Quick Tips for Writing an E-commerce Business Plan


Okay, okay… so in a previous post, we learned about the importance of having a business plan for your e-commerce business and how it can be useful in setting goals, monitoring your business and carving out a roadmap for scaling your business in the long run. In that post, I promised to give you tips on how to go about writing your business plan, and that’s what we are gonna do today.

I keep my promises *winks*

With that in mind, I’ll be giving you a few pointers on how you can go about this – that is, writing a business plan for your e-commerce business. So what goes into your business plan?

Well… first up, you need to ensure your business idea is simple, thorough and precise. Have a simplified description of the kind of e-commerce business you’re going into. Sophistication sounds cool, but this is going overboard. When writing out your business idea; assume you are explaining it to a friend or a potential investor.

Next up, you’ll have to construct a framework for your business model. You can do this by identifying:

  • What you sell
  • Who you are selling to
  • Where/How you will source for your products

Having definite answers to these questions will help create a mold around which a business model can be constructed.

A crucial aspect of your business plan would include market analysis. It is actually impossible to succeed in e-commerce without understanding the market. You need to have a firm understanding of the niche you’re working with, the existing competition and your target consumer demographic. A section in your business plan should contain detailed information from market analysis. The following key questions would serve as guidelines for carrying out your market analysis.

  • What is my competition doing differently?
  • How much are people willing to spend on your products?
  • What are your best selling products?
  • Can your products generate repeat buyers?
  • How crowded is your niche?
  • What is the competition missing from their product?
  • How can I capitalize on this and use it to my advantage?

Also, ensure you include a section that will handle products/services you intend to sell in the future. Perhaps you’ve successfully sold T-shirts, and you have a decent customer base, you can influence your manufacturing relationships to branch into selling shorts or socks. I’m talking about creating a plan for you branch out into other things. I’m talking expansion and scaling your business! What are your plans for the future? Be sure to include them as well. This would be your product pipeline, that will guide you in scaling your business.

Another important thing to include is a well-detailed financial section that would handle – sales forecast, expenses and the net income of your business. This would help you have an idea of what needs to be done to achieve your profit goals. These projections may not be always accurate, but it is always good to give yourself some measurable goals to strive for.

Lastly, you need to include the platform you will use for your e-commerce business. I presume that would either be Amazon or Shopify.

If you can follow up with the information presented, you will be able to create a great business plan for your e-commerce business and improve your chances of succeeding.

Don’t be a lazy entrepreneur! Create a business plan and structure your path to greatness

Keep selling guys.

Have a great day!


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Last Wall Comments

 Mike says at 23:12 et
Nice one Pat! Let me know when you reach 2k per day :)
 sam dh says at 23:18 et
i'm sam from LA.. new here.. LOVE it so far. excited to get started.. researching product now.. any tips?
Claudia says at 07:40 et
Welcome Sam. Glad to have you with us.. Have you checked the new PRODUCT RESEARCH VIDEO? I have shared our tips there and gave step by step instructions how to do it!
 Cyril says at 19:39 et
Is it still ok to give away discounted coupons?
Claudia says at 19:40 et
Yes as long as you don't ask for reviews in exchange. It will still increase your sales velocity and ranks.. However maybe it makes more sense to run PPC instead of giving away your product too cheap 50-75% OFF instead of PPC? Depends on the niche..
 mya says at 21:29 et
I am excited to start and ready to ship first product... How to print the labels??
 little_tiger says at 21:29 et
Just buy a simple Laser printer and print on the sticky paper! EASY :)
 Alex says at 21:32 et
Hey fellow Shopifyers and Amazoners ! I would be very grateful for some input! I am setting up a blog for my site. I am not looking for the native shopify blog vs. wordpress pros and cons?
 Samuel says at 21:32 et
Shopify has built in blog functionality - that's all you really need.. why would you separate blog from the store, it makes no sense these days.
 eric says at 21:37 et
I am confused with Facebook ads.. It shows on my FB ad is set I've got 15 conversions but in shopify i just got only 7 sales. WTF?
 Evan says at 21:37 et
Eric. Conversions can be of multiple types. Add to cart, view content etc are all counted as conversions. hover over 15 conversions and see how they are broken down.. In short Conversion = Action. It does not mean sale.
 Mister A says at 17:40 et
How accurate are sales estimates based on BSR?
 Aria says at 17:42 et
It's pretty accurate but it's only a GUIDE, not exact amount. You need to understand that amazon does not release real sales amounts on public. So it's an EDUCATED GUESS. The problem is that all of that information is based on the sales rank at the time you are viewing the product. So if they ran some promo last week they have more BSR than usual.

That's why good to use TRACKING tools like "Track my product" in sells lik ehot cakes..
 Lane says at 17:44 et
FBA toolkit, Unicorn smasher, Jungle scout, all give you some estimate. Nothing is "ACCURATE" and cant be accurate as you dont know real numbers, only amazon does... all tools just try to help you research. Dont worry about "accuracy".
 Caleb says at 00:54 et
Very excited to meet many of you guys at Traffic and Conversion summit in san diego!! You are crushing it!
 Samuel says at 00:55 et
TLC2017 rocks.. rian dies and perry belcher on fire. By the way Perry is also doing sourcing from CHINA! this topic is on FIRE !!! he is doing 20 million with his strategic knife sales this year and expanding.
 Ted says at 00:56 et
True, ecommerce is growing really fast. It's a golden time to start!
Blaine says at 00:30 et
Hello I'm new and just trying to feel my way around
 jack says at 00:31 et
Welcome Blaine, you will love it here, we are crushing it!!! Videos are here http://sellslikehotcakes.co/videos.php they work fine for me, try Chrome or firefox.
william says at 12:34 et
Hi everybody, I'm new here and is excited. I'm just looking at the Course Intro. I'm starting with ZERO and will keep you guys posted.
Claudia says at 12:35 et
Hi William, great to have you here!! I'm sure you will love it. Share your progress with us!
Claudia says at 12:32 et
You are welcome guys, glad to have you here!
 Mike says at 11:59 et
Great quetion from Nasim, i wanted to share it and then my response. "This course is really inspiring me to open my own store. Can you give me one more suggestion. From your experience which one you think is better a specific product type or mixed product stores? "
 Mike says at 11:59 et
There is no specific answer to this. You know Amazon itself is "everything store" and they are very successful. At the same time a lot of shopify stores are "one product only" or "one niche only". If you target specific niche (like pugs lovers, pug owners for example) then your store should have only products for pugs, because if they see the product for bulldog, they will be frustrated and leave). I hope it helps, but there is no RIGHT or WRONG way here.

I would suggest

1. If you go with "everything store" then research top competitor everything stores and make sure to sell similar products by similar prices. This will reduce chance of failure.

2. If you go specific niche, again use competitor spy tools and find out best selling products in competitor stores and duplicate them.
 Mosquit says at 12:00 et
great question, thanks mike for sharing the tips. to Nasim good luck!!
 Emma says at 12:04 et
Example of great everything store is chattuz.com
Example of great niche specific store is deathwishcoffee.com
 Mike says at 16:25 et
New cool video released "Exit Strategies: How to sell your business and buy other thriving businesses"
Ernesto says at 06:36 et
I thought "boost post" was a big no- no, and should instead use ads manager? Can someone drop some knowledge on me?
 Eddy says at 06:38 et
Boost post is the same as using ads manager if you already created audience and just want to quickly boost the post for $10-15 when building community.
JADA says at 10:21 et
Hi there, I'm new here. I wanna launch a new product. I'm going to ask a few friends to get the product and make review with 5 star. How many reviews should I get at the launch in that way?. 15 is too much at the start?
 Mike says at 10:23 et
Welcome Jada.. Please see the course video about getting reviews. Amazon will most likely remove most of your friends reviews as it's against their TOS.
Sergey says at 05:12 et
Good day, community!

My name is Serhii Nediak and I'm from Ukraine! I looked at all videos concerning Amazon FBA and now trying to understand all phases of launching process of new product more deep to calculate approximately the amount of funds needed. I even looked at couple products: since I'm fitness coach I'm interested in supplements niche. That is why I will annoy you a lot in the nearest future with all the questions, sorry for that))).

And the first one is: as I've already mentioned I'm from Ukraine, Ukraine is among countries eligible to work on Amazon, to work on Amazon I will need to open professional account, so I will need to open a company and finally the question - where would be better to open a company, in Ukraine, in USA (if this possible) or maybe in offshore zone and what kind of a company it should be?

Will be glad to hear from you, maybe you know any kind of services that can help me with this.
 Ted says at 05:15 et
hi Sergey, good idea about supplements and you can be the face of your product since you are looking so Good yourself. Ukraine is loved in USA and Europe after the donbass thing so you can play this card even more as Ukranian Giant and his secrets of health supplements. Where to open the company - probably locally if it is eligible so no point to overpay high usa fees for companies, as you need bank account and visa/mastercard as well to work! However you need to understand how you ship products to amazon FBA and if you plan selling in germany or europe (pas european acc) or USA ?
 Dr. Jam says at 05:15 et
Good luck Sergey, great idea and what a body!