3. Products and pricing
Be specific about what your boutique will sell. What type of clothing and accessories will you carry, and at what price point? Will you offer everyday basics in addition to more specialized garments?
Spell out your plan for suppliers, including how much you’ll pay compared to what you’ll charge. Also specify any additional services (like tailoring) and how you might plan to expand offerings in the future.
To maximize efficiency and flexibility for customers, you’ll need a POS system that accepts all payment types .
READ: 6 useful apps for boutique owners and small retail businesses
4. Market analysis
You can break your market analysis into three parts.
- Identify competition. What other businesses will you be competing with? Identify your direct competition, including other local boutiques, as well as broader industry competitors, like large department stores and other online retailers. How will you differentiate your boutique?
- Assess the industry. Take a look at the industry overall, and how you’ll carve out a place in it. What is the state of the marketplace? How will you meet existing demands and manage potential changes in the future?
- SWOT. SWOT stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Consider each one carefully to be clear about where your business stands.
5. Marketing strategy
How will you attract your ideal customers? Lay out your plan for drawing in the people you want to serve, and where you’ll find them. Social media will likely be a key component here, both for in-person shopping and especially online.
6. Business operations
This is the nuts-and-bolts section for everyday operations. What are your store hours? What sort of staffing do you plan to have? Think about how a typical day will run and the moving parts involved.
A smart POS system can help make simple work of operations, including tracking best sellers, syncing inventory, and paying staff on time.
7. Financial plan
Financial viability is one of the most important considerations for your boutique business plan, and this is where you do the math. Consult expert sources and other business owners to assess what your operating costs will be, and how you plan to turn a profit. Since this is also where you’ll prove your determination to any investors, make sure this section is top notch.
8. Future outlook
Think about a 5-year plan for your business. Do you foresee offering additional products or services down the line? Opening additional locations? Tell a story here about how you’d like to see your business thrive in the future.
Writing a boutique business plan is an essential step to launching your business. Find out how Clover can help streamline operations and provide support tailored to your needs with a boutique POS system .
Talk to a Clover Business Consultant to learn more today.
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Boutique business plan: 7 sections to include
- A boutique business plan can help you make smart business decisions and access outside funding opportunities
- Perform a market analysis to set your brand apart from competitors and uncover trends in your market
- Create a financial plan complete with startup costs , operating costs, and financial projections to get a clear picture of your potential growth
An impeccable fashion sense can help any boutique owner stock their store with the perfect inventory. However, running a successful retail boutique requires more than a great product line. To compete in the trillion-dollar apparel industry filled with established department stores and brand-name retailers, your small business needs a clear roadmap for its future: a boutique business plan .
Whether you’re an aspiring, new, or seasoned entrepreneur , writing a business plan will challenge you to think strategically about your boutique’s position in its market so you can make decisions that help your brand flourish. Here’s what you need to include in your boutique business plan template to build a thriving store.
7 essential sections for your boutique business plan
A boutique business plan mainly acts as a guide for your decision-making. However, when you’re applying for loans, pitching to investors, or meeting with potential business partners, this document can also act as an enticing, in-depth introduction to your boutique that helps readers evaluate your brand’s value.
No matter who your audience is, make sure to include these seven sections in your boutique business plan outline .
1. Executive summary
Most business plans start with a one-page introduction that tells readers what your brand does and why it’s likely to succeed. This intro—called an executive summary —serves two key purposes. First, it gives readers must-know facts until they’re ready to read through the rest of your plan. Second, it entices your readers to learn more about your boutique.
Write this section last so you can choose the most exciting facts from each part of your store business plan .
2. Business description
There’s no shortage of brick-and-mortar and online clothing stores , so this section of your boutique business plan should focus on how you stand out from the rest. Start by writing a business description that provides key details about your store, such as:
- Your business name
- Your business location
- Your target market
- Your founding year or target launch date
- Your mission statement
- Your business goals
- Your online sales channels (e.g., your website , Etsy, and Facebook Shops)
- Your business structure (such as sole proprietorship or C corp)
After these details, highlight a few key facts about what gives your fashion business a competitive advantage . For instance, your brand may be better able to succeed if you serve a niche market —like people seeking gender-neutral clothes or eco-friendly athletic women’s clothing —or if it has the largest stock of a particular product in your area.
3. Boutique products
This section of your boutique business plan is all about showcasing your pricing strategy and what you have for sale in your store. You can list all of your products if you have a limited selection. If you have a large inventory or constantly rotating stock, you can highlight a few of your most popular items—enough to show readers what type of boutique you own.
Then, provide prices and detailed descriptions for each product. You can include details about sizing, clothing materials, and wholesale costs.
4. Market analysis
The clothing industry is a highly competitive landscape. To boost your boutique’s performance, it’s important to do market research to understand your competitors, your industry, and where your brand currently stands.
Start by identifying your direct competitors (like other boutiques in your area) as well as indirect competitors that serve similar needs, such as big box stores and online clothing subscriptions. Provide details about each of their target customers , products, marketing strategies , and other helpful insights.
Then, identify a few notable trends in your industry. For instance, if shoppers are spending less, seeking more casual shoes, or using their smartphones to buy clothes more than ever, these are notable trends that can impact your retail store’s success.
Once you complete an overview of your market, perform a SWOT analysis of your boutique. This analysis will help you identify your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats so you can spot where your brand needs to improve and where it’s most marketable.
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5. Management team
The people leading your boutique—even if it’s just you—have the biggest influence on your brand’s success. In this section, introduce each of your boutique owners and managers as well as their responsibilities on your team. Explain why each owner or manager is fit for their roles. Mention any relevant work experience and credentials, such as college degrees, certifications, and awards.
Be sure to include an organizational chart that helps readers visualize which employees each manager is in charge of. For instance, store associates will likely report to a retail store manager.
6. Marketing plan
Your boutique business plan must include a marketing plan that outlines what channels you’ll use to promote your products, along with how you’ll use each one. Examples of tactics you can highlight include:
- Using social media marketing for your sales promotions and new clothing drops
- Setting up booths at local flea markets to get more potential clients engaged with your store
- Adding or claiming your Yelp Business Page to respond to online reviews of your boutique and build your business’s reputation
- Running online ads, like Yelp Ads , to increase the visibility of your boutique for relevant searches
Include a marketing budget in this section to show prospective lenders how you will prevent overspending on ads and other promotions.
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7. Financial plan
The final section of your clothing boutique business plan should summarize your expected costs and provide realistic estimations of your expected profit over the next five years. If you’re pitching to investors or seeking a loan, this section tells your readers how you plan to use the money you’re requesting while showing them your boutique is capable of growth and repayment.
New business owners should start this section by listing their startup costs , which includes all the expenses you need to cover before opening your boutique. For example, it would include the costs for your initial inventory, point of sale terminals, business registration , and display tables and racks for your store.
Next, itemize your monthly operational costs, which you’ll need to cover to run your business. Common operating costs for boutiques include rent, payment processing fees, new inventory, and ecommerce platform subscriptions.
Lastly, work with an accountant or financial analyst to develop realistic mockups of financial statements —including income statements , cash flow statements, and balance sheets —that display your potential long-term growth.
Build a thriving boutique store
The clothing industry is filled with thousands of competitors, both online and offline. However, when you write an effective boutique business plan , you can help your brand succeed in the long term. The process of creating a retail business plan template will challenge you to carve out your niche, understand your competitors, and build strategies that keep your business growth on track.
As your boutique begins to thrive as a result of your proactive planning, get more ideas for increasing retail sales to help you achieve steady growth.
The information above is provided for educational and informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice and may not be suitable for your circumstances. Unless stated otherwise, references to third-party links, services, or products do not constitute endorsement by Yelp.
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How to Write an Ecommerce Business Plan [Examples & Template]
Published: July 07, 2022
If you have a promising idea for an online ecommerce business , it’s important to create an ecommerce business plan to ensure your vision has enough stock to be profitable.
Having a business plan for your online store will help you define your target market, establish your monthly and quarterly sales goals, and increase the likelihood of long-term ecommerce success.
In this post, we’ll go over what an online store business plan is and how you can create one for your ecommerce startup. Let’s get started.
What is an ecommerce business plan?
An ecommerce business plan is a document that outlines your business and its goals, analyzes your industry and competitors, and identifies the resources needed to execute your plan. It also lists the ecommerce retailers you’ll use to distribute your products and the marketing strategies you’ll use to drive sales.
Whether a company operates as a startup or has years of operations and growth under its belt, an ecommerce business plan is essential for evaluating a business and determining areas of improvement.
An ecommerce business plan is especially important, with an increasing number of shoppers conducting business online. It's estimated this number has reached over 2 billion . Having an ecommerce business plan keeps you organized and is useful when seeking investors who need to understand your company.
So, let’s dive into some examples of ecommerce business plans and what goes into writing one using our free template .
Ecommerce Business Plan Template
Download Your Free Template Here
How to Write an E-commerce Business Plan
- Give an executive summary.
- List and describe your business.
- Detail your products and services.
- Conduct a market analysis.
- Strategize your marketing plan.
- Create a sales plan.
- Outline legal notes and financial considerations.
1. Give an executive summary.
An executive summary is a one-to-two page overview of your business. The purpose of an executive summary is to let stakeholders know what the business plan will contain. HubSpot's free template offers some tips on how to write one, as I've done below:
It's important to provide an executive summary so that an investor or executive, who doesn’t have the time to read your full plan, can quickly see the most important highlights of your business.
2. List and describe your business.
This is the section that needs the most detail because it highlights what you're selling. To begin, provide an overview of your product or service. For instance, a photography company would probably list their photo packages arranged by price and services, as I did below:
HubSpot's template also provides direction on how to describe your company's purpose and break down values. It also advises businesses to include team structure, if applicable. Below that, you should go into detail about your product and service lines.
3. Detail your products and services.
Once you have described your business and its purpose, you’re ready to dive deeper into your plan. What products and services do you or will you offer? This is an opportunity to list each item and its purpose, allowing you to answer the question ‘ why?’ Why are you choosing to offer these specific products and services?
After detailing your products and services, outline your pricing model. What is the cost associated with each service? Determining price, especially as a startup, can be challenging. However, sales pricing calculators help determine the best pricing strategy.
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4. Conduct a market analysis.
For the market analysis, provide the operational climate of the industry you're in. To illustrate, at this step, the photography company would need to analyze its position in a world of rival companies like Adobe or online services like Canva. Below, I've done a quick competitor analysis, available in the template:
Using directions in the template as a guide, I was able to come up with more selling points of the company and how it stands out from competitors.
Filling out the market analysis section of the business plan assists with providing the framework for future campaigns. You’re able to define your target market and ideal customer. Refer to my example below for how to structure this analysis in your ecommerce plan.
Good market analysis includes your target audience, projections of your company's goals, and a breakdown of the competition's goals and weaknesses. This is a counterpoint of how your business improves upon those weaknesses.
For a complete guide on how to create a market analysis, we have one here.
5. Strategize your marketing plan.
For any business, having the right marketing plan for your eCommerce business is crucial. It serves as a roadmap for how your company will build brand awareness, reach your target audience, and boost sales and revenue. As seen in this template, your marketing plan will focus on positioning strategy, acquisition channels, and tools and technology.
Positioning strategy fixates on how you will position yourself to your audience. How will you address their challenges and goals? How will you use the tools at your disposal to accomplish this?
The marketing plan will also require you to focus on where your customers come from. Are they finding your business through search engine marketing? Do they discover your business from your blog or social media accounts? Identifying your acquisition channels allows you to identify which ones to prioritize.
Lastly, your marketing plan should lay out the tools and technology your marketing team will need and use. Will you use a content management system (CMS) like CMS Hub ? List all the software and programs your company will use to execute its marketing plan.
6. Create a sales plan.
When creating your sales plan, describe your methodology, organization structure, sales channels, and tools and technology. For example, when discussing methodology, will you focus on an inbound strategy where you attract customers to your business through your content or an outbound strategy where you initiate contact with your prospects? This part of your ecommerce business plan will also require you to outline the people in charge of selling your products and services, as well as what channels they’ll use to sell your products.
Similar to creating your marketing plan, the sales plan will also require a brief on what tools you plan to use. While your marketing plan might need a CMS, your sales plan might need a customer retention management (CRM) software like HubSpot to manage your relationships with current and potential customers.
7. Outline legal notes and financial considerations.
In the following two sections of your business plan, describe the legal and financial structures. The photography company should provide detail on the legal considerations like online safety rules, ecommerce regulations, and the company's costs.
Listing legality and every cost needed to start ecommerce is crucial information for investors and stakeholders. In this section, it's important to be honest and thorough to give partners a realistic idea of how to contribute.
Ecommerce Business Plan Examples
1. maple ecommerce plan.
This sample plan, provided on LinkedIn, is for a fictional company called Maple, an online store that sells exclusive Apple products. Maple's sample plan is great because it provides easy-to-follow charts and graphics while highlighting the most important information. For example, their market analysis included a SWOT plan for the business.
Outlining the strengths, weaknesses, threats, and opportunities of Maple in this format is easy for potential investors to follow. Notating each value with a letter keeps the format consistent, which is carried throughout the plan. For businesses that find their information is best presented in graphics, Maple is a good plan to follow.
2. Nature's Candy Ecommerce Plan
Nature's Candy is an online retailer that provides nutritional supplements. Its business plan is available online and is helpful in seeing how businesses go from planning to execution. Below is a preview of its plan in the financial forecasting section.
This example shows who will be on payroll yearly, giving investors an idea of how their investment will work in the long term. Planning ahead also shows stakeholders’ dedication to starting up your business.
3. NoHassleReturn Ecommerce Plan
Fictional company NoHassleReturn's sample ecommerce plan is an expansive, detailed version of how ecommerce would translate to a completely online store. The company itself is structured to offer a way to make returning items bought from an online store a simple process, and the steps to take are featured below.
Having a sequence of processes like this is useful if your company is a niche idea. Investors and stakeholders need to know how your business will be new and unique for the market.
Even though writing out a business plan seems like a painstaking process, we have a step-by-step guide to help. This will keep you organized and keep you on track when structuring your business.
4. OGS Capital Ecommerce Plan
This sample ecommerce business plan comes from OGS Capital, where they created a test business plan for Botswana’s first private psychiatric hospital focused on inpatient and outpatient clinical health care. It features detailed sections for the business model, marketing plan, financial projects, and more. This level of detail is demonstrated below in their executive summary section.
While some ecommerce business plans will explain the executive summary through a series of paragraphs, the layout in this sample makes the information more digestible. The project is separated into sections that detail the business idea, as well as its goals and strengths. The business idea includes price projects, geographical focus, and target customers. Goals for this project are created for 10 years with specific, individual goals built at one-, five-, and seven-year time markers. Lastly, this executive summary highlights the strengths of this business plan to solidify this project and its importance.
5. Egrocery Ecommerce Plan
For centuries, people have left their homes to buy groceries from stores, supermarkets, farmer’s markets, and more. At-home grocery delivery has grown in popularity and is reflected in this sample ecommerce plan for a fictional business named eGrocery. This sample plan establishes the company as an online grocery retail business with plans for connecting customers to distributors for fast, convenient at-home deliveries.
In its business model section, eGrocery outlines how it will implement both a business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) model to get products from distributors, retailers, and wholesalers to its household customers. This section provides an effective demonstration of the company’s overall function.
6. Shannon & Shavonne Inc. Ecommerce Plan
Shannon & Shavonne Inc. is a fictional United States-based online retailer that offers its customers an abundance of products in fashion, home appliances, electronics, and more. The depth seen in this plan is particularly helpful, especially with the detail seen in outlining the business structure and each job’s roles and responsibilities.
The plan first lists all the necessary roles, from the chief executive officer (CEO) to a call center agent. It then describes the responsibilities of each role. As displayed in the image above, an information technologist (IT) would be tasked with managing the organization’s website, updating the online store, and ensuring the security of the company’s payment platform. The clear distinction of roles helps manage employee expectations and accountability.
7. Firstcry.com Ecommerce Plan
In this sample, we have Firstcry.com — a fictional ecommerce site that creates eco-friendly baby and feminine hygiene products. Because the company is looking for funding to launch the business, its plan focuses on its financial highlights and projections, which is crucial information for investors.
While disclosing what the startup funds will be used for, this plan also estimates its top-line projections over the next five years. As seen in the chart above, they include revenue, expenses, interest, and net income. The plan even breaks down how many customers per day and annual orders will be needed to reach this goal.
When it comes to building an ecommerce business plan, you’ll likely find that the more detail you include, the better.
Planning is the first step.
When starting a business, planning is always a crucial first step. If you find that you’ve launched a company without a concrete plan, it’s never too late. Successful businesses require strategy, and that’s what an ecommerce business plan gives you. It allows you to strategize what your business does, how it operates, and why it's essential. Not only does it help you pinpoint who the key players of your company are, but it helps you identify who your target audience should be.
With the steps listed in this article and the examples to take inspiration from, you’re one step closer to building an ecommerce business plan for success.
Editor's note: This post was originally published in November 2019 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.
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How (and Why) to Create an Online Boutique Business Plan
You’re setting up your online boutique, and you have so much to do! Now, everyone is telling you to create an online boutique business plan as if you really need another item on your To-Do list! But do you need a business plan? And if so, how to create a business plan for an online boutique when you’ve never done one? Let’s find out!
Why You Want a Boutique Business Plan
You’ll require an online boutique business plan to apply to a bank or organization for funding. And if you want to attract business partners, they will need to review and accept your business plan. Even your parents will feel better providing funding for your venture if they can review a detailed business plan. But you know what? The most important person who needs to read your boutique business plan is you.
Benefits of Writing a Boutique Business Plan
Why is writing a business plan so important?
- A detailed boutique business plan proves that you are serious about your new business venture and that you take the risks, the rewards, and the hard work necessary for success seriously.
- Your business plan will be a road map identifying and defining where you are now and where you wish to go over the next 3 to 5 years. It should consist of a series of mini-plans — one for sales and marketing, one for pricing and discounts, one for developing new sources of wholesale boutique clothing , etc.
- Writing your boutique business plan will uncover “hidden” assumptions you aren’t aware you are making. When you force yourself to put every step of your plan down on paper, you’ll discover these assumptions and put them to the test so that you can analyze the results.
- Having your detailed business plan to refer back to will help you to recognize opportunities and tripwires to come.
How to Create a Business Plan for an Online Boutique
Before we get to the nitty-gritty of how to create a business plan for an online boutique , remember these three guidelines for the way you write it:
- Write simply, in everyday language. You’re creating a valuable business tool you will use again and again.
- Be specific.
- Be confident. Your business plan is your roadmap to your success.
What to Include in a Boutique Business Plan
If you wish to follow a boutique business plan template , Template.net offers 21 good options for you for free. If you’d like to look at online boutique business plan examples , Bplans has three good samples. Your business plan should include the following sections:
This section summarizes your entire boutique business plan . Although it goes at the beginning of your business plan, you will typically write it last. This shorter version of your complete plan should run no more than 1 to 2 pages, and it should briefly cover:
- Competition Analysis
- Financial summary
- Funding requirements
As you draw up your company description, outline your boutique in detail and include:
- Boutique name
- Mission statement
- Goals and objectives
- Business philosophy
- Evaluation of what makes your online boutique unique in the market
- Description of the owner(s)
- Number and role(s) of employees
This section of your online boutique business plan is about much more than “I want to make money.” Describe your particular niche and whether you have plans to expand that niche in the future. Will you bring on partners eventually or open a brick-and-mortar store down the line? All of your objectives, both immediate and long-term, belong here.
Products and Services
Describe all the products and services you intend to offer here. Be specific about wholesale vendors, quality, pricing structure, and everything related to the products you sell. If you’re responsible for storing the inventory then packaging and shipping the orders, these are services you provide, and the details about how you’ll do so belong in this section.
The Operational Plan portion of your boutique business plan should outline the day-to-day activities of your online boutique. This includes (but is not limited to):
- Product sourcing and purchasing
- Inventory storage and maintenance
- Website maintenance
- Product posting and descriptions
- Order processing
This is the section of your online boutique business plan where you identify your target market for your boutique. Who is your customer? Be specific. Your target market isn’t “women” or “middle-class women.” Identify with your customer. Perhaps your target customer is in her early 20s, not yet married, with an active social life, and prioritizes going to music festivals. She loves bohemian style and vintage rock t-shirts and always wears boots instead of heels. Develop such a honed-in profile that new product purchases are made easier as you identify what your customer wants to wear.
Be as detailed as possible when writing the marketing section of your business plan. Instead of “social media marketing,” outline our plans for the platforms you’ll use, how often, and in what way. Will you reach out to influencers? Which ones, and how? Determine your marketing budget, tools, strategy, and methods.
This section will include:
- Startup capital
- Startup expenses
- Sources for additional funding
- Banking information
- First year’s projected profit and loss
- Financial plan
The Competition analysis section of your online boutique business plan should identify your competitors in your niche. Evaluate their strengths, their weaknesses. What are they getting right? What can you do better?
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Setting up an online store: tips for creating your business
Building a business is not something that simply happens over night; behind the scenes, there’s always a considerable amount of planning required in advance. A business plan acts as a guide for this process as it gathers, organizes and summarizes all the key information about the business concept and future projects. When writing a business plan, you should be sure to include hard facts and important information, as well as financial projections and predictions of potential opportunities and obstacles down the road. Providing a vision for the development of the business is just as integral to the plan as information about finance and structure. But how do business plans for e-commerce differ? And are there specific guidelines for entrepreneurs? Read on to discover the most important elements to include in the business plan for your web store.
Why write a business plan?
Business ideas/abstract, business profile, target group, analyzing the market/competition, marketing strategy, organization/structure, prospects and risk assessment, conclusion: it’s worth the effort.
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Many see creating a business plan as a kind of compulsory exercise, often questioned by entrepreneurs who are already quite far through the planning stage. However, all business owners benefit from visualizing the important factors for planning, strategy, and finances in the form of a detailed plan. When it comes down to it, it can be highly advantageous to have a comprehensive and structured business plan, in which a full collection of ideas and proposals are available at a glance. This proves valuable both in terms of budget planning and scheduling as well as searching for investors and business partners . For the latter, the business plan is often the deciding factor in the decision-making process.
How to write a business plan
A good business plan is a guideline for founding a company , and that goes for online companies too. While your online store is still on the starting blocks, it makes sense to use your house bank or get your personal accountant on board. This way, your flourishing business has a better chance of success; if your founding team lacks a competent and experienced professional from the financial sector, it’ll be difficult to accurately handle your finances . While the bulk of the planning still rests on the shoulders of the founders, accounting is a mammoth task that is practically impossible without professional support.
Business plans generally follow the same basic structure: usually opening with a summary , which briefly outlines the forthcoming points, the first paragraph should work to inform the reader of the most important aspects of the business in order to pique their interest. The key data surrounding the proposed projects are important of course, especially a project’s legal status. It’s important to outline the following information at the beginning of your business plan:
- name and address of the business and its founder(s)
- date of foundation
- subject of the business
- legal status
- company structure and tenure status
Only once these have been stated should the business plan address further aspects. Here are the most important features at a glance :
The business concept is the key to every business and the cornerstone of any business plan . The biggest challenge here is summarizing your goals and intentions for your web store in a few key points. The language should be clear and concise with no unnecessary, technical terms. It’s a good idea to follow the elevator pitch model. This is the concept of pitching your business model to a group of bystanders during a 30-second elevator ride. In this short amount of time, you must be able to outline all the key information including your objectives, personal aims and business strategy.
A brief section about the founder or founding team usually follows the abstract. This generally includes a list of relevant skills , career history, and experience in the sector. Even if you use the business plan for external issues such as financial matters or promotional purposes, you should still record the founding team’s significant soft skills , as well as their capabilities and experience. Highly regarded abilities in the e-commerce realm include:
- technical skills , particularly those that are useful for programming, developing, and installing online shop software or content management systems
- marketing skills that prove at least one of the founders to be an expert in SEO, SEM, or affiliate marketing, as this is a big advantage in e-commerce marketing strategies
- logistical skills that confirm the founder(s) experience with commercial management systems and processing shipments and/or returns
Other relevant abilities include financial skills (bookkeeping, accounting, controlling), management experience (staff management, acquisition of goods), service skills, and legal experience .
Defining a target group is essential when writing a business plan. This target group is integral for later steps such as marketing strategies and publicity. Only by determining the target group in this early stage can the size of the market be ascertained, thus providing the basis for further calculations. In online trade , presentation is key to drawing in potential customers.
Most business owners can identify who might use their web store in the conceptual phase. This usually requires an understanding of the differences between B2B and B2C marketing strategies. To define the web store’s target market, you must go one step further and try to specify: what are the customer benefits? What are the characteristics of potential customers? Are there any corresponding figures or studies to back this up? These are the questions to answer when determining an accurate target group.
So-called personas or Sinus-Milieus are great tools to help define your target group(s).
This part of the business plan should record the target sector’s current market situation. Here, it’s worth including valuable information such as market size , existing market structures , and influencing factors . It’s crucial that this data is measured accurately, so it’s useful to use trade association websites to gain a glimpse into the status of other online stores in your sector. Check out the Planning Shop list of all the major US trade associations here .
Businesses should also contrast the market situation with the prevailing competition . It is essential to gather information on facts such as the level of competition for your products; for many entrepreneurs, this can provide the keystone of their entire business model. Committing this to paper often reveals potential weaknesses. For example, if you are attempting to enter a competitive market with high price sensitivity, you should consider adjusting your web store’s concept or product line. It’s not worth trying to break into a saturated market unless you have an especially unique strategy or innovative idea.
Achieving success in e-commerce relies on gaining a good reputation and transforming your online store’s browsers into buyers. The latter is known as ‘ generating conversions ’ in marketing jargon. With the rise of e-commerce, business owners now benefit from the immense range of online and offline marketing strategies at their disposal; including newsletters, SEM, SEO, billboard advertising and flyers. The marketing techniques that best suit your online store depend on a variety of factors. This is where the founders’ skillsets play just as crucial a role as knowledge of the target market. On the whole, the marketing strategy stands in direct correlation with the budget plan.
The following aspects should be included in this part of the marketing plan :
- marketing solutions
- distribution policy
- any relevant services
In the world of e-commerce, USPs (i.e. quick delivery and free returns) can be the decisive factor in a customer’s decision to use your web store over another. And when it comes to acquiring new customers and managing existing ones, traditional marketing techniques should be considered just as important as innovative distribution platforms. As well as an overview of market activity, the business plan should incorporate controlling tools and key figures to measure success.
This section of the business plan is about the general organization of the business , and should go into detail about the relevant aspects of the existing structure and management system. The overview should start with an outline of the organizational structure , from the management level down to individual employees. The founders’ qualifications and skills come into play once more here, as you break down the company’s hierarchy and management roles. The staff structure should also include wages .
This part of the business plan should also contain development plans for the marketing and sales strategies. Sales are of particularly great significance for web stores, as this area includes procurement, product management, and returns. It’s also important to document administrative issues (i.e. book-balancing, taxes, legal matters) and technical elements (i.e. e-commerce software, page design).
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Creating a plan for your finances is by far the most complex part of the business planning process; we recommended that you enlist the help of financial experts . Key aspects to consider are:
- projected sales performance (3 or 5 year plan)
- required venture capital
- information about the company’s liquidity
Don’t forget these three important areas:
Capital requirement plan
This is where you specify what financial resources you need at various stages. Not only does this involve the initial cost of starting up a company, but also the ongoing operating expenses. When considering your capital requirement plan, consider the following question: what resources does the company need, in both the start-up and growth phase? If you do not have sufficient personal resources, you should document any loans or external capital.
The finance plan determines the ratio of personal investment to external funds. The capital requirement calculation serves as the basis for this figure. Naturally, a high proportion of personal investment is desirable, however, when starting up a business—particularly a web store—gathering extra funds is compulsory. This can help to cover initial costs such as the acquisition of stock.
The turnover forecast should predict your company’s development in the next 3-5 years. Providing a realistic glimpse into the development of your company is just as important for investors as it is for you. Among other things, it is useful to compare your predicted revenue and costs.
An overview of the different business structures in the US
The business structure determines how a company is run regarding its legal aspects. It regulates the relationship between partners and shareholders as well as their relationship to the state and the environment. Here, we provide an overview of the most common legal structures in the US and explain what you should bear in mind when choosing the legal entity that’s right for you.
Starting an online store—insurance
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Online retail isn’t solely the turf of Big Dogs like Amazon or Walmart—countless small-to-medium sized businesses as well as private individuals also earn their living by selling their goods online. But there’s more to setting up an online store than simply making sure you’re equipped with the latest hardware and software, or have found an excellent hosting provider. When faced with challenges…
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If you want to create your startup independently, the question will come up sooner or later of how the company will be financed. Nowadays, there are so many options for startup funding: regional and nation-wide funding programs can help, as well as angel investors, startup centers, and other investors. Long-term subsidies that last two or more years are not a rarity in the startup industry. Learn…
Writing a business plan: here’s how to plan your venture
Before a business idea can be implemented, it is necessary to create a business plan. This serves as the founder’s roadmap, and summarizes all necessary information about planning and finances. However, the business plan is also highly relevant for investors as well as potential financial and funding institutions, since it is a decision-making factor for loans and grants. Due to its importance and…
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Online Boutique Clothing Store Business Plan
Start your own online boutique clothing store business plan
Chic & Unique Boutique
Chic & Unique Boutique offers its customers a carefully curated selection of affordable yet high-quality and stylish clothing, making the latest fashion trends accessible to everyone. Our boutique provides a personalized and immersive shopping experience through a user-friendly platform and exceptional customer service.
The online clothing market is saturated with options, making it difficult for consumers to find unique pieces at affordable prices. Moreover, the impersonal nature of online shopping often leaves customers feeling overwhelmed and disconnected.
Chic & Unique Boutique bridges this gap by offering a well-curated, high-quality, affordable clothing line that caters to the fashion-conscious customer. Our user-friendly online platform, personalized services, and strong commitment to customer satisfaction make shopping a delightful experience.
Our primary target market is fashion-forward women aged 18-35 who value individuality, quality, and affordability. They are digital natives who prefer shopping online for its convenience and variety.
Competitors & Differentiation
- Fast-fashion online retailers
- High-end online boutiques
- Various local and national brick-and-mortar stores
Chic & Unique Boutique stands out with its commitment to quality, affordability, and personalized customer service. Unlike fast-fashion retailers, we emphasize quality and sustainability. Unlike high-end boutiques, we maintain affordability. Our unique styles, user-friendly platform, and personalized services provide a delightful shopping experience that larger retailers can’t match.
An initial investment of $80,000 is needed to cover inventory procurement, website development, marketing, and operational expenses for the first year.
- Our eCommerce website
- Social media platforms (Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest)
- Online marketplaces (Etsy, eBay)
- Social media marketing
- Influencer partnerships
- SEO and content marketing
- Email marketing
- Finalize business plan — May 1, 2023
- Secure funding — June 1, 2023
- Launch website and social media channels — July 1, 2023
- Procure initial inventory — July 15, 2023
- Start sales — August 1, 2023
- Achieve break-even point — December 2023
- Expand product range — March 2024
- Launch a loyalty program — June 2024
Team and Key Roles
Oversees all aspects of the business, including product curation, marketing, and customer relations.
Manages inventory, order fulfillment, and customer service.
Oversees online marketing efforts, including social media, SEO, and email marketing.
Partnerships & Resources
To offer unique, locally-made pieces.
For marketing collaborations and brand promotion.
Shipping and logistics providers
For efficient order fulfillment.
Digital marketing agency
For SEO and content marketing support.
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- Have an easy-to-read ONE-PAGE snapshot of your business so you can make smart decisions quickly .
- Avoid one of the BIGGEST BLUNDERS new boutique owners make (if you don't get this right you'll be scrambling every time you process orders)!😨
- Finally get ORGANIZED so that you can make REAL progress — plus you can complete the ENTIRE business plan in less time than you think !
IF YOU'VE BEEN THINKING...
- What goals should I set for my first year?
- What should I budget for inventory?
- What will I charge for my products?
And it feels ALL jumbled...then this Online Boutique Business Plan will help you get it all on just ONE PAGE!
Just answer a few eye-opening questions and you'll have clear and focused goals to set your dream in motion.
DOWNLOAD THE ONLINE BOUTIQUE BUSINESS PLAN TRUSTED BY THOUSANDS OF OTHER ASPIRING ONLINE BOUTIQUE OWNERS!
Gone are the days of the antiquated 20-page business plan.
With this FREE one-page business plan created specifically for online boutiques you'll be able to operate in total clarity and make better business decisions that will help your future boutique grow!
How to Write a Clothing Boutique Business Plan
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How to create your own shoe line's business plan, how to write a business plan outline.
- Example of a Clothing Store Business Plan
- Quick Step Process Business Plan
Clothing boutiques not only compete with other local boutiques, they compete with clothing retailers, department stores and big box merchandisers. A thoroughly researched business plan can not only assist a boutique owner in securing financing, it can help the owner stand up against the competition.
Summarize your boutique’s business plan in less than two pages. Use this formal summary as the plan’s executive summary and place it at the front of the plan. Write the executive summary to entice the reader to read the business plan for more details. If you are seeking financing with the business plan, include the amount that you are seeking within this summary. Explain briefly how the funds will be utilized and how soon the funds will be repaid.
Introduce your clothing boutique with a general business description. List your boutique’s legal business description, such as sole proprietor or partnership, along with the boutique’s list of owners, their contact information and the boutique’s contact information.
Provide a list of your clothing boutique’s products. Detail your products’ unique qualities and explain why the products benefit your customers. Explain where you will obtain your boutique’s clothing and include the costs of your vendors and suppliers.
Explain your boutique’s target market, or the customers that you intend to capture. Describe the customer demographic and their location to the boutique. Describe how you will advertise your business, list your payment options and credit policies, and explain how you will maintain those customers on a long-term basis. Introduce your clothing boutique’s competitors. Categorize the competitors into direct and indirect competitors, with direct competitors being other local boutiques in your area and indirect being department stores and big box locations. Explain your boutique’s strengths and weaknesses as compared to the competition and illustrate the strategies your boutique will use to achieve and maintain a competitive edge. Identify your clothing boutique’s location. If you do not have an identified location, describe the amount of space your business will require. Ensure that your selected location has plenty of room for parking and is inviting.
Organization and Management
Describe the details of your clothing boutique’s operations. Identify your boutique’s required equipment, such as shelving, open closets and changing room equipment. List the boutique’s hours of operations and include information on holiday hours. Expound on the location’s expenses, including licensing requirements, taxes, zoning requirements, utilities, leasing expenses and required location renovations. Explain your boutique’s staffing needs. Provide clear details on each position’s functions and responsibilities. Include costs for each position, including salary, benefits and any necessary training expenses for those employees. Create an organizational chart to include in the business plan if your boutique employs many people.
Create your clothing boutique’s financial statements. Include a personal financial statement, balance sheet, cash flow analysis and income statement. Provide reasonable assumptions and projections about future sales, if your business has yet to open its doors.
Create an appendix at the end of your boutique’s business plan. Include any documentation that supports the information within the business plan, such as clothing contracts, leasing agreements, tax returns and any other documentation that relates directly to the boutique’s operations or financing.
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Writing professionally since 2004, Charmayne Smith focuses on corporate materials such as training manuals, business plans, grant applications and technical manuals. Smith's articles have appeared in the "Houston Chronicle" and on various websites, drawing on her extensive experience in corporate management and property/casualty insurance.
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Boutique Business Plan
For novice and experienced business owners, opening a boutique may be an incredibly lucrative endeavor.
Yet, clothing boutiques face competition from big box retailers, department stores, and other national chains. A carefully thought-out business plan can help a boutique owner not only get funding but also compete with the competition.
Are you looking to start writing a business plan for your boutique business? Creating a business plan is essential to starting, growing, and securing funding for your business. We have prepared a boutique business plan template for you to help in start writing yours.
Free Business Plan Template
Download our free business plan template now and pave the way to success. Let’s turn your vision into an actionable strategy!
- Fill in the blanks – Outline
- Financial Tables
How to Write a Boutique Business Plan?
Writing a boutique business plan is a crucial step toward the success of your business. Here are the key steps to consider when writing a business plan:
1. Executive Summary
An executive summary is the first section of the business plan intended to provide an overview of the whole business plan. Generally, it is written after the entire business plan is ready. Here are some components to add to your summary:
Start with a brief introduction:
Market opportunity:, mention your products:, management team:, financial highlights:, call to action:.
Ensure you keep your executive summary concise and clear, use simple language, and avoid jargon.
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2. Business Overview
Depending on what details of your business are important, you’ll need different elements in your business overview. Still, there are some foundational elements like business name, legal structure, location, history, and mission statement that every business overview should include:
About the business:
Provide all the basic information about your business in this section like:
- The name of the boutique and the concept behind it like – a jewelry boutique, cosmetic boutique, a boutique of hand-made products, clothing boutique, or something else.
- Company structure of your boutique whether it is a sole proprietorship, LLC, partnership firm, or others.
- Location of your boutique and the reason why you selected that place.
Business history:, future goals:.
This section should provide an in-depth understanding of your boutique. Also, the business overview section should be engaging and precise.
3. Market Analysis
Market analysis provides a clear understanding of the market in which your boutique business will run along with the target market, competitors, and growth opportunities. Your market analysis should contain the following essential components:
Market size and growth potential:, competitive analysis:, market trends:.
Some additional tips for writing the market analysis section of your business plan:
- Use a variety of sources to gather data, including industry reports, market research studies, and surveys.
- Be specific and provide detailed information wherever possible.
- Include charts and graphs to help illustrate your key points.
- Keep your target audience in mind while writing the business plan
4. Products And Services
The product and services section of a boutique business plan should describe the specific services and products that will be offered to customers. To write this section should include the following:
List the product:
- Create a list of the products that your boutique will sell, which may include t-shirts, tops, jeans, pants, handbags, sweaters, trousers, and other things.
- Describe each product in detail with the description of the material, the procedure behind the product, and the specialty of that product.
Overall, a business plan’s product and services section should be detailed, informative, and customer-focused. By providing a clear and compelling description of your offerings, you can help potential investors and readers understand the value of your business.
5. Sales And Marketing Strategies
Writing the sales and marketing strategies section means a list of strategies you will use to attract and retain your clients. Here are some key elements to include in your sales & marketing plan:
Develop your unique selling proposition (USP):
Determine your pricing strategy:, marketing strategies:, sales strategies:, customer retention:.
Overall, the sales and marketing strategies section of your business plan should outline your plans to attract and retain customers and generate revenue. Be specific, realistic, and data-driven in your approach, and be prepared to adjust your strategies based on feedback and results.
6. Operations Plan
When writing the operations plan section, it’s important to consider the various aspects of your business processes and procedures involved in operating a business. Here are the components to include in an operations plan:
Operational process:, facilities:.
By including these key elements in your operations plan section, you can create a comprehensive plan that outlines how you will run your boutique business.
7. Management Team
The management team section provides an overview of the individuals responsible for running the boutique. This section should provide a detailed description of the experience and qualifications of each manager, as well as their responsibilities and roles.
Organizational structure:, compensation plan:, board of advisors:.
Describe the key personnel of your company and highlight why your business has the fittest team.
8. Financial Plan
When writing the financial plan section of a business plan, it’s important to provide a comprehensive overview of your financial projections for the first few years of your business.
Profit & loss statement:
Cash flow statement:, balance sheet:, break-even point:, financing needs:.
Remember to be realistic with your financial projections, and to provide supporting evidence for all of your estimates.
When writing the appendix section, you should include any additional information that supports the main content of your plan. This may include financial statements, market research data, legal documents, and other relevant information.
- Include a table of contents for the appendix section to make it easy for readers to find specific information.
- Include financial statements such as income statements, balance sheets, and cash flow statements. These should be up-to-date and show your financial projections for at least the first three years of your business.
- Provide market research data, such as statistics on the size of the boutique industry, consumer demographics, and trends in the industry.
- Include any legal documents such as permits, licenses, and contracts.
- Provide any additional documentation related to your business plans, such as marketing materials, product brochures, and operational procedures.
- Use clear headings and labels for each section of the appendix so that readers can easily find the information they need.
Remember, the appendix section of your boutique business should only include relevant and important information that supports the main content of your plan.
The Quickest Way to turn a Business Idea into a Business Plan
Fill-in-the-blanks and automatic financials make it easy.
This boutique business plan sample will provide an idea for writing a successful boutique plan, including all the essential components of your business.
After this, if you are still confused about how to write an investment-ready business plan to impress your audience, then download our boutique business plan pdf.
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Frequently asked questions, why do you need a boutique business plan.
A business plan is an essential tool for anyone looking to start or run a successful boutique. It helps to get clarity in your business, secures funding, and identifies potential challenges while starting and growing your boutique.
Overall, a well-written plan can help you make informed decisions, which can contribute to the long-term success of your boutique.
How to get funding for your boutique business?
There are several ways to get funding for your clothing boutique business, but one of the most efficient and speedy funding options is self-funding. Other options for funding are:
- Bank loan – You may apply for a loan in government or private banks.
- Small Business Administration (SBA) loan – SBA loans and schemes are available at affordable interest rates, so check the eligibility criteria before applying for it.
- Crowdfunding – The process of supporting a project or business by getting a lot of people to invest in your fashion boutique, usually online.
- Angel investors – Getting funds from angel investors is one of the most sought options for startups.
- Venture capital – Venture capitalists will invest in your business in exchange for a percentage of shares, so this funding option is also viable.
Apart from all these options, there are small business grants available, check for the same in your location and you can apply for it.
Where to find business plan writers for your boutique business?
There are many business plan writers available, but no one knows your business and idea better than you, so we recommend you write your boutique business plan and outline your vision as you have in your mind.
What is the easiest way to write your boutique business plan?
A lot of research is necessary for writing a business plan, but you can write your plan most efficiently with the help of any boutique business plan example and edit it as per your need. You can also quickly finish your plan in just a few hours or less with the help of our business plan software.
About the Author
Upmetrics is the #1 business planning software that helps entrepreneurs and business owners create investment-ready business plans using AI. We regularly share business planning insights on our blog. Check out the Upmetrics blog for such interesting reads. Read more
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Boutique Business Plan Sample
Boutique Business Plan to Create New Trend
Do you have that habit of recycling the clothes in a new trend and wearing them, so your friends going to jealous of your clothes and ask you where you buy clothes? Yes, you’ll not be going to spill it out until they offer you something. The cloth lover people can only think about the Boutique Business Plan to Set a New Trend on the market.
People are mostly searching for fashionistas who suggest some suitable clothes for parties, weddings, and professional meetings, casual and so on. Nowadays, people love to buy trendy clothes and show it off on their social media platforms. People check out Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest for the latest clothing trends.
Before starting the business, it is also necessary to know about the audience. When it comes to clothing, people have different tastes for clothes. The boutique business will help you out to show your ideas to other people and set up a new trend on the market. People are always attracted to new things, and when it comes to clothes, they’re still going to attract. The business plan for boutique shop will never fail if you properly execute a perfect business plan for boutique shop .
The business plan for boutique shop will tide everyone in a single rope and makes them closer. There are very few things that connect people. Every country, city, state, and village have their clothing identity, which they don’t want to change in any way. So at this place, you can open the fashion boutique for the people so they can try something new and show to their friends.
How to Start Boutique Store?
Well, it is the most challenging part because the person who is launching the business never knows about the future. The plan will work or not; it will always be a prospect due to which many people sacred. Do most people ask that how to start a boutique store ? So here is the answer, you need to identify the requirements of people. You must have to check on the latest clothing trends and what people like to wear? It is essential to know about the customer’s requirements and what is going on in the market.
You must check out all the brands they are offering to the customers and what new things you can bring in your clothes. It needs in-depth research on clothes. Apart from this, for the online boutiques business plans , it is also necessary to adjust the funds. Check out the property to open the boutique store. It is also required to choose the proper location so people can identify your store and buy something from it. If the place is not right, then the business will die.
How much it cost in the boutique business?
Well, the amount depends on many factors. What kind of clothes are you providing the customers and who is going to buy the clothes. If you’re opening the boutique for rich people, then the area you need to choose will be reached, and the property lease/rent will be going to touch the sky. If you open the boutique on the local market, then also property expense came. You have to maintain the property and your items so that people can buy it.
How to Manage Staff?
The business will become successful if you’ve trusting staff members. It is essential to manage your staff in the right way. Every business owner must talk with their staff members as much as possible. Communication will always help business owners and staff members to come closer and share their ideas. It will not only grow the business, but your employee can also see their personal growth in the company and work harder for you.
Our primary target is to satisfy our customers and to establish our business in the location. So people can know about us and our clothing style. Our business plan for fashion boutique is to get more customers as much as possible and to expand our clothing line to many other countries. Profit is the secondary thing, but the primary concern is our customers and their satisfaction from our boutique.
Planning a business.
When it comes to start boutique clothing store is not an easy task. We are looking forward to the funds. We have investors and also looking for a bank loan. It is also necessary to think about the staff members that you’re going to hire in your new members. Every new business owner has to invest more, and they will not be able to see any profits in a year. It takes time for planning a business plan for boutique shop .
Well, the new business always has to face such difficulties in establishing a brand name on the customer’s head. We treat our customers very well and also take care of their requirements and suggestions. We also made tailor-made plans for the customers. We provide the best outfits from our boutique so people can get compliments from other people. We also discuss with our team that what are the requirements of the customer and how we can match it.
How to promote or Market Business
Nowadays, people are mostly spending their time on social media, so it is the best way to promote clothing products on social media. Well, boards, pamphlets are old fashioned, and people don’t like to look it on anyway. Instagram is the most popular social media platform for boutiques and beauty. You can prepare a description of a boutiques business plans , take some photos of the clothes, and put it on various social media platforms.
You can also hire some fashion influencers who try your cloth and put it on their accounts so people can quickly look at the photo, and don’t forget to mention the website link on the bio — the same thing you can do on Facebook and Pinterest as well.
When it comes to clothing, it is essential to present online for followers. Nowadays, people don’t have so much time, so they prefer to buy online. To create a perfect website portal for the business plan for boutique shop and update everything from clothing photos, payment options, and, if possible, then home delivery too. You can check out another example of a business plan for boutique shop and create the website.
Well, our company owner knows to clothe and also worked on many clothing stores to get more experience. He also worked on the clothing store, so they know more about the people’s clothing choices. He also visited many different places to know more about clothing and their religious beliefs of older adults. Now, this knowledge is helping our owner, and he is building a strong empire that will never be going to fall.
Why the owner started this business?
Our owner loves to wear new and trendy clothes, but they also feel that if they can share their ideas with others. They learn about clothing designing and now going to propose a retail business plan boutique so people can also get benefits from their store. Clothing is never going to be out of fashion, and it is changing daily. Our owner has researched the clothing line and what type of clothes people like to wear according to the season, function, and events.
How Business Started?
Well, the owner comes from the family where their family members are handling their own business plan for boutique shop . So now it is his time to shine on the stars and do something much better than their previous family members. Thus far, the owner provides their clothing products online to their customers and the retail store so people can visit and choose the product.
You can check out the below chart that explains all our journeys of our investments, funds, and profits. This graph always helps us to achieve new goals and move further.
We provide all types of fashionable outfits, stylish accessories, apparel lines, designer clothes, branded outfits, trendy jeans, weekend vibes, and so on.
Clothes from various trusted brands at a reasonable price for men and women.
- Fashion accessories for men and women.
- Latest outfits with stylish designs for men and women.
- Night wears
- Occasional outfits
- Wedding outfits
- Weekend outfits
- Formal clothing
- Kids clothing
- Latest accessories
- Branded outfits
- Designer clothing
Marketing Analysis of Clothing Boutique
As you can see above in the numbers, the fashion industry grows immensely. They are still going on, and it never comes to an end. The fashion industry is one of the most significant industry in all over the world. According to many experts, the fashion industry grows up to 21% more than the past three years, and it is still growing.
It is good news for the new startups. In such an environment, owning your boutique business plan is not a bad idea, but it can help you out to get more benefits.
The most efficient marketing business strategy comes from knowing about the customers. People are very much divided when it comes to fashion. It is much better to share the people as per their requirements and what is trending on the market. This will help you out to fulfill the customer requirement in a natural way. It also helps to grow the business and establishes it shortly.
Our target customers are fashion shows, where we can explore our designs. Various celebrities who try our outfits, so people get know about it. We are also looking for social media influencers who can also promote our outfits and fashion experts who can give more information about our clothing line.
Our prices are very minimal so that middle-class people can also wear such outfits and get the charm. So our target is to cover all types of people who love to follow fashion.
What is the Key Target Market?
We have a business plan template for online boutiques and our targeted areas are local people, e-commerce, and social media influencer who can also promote the boutique items differently.
How to Keep Customers Coming Back?
There are only two ways to get the customers back to your store or website. 1. Provide the best service to them, give them personal suggestions if they came to the store. 2. Provide discounts and coupons for further shopping. It is the general human behavior that people like to visit such shops where they get treated well, or they get more discounts. We also plan the lucky draw prizes in which the customer gets a little bit more discount. We can also like to provide online discounts, and cashback offers on the website. It will also attract customers. While starting a boutique store , it is challenging to give refunds, but we can treat the customers well.
Before providing any discounts, it is really to understand how to write a business plan for an online boutique , so it will work well and get more profits.
What will be the average receipt of the business?
Well, the receipt of the business depends on the products that customer is purchasing on the bulk. We can count on that provide some discount if the customer buys bulk products. For the average receipt, the boutique business concepts must be clear and understandable. It is not an easy task to open a boutique store in the market and made it worth it.
Great service. Good turnaround time and quality work. Thanks!
To create a successful marketing plan for business plan for boutique shop it is necessary to know about the competitors. The fashion industry always has competitors, and it is hard to cover them up all. The first step was to identify competitor positions on the internet.
After that, we prepare the list of keywords that we want to rank on the internet. We also create Facebook and Instagram ads so more people can easily connect with us. We also provide the best discount offers on our website so customers can directly buy it from the site and even think of giving cashback offers and free delivery.
For the best clothing boutiques business plans outline , it is necessary to know about the competitor’s marketing strategy, and it is not just online but in the real world too. To become a player in the market; it is compulsory to know about competitor products and their prices. After that, you can make your own plans and work on it.
Our primary sales strategy is to provide the best product to our customers and, if possible, then occasional discounts and cash backs too. We also think of running social media ads due to which people can easily connect and make the website mobile friendly so people can easily order products from their phones.
Well, here below is the chart where you can find out the monthly sales.
We are also analyzing the market and its sales. Well, the fashion industry is doing good that here below you can check out in the chart.
During our first 12 months, we tried to make profits, but it is necessary to establish the business, so we have these things in the graph.
Personal Plan just not includes the staff members but our digital team as well. Yes, while writing a business plan for a clothing boutique , we found that our staff is much more than a store. Because we are holding two stores, a real store and a digital store, so we have a huge amount of staff members.
For Boutique Business we will need employee
- Sweepers to clean the shop and godown
- Sales team who handle the customers
- Accounting team handles the finance and daily transaction
- The digital team who manage the digital store from discount to social media ads
- The delivery boy who delivers the product to home for e-commerce
- Loading staff
- Store manager
- Security guard
Average Salary of Staff
Well, it is the most crucial process for beginners. But in the below chart we mentioned all the details about the salary.
Charges for Opening Store
When you’re opening the store, expenses will increase, and profits cannot be seen earlier. It includes property rent/lease, electricity, food, water, telephone bills, internet bills/charges, stock cost, staffing cost, business rates, and so on.
Well, we have a budget plan for our shop. We create a boutique business plans shop that works for a long time instead of a short period. We plan the three year budget for our boutique shop, and we hope it will work like that unless in case of any emergency.
As per our assumptions, we will follow this plan that will naturally increase our business plan for boutique shop . In the case of any natural calamities, we are controlling the things on our human conditions. You can check out the graph.
We plan to break our analysis and reach up to the level in a one-year only.
Projected Profit and Loss
As our boutique, shop is working well but we don’t cover up the monthly budget, so we try to cover it up in the next four months.
As we are not profiting as per our assumptions, but we are trying to make more sales.
Right now, we are very far from our yearly profit, but we are working hard to cross the barriers.
Gross Margin Monthly
The margin lines are now growing thick slowly, and we hope it remains thick.
Gross Margin Yearly
As we can see, the slow, thick lines. We’ll cover-up in this year.
Projected Cash Flow
Right now, we are on them idle face where we are not free from the credit, but we can see the profits too.
Projected Balance Sheet
Management will monitor the balance sheet monthly, and if found anything improvement, we will discuss it.
The business ratio can be seen shortly.
Download Boutique Business Plan Sample in pdf
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OGSCapital’s team has assisted thousands of entrepreneurs with top-rate business plan development, consultancy and analysis. They’ve helped thousands of SME owners secure more than £1.5 billion in funding, and they can do the same for you.
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- Business Plan Template (Online Boutique)
When opening your business, whether its small or big, writing a detailed business plan is an essential. Not only for investors or loaners, but for yourself, to get all of your thoughts and ideas into one place.
There are many resources and templates online that you can use that best fits your business niche. But they all can be confusing and complicated.
So here are my tips and tricks and what to include when writing your business plan.
Disclaimer: I am not a professional, nor I have a business degree. I am a startup small business owner, and this is how I did it.
When you find the right template online, you do not have to use every little part of the business plan. If you find yourself stuck or confused, move on to the next area. You can always come back and research.
Write down every vision you have for your business before writing down the whole thing. Just find a notepad and write EVERYTHING down. Later, you can organize them in category.
Don’t rush, you’ll have many drafts before you actually have the final one. Take your time with each section of the business plan.
Get it detailed and organized as much as you can, use pictures clip arts and drawings if you wish.
Have it checked by someone you trust just to have a different perspective on it (this is the best because they will give you tips)
Here are the list of main top questions you need to have answers for:
- What is the name of your store/brand?
- What will you sell?
- What can you do to be unique from other similar online shops?
- How will you get the word out?
- Who will buy your items?
- Where would you source your items? (Wholesale/distributer/Drop-ship)
- What will be the price range?
- Where would you get packaging from?
- How much can you invest in your business?
- What will be your return policy?
Once you have answers to all of those questions, you can start categorizing each and add more detail in each section.
Have a to do list of EVERYTHING you need to do before launching your store.
Here are the main sections to include: (you can add more if you prefer)
Executive Summary (face of the whole document, recommended to write at the end)
Value Proposition: (Why would a customer would choose your product?)
Mission: (What is your goal for your business?)
Products: (What kind of products or services would you provide?)
Differentiators: (What makes you unique from other competitors?)
Marketing Plan: (How are you going to promote your business?)
Target Market: (What kind of people are going to be your audience?)
Projected Financial State: (Current budget and expectation of sales)
Back Up Plan Projected Financial State: (What is your plan if the expectation revenue is not met?)
Company Type: (LLC, Sole Proprietorship)
Domain Name: (Make sure to check if your domain is available)
History of the Brand: (optional)
Audience Segmentation (Who is your audience?)
Competitive Analysis (Who are your competitors?)
Value to stand out: (How are you different from your competitive?)
SWOT Analysis: (Strength, weakness, opportunities and threats of the company)
Industry Analysis (Research on your industry growth)
SEO: (on-site and off-site)
Social Media (Which social media would you use to promote your business?)
Promotions (What kind of promotions would you be doing to get the word out?)
Products and Services
Main Product Lines: (What will you be selling?)
Differentiation: (How are the products different from your competitors?)
Product Sourcing : (Where will you source your products?)
Cost: (How much will your products be?)
Logistics & Operation
Suppliers & Production: (Who are your inventory and packaging suppliers?)
Facilities: (Will you be running your business from home or have an office?)
Inventory: (How many inventory are you planning to start with?)
Logistics steps: (Things to do from start to launch)
Third Party Services (E-commerce platform, email marketing, photo editing, domain provider, etc)
Start Up Expense (Everything you will need to purchase to start your business; tools, packaging supplies, inventory, stationary, permits, online services)
Fixed Expense: (Services you will be paying monthly or annually that the price does not change and it is fixed, for example e-commerce platform or domain charge)
Variable Expenses: (Purchases that has different price such as shipping fee, packaging supplies)
Projected Profit and Loss (How much are you spending on one item and how much you are selling for? How much are going to get as profit? You want to make sure you don't sell item as the same price you bought/made/designer for?)
You goals for the business. (first sale, first 100 sale, first customer tagged photo)
I hope the template above will help you get started, I tried to summarize and make it simple as much as I can. I will provide helpful business plan tips below for more information on each section. If you have any questions, contact me.
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Kenia Lizárraga said:
thank you for the information, but mostly thank you for your time
I just want to said thank you for the information you provided very helpful, I started my handmade items bowtique like I call it. But I really love the way you set up your shop.
Thank you this is very useful!
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