How to Write an Online Store Business Plan (ecommerce Entrepreneurs 2021)

This year’s ecommerce trends in Singapore feature incredible opportunities that make the industry a ballooning activity in the country. 

With Covid-19 driving traditional businesses companies online, the benefits of having an ecommerce business have become more apparent.

It is great opportunity an channel to reach tech savvy customers. It is no wonder that many entrepreneurs have been thinking about how to start an ecommerce business. It is is a good idea for startups to have a thorough online store business plan before risking seed money.

If you are thinking of starting your own eCommerce business in Singapore, understand that before such a business can attain stability, it would have to follow some specific developmental stages.

It is worth noting that the question of how to start a successful business gets answered when you strategically pull together energy, time, money, skills and legal framework. 

Even though all these guarantee you a probable reward, it involves more than just creating a website and advertising your brand.

Online Store Business Plan Expectations

An e-commerce start-up business requires appropriate planning and significant investment in time, cash, creativity and many other factors. 

All these factors make the start-up process seem like a complicated venture, especially when you are running it on your own; it is not always a DIY activity and needs require the help of professionals. 

*Do not worry, if you need, our digital agency is here to help you. We pride ourselves in offering prolific, quality, and satisfactory e-commerce business start-up services as explained below.

What is an Ecommerce Business Plan?

A great ecommerce business plan is needed by any company that wants to utilise an online business model. Your ecommerce business plan is a roadmap — first, identify your business, and then describe where you want to take your business and how you’ll get there.

The best business plans are more than just a collection of numbers. They should explain how the numbers were calculated, include a discussion of the issues, provide a realistic timetable for growth, outline contingency strategies, and include a detailed description of the company, its management, and its operations.

Why Should Your Online Store Have a Formal Business Plan?

As you craft your ecommerce business plan, you’ll clarify your goals and identify problems in advance. Creating the plan helps you overcome obstacles before they become crises.

As a result, you’ll save time, money, and energy. Think of it as preparing for the unexpected. Anticipating problems helps you deal with them quickly and effectively when they arise. Plus, if you record your plan in writing, you have something concrete to refer to if you ever need to revise or expand your idea.

The Planning Process

The type of planning that is put in the start-up process significantly determines the level of success that the business will attain. The business plan should be in line with the rules and regulations that govern companies in Singapore. 

It is during this planning and foundation laying period that success is determined. We have put together a comprehensive blueprint for starting your business.

These stages include: 

  • determining the liability risks that you are willing to be exposed to
  • knowing your tax requirements
  • identifying product demand trends 
  • determining your financial resources and required capital
  • identifying your physical resources 
  • incorporating your company
  • web site design
  • establishing marketing strategies
  • understanding your human resources and manpower needs 
  • other areas of concern. 

Steps To Start And Successfully Run An Ecommerce Business:

There are between 2 – 3 million e-commerce companies globally It is a clear indication that the e-commerce business is a competitive industry and it takes professional assistance to thrive in. 

Below are the steps to start and successfully run an e-commerce business;

Online Store Business Plan

Know Why You Want To Start A Business

It is a crucial point that must be established in your online store business plan. Do you want to start a business to gain financial independence, have a hobby or make the world a better place?

Understanding your ‘why’ will determine the amount of effort and potential risk you will be willing to undertake.

Knowing why you want to start the company gives you a vision, a mission, and the time frame in which you need to achieve your dreams. 

Creating a good business plan is an action that often brings pain, but sometimes (like when you create a really good one) it leads to huge rewards when you attain your business goals.

Develop your Executive Summary

It is the first thing your investor (venture capitalists, bank loans officers, even friends and family) should read if he is considering investing in your company. Without reading the full document, he will have a very short period of time to decide whether or not to invest in your company. By reading this one page synopsis, he will be able to make a more informed decision and avoid many common mistakes.

This project summary should be one page. It should contain a brief description of each of the three sections of the project (Overview, Market Analysis, and Management).

  • Overview – What is will your company about, what does it do and what are they competitive advantages?
  • Market Analysis – What is the current market situation, how big is the demand for your product, how are you going to reach out that demand?
  • Management – Who are you and what experience do you have in relative fields?

You can go more in-depth into your online store business plan in later sections.

Describe your Company

The main purpose of a company overview is to find out what makes your ecommerce site unique and then use that uniqueness to the competitive advantage of your business. What will set you apart from your direct competitors? This is where you must focus, reflect and discover that identity which will give you an edge over your competitors.

  • Mission statement – it is the heart of why your company exists and what role it plays in the market. Let’s use Amazon as our example “Our mission is to be Earth’s most customer-centric company. This is what unites Amazonians across teams and geographies as we are all striving to delight our customers and make their lives easier, one innovative product, service, and idea at a time.”
  • Corporate vision statement – is an exact description of where you want your business to be at some point in the future. It’s important because it describes where you are now, which enables you to identify new opportunities for growth, and gives you a guide for achieving your goals.
  • Value statement – both informs and guides the decisions and behaviors of the people inside the organization, and signals to external stakeholders what’s important to the company. By establishing standards of conduct, it helps ensure a consistent and high-quality brand experience for your customer base and partners.

Market Competitive Analysis

Choosing the right market at the right time can be the difference between success and failure. Make sure you pick the right market, and don’t allow yourself to get sidetracked by markets that aren’t ideal for your product or service.

This is the most overlooked section of your business plan. It should include an overview of how big you think the market is for your products, an analysis of your business’s position in the market, and an overview of the competitive landscape. Supporting your conclusions with facts and figures is important both to convince potential investors and to validate your own assumptions as you work through your plan.

How big is your actual market size?

This is where you can consult for market data sources including government statistics offices, industry associations, academic research, and respected news outlets covering your industry to ferret out accurate numbers. 

You need to understand your ideal customer profile as it relates to demographics. You’ll also want to keep an eye on projected changes to that demographic over the next few years.

Research relevant industry trends and trajectory. Track recent developments in your chosen market. Keep up to date with what’s happening in your industry and your competitors’.

Make informed guesses. In reality, you will never have perfect, complete information to base all your decisions on. Your goal is to base on as many verifiable facts as possible

In order to discover your target market competitive advantage, you need to cover all of the relevant details about your target customer. You should identify the primary population, their age, their geographic location, their ethnic group, their education level, and whether they are comfortable making online purchases.

You should also indicate how large your target market is.

It’s vital to always have a competitive overview in your business strategy. Even if you are entering an established market with an already proven competitor, you must understand what makes your product or service different enough from those of your competitors that you have a realistic chance of success.

Consider price position, product differentiation and market segmentation.

Your innovative product might be new to the industry but it might still have competition. If you’re not sure who your competitors are, consider companies selling similar or competing products. Think about what your potential customers are doing to solve the same problems your product solves.

Your SWOT Analysis

SWOT stands for Strength, Opportunities, Threats and Weaknesses. You need to make sure that your SWOT analysis includes all the points that are relevant for the success of your project. 

What is your strongest suit? It could be communication skills, creativity, organization or leadership. If you can identify what your greatest strength is, you can more easily determine what you need to work on to become even more successful.

List of your weaknesses. Sometimes you don’t have all the resources you need to achieve your goals. And, you may not be as technically sound as you’d like to be.

Opportunities refer to gaps in the market which you feel you can fill.

Threats represent what could prevent your project from going forward or becoming a success in the future.

The business plan should show that the organization is well-equipped to counter any competitive threats and is well-positioned to take advantage of profitable opportunities.

Deciding What To Sell  

Your brand determines the type of market and industry you will be in. If you have an idea what product and service you want to provide, we will conduct industry research to identify market demand for your product.

It is extremely important to conduct market research.

If there is latent demand for your product, we’ll conduct competitor studies to identify what is needed to establish your brand in the market. You will also be able calculate how big a market share you can compete for; do profitability forecasts and trend predictions. 

The above will provide you with a clear picture of your cashflow needs and revenue predictions.

How are you sourcing your products?

Most ecommerce businesses are made up of a supply chain of some kind. Some online retailers create their goods from scratch. If you’re going this route, make sure you have enough cash to fund your manufacturing needs, plus an ample cushion to absorb any initial inventory losses.

Dropshipping is the best way to sell products for many internet entrepreneurs. if you are short on time or if you want to offer a wide variety of products. With a few clicks of a mouse you can have thousands of products on Amazon ready to ship in a jiffy. 

Alternatively, you might trying going wholesale. This requires you to buy in bulk at a low per unit price. The drawbacks are that you’ll require inventory logistics and is capital intensive.

Marketing Plan – A Key Element in a Strong Foundation

This is an important section. You’ve identified who your ideal customers are, you know the product you want to sell to them. Marketing allows you to reach out to them to do so.

Your target audience should always inform your marketing efforts. They are the ones who will buy from you, and give you feedback about what they like and dislike. You can learn much about your customers by studying your competitors and by looking at the most popular ads and posts on social media.

Most marketing plans include information on four key points based on the following questions:

Product. What are you selling, and how do you differentiate it in the market?

Place. Where will you sell your products?

Price. How much do your products cost, and why have you made that decision?

Promotion. How will you get your products in front of your ideal customer?

Logistics and Operations Plan

Your logistics and operational plan includes all of the day-to-day tasks you need to accomplish as an entrepreneur. You must establish things like your working schedule, your location, and your daily tasks timetable. These are the things you need to put in place so you can start making sales.

Initially, you will have a lot of tasks related to promoting and growing your business, but after some time you will have others to do:

– Managing Returns

– Offering Support

– Unforeseen Events

– Production

– Stock Issues

– Negotiating With Suppliers

– Shipping and Fulfilment-

– Etcetera

Surely you will have to go through this list again in the future, but it is important to have an initial idea on paper, and then make small modifications down the line.

Financial Plan – Setting Aside A Budget

Almost every entrepreneur needs some sort of start-up capital to get their business off the ground. Some entrepreneurs come up with their own funds, while others may seek out partners who are willing to subsidize at least some of the investment. Yet, other entrepreneurs may seek out angel investors, create crowdfunding campaigns, or take out small business loans.

This step includes all the costs, whether direct, indirect, or miscellaneous outlays needed to establish the necessities of your business. 

Most financial plans include:

Balance sheet

Entrepreneurs use the balance sheet to calculate how much money they have to invest in their business. All their assets (machinery, stock, business premises, vehicles, etc) go on the left side of the page; their liabilities (accounts and wages payable, business loan repayment, business credit card payment, taxes, etc.) go on the right side of the page. When they subtract their liabilities from their assets they get the amount of money they have to invest in their business.

Income statement

Your income statement is a snapshot of your operations taken at a certain point in time. If you subtract your operating expenses from your net profit, you’ll have your bottom-line (your profitability). By knowing your bottom-line, you can make informed decisions about the future of your business.

Cash flow statement

Cash-flow statements list when expenses go out and come in instead of just expenses. If you forecast when expenses come in, you can adjust the way you do business to keep your company solvent.

Funding

Your external funding plan should include the exact amount of money you need and the exact ways you plan to spend it based on your detailed financial projections.

Imagine you are the one who is going to invest your money in this venture. What types of information would you need to see in a a professional business plan in order to make a positive decision?

You don’t need to have all the money upfront to get going. Be specific on why you need the amount of money you are asking for and how you intend to spend it.

You can also get started with a funding strategy based on family and friends, as well as your own funds. But you shouldn’t rely on these sources to form the foundation of your strategy.

Conclusion

Developing an ecommerce business plan is a necessary foundation for all entrepreneurial success. With this knowledge you’ll become an expert in areas like marketing, market analysis, financial planning and other important factors. All that extra expertise will give you the power to reach your long-term goals.

Write down your e-commerce business plan. It will help you understand your business and your market better, and give you an opportunity to profit from numerous lucrative opportunities, while at the same time, mitigating potential threats to your business.

At Blazing Conversions Ecommerce Business Consultancy, we understand that starting and successfully running your online business can be a daunting task. We are here to answer all your “how to start an ecommerce business” questions, help you formulate your ecommerce business or online retail store business plan and implement it. 

You no longer need to struggle with tedious questions about how to incorporate your company and what type of tax structure it should have. 

You also do not need to have the technical savvy to be able to build a Google friendly website or be an expert marketer to develop your digital marketing strategy

Nor do you have to worry about being behind on ecommerce trends. 

We will carry out all the steps for you based on your circumstances. In this way, you can proudly say that you have started your very own successful eCommerce Business in Singapore and start selling quickly.

At Blazing Conversions, we know that your success is also ours. Contact us for a chat today.

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