In the previous posts in this series we have looked at starting out with an initial idea, researching your idea and analyzing your competitors. Now it’s time to think about putting all that hard work together in the form of an action plan.
I read a lot of debate online about whether you should write a business plan when you set your new bizz up. After all, isn’t it a whole load of faff?! Isn’t it just something you do when you want to grovel for some money from the bank?
Well, the truth is, if you’ve followed some of the things I’ve written about in the earlier posts then you are already well on the way to having a plan good and ready. If it helps, call it an action plan rather than a business plan too.
Think of it this way, you wouldn’t set out on a long journey to somewhere you’ve never been before with out a map, would you? So don’t make your journey into your new online retail business any more difficult. Write an action plan so you know where you’re going and how to get there!
I’m not going to go through everything you need to write in your action plan – hell no, there are whole books out there you can grab from Amazon or your local library which show you in great detail what you can put in a business plan.
Instead, I recommend opening up a file on your computer and writing down everything you’ve done so far under these headings:
- Customers: your target customer, your marketplace,
- Sales/Marketing: How will you promote your business? Your pricing?
- Competitors: (the results from your competitor analysis)
- Suppliers: Who will you buy your stock from? Their terms and conditions
- Resources: What do you need to set up your business?
- Management: Who will be running your business?
After you’ve jotted notes down all your notes, put it away for a couple of days, as it can feel a bit overwhelming to get down every bit of detail you have in your head.
I’ll be coming back to this post shortly with some more details and some parts that you’ll need to add, but for the time being, pat yourself on the back. By writing down a plan, you’re already on your way to running a successful online retail business.
Doesn’t it feel better to have written down the results of your planning and research?