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

 
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 george says at 22:49 et
I've been selling on amazon FBA for the last 14 months.. Doing well, around 14,700 usd net profit after costs and taxes per month.. Looking to expand now to Shopify too with your help! Thank you!
 
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 James.W says at 21:11 et
Hey pals!!! Is dropshipping legal on amazon? or just shopify?
 
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 Mia says at 21:11 et
here is what amazon policy says "Drop shipping, or allowing a third party to fulfill orders to customers on your behalf, is generally acceptable. Be the seller of record of your products;
Identify yourself as the seller of your products on all packing slips and other information included or provided in connection with them; Be responsible for accepting and processing customer returns of your products; and
Comply with all other terms of your seller agreement and applicable Amazon policies.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html?ie=UTF8&nodeId=201808430
 
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 Olga says at 21:11 et
It's not illegal. Dont listen if people say it is. Read amazon link above!
 
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 emma says at 21:28 et
What are the ways to ship stuff from CHina to USA?
 
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Claudia says at 21:28 et
You can choose Express courier, Air freight, and Sea freight. Incoterms rules can be FOB, EXW, usually i suggest to choose FOB. So its not your duty to worry about exporting fees and china customs..
 
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 diego says at 21:44 et
Who is importer of record when shipping to amazon? AMAZON?
 
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 little_tiger says at 21:45 et
No.. Amazon will not be the importer of record for any shipment coming in from overseas. Your shipment will be rejected. Your freight forwarder should take care of this! For example I use Flexport..
 
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 Jay says at 21:45 et
What are hidden costs when importing by sea freight?
 
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 Chris says at 21:45 et
JAY - Cargo Insurance, Customs Bond, Arrival Agent Fees, Warehousing fees, Delivery to amazon warehouse fee and of course Custom clearance.. Your freight forwarder should take care of this and give you invoice if any taxes are due!
 
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 Raven says at 19:56 et
Do I need a trademark registred first to be amazon brand registered?
 
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 Kylie says at 19:56 et
No Raven, not necessary. But you must have a site ready
 
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Claudia says at 20:00 et
If you are approved nobody can sell over your ASIN, chance your title etc.
 
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 Gab says at 20:00 et
Also you get access to Enhanced content
 
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 adam says at 23:03 et
Has anyone got their business insured?
 
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 Emili says at 23:03 et
Check with your supplier to see if they have product liability in placement for you first as a customer, as most do.
 
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 Emili says at 23:04 et
He means product liablity probably... If you have a professional account you have to have insurance. Under ATO all Pro accounts must have $1 mill liability insurance. Its pretty straight forward. Also If you sell $10k for 3 consecutive months on your "Individual account" you have to provide insurance. Check Amazon TOS!
 
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 little_tiger says at 23:04 et
He means product liablity probably... If you have a professional account you have to have insurance. Under ATO all Pro accounts must have $1 mill liability insurance. Its pretty straight forward. Also If you sell $10k for 3 consecutive months on your "Individual account" you have to provide insurance. Check Amazon TOS!
 
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 Dr. Jam says at 23:13 et
I know there are many photographer recommendations here, but what I am wondering is what is a fair price per photo?
 
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 jack says at 23:14 et
amzshots.com, great work with great prices. I've paid between $20 to $50 per image. The $50 images are outstanding.
 
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 Aria says at 23:15 et
You overpay a lot Jack... I got awesome photography directly done in China $10 per copy (after Photoshop editing, background removal etc)
 
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 Gab says at 23:14 et
fbaphotography.com or use different photographs found on Fiver
 
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 Gus says at 09:45 et
HI ROCKSTARS!!!! SUPER EXCITED! Today is my first $2000 day! I launched 2 months ago. It's spring & Summer product. (not hammock!) I'm very excited to see more!
 
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 Chris says at 09:47 et
Well done gus... the best is yet to come! like in a song!
 
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 Ted says at 09:47 et
Inspiring stuff. Thank you for sharing GUS!!!
 
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Qqq2 says at 09:51 et
May the force be with you !!!
 
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Dmitriy says at 01:26 et
Hello from Russia, my name is Dmitry. I want to say, thanks, an excellent resource, sorry there is no Russian. I have two questions:
1. Can I succeed, with your help.
2. I ask you to extend up to 14 days, my free access, because I do not understand English well, I have difficulties with video courses. Thank you in advance!
 
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Claudia says at 01:27 et
Welcome Drmitriy. You can use the transcribes of the lessons and translate them to your language
 
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Leslie says at 01:27 et
Videos provide two examples of searching niche. I need more. By the time I go to camel, and best finder, and video, back and forth, i get lost. I thought I found something, all looked good, until I went to aliexpress. Price was more than amazon! That was hours of research for a dead end. Maybe I'm not doing it right.
 
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 Father says at 01:30 et
Aliexpress price does not have to be lower than amazon.. Aliexpress is only good for Shopify Dropshipping business.

If you plan AMAZON FBA business, then check prices on Alibaba, not on amazon! hope it helps!
 
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Leslie says at 22:56 et
Can't do FBA until business succeeds. The lower the price when buying, the better one can compete with anyone. I don't want to stock or ship, so I'll stick with the dropshipping model. I'll Keep searching I guess.The videos however are very good. Some company tried to sell me $3500 dollar CDN course on dropshipping. Was already doing what they are teaching. This is way better!
 
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Claudia says at 22:57 et
Thank you Leslie. Don't buy into overpriced courses. All the tools you need is right here. FBA model you can also start without big investments using the "alibaba wholesale" instead of whitelabelling... One of the videos cover it.
 
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 Mike says at 14:36 et
How are you guys? Great news, we started the beta of the new tool, called "Reverse ASIN". Take a look if this can help you http://sellslikehotcakes.co/reverse_asin.php
Remember it works only for the high ranked products to let you spy on your competitors. You can no reverse asin products that are not ranked in top 100. Really a great tool, similar to Keyword inspector but no need to pay for credits.
 
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 Gab says at 14:36 et
wow amazing work guys! will test!
 
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 Victor says at 14:37 et
Thank you sellslikehotcakes team, I am glad to be part of the beta!
 
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 Gautam says at 08:57 et
Thanks, Mike. Love it here! Hope to make my first sale soon.
 
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Andres says at 10:01 et
Hello Im a fresh rookie Im a little confused on the Goal of 45,000.00 .....It reads...."Our goal is to make at least $10 per product per sale and at least make 10 sales per
day from each product, which means from five products, we are going to make
$45,000 at least per month plus your Shopify store profits and, of course, minus the
cost of sales, production, shipping and advertising. Our estimated profit is $45,000
per month. Well you can’t live with that but you would agree it’s a good start "

Is that goal only when you start with Amazon, or still good if you take the Shopify to start with...?
 
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 Mike says at 10:02 et
Welcome Andres. $10 per product per sale and 10 sales is a universal rule of thumb for any ecommerce store. 10-10 rule some people call it. It's same rule no matter if you start shopify or amazon or even better BOTH channels combined.
 
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 Diego says at 10:04 et
I agree, starting both is a way to go, you never know the future and which source will be more profitable for your product or niche! Good luck!
 
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 meni says at 05:04 et
Great tips, thx guys!
 
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Alexander says at 04:18 et
When choosing a niche should I stick to single kind of product like memory sticks for example, or should I have different kinds of products on my shopify store?
 
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Claudia says at 05:59 et
Do you know number 1 reason most people fail in ecommerce?

It's because they never get themselves a chance, they never get started, always procrastinating and delaying the start.

I get questions and complains like "I don't have time for this", "How much time do I need?" Well if you can't even find time to learn how are you supposed to build your passive income?

The beautify of Amazon and Shopify business is that once it is set, you are set "for life" with a strong passive income.

The problem? Most people don't realize it and never start!

"I'm too busy working" (the old way)

So the hashtag for the day - TAKE ACTION!

Start implementing what you learned and you will become successful, I believe in you!
 
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 Alex says at 05:59 et
true words!
 
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John says at 15:35 et
Hello all! My name is John and I just joined. I'm just starting out and I'll be back with questions...
 
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 Theo says at 15:35 et
Welcome John!
 
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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.
 
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 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 ?
 
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 Dr. Jam says at 05:15 et
Good luck Sergey, great idea and what a body!