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How to write a business plan for a retail store?
6 June 2022
A retail store business plan is a formal document. It provides a snapshot of what your business is and how it can develop. Typically, a retail store business plan will forecast the next five years. Think of it as a map which shows you where you are going. And how to get there. A plan can help you anticipate potential pitfalls. A retail store business plan helps you think about what you will be doing months or years ahead. It is also something you can show to investors. Crafting a business plan is a creative experience. Ankorstore can help you.
What’s a retail store business plan?
7 steps of the business plan, what are the essential elements of a retail business plan, who to present the business plan to, what exactly is a business plan.
A business plan is a document which contains all your important business goals, the methods of attaining them and the resources and timescale needed for this. It is a summary of everything you want to achieve. All your strategy will need to be set out to enable you to get sales for your product or products.
It will also contain all your professional details. It is one of the most important documents you will ever create. . It is better to get it absolutely right through lots of in-depth research. So much depends on it, so…
- Don’t rush it..
- Take the time it needs.
- Every word is important.
- Think through every concept.
Why making a business plan helps the success of the retail project
Many new entrepreneurs are creative. They have things to sell that you won’t find elsewhere. But creativity needs a structure, a good business plan for your retail store . A good retail business plan is a necessary step to save you from making expensive mistakes. It will also help you look professional and is an absolute necessity if you are looking for investors.
Start by setting your goals
Do you have dreams of a high-street store or an e-commerce website? You need to plan every aspect from finances to marketing. As you do your research you will clarify your own ideas and understand your business better.
A plan should include both your short-term and long-term goals. There are also internal and external objectives. The internal ones might not be a public part of the plan. They might involve discussing goals with employees and offering incentives to them. In the external objectives you set goals for overall performance. Pricing and customer service are important here.
How to efficiently analyse the market
Entrepreneurs come from all sorts of backgrounds. Some have had a wealth of experience in the retail trade before deciding to go it alone. Others are straight out of school or university and have brilliant ideas they want to put into operation. Entrepreneurs are starting concept stores offering brands and authentic goods of the sort you cannot find on Amazon or in the average supermarket. Your specialty might be:
- gourmet foods;
It can be almost anything that is a bit special. You can learn by looking at the business plan s of other retail stores , particularly those who are offering similar lines of products. If you have a high street store you can also check out similar businesses in your area.
A few tips to analyse customer behaviour
Who is your ideal customer? What is their age, background, education, financial status? Is this going to be a rare expensive purchase? Or is it something people will need to buy frequently? How do you get repeat custom? Word of mouth is one of the best recommendations. You have to inspire trust to get that.
How to set you retail strategies
Make a one-page summary to start with. You need to find an answer to the following questions:
- Who is your target market?
- Who are your competitors?
- Will you need staff?
- Who are your suppliers?
- What is your market plan?
- How will you run your business?
- What is the supply chain?
Besides, you will need a merchandising plan to make sure you get the best return on your investment. And how will you record your sales, returns, purchases of materials, etcetera? And what is your positioning in the market? What makes your brand different?
The importance of making short-term plans
Not everything in your plan will be long-term. With a retail store some things will be seasonal. You could focus on the next sales period. Or do you have products suitable for Mother’s Day? Or for Christmas gifts? Do you want to run a Black Friday campaign, American style? Do you want to celebrate your store’s opening day with special offers for customers?
How to implement your plans
Make sure all the legalities are in place before you start. Who owns the company? Does it have a separate correspondence address? How can the public contact you? Are there other directors involved? If so, what are their roles? Try to keep to your original goals within the times set. Stick to your aims. Try to meet specific targets.
In-depth analysis of your performance
The analysis of performance will be an ongoing process as your business progresses. Choose intervals at which you want to reassess this analysis . This will help you improve on several aspects:
- Are you reaching the goals you set out at the start?
- Is anything getting in your way?
- Has a new competitor appeared?
- What do you need to do to improve profits?
- Who is responsible for keeping all the pages on social media and your website up to date?
And you will also need to do a thorough financial analysis. Have you started to make a profit after the start-up costs?
Explain your products. This part can be great fun. Let the world know what you are selling and why you are so enthusiastic about your goods. How do your products differ from those of your competitors? Make sure you have professional photographs to enhance the image of your products online.
Publicity is another thing to consider. Where do you want to advertise online and offline? What is your budget? Does your shop have a website? Can you make additional use of Facebook, Instagram and all the other host of places in social media to promote your goods online ? Consider the four Ps otherwise known as the marketing mix:
Products and restocking
Products can be dispatched on your behalf from warehouses or distribution centres. Some entrepreneurs prefer this. Others like a more hands-on approach which could involve anything from a bricks-and-mortar store to a thriving regular market stall. The choice is yours. Online or offline or better still both.
Make sure you are always well-stocked with the most popular products. Customers can be fickle. If they can’t buy what they want when the mood takes them, they may take their cash elsewhere. It is more important to keep successful lines well-stocked than to attempt to stock everything. But also look at new products. Keep up with the competition.
Find your target market. Who are they and why should they buy from you? Is your product something basic everyone needs like foods, beauty products, clothes? Or are you targeting a specific luxury market?
It is useful to gather information on your competitors as well as possible clients. If you are working from a shop rather than solely online by e-commerce, location will be an important aspect. Is there a similar business nearby? What can you do better than them?
Look at general trends in retail. What is selling? And what isn’t? How can you boost sales ?
Presenting to investors
Investors may be family or friends you have known all your life. Or they may be people who have a particular interest in the products you are selling. Or they could be those who think that you and your business look like a promising investment.
Presenting to banks
Banks are cautious investors, and you will need the best of business plans to get a loan these days. But they have financial acumen and will know a good business proposition when they see one.
Be complete and precise in your retail store business plan. Have it proofread for feedback. Include all the essential information and practical details. Write about goals, ideas, strategy, innovation, marketing, and performance. But remember – it is not fixed in stone. As your business grows you may want to adjust your original ideas. The market is always changing, and you will want to stay ahead of the competitors to maximise your profits. Ankorstore helps you to get all the details right.
A business model is a one-size-fits all statement. It is useful up to a point but not as essential as a business plan. A business plan is specific to you, your business and its location.
A business plans needs to be written right at the start of any business. It is essential as a tool to clarify your own ideas. It is also important as a mark of professionalism to secure cash investors.
Whether your store is going to be offline or online you will need to begin your business plan with a good company description. What is the company’s name? Where are you located? Is it online or offline? Or both? Let the world know what product or products you are selling and why your products are better than everybody else’s. The rest is aims, finances and a general picture of the sales market for your product
Related posts "Build my business plan"
Retail 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 retail businesses. On this page, we will first give you some background information with regards to the importance of business planning. We will then go through a retail business plan template step-by-step so you can create your plan today.
Download our Ultimate Retail Business Plan Template here >
What Is a Business Plan?
A business plan provides a snapshot of your retail business 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 Retail Business Plan
Sources of Funding for Retail Businesses
With regards to funding, the main sources of funding for a retail business are bank loans and angel investors. With regards to bank loans, banks will want to review your business plan and gain confidence that you will be able to 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 retail business 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 retail business. They might consider funding a chain, but never an individual location. This is because most venture capitalists are looking for millions of dollars in return when they make an investment, and an individual location could rarely achieve such results.
Finish Your Business Plan Today!
Retail business plan template example.
Your business plan should include 10 sections as follows:
The goal of your Executive Summary is to quickly engage the reader. Explain to them the type of retail store you are operating and the status; for example, are you a startup, do you have a retail business that you would like to grow, or are you operating a chain of retail businesses.
Next, provide an overview of each of the subsequent sections of your plan. For example, give a brief overview of the retail industry. Discuss the type of retail store you are operating. Detail your direct competitors. Give an overview 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 retail business you are operating.
For example, you might operate one of the following types:
- Speciality Store – a store with a tight focus (e.g., hip apparel for women)
- Off-Priced/Used Goods Store – sells massively discounted or used products
- Department Store – often located at a mall and offer tons of products (e.g., Macy’s)
- Supermarket – focuses primarily on food items
- Convenience Store – offers just the most popular items a supermarket offers in a much smaller location
- Drug Store/Pharmacy – primarily offer medicines and medical products
- Discount Store – offer large inventories at low prices (e.g., Walmart)
- Hypermarket – offer many food and non-food items often in large quantities at a discount (e.g., Costco)
- E-commerce – offers products for sale online (e.g., Amazon)
Include answers to question 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 retail business.
While this may seem unnecessary, it serves multiple purposes.
First, researching the retail 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 was a trend towards local retail 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 retail business plan:
- How big is the retail 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 retail business. 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 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 have a great impact on the type of retail business you operate. Clearly baby boomers would want a different atmosphere, pricing and product options, and would respond to different marketing promotions than teens.
Try to break out your target customers in terms of their demographic and psychographic profiles. With regards to demographics, include a discussion of the ages, genders, locations and income levels of the customers you seek to serve. Because most retail businesses primarily serve customers living in their 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 do in attracting and retaining 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 retail businesses. They are most likely local businesses who 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.
- 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.
Product : in the product section you should reiterate the type of retail business that 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 retail business. Document your location and mention how the location will impact your success. For example, is your retail 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 retail 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
- Partnerships with local organizations
- 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 retail business such as serving customers, procuring inventory, keeping the store clean, etc.
Long-term goals are the milestones you hope to achieve. These could include the dates when you expect to serve your 5,000th 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.
Ideally you and/or your team members have direct experience in the retail 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 like mentors to your business. They would help answer questions and provide strategic guidance. If needed, look for advisory board members with experience in retail businesses and/or successfully running retail 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 100 customers per day or 200? 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 $100,000 on building out your retail 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 retail 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 store design blueprint or location lease.
Retail Business Plan Summary
Putting together a business plan for your retail business is a worthwhile endeavor. If you follow the template above, by the time you are done, you will truly be an expert on retail business planning and know everything you need about writing a retail store business plan. You will really understand the retail 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 retail store.
Download Our Retail Business Plan PDF
You can download our retail business plan PDF here . This is a business plan template you can use in PDF format.
Retail Business Plan FAQs
What is the easiest way to complete my retail business plan.
Growthink's Ultimate Retail Business Plan Template allows you to quickly and easily complete your Retail Business Plan.
Where Can I Download a Retail Business Plan PDF?
You can download our retail business plan PDF template here . This is a business plan template you can use in PDF format.
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Retail Business Plan
The retail industry paves the way for an exciting way of life for millions of people across the world – providing goods and services that you and I need including food, home furnishings, medical supplies, electronic items, skilled labour etc., to name a few. Most new entrepreneurs dream of owning a small or large retail store; however, it is more important that you understand what you are in for. Retail business entrepreneurs, as in any business, should be willing to risk capital and invest time and hence make a living by offering customers something key to their daily needs. Consumers today have a plethora of options with an overwhelming sense of luxury and well-being. However, you should always keep an eye out for unexpected declines in demand due to market crashes or slowing economy which could result in curb buying behaviour of the consumers.
You may believe that your business has a distinct concept and is better than any other competitors, but are you sure about how you would launch your business into the market and satisfy the expectations of your customers? How would you drive your unique propositions to the target market? Therefore, one of the most important tasks that any entrepreneur who wishes to start a retail business should do is to create a business plan. Curating a business plan is crucial as it gives you a comprehensive one-stop view of your business and proves to you and others involved in your business idea would work or not work out in the target market and what needs to be modified.
What is a Retail Business Plan?
A business plan is a one-stop guide for your business and details all aspects of your business including what you would sell, how your business would be structured, what is your unique proposition, your target market and your financial plan. You can use your retail business plan as a roadmap that presents the growth plan of the business, its short-term and long-term goals, and how it plans to accomplish these.
The essential parts of a retail business plan include the following:
1. Executive Summary
This section offers the synopsis of your business with a description of all the key components of your business. This is where you capture the reader’s interest in your business.
2. Business Analysis
This section offers a description of the goods and services your business offers in the market, legal structure, location, target market, target customers and key competitors in the market.
3. Marketing Strategy
This section describes your key finding and analysis on your target market and customers, how you plan to penetrate your market, brand position and strategy, marketing plan etc.
4. Products and Services
This section describes what products or services you plan to provide, the supply chain network, how you plan to transport the goods or services offered, information about vendors etc.
5. Management Plan
This part includes details about your human resources, skills that you would require, explains how the store intends to be staffed etc.
6. Financial Plan
This part analyses and details the business profitability model and financial plan. It includes the cash-flow statements, income-expenditure sheet etc.
Importance of a Retail Business Plan
Apart from being a critical document for securing funding or loan from investors or banks, there are many other reasons for writing a business plan in the early stage of your business. Curating a business plan for most entrepreneurs is a splendid opportunity to take a step back and evaluate your business idea and vision, research it, understand your target market and customers and also understand the scope and strategy of your business model. Here we put down a list of reasons why you should sit down to curate a business plan for the success of your business:
1. Validate Target market and Customer Analysis
Before you take your retail business off the ground, it is imperative to get to know the playground you are in. This requires a deep look into your retail industry, competition, and geography. Defining your target market and drawing out the preferences, tastes and behaviour of your target customers enable you to see who your audience is and how you can market your products/services to them. All these details would need to be chalked out in the retail business plan so that investors would have a full overview of what your business is and where exactly it places you in the large retail market.
2. SWOT Analysis
This takes a shot at the strengths, weaknesses, threats, opportunities your brand can capitalize on and even help identify threats from nearby competitors. SWOT analysis in your business plan acts as a reference to isolate your strengths and weaknesses when making crucial decisions and enables you to stand out from your competitors.
3. Set Milestones
Writing a business plan ensures you layout milestones to shoot for in the short, mid, and long term. It defines your plan of action before you jump into setting impulsive goals at the spur of the moment. Defining your goals also ensures you conduct your business with greater agility and identify any changes you may need to make to accomplish these goals.
4. Organize Resources and Skills
Writing this section in your business plan helps you realize how feasible it is to open a retail store, hire required staff, what skills you would need for daily functioning and dive into operating costs. The business plan will serve as a primary guide to structuring your resource management and allocating staff for your retail business core processes. You will also need to chalk out your hiring processes? How do you plan to recruit staff? What are the key skills you would need to look for? What is the responsibility given for each role?
5. Validate your Financial Plan
Planning out your finances and charting them out in your business plan is one of the most crucial functions of this document if you are playing for a loan or looking into bringing on investors. A business budget is what every lender or investor would take a deep look at. You will need to detail out every nook and corner of your expenditure from our budget from insurance, rent, the expense for machinery, to your own salary. Defining your break-even analysis in your business plan at this stage, allows you to refer in the future to understand if your business is running on profits as planned. Your financial plan will include all essential documents that will help investors assess for themselves if you would be able to pay back your loan.
How YRC is helping retailers to build a sustainable business plan?
Once you are set on taking the bumpy road to grow your retail business into a huge success, your business plan would become your closest ally. If you would like to have a clearer perception of the path towards success but are unsure of how to achieve it, YRC can help guide you through the process. YRC experts shall validate your business vision and devise the critical pathways. YRC has helped bring out the best suited viable business models to many retail clients by reshaping how they look at their business. The experts at YRC work with the client and their partners in the planning stage to establish the necessary research to understand the trends affecting your business under the current market condition to lay the groundwork for and improve the potential for success.
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We work only for Visionaries.
The idea of having Ecommerce Consultants on-board from the beginning itself points towards reducing the involvement of the promoters in daily operations. Ecommerce Businesses willing to be a brand reaping profits & sustaining the competition must ensure that most of their processes should be automated. The more the manual intervention, the more would be the errors.
In Ecommerce business, you get only 1 chance to impress the customer & if you mess up there, you lose the customer for long.
Process automation in respect to all the activities pertaining to customers from order receiving to order fulfilment is a must for a seamless experience for the customers.
Task Management is another grey area where most deadlines fail as 90% of the tasks are assigned manually & are forgotten, unheard, misunderstood or mistaken.
YRC Team of Ecommerce Management Consultants helps to make maximum of the processes system-driven to ensure minimalistic manual intervention.
VIDEOGRAPHY & PHOTOGRAPHY
No matter how good your product is, the customer would know only if it looks good.
Photography includes the following steps:
- Cataloguing your products
- Cataloguing your images
- Backup your images (A few cloud storage solutions include Dropbox, Google Drive, Bitcasa, Apple’s Cloud Storage etc.)
- Choose the right camera & lens (You may also outsource the photography to a third party agency)
Digital Marketing includes SEO & SMM. SEO i.e. Search Engine Optimization includes activities like back-linking, meta tags, blog-writing etc. to ensure your website ranks on the 1st page on Google Search.
Next comes SMM i.e. “Social Media Marketing” which as the name suggests including promoting your products on all the social media sites, email marketing, influencer marketing & several other BTL activities.
These activities are going to be recurring & would decide the traffic on the website, the conversions, whether the right target market is tapped, the likes, the views, the orders, the reviews & much more. YRCs Ecommerce Consultants create a budget for digital marketing right from pre-launch to launch & for each month thereafter.
Building digital marketing strategies in coordination with the agency, selecting them to signing them off would be the role of YRC.
This ensures seamless coordination, detailed interactions & desired execution as it is always advisable to work with a single agency than multiple of them.
Selection of the right software for smooth functioning of back-end operations right from production to webstore display would be suggested and integrated by YRC Team.
YRC’s Team defines SOPs of Product Movement, maps it with the locations & people. They then create a blueprint of all the features required in the software & help in shortlisting & selection.
IT Integration involves connecting your offline inventories with real-time online webstore so when a sale occurs, inventories get deducted real time across offline as well as online platforms.
This helps in accurate inventory management, maintaining the MOQs, re-order levels & achieving the optimum inventory levels.
Some popular software include unicommerce, viniculum for your front-end website management & Genisys for your entire back-end Purchase, Production, Accounting, Invoicing etc. management.
WAREHOUSE & LOGISTICS PLANNING
- How many cities or countries you wish to sell in?
- Where should your Warehouse be located?
- Should you have one warehouse in each country or city?
- Should you be having your own delivery team in your base city?
- Would the 3rd party vendors be reliable? What happens when they lose or misplace your product during delivery?
- How should I manage the logistics if my goods are coming from different countries?
- How should the goods be stored and barcoded?
- How much space do I require for warehouse?
- I am sure several such questions must be haunting you while you think of starting your own fashion ecommerce brand.
At YRC, our warehousing and logistics experts can help you devise a strategy for all of the above mentioned queries and much more.
We design the layout of the Warehouse considering the inward, goods processing, software entry, barcoding, outward, goods return, scrap storage, goods stacking & much more.
Logistics route plan is devised considering the manufacturer to your warehouse and from there to last mile delivery locations.
UI & UX DESIGNING
This Step involves 03 distinct parts:
Part 1: Choosing the right Platform:
From several platforms available in the market right from Shopify to magento, woocommerce, prestoshop, wordpress etc. you must choose the one that fits best for your business
Part 2: UX Designing:
“UX” denotes User Experience, which if put in simple language is building the functional requirements of the website.
UX Designing includes designing the features required in the website, customer journey map, website features, the browsing features, navigation features, ecommerce order management process flow, checkout cart features, catalogue management, ecommerce payment system, cross selling features & much more.
“As per statistics, 68% of the customers abandon the carts before payment”
An interesting UX ensures the customer sticks on to the website for a longer time.
Part 3: UI Designing:
UI stands for User Interface, which means designing the look and feel of the website. UI includes using the right colours, elements and the entire aesthetics of the website.
A good User Interface ensures the user completes the task that he has come for. It navigates the user through the journey of the brand in the simplest but most effective way.
The UX designer maps out the bare bones of the user journey; the UI designer then fills it in with visual and interactive elements.
If User experience is the bare bone, user interface wraps it up with an attractive cape.
At YRC, our team if experts can help you develop the entire User Journey to ensure it is engaging!
SAMPLING & PRODUCTION
This step follows the “Designing” Phase, whether you have an in-house design team, freelance designers or an outsourced design company. It is one of the most exciting phases, as here you see your designs turning into products & your ideas turning into reality.
In most start-up cases, production is outsourced i.e. brands tie-up with the established manufacturers/ job-workers to get their products manufactured.
Sampling involves multiple 04 Stages, Fit-Sample, Prototype Sample, Pre-Production Sample & the Production Sample.
Prototype Sample is the first sample provided to the buyer. It can be in any fabric/ colour. This sample is just to understand whether the product design looks equally great in reality.
Fit Sample, as the name suggests is prepared to check the fit of the garment i.e. the various sizes, length, width etc.
Pre-production is made by the actual production line. Here the stitching quality and other aspects related to manufacturing are checked. This is the last stage where rejection can be accepted.
Production Sample is made before the production which is the replica of what is going to be finally produced.
Once you are through with all this, you are good to go ahead & get your goods manufactured.
PRODUCT DESIGNING / SOURCING
Product Designing or Sourcing is the heart of the Ecommerce Fashion Brand.
Product Designing / Sourcing can be done in several ways, as follows:
- In-house Design Team
- Freelance Designers
- Outsourced Design Team
- Ready Product Sourcing (From Manufacturer or Wholesaler)
At YRC, we evaluate your business strategy & business model to arrive at the decision, which of the above ways would be best-fit for your business. In certain cases, product sourcing may be a combination of the above.
These are the people who are going to build your brand! Whether they are the designers or merchandiser, your brand look is going to be in their hands.
If you are designing each garment from the scratch, the sourcing would play crucial role in developing design identity of your brand.
Sourcing includes fabric, trims, lining & all the raw material required to build the garment.
Branding is the “Look of the Brand”, right from logo to tagline, the colours used, the brand story, the brand communications on social media, the packaging & all the other aspects which speak directly or indirectly to the customers. Branding constitutes the look & feel of the brand & hence must be thoughtfully planned to match with the product that we are selling.
Branding must appeal to our target audience. Example : A golden colour logo depicting finesse, art, richness, premium, however beautiful it may be individually cannot go with a brand selling affordable kids wear products. So, your logo must be in-line with your brand positioning, whether you are an expensive brand or a luxury brand or a value for money brand, it must be depicted from your “Branding”.
It is an integral part to attract the target audience.
ORGANOGRAMS & SOP’s
Organogram is the “HR Blueprint” of the business which is created at the onset, to map out the team required across each function at various stages of the business. At the launch, only key people need to be got on board to ensure the project gets started & at this stage, all of them need to multi-task. Similarly, certain financial as well as operational goals are set for addition of the further team. Example, for the operations team, we hire 1 operations manager during the pre-launch phase & we add 1 more only when the business kicks-off & we reach a volume of selling more than 1000 pcs/ month or a turnover of more than 0.1 million USD.
SOPs are Standard Operating Procedures, a bible to run the entire organization right from Sales, Purchase, HR, Order receiving to Order fulfilment, Inventory Management, Accounts, Warehouse, Logistics, Supply Chain, Production & all the other relevant functions for the business. Business must be organized from its first day of operations; only then the tasks can be delegated.
At YRC, we design the organization structure, the processes, and approximate time taken to execute each process, job profile of every member within the organization, their KRAs, KPIs & the Reporting Structure.
Critical Pathway Analysis (CPA), is a project management technique which cannot be overlooked while launching an ecommerce fashion brand. Brand launch process is cumbersome with multiple inter-dependent & time-bound tasks involved, which need to be tracked to ensure the project remains on track.
CPA outlines key tasks across the project, their turnaround time (TAT) & the dependencies of tasks upon each other. It identifies the sequence of tasks, their interdependent steps from inception to completion, their criticalities, and their dates of onset, target dates of completion along with the key responsible person for the respective activities. Critical Pathway helps in understanding the unimportant & not urgent tasks which may jeopardize the execution of the project because of an unexpected snag! It also maps out the potential bottlenecks which might be posed because of the dependencies of tasks upon each other & cases where the next task cannot be commenced before the completion of the previous one.
CPA detects the minimum & the maximum time involvement of a particular individual or team to execute the task, thereby arriving at the overall deadlines associated with the project.
At Your Retail Coach, we design the Critical Pathway & review it periodically to ensure the project is on track & the progress is measurable.
BUSINESS STRATEGY & BUSINESS PLAN
Business Strategy includes the vision, mission, goals, business model, business plan & strategy for all the functions within the organization.
Business Strategy is a well-defined plan that outlines who, what, where, why, how & when for the company; for example, who would be the target market, how to attract the target audience, when to launch new products, where to operate from, how to handle competitors, what would be the USP, what would be long term goal of the organization & several other answers to the 5Ws of Strategy.
Business Strategy aligns the organization towards a common goal. Business SWOT helps company to identify & overcome their weaknesses & focus to sharpen the strengths. Business strategy forecasts future risks and helps business in building skillsets to overcome the potential threats.
YRC’s Business Plan focuses on creating a “Blueprint” of the business, thereby deriving the feasibility of the concept & gauge whether the opportunity is lucrative to invest time, energy & effort. Business Plan creates cash flow understanding i.e. building inflow & outflow cash projections from Week zero to week 60 i.e. 05 year projection. Business Plan calculates the capital investment, operating costs, one-time costs, recurring costs & all the other numbers relevant to obtain the breakeven sales, return on investment, return on capital, internal rate of return & several other ratios. Business Plan is also one of the important requirements if you are targeting the “Investor Route”. Fund raising becomes extremely transparent & channelized. With business plan panned out clearly, the business will know until what point must it be stretched & where to stop, which reduces the probability of unplanned investments.
Starting the concept of Ecommerce Fashion brand with Market Research ensures we get detailed understanding of the industry & this research report also acts as a social confirmation for your concept. Market Research helps in understanding the target locations, their population, potential online buyers for your product, competitors for each category, and top selling products of the competitors, competitors’ price range, offers & their responses & much more. Market Research helps in thorough understanding of your brand position as compared to our competitors. It helps in identifying gaps in the market, in your category along with the scope of the said product in the desired market. This will help in validation of your concept & prevents you from making the same mistakes as your fellow brands, eventually saving your time, energy & efforts. This phase is also a make or a break phase, as the market research study may at-times come up with some eye-popping numbers & statistics which might compel you to re-think on your product or category that you are planning to sell or alter your entire concept itself!! Market Research Reports analyse the competitors’ webstore for their traffic, conversion & sales. This is extremely valuable information to derive our inventory budgets & projections, which takes us to our next phase.
Retail & Ecommerce Business Plans
Did you know each of these plans was created in LivePlan? Learn More
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Do you have dreams of owning your own brick and mortar retail store? Or an eCommerce website you can run from the comfort of your own home? Whichever retail option you choose, you’ll need a business plan to get started and successfully manage it.
Check out our library of retail sample plans for inspiration and guidance as you build out your own physical retail or eCommerce business.
Or to develop a more modern online plan that updates with your retail needs, we recommend you try LivePlan . It contains the same templates and information you see here, but with additional guidance, sections you can update on the fly and automatic financials to help you easily manage your business.
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Retail Education & Training Solutions
Retail Business Plan
A retail business plan is a document that gives you and your potential investors a roadmap on how your new retail business intends to get started and deliver its business goals over its initial few years (usually 5 years).
It is usually broken down into sections about the company, the industry it operates in, the competition it will face and a plan that covers marketing, financials and operations over the first few years in business.
Also check out this one-page Business Model Canvas for a retail business .
Retail Business Plan Template
You can download this free retail business plan template from the link below. You will be able to edit the word file and export it into PDF format afterwards.
In the coming sections, we will explain the different components that go into the retail business plan, which you can then apply to your own plan when completing the template.
Check out more free downloads .
We recommend writing the executive summary at the end of the process, after you have filled out all the other sections in the retail business plan template.
In the executive summary you will cover the following points briefly:
- Types of products sold at the store
- Customers served by the store
- Company mission & vision
- Market share to be captured
You will also mention the total amount you will need to start this business, backed by the financial plan you prepared as part of this business plan.
The total amount that you want to borrow or have invested in your business will be the sum of pre-opening costs (initial inventory, equipment, rent,..) and the maximum negative cash flow as per your cash flow plan.
If you are writing this retail business plan for a financial institution to get a loan, mention how you expect to repay the loan, and you should have already included the loan installments in your financial plan.
If you are writing this plan for investors, mention how much equity they will receive in return for this investment and the expected return on investment, and expected cash distributions (dividends) based on your financial plan.
An investment of 100,000$ in the business will result in the investor receiving 20% equity. We plan to distribute 50% of the profits every year, and based on our financial projections this will be a xx,xxx$ in the first year, xx,xxx$ in the second year, and xx,xxx$ in the third year,..etc.
Here you will write about your business and give a brief overview about the type of store you will be starting.
You can cover the following points:
- Store category (e.g. beauty store, toy store)
- Store location and brief description of the area
- Product categories carried
- Company legal structure
Write an overview about the industry (retail/ecommerce) as a whole and the most recent trends specific to this industry.
Cover areas such as:
- Total retail sales
- Contribution of your retail category to the total sales (size of the market)
- Online vs. Brick & Mortar trends
- Recent industry trends and shifts in terms of products you are selling
You can find the most recent insights about retail in our Retail Statistics page.
Read Also: What is Retail ?
Write about your target customers that you know will be interested in your products. Mention demographic and psychographic details in this section. This will help afterwards in drafting your marketing plan.
You can cover the following details:
- Age bracket
- Income level
- Educational level
- The specific needs that your products will fill for them
FOUNDATIONS OF MARKETING
- Learn the fundamentals of marketing
- See how they apply to buying, merchandising & pricing
- Real-life case studies and examples
List the current competition in the market that are serving your target customers. Mention your top 3 competitors in your area.
You can also include indirect competition, such as online stores or marketplace sellers, if you think this might affect your business.
Cover information about:
- No. of stores
- Size of stores
- Product categories they sell
- Pricing level
- Sales per day estimates
- Strengths & Weaknesses
You can also create a summary table like the one below
What will make customers leave the competition and come to you? Use the weaknesses areas that you mentioned about the competition in the previous section, and mention how you will improve on them.
This could be by:
- Superior quality
- Better prices
- More variety
- Better shopping experience
Describe your marketing strategy for your store and which channels you are going to use.
Cover the following areas:
- Brand Positioning
- Branding Strategy (Persona, tone, language,..)
- Product Strategy (Key products and product features that will attract your customers)
- Pricing Strategy
- Promotional Strategy
- Marketing Channels
Write how you will operate your store and include details about your manpower plan.
This will include the management that you will hire for the store, visual merchandisers, sales staff and cashiers.
Cover the following:
- Management structure (store manager, supervisor,..)
- Staff plan (3 sales associates, 2 cashiers, etc.)
- Brief role descriptions
- Compensation structure
Read Also: Retail Scheduling
RETAIL OPERATIONS MANAGEMENT
- Managing Store Operations
- Areas of Responsibility
- Assessing & Managing Performance
List estimates for the capital you will need to start and financial projections for the following years.
Start with how much capital you will need to start the business
This will include:
- Initial rent
- Initial product order (Inventory)
- Initial staff salary
- Store fixtures
- Store equipment
Read Also: How Much Capital You Will Need For a New Retail Store?
Include a 5-year financial projection for the business based on your forecasted sales and costs.
- Monthly income statement (P&L) for the first year
- Yearly income statement for the following 4 years
- Monthly cash flow projection for the first year
Learn how to create a sales budget for a new store, and 3 years financial projections in our Retail Budgeting Course
RETAIL BUDGETING & PLANNING
- The step by step retail budgeting process
- Set monthly targets adjusted to seasonality
- Templates download & practice exercise
Break Even Point
Include a snapshot of the 5-year P&L plan here and mention the SPD (sales per day) you need to breakeven, based on your P&L numbers.
We have created a sample table with retail data in the business plan template, and you can fill it with your own numbers.
Mention the assumptions you used for creating your financial projections.
For example , you assumed that sales per day for the first year will be 1000$ and then will grow by 20% in the second year, 15% in the third year and 10% in the fourth year, etc.
Retail Business Plan Tips
We recommend being very realistic about your initial sales per day projections, as your entire financial plan will be directly affected by it.
When you then forecast your growth for the coming years, you should also be realistic about how much you will grow year-on-year.
From our experience, retail stores typically see higher growth after the first year and then this starts to level off from the third year onwards.
Having said that, there might be other growth drivers that can affect your business and accelerate your growth in the following years. This could be for example that your new store is in an area that is still under development and will be fully developed by the third year.
What we want to say is, do your due diligence thoroughly and based on that set realistic expectations.
The biggest asset you will hold and the biggest part of the investment/loan you will need to start your retail business will go for inventory.
So it is important to calculate your inventory needs correctly.
This will be based on your sales forecasts and the inventory turnover rate you expect or the forward stock cover you intend to maintain.
For example, if your inventory turnover target is 2, this means you maintain a 6 months cover. If your inventory turnover is 3, you maintain 4 months stock cover,..and so on.
We recommend checking out the benchmarks we have listed for different retail categories for inventory turnover and reading our complete Open to Buy guide to get started with calculating exactly how much inventory you will need.
Good luck in your new venture!
THE PROFESSIONAL RETAIL ACADEMY (PRA) ™
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- Learn the best practices of the industry
- Download ready-to-use professional templates
- Get certificates of completion for each course
- One membership = Access to all courses
Thank you for reading this article on Retail Business Plan. We recommend the below free resources as well:
- Retail Management
- Starting a Retail Business
- Buying a Retail Business
Join the academy and get all access to all our resources, which will help you manage your retail business more efficiently.
CONNECT THE DOTS
Learn how to manage a retail business end-to-end.
We’ve put together a curriculum, specifically designed for retail owners or retail professionals who want to advance into senior management roles.
Learn how to connect the dots of the business and take the basic knowledge to the next level of application .
How to Write a Business Plan For a Retail Store: Complete Guide
- August 3, 2022
Whether you’re looking to raise funding from private investors or to get a loan from a bank (like a SBA loan) for your retail store, you will need to prepare a solid business plan.
In this article we go through, step-by-step, all the different sections you need in your retail store business plan. Use this template to create a complete, clear and solid business plan that get you funded.
1. Executive Summary
The executive summary of a business plan gives a sneak peek of the information about your business plan to lenders and/or investors.
If the information you provide here is not concise, informative, and scannable, potential lenders and investors will lose interest.
Though the executive summary is the first and the most important section, it should normally be the last section you write because it will have the summary of different sections included in the entire plan.
Why do you need a business plan for a retail store?
The purpose of a business plan is to secure funding through one of the following channels:
- Obtain bank financing or secure a loan from other lenders (such as a SBA loan )
- Obtain private investments from investment funds, angel investors, etc.
- Obtain a public or a private grant
How to write your retail store business plan’s executive summary?
For any retail business, the following information must go into the executive summary:
- Business overview : include your business name and model (independent retail store or franchise model), the products you intend to sell (and whether you want to expand with additional product offerings), the legal structure of your business, etc.
- Market analysis : how many retail stores operate in your area and what do they sell? The estimated number of visitors your customers receive per week, target audience demography (the products you sell must fulfill their needs), purchasing power, etc. must also be included
- People : organizational setup and the management hierarchy along with retail store experience of the key people in the management
- Financial plan : how much profit and revenue do you expect in the next 5 years? When will you reach the break-even point and start making profits? It is ideal to include a chart depicting your key financials such as revenue, gross profits, and net profit
- Financial ask : what loan/investment/grant are you seeking? How much do you need? How long will this last?
2. Business Overview
The business overview is essentially the company description. The second section of your business plan, it should cover the following for a retail store:
- The products you will sell in your store
- The price range of the products
- The company structure
- Target audience information
Let’s look at different subsections that you must include:
Give a brief explanation of why you want to open a retail store. It must display two things:
- Your passion & interest for this type of business
- Feasibility of the business
There may be other retail stores in your area, but they don’t fulfill certain needs of the potential customers. Your business may fill in that gap.
For example, there may not be any retail store in your area addressing the needs of cyclists. Even if there are competing retail stores, are they offering everything like electric bikes, mountain bikes, touring bikes, BMX, folding bikes, etc.? Do they offer spare parts and customizations?
b) Business Model
This is where you will explain the following:
- Is your retail store independent?
- Are you buying an existing retail store?
- Are you settling for a franchise store of an established bike brand?
Your retail store can sell various products. Lenders or investors must get a clear idea of the products you intend to sell. If you want to focus on one or two specific products, you must clarify that, too.
For instance, if you are opening a retail bicycle or bike store , do you intend to sell only assembled bikes or do you intend to sell spare parts, too? What about toolkits? Do you have plans to sell supporting products for cyclists such as helmets, pants, shorts, gloves, eyewear, etc.?
If you have plans to specialize in something (for example, mountain bikes with shock absorption, gears, disc brakes, etc.), mention that.
d) Pricing Strategy
It is important that you add a pricing list here. You don’t need to go into extreme details. Just an average range will be more than enough.
For instance, mountain bikes can cost anywhere between $400 and $800 . Depending on the components used, the average price can increase or decrease.
A pricing chart for all major products you are offering can help the investors or lenders to tie your pricing strategy with your financial projections.
e) Target Audience
Knowing your customers is very important. That will give you an edge over your competitors. For example, if you are opening a retail bicycle store, you must know whether your potential customers will be enthusiasts, hobbyists, or professionals.
Another important aspect is to understand the type of cyclists you will focus on. The products you sell will depend on that.
Knowing your customers well help in two things:
- You can better retain your customers
- Lenders or investors will be more confident about your business strategy
f) Legal Structure
Finally, your business overview section should specify what type of business structure you opt for. Is this a corporation or a partnership (LLC)? Who are the investors? How much equity percentage do they own? Is there a Board of Directors? If so, whom? Do they have experience in the industry?
3. Market Analysis
The market analysis is the next most important aspect of your retail store business plan. You must demonstrate to the potential investors that you know your market. Investors must be confident that the retail store you are trying to open (or you are already operating) makes sense.
For example, if you want to open a retail store specializing in mountain bikes, it’d be better if you’re located in states like Utah, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, North Carolina, Michigan, etc., because these states have ideal mountain bike destinations. Similarly, Texas isn’t really popular for mountain biking.
Again, you will never want to sell high-end bikes in a middle class neighborhood because they will most likely not be able to afford those items.
a) Retail Market Trends
You must also focus on the market size and growth opportunities. For example, if the location of your retail store doesn’t have enough cyclists, your bicycle business will probably not make enough profits. Again, if there are way too many competitors, the growth opportunities may be stifled.
Find market data for your city / area
It is always a good idea to get city-level data to get a clearer picture of the market size in addition to any national-level data you are providing.
Getting city level data might not be an easy task. In fact, you may have to get out and collect the necessary data. You may have to do some math. For example, if there were 30 bicycle retailers in your city in 2019 and the number grew to 33 in 2020, the annual growth rate will be 10%.
You may want to investigate the factors leading to such growth. For instance, median income may have increased, there may be an influx of population, growing environmental consciousness, increased health awareness, etc., can be some of the factors.
However, you may actually notice a drop. In such a case, you must investigate the reasons. There can be varied factors like drop in income (and hence, sales that led to closure of businesses), decrease in population (may be younger popular moved out of the location), etc.
If there is a drop, you must explain the rationale behind opening a business, the industry of which is showing a gradual decline. It may also happen that the market may rebound back after a temporary decline.
Your competitor analysis is very important. Here are a few questions that you must answer:
- How many retail stores are there?
- How many of those stores are your direct and indirect competitors?
- What type of products do your competitors sell?
- What is the price your competitors are charging for the same or similar product?
- How many employees do your competitors have on an average?
- How many customers do they receive per month?
Some of the answers will end in approximation of data. That’s totally fine. For example, you may not be able to get the exact number of customers your competitors receive.
Draw a strong conclusion for your competitive analysis
Your competitive analysis must bring out the reasons why you are trying to open a retail store. For example (related to the retail bicycle store example):
- There are no specialised mountain bike retailers in the area despite a high percentage of mountain bikers
- Existing bike retailers offer only bikes and spares. No retailer offers clothing and protective gear
You already spoke about the target audience in the Business Overview section. Here, you must provide hard data that establishes the existence of your potential customers in the area.
This section must answer the following questions (with reference to the bike store example):
- What is the age group of the cyclists in your area?
- What percentage of the cyclists are women vs. males?
- What type of bikes are they mostly interested in?
- Do the customers also look for related accessories?
- Do they prefer online shopping or offline shopping?
- What is the average household income per month (and also their average disposable income)?
Much of this hard data will come from your competitor analysis. Also, the data must support your decision to open a retail store. For example, if people have a tendency to buy online, you may be better off opening an online retail store instead of a physical store.
4. Sales & Marketing Strategy
The 4th section of your retail store business plan is where you outline your customer acquisition strategy. Try to answer the following questions:
- What is your USP?
- What marketing channels will you use (online or offline)?
- Do the marketing channels aptly grab the attention of your target audience? For instance, young adults will most likely not pay attention to TV ads. Instead, use social media
- How do you intend to track the success of your marketing strategy?
- What is your CAC or customer acquisition cost?
- What is your marketing budget?
- What introductory promos and offers do you intend to provide for attracting new customers?
Let’s expand a bit on a few questions below:
a) Marketing channels
A few marketing channels retail stores typically use are:
- Email marketing
- SMS marketing
- Social media
- Pay-per-click campaigns (e.g. Google Ads, Amazon Ads)
- Partnerships (e.g. with companies to offer employees coupons, discounts, etc.)
b) What is your unique selling proposition?
In other words, how do you differentiate yourself vs. competitors? This is very important as you might need to win customers from competitors.
A few examples of USPs are (with reference to retail bike store example):
- Price : you may have cheaper prices than competitors
- Specialization : you may be specializing in some specific product
- Additional products : you sell additional accessories and safety gear that your competitors don’t
- Freebies : you may offer freebies like helmets or tail lights
Your USP will definitely depend on the products you are selling.
5. Management & Organizational Structure
You must address two things here:
- The management team and their experience / track record
- The organizational structure: what are the different teams and who reports to whom?
Your store’s management will vary depending on the business type and size. For instance, if you are opening a franchise store, you may have to give a lot more details compared to an independent store.
You may have co-founders and/or senior managers. You must explain their roles, too. Apart from that, you must also explain their industry experience and why they are suitable for those positions.
b) Organizational structure
Note that even if you have not already hired senior managers and other team members, you must include the details.
You must define their roles and the hierarchy of reporting. This will demonstrate to the potential lenders and investors the solid management plan you have in place to operate your business efficiently and successfully.
Create and attach an organizational chart for a visual understanding of your store’s staff and their reporting lines.
6. Financial Plan
The financial plan is perhaps, with the executive summary, the most important section of any retail store business plan.
Indeed, a solid financial plan tells lenders that your business is viable and can repay the loan you need from them. If you’re looking to raise equity from private investors, a solid financial plan will prove them your retail store is an attractive investment.
There should be 3 sections to your financial plan section:
- Your historical financials (only if you already operate the business and have financial accounts to show)
- The startup costs of your project (if you plan to open a new retail store, renovate your store, etc.)
- The 5-year financial projections
Historical Financials (if any)
In the scenario where you already have some historical financials (a few quarters or a few years), include them. A summary of your financial statements in the form of charts e.g. revenue, gross profit and net profit is enough, save the rest for the appendix.
If you don’t have any, don’t worry, most new businesses don’t have any historical financials and that’s ok. If so, jump to Startup Costs instead.
Before we expand on 5-year financial projections in the following section, it’s always best practice to start with listing the startup costs of your project. For a retail store, startup costs are all the expenses you incur before you open the space to your customers. These expenses typically are:
- The lease deposit for the space you rent
- The design and renovation of the existing facilities
- The equipment and furniture
The total startup costs depend on a number of factors, such as the size of your store, the quality of the building (whether there is a lot or remodeling to do or not), the quality of the furniture, etc.
In addition to startup costs, you will now need to build a solid financial model over 5 years.
Your financial projections should be built using a spreadsheet (e.g. Excel or Google Sheets) and presented in the form of tables and charts in your business plan.
As usual, keep it concise here and save details (for example detailed financial statements, financial metrics, key assumptions used for the projections) for the appendix instead.
Your financial projections should answer at least the following questions:
- How much revenue do you expect to generate over the next 5 years?
- When do you expect to break even?
- How much cash will you burn until you get there?
- What’s the impact of a change in pricing (say 5%) on your margins?
- What is your average customer acquisition cost?
You should include here your 3 financial statements (income statement, balance sheet and cash flow statement). This means you must forecast:
- The number of customers over time ;
- Your expected revenue ;
- Operating costs to run the business ;
- Any other cash flow items (e.g. capex, debt repayment, etc.).
When projecting your revenue, make sure to sensitize pricing and the number of customers, sales as a small change in these assumptions will have a big impact on your revenues.
7. Use of Funds
This is the last section of your retail store business plan. Now that we have explained what your retail store sells and to whom, the industry, management and your marketing strategy, this section must answer the following questions:
- How much funding do you need?
- What financial instrument(s) do you need: is this equity or debt, or even a free-money public grant?
- How long will this funding last?
- Where else does the money come from? If you apply for a SBA loan for example, where does the other part of the investment come from (your own capital, private investors?)
If you raise debt:
- What percentage of the total funding the loan represents?
- What is the corresponding Debt Service Coverage Ratio ?
If you raise equity
- What percentage ownership are you selling as part of this funding round?
- What is the corresponding valuation of your business?
Use of Funds
Any business plan should include a clear use of funds section. This is where you explain how the money will be spent.
Will you spend most of the loan / investment in paying your employees’ salaries and the inventory? Or will it cover mostly the cost for the lease deposit and the renovation of the building?
Those are very important questions you should be able to answer in the blink of an eye. Don’t worry, this should come straight from your financial projections. If you’ve built solid projections like in our retail store financial model template , you won’t have any issues answering these questions.
For the use of funds, we recommend using a pie chart like the one we have in our financial model template where we outline the main expenses categories as shown below.