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 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.
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. 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.
How to Finish Your Retail Business Plan in 1 Day!
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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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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.
Plan, fund, and grow.
Easily write a business plan, secure funding, and gain insights.
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How to Write a Great Retail Business Plan for Your Store
- Growth Strategies
Every successful business has a strong retail business plan. It’s one of the first things many investors and donors ask for when inquiring about your business. Why, you ask? That’s because a business plan details your business’ short- and long-term goals, and lists the steps and financial requirements necessary to achieve those goals.
To help you get started, we’ve outlined what you should include in your retail business plan. If you follow these tips, you’ll be well on your way to creating a strong foundation for a viable retail business.
A system that grows with your business.
We’re with you from Square one to whatever’s next.
Provide a company description
Your company description is one of the most important aspects of your retail business plan. This section should reflect how you want people to envision your business. It should include the logo, concept, ownership and business structure, design, and layout. Think of a retail shop that you enjoy. What is it about that business’s logo, concept, and design that stands out to you?
Include information from target market and industry analysis
A retail market analysis is a deep look at your industry, competition, and geography. All of these things need to be defined in your retail business plan in order for investors to have a full picture of what your particular brand is and how it fits into the overall retail puzzle.
Target market and customer analysis: You’ve probably heard business owners say they want to target anyone interested in their brand. However, defining your target market makes it much easier for you to see who your audience is and how to best market your company to that audience. When researching and analyzing your target market and customer base, it’s important to figure out the characteristics of your ideal customer. From there, dig deeper to determine your ideal customer’s age, location, gender, income and education levels, marital status, and more.
Industry analysis and industry segment: An industry analysis is a qualitative and quantitative assessment of your retail market. It looks at upcoming trends in retail , what’s selling and what’s not, and more. Once you know the state of the overall industry, break it down a bit further. What trends are you seeing for specific products and categories?
Competitor analysis: You need to take a deep look at how your competitors fit into the puzzle. When analyzing your retail market and location, research which of your competitors has the biggest market share, how close competitor retailers are to your location, and what advantages your brand has over the competition.
SWOT analysis: The last thing to check out is your SWOT analysis , which looks at strengths, weaknesses, opportunities your brand can capitalize on, and threats from tough competition. When you add SWOT to your retail business plan, you can identify and focus on your strengths so you can minimize weakness and stand out from your competition.
Explain your products
This is where the fun begins. Everyone, especially investors, wants to know exactly what they can buy at your store. In your retail business plan, you want to be as detailed as possible about the items you’ll be selling.
If it’s clothes, include whether there will be tops, pants, and/or shoes. Will customers be able to purchase accessories there? What sizes will you carry? What about plus sizes? Here is where you want to show your vision for your retail shop and feed the imagination with vivid descriptions of what your products will look and feel like.
Additionally, you should include information about your supplier and any contracts you need to have with suppliers to keep your shelves full. Will your items be made overseas or in the U.S.? How will you manage inventory? What will happen to the items you don’t sell? You should also detail your pricing strategy: how much will items cost? Will there be regular sales? How much will your sales be?
Address operational needs
Thinking about how to run your business is an important aspect when first starting out. Therefore, it’s important to assess various retail operations and determine a custom strategy for your business.
Supply chain: This is part of inventory management. Making sure that your supply chain runs smoothly is the best way to ensure profits. Include how you’ll control and oversee ordering inventory, store that inventory, and control the amount of product for sale. This helps to ensure you never run out of product or overpay for it.
Merchandising: You need a merchandising plan to show how you’ll plan, buy, and sell your products to maximize your return on investment while meeting market demands.
Technology: How will you complete transactions? One way to streamline everything from sales and inventory to orders and customer directory is through Square for Retail. Square for Retail allows you to keep track of every aspect of your business in a way that helps optimize business profitability.
Create an organizational structure
If you’re going to run a successful business, investors will want to know its legal structure. Will you operate as a sole proprietor, general partnership, limited partnership, LLC, or corporation? Choosing a business entity determines how you file state and federal taxes each year, which affects your earnings and profits.
Additionally, you need to include how many team members your retail shop employs. Who will serve on the management team? Who will work under the managers? How will this play into the overall structure of your company?
When you’re thinking about your team, technology such as Square for Retail can help make life much easier. You can integrate your POS system to centralize payments and sync calendars. You’ll have a centralized place with customer information, in case you want to market promotions or sales directly to them via email.
Here is where we start getting into the nitty gritty of your retail marketing strategy . You want to include a positioning statement, which explains how you want the outside world to perceive your brand. For your positioning statement, write a description of how your retail shop differs from others, how customers will enjoy your brand differently than that of competitors, the category in which your brand competes, and any compelling reasons why your target audience should have confidence in your claims.
Additionally, you want to include which channels you’ll use to open your business and which channels you’ll continue to use to promote your business. This can include digital channels such as a website , social media platforms , and rewards and loyalty programs .
Provide a financial plan
Your financial plan helps investors understand how your business will make money to achieve its strategic goals and objectives. For your retail shop, you need to conduct a financial analysis and analyze your startup costs, funding options, break-even point, and projected profit and loss. Using these plus a cash flow analysis benefits your financial plan, as well.
When analyzing your startup costs, you should look at everything it takes to run your business. That includes everything from the products you sell in your store to the technology you use to build and maintain your store’s website and point of sale. Investors need to know how much money your retail store will cost up front, and how long it will take for them to see a return on their investment.
Another important area to look at is your break-even analysis . Investors will want to see this breakdown. Essentially, the break-even analysis is a look at how much revenue you need to justify how much you’re spending.
Running a business is no easy feat, but Square is here to help. We have all the tools you need to start, run, and grow your business, whether you’re selling in person, online, or both. And we’ve made all our tools to work together as one system, saving you time and money — and making decisions easier. So you can get back to doing the work you love and focusing on whatever’s next. See how Square works .
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Starting a Business | Templates
4 Free Retail & Online Store Business Plans
WRITTEN BY: Blake Stockton
Published December 13, 2019
Blake is an award-winning consultant, writer, and speaker. As a consultant, he helped over 700 biz owners start and grow their business. His expertise is featured across Fit Small Business in starting a business content.
This article is part of a larger series on Starting a Business .
A retail business plan can help entrepreneurs analyze their business concept and explain why it will be successful. Many banks and investors like to see companies’ strategic plans before agreeing to provide funding. All business plans for retail and online stores should showcase their products and services, financial projections, and marketing strategies.
Before starting your retail or online store, it’s important to register it as a legal entity with the state in which it’s doing business. A legal business entity would protect the business owner’s personal finances if a lawsuit were to ever occur against the business. Rocket Lawyer is an online legal service that assists small business owners with the paperwork needed for legal entity registration. Register your business with Rocket Lawyer for $99 plus state fees.
Visit Rocket Lawyer
Retail Business Plan Templates
We’ve included four retail business plan templates below and separated them into different types, including one for retail product-based storefronts, retail service-based storefronts, retail companies with a storefront and an online store, and retailers that run their business completely online. To understand each section of the business plan template better, we recommend you read our step-by-step business plan guide . All of the templates below include the necessary sections to obtaining funding from a bank or investor.
We’ve included template copies that are in both Microsoft Word and Google Docs. To save the Word document, click on your desired template’s link below. Once it downloads, click “File” within the document, then “Save As” to save the template to your computer.
To save the Google Doc, click your desired template’s link below. Copy all of the words in the document, open a new Google Doc on your account, and paste in the template. The new template will automatically save to your Google Doc account.
Product-based Retail Storefront
Word / Google Doc
Retailers with Storefront And Online Business
Service-based Retail Storefront
Online Only Retail Store
How Retail Business Plan Templates Work
These retail and online business plan templates walk you through how to create a plan for your business. They all come with questions in each section and subsection to spark creative thinking and provide direction.
It’s important to note that some businesses will have information that fits into all of the template categories. For example, a bakery can sell products in person and online in addition to providing a service with educational classes to aspiring chefs. If your business happens to have diverse revenue sources like this, choose the template that applies to how the majority of your revenue is earned. For example, if the online store will only earn 1% of overall sales, you should choose the storefront-based business plan template.
Product-based Retail Storefront Template
This template is for a retail business with a storefront that primarily sells products rather than services to customers. Typically, these types of businesses have a local marketing focus. Additionally, inventory and sales staff are important topics to discuss in the business plan. Examples that fall into this business category include clothing boutiques, food businesses, and jewelry companies―essentially, any store that buys and resells items in small quantities, not in bulk like wholesalers.
Download the product retail storefront business plan in Google Doc or Microsoft Word format. PDF isn’t available, because the Table of Contents’ page titles and numbers won’t update after you add new information to the template.
Service-based Retail Storefront Business Plan Template
The service-based retail storefront template is right for anyone who primarily provides a service to its customers. This type of business has a local marketing focus. Additionally, hiring and managing quality staff are discussed in this business plan. Examples of service-based retail storefronts include massage therapist companies, nail salons, product repair, shops, and rental-based businesses.
Download the service-based retail storefront business plan in Google Doc or Microsoft Word . PDF isn’t available because the Table of Contents’ page titles and numbers won’t update when you add new information to the template.
Business Plan for Brick-and-Mortar Retailers With Online Stores
This template is for any retail business that has a storefront and is selling a product online as well. The business plan discusses ecommerce and online marketing strategy in depth. Examples of brick-and-mortar retailers with online stores include memorabilia or comic book stores in addition to shops that sell clothing, outdoor goods, and spices.
Download the retail storefront and online business plan template in Google Doc or Microsoft Word . A PDF version isn’t available, because the page titles and numbers within the Table of Contents won’t update when you add new information to the template.
Online Retailer Business Template
The online store business plan template is for retailers that primarily sell products online. The template emphasizes ecommerce, online marketing, and shipping. It’s best for niche businesses that cannot fund a storefront, such as stores that sell artisan soaps or custom items. Dropshipping businesses will also find the template useful.
Download the online retail business plan in Google Doc or Microsoft Word . A PDF version isn’t available because the Table of Content page titles and numbers won’t update when you add new information to the template.
What All Retail Business Plans Should Include
If you’ve looked at the above templates, you may have noticed that several sections are similar on all four business plans. That’s because no matter your type of business, when writing your business plan , bankers are looking for certain sections, including the Executive Summary, Company Summary, Market & Industry Analysis, Marketing Strategy, Financial Projections, and Appendix.
This section is an overview of the business plan and is typically one to two pages in length. We recommend completing the executive summary last so that you know which sections are most important to emphasize and expand upon.
It’s important to make the executive summary as persuasive and compelling as possible. Interested investors often request the executive summary first to determine if they should spend time reading the rest of the plan.
The company summary highlights the company’s successes if already in business or why it will be a success if you have a new business. In this section, include information about what you need to purchase to start your business and how much it will cost. Additionally, briefly discuss the company’s ownership structure and its competitive advantage, which is the one big feature that gives your business an edge over competitors.
Market & Industry Analysis
In the market and industry analysis section, make your case as to why your business will be a success. Market analysis is a deep dive into research that you can use to show that there are sufficient customers who need your business. You should research the need in your local area, especially if you’re not operating online, to help prove your business can be successful. Use software like ReferenceUSA to research for free at thousands of local libraries across the United States.
For industry analysis, you need to show evidence that the industry in which you’re starting a business is growing, not shrinking. You can use a paid service like IBIS World to pull industry data. IBIS World’s industry experts update industry forecasts and data around every four months.
The marketing section is where you outline the marketing strategy for your business. The information in this section will vary depending on the type of business you own. For example, some businesses may want to showcase the quality of their interior buildout while others expand into their online marketing strategy. You may even want to discuss the high-quality materials you’ll be creating to promote the business.
Regardless of the marketing strategies you mention, we recommend including as many visual examples as possible. You may want to include one or two visual marketing materials in this section. If you have more materials to showcase or large graphics―a menu or interior rendering―place them in the Appendix ( discussed below ).
The financial projections are the most important part of any business plan. Unfortunately, they are also the most difficult for business owners to create. In the financial projection section, you should predict how much revenue and expenses will flow through the business during its first three years in operation.
Calculating financial projections can be time-consuming, especially if you have a physical location because you have to research specific costs such as construction, inventory, and utilities. Software can also be a big expense. For instance, payroll tools like Gusto , accounting software like Intuit QuickBooks , cloud-based point-of-sale (POS) systems like Vend , and so on.
Additionally, it can be difficult to predict how much each product or service line will sell month-by-month over the first three years in business. Use software like Biz Miner to obtain yearly startup financials for your industry.
To organize your financial projections, you can use a free Excel workbook from the Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE). In the workbook, you’ll find tabs for financial statements that need to be completed, such as the Income Statement, Balance Sheet, and Profit and Loss Statement.
The appendix is optional but recommended for a business plan. This is where you will put supporting documentation for your business. Include items like marketing materials, licenses, permits, leases, purchase agreements, and illustrations.
When to Use a Template Alternative
An alternative to the more traditional retail business plan templates above is a more modern business plan called the Business Model Canvas (BMC) . The BMC is a visual business plan that can be used in a team-building exercise and completed by upper management. Additionally, you should note that if you’re pressed for time, you can complete the BMC in under an hour. The downside of the BMC is that most banks and investors won’t accept it as a business plan.
Many business owners find that creating a business plan is a daunting task. Staring at a blank screen can be intimidating. If you need an alternative to using the templates above, consider using a business plan software to walk you step-by-step through the planning process. LivePlan is an affordable and easy-to-use business plan software that provides more than 500 business plan examples from which to learn. Get started with LivePlan for only $11.66 per month.
Every retail business owner needs to go through the exercise of creating a business plan. The process helps the owner understand the strengths and potential weaknesses of their business. Use our business plan templates along with the SCORE financial projections workbook to obtain necessary funding for your retail business. You may find yourself struggling with portions of the financial projections. If so, contact an accountant for assistance or use a business plan software.
If you’re on a tight budget and need legal advice about your business, you can contact an online legal service. Rocket Lawyer provides affordable expert legal advice to business owners. Get started with a 30-minute consultation from a Rocket Lawyer attorney for $59.99.
About the Author
Find Blake On LinkedIn Twitter
Blake Stockton is a staff writer at Fit Small Business focusing on how to start brick-and-mortar and online businesses. He is a frequent guest lecturer at several undergraduate business and MBA classes at University of North Florida . Prior to joining Fit Small Business, Blake consulted with over 700 small biz owners and assisted with starting and growing their businesses.
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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.
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
- Retail Store Management
- 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!
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Retail Store Business Plan
Are you thinking of starting a retail store We have prepared a solid retail store business plan sample that guides you on every stage of your business plan writing
Retail store is a competitive business as competition is intense in this segment. Moreover, many big giants are investing more in e-commerce and digital marketing making this business even tougher day by day.
Having a physical retail store that offers a shopping experience along with products is a dream for many. It is not only because of the size of a business, but the potential and opportunities such a business offers.
And if you are an individual who likes to interact with people, constantly improve your way of doing business, and form communities that work towards something then you might have thought of having your retail store business.
Now, a retail store has great potential for success but it is also a very competitive business. You’ll need a retail store business plan to help you stand apart from your competition and have a thriving business.
Research suggests total retail sales in the United States were projected to amount to 6.03 trillion U.S. dollars in 2022, up from around 5.4 trillion U.S. dollars in 2018, according to the National Retail Federation .
Retail businesses come in many forms such as grocery stores, restaurants, and bookstores. There are around 4 million retail businesses in the United States alone.
The domestic retail market in the United States is very competitive, with many companies recording strong retail sales. Walmart, a retail chain giving low prices and a wide selection of products, is the front runner in the United States. Amazon, The Kroger Co., Costco, and Target are a selection of other notable U.S. retailers.
Now, to have any genuine hope of getting noticed in such a jammed industry, you need a solid business plan to get success.
Things to Consider Before Writing Your Retail Store Business Plan
Build a brand image.
A brand image goes a long way for any business, especially for a retail store. It is crucial to pay attention to what people think about your store, what emotions they associate your brand with, and how they perceive your products in general. Above all, what qualities make you different from your competitors.
Pick the right location
A retail store’s location can make or break the deal . Hence, it is very important to pick a location that is both convenient and accessible for your customers. As people are always running short of time, they prefer a store that is on the way and takes less time to get to. It can also act as your USP over the bigger retail stores.
Plan a good store design
A good store design that follows the major principles of consumer psychology is essential for a retail store. The strategic placement of products influences a customer’s buying decisions. Hence, you need to pay attention to it and design your store in a way that maximizes your sales.
Build communities that promote your brand
Building communities that stand by and promote the idea of your brand can be extremely beneficial for your retail store. Hence, ensure that you work towards building one. These communities can be driven by anything from a common belief to a certain cause that your brand stands for.
How Business Plan Can Help?
Regardless if you’ve been operating for a long time already, by writing up a business plan for your retail store, you can get an overview of what you want to achieve with your business, and guidelines for how you’ll achieve your goals .
A retail business plan is a solid foundation for the success of your business, whether you seek funding or not. It helps you see clearly what your business looks like and how it’s positioned in your target market .
If you need to get funding , your retail business plan will work as proof that you and your business are good for investment . Studies suggest you can double your chances of securing a loan with a business plan and grow your business.
How to Write a Retail Store Business Plan?
Writing a retail store business plan requires a good amount of research , a thoroughly competitive and customer analysis , and a little bit of extra help.
You can get help for writing your plan either through a premade template on the internet or through an online business plan software which will help you write a customizable plan anywhere and at any time.
Before you start writing your business plan for your new Retail store business, spend as much time as you can reading through some examples of Retail & E-commerce-related business plans .
We have created this sample Business Plan for you to get a good idea about how a perfect Retail Store business plan should look like and what details you will need to include in your stunning business plan.
Retail Store Business Plan Outline
This is the standard retail store business plan outline which will cover all important sections that you should include in your business plan.
- Company Profile Summary
- Market Research Summary
- Marketing Summary
- Finance Summary
- Business Overview
- Company History
- Legal StructureVision & Mission
- Industry Profile & Market Size
- Local Market
- Target Market
- Competitor Analysis
- Keys to Success
- Customer Survey Summary
- SWOT Analysis
- Products and Services
- Pricing Strategy
- Marketing Strategy
- Primary Marketing Activities
- Positioning Statement
- The Sales Process
- Strategic Alliances
- Legal Issues
- Insurance Issues
- Human Resources (Or Team)
- Risk Assessment
- Startup Funding & Capital
- Start-Up Costs
- Sales Forecast
- Projected Profit & Loss
What to Include in a Retail Store Business Plan?
A retail store business plan consists of several different aspects. The major ones are as follows:
1. Executive Summary
The executive summary gives an overview of what your business stands for to the reader. It should be written in such a way that even an outsider could get an idea of what your business is all about.
This section mainly comprises your business summary, your vision and mission statement , and your financial summary.
2. Company Profile
The company summary or company profile section of your business plan would consist of everything about your company ranging from its location to information about your team.
While the executive summary section consists of information about the functional aspects of your business, a company summary consists of information about the structural aspects of your business.
While writing a company summary, it is a good practice to take suggestions from your team, as this section represents you as a team of individuals more than representing you as a brick and mortar company.
3. Market Research
Conducting market research helps you understand what you are getting yourself into. It helps you understand your target market, your competitors, and the working of the industry in general.
You can conduct thorough market research by using tools like PESTEL analysis or SWOT analysis . These tools help you conduct research specific to your business and prevent you from wasting your time on vague data.
4. Marketing Plan
As a retail store, it is your primary job to let your customers know about your existence. And to retain them once they start coming to your store.
A good marketing plan would help you do just that.
Based on the information you have gathered about your target audience through market research you can design your marketing campaign and promotional offers that’ll appeal to your customer base.
As a retail store, a proper operations plan can prevent your business from turning into a chaotic mess. An operations plan consists of your business’s logistic and functional information. Basically, it helps an outsider see what a typical day at your business looks like.
It also consists of your long-term and short-term goals. As well as the milestones you’ll have to reach for achieving them.
As a retail store business, your operations plan would consist of your supply renewal cycles, your backup distributors, a plan for the working of your store, your daily sales targets and your long-term expansion goals, etc.
6. Financial Plan
A financial plan ensures that your business sails smoothly through tough times and also generate maximum profits.
It would consist of your funding requirements, cash flow projections, and profit forecasts.
As a retail store, your financial plan would consist of the funding requirements for setting up your store, buying supplies, and hiring people. It would also consist of your projected profits and break-even analysis.
Retail Store Business Plan Summary
In conclusion, a retail store business plan helps you organize and manage your store better. It takes care of everything that goes behind the scenes of running a retail store, so you can greet your customers with a smile.
From angry customers to poorly stocked supplies, a business plan can save you from all of it.
After getting started with Upmetrics , you can copy this retail store business plan template into your business plan and modify the required information and download your retail store business plan pdf or doc file.
It’s the fastest and easiest way to start writing your business plan.
Business Planning Resources
We have plenty of free business planning resources available to help you with your planning. You can download our resources to learn all about business planning.
Not found what you are looking for? Explore our 200+ sample business plans to find match for your business.
DISCLAIMER: The business plans, templates, and articles contained on upmetrics.co are not to be considered as legal advice. All content is for informational purposes, and upmetrics makes no claim as to accuracy, legality or suitability. The site owner shall not be held liable for any errors, omissions or for damages of any kind.
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How to Write An Attention-Grabbing Retail Business Plan
- by Luke O'Neill
Now, you might be thinking: ‘why do I need a business plan, if I’ve got it all mapped out in my head?’ Business plans can be so much more than another action item on your ever-growing to-do list.
- The purpose of a retail business plan
- How a retail business plan differs from other business plans
- Before you get started
- What to include in your plan
- Mistakes to avoid
- How to set your plan apart
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Use our easy-to-follow inventory management to streamline your processes and eliminate errors.
What are retail business plans for?
They’re planning and forecasting documents. Retail business plans explain your business model, who your customers are and how you plan to take your store or online shop from an idea to a profitable reality.
Why are retail business plans different?
Because retail businesses are different. You know this. Whether you’re selling from a brick-and-mortar store or through an online shop, you have to consider a combination of factors that many other businesses don’t. Think inventory, store supplies, sourcing and supply chains. And, even more complex activities like order fulfillment, deliveries and customer returns.
You don’t need to write a tome that covers all of these areas, but they will inform how you put your business plan on paper.
Before you write your retail business plan
But let’s pump the brakes for a second. It might be tempting to dive right in and start writing your business plan as soon as possible. But consider these suggestions before you do.
Research your market first
“Without a market, a retail firm cannot exist,” said Susan Smith, marketing manager at Velden Engineering . “One of the first things readers will look for when reading your business plan is evidence of a healthy market , an unmet need in the market and how your company is positioned to meet that need. Completing thorough market research before developing your business plan should be a top priority,” she said.
Understand your competitors
“Most industries are becoming oversaturated at this point, so investors want to know what sets you apart . What makes you unique. Do as much research into your competitors as you do into your own business ,” said Gabriel Dungan, CEO and founder of mattress topper company, ViscoSoft. This will give you valuable insight into your own products and services.
Have a growth strategy
Identify a clear growth strategy to strengthen your business plan, suggests Michelle Ebbin, Owner of Australian clothing brand JettProof . “Most companies focus on market penetration where they sell current products to an already existing market,” said Ebbin. “While that’s a feasible route, you might also want to explore product development by introducing new, innovative products to existing customers.”
“There’s also market development where you try to find new markets for your existing products and diversification for introducing new products to new markets,” she said. Ebbin believes determining a clear growth strategy can increase retailers’ chances of convincing potential investors, who essentially want to know how you will grow your business once it’s up and running.
TIP: Accountants and financial advisors can help you prepare your retail business plan.
What to include in your retail business plan
When it comes to the specifics, include these details.
Give a business overview
Give a high-level description of your retail business. You can mention your company’s structure, legal name, location and the products or services you’ll sell. Describe whether you will be selling in-store, online or across various channels. Keep this section simple. Use easy-to-understand language.
Explain your business goals
In this section, you should talk about what you plan to achieve. This doesn’t need to be lengthy or complex. And the goal doesn’t need to be huge, either. For example:
“Our goal is to become the go-to provider of HD gaming and streaming cameras for teenagers in San Francisco within 18-24 months.”
You could also cover any goals you have about locations, product ranges or online stores.
Showcase your industry experience
This section is more about you, the owner. Again keep it brief, but say why you’re the right person to take this retail business from an idea to a reality. Mention:
- Your specialty, such as brick-and-mortar, ecommerce or both. Direct-to-consumer (DTC) is also an option.
- Any senior roles in well-known national or regional retail businesses
- Sales or lead generation goals you’ve driven before
- Successful growth initiatives, like new store openings.
Put simply, this is the section where you showcase your personal and professional drive to take the business forward.
Set out your marketing strategy
Here’s where you talk about your store’s image and branding strategy. Cover of some of the fundamentals of retail marketing, including your plans for the 4Ps of retail marketing. Here’s a quick reminder about what they are:
- Product: What you’ll sell and your Unique Selling Proposition (USP).
- Pricing: How much your products will cost and why you’ve chosen these price points.
- Place: Where you’re going to sell your products (online, in-store or omnichannel).
- Promotion: How you’re going to promote both your store and the products you will sell.
Again, this section doesn’t need to be overlong or complex. If you want to dive into the details—or provide a complete marketing plan —you can do this in an appendix at the end of the plan.
Financial strategy and forecast
Nine times out of 10, this is what people reading your business plan will most want to see.
“At the end of the day, your company will be judged on its capacity to generate a profit,” said Will Cannon, CEO of Signaturely , an e-signature software company. “Investors will want to see some data related to your startup demands and revenue estimates, no matter how succinct and appealing your retail business plan is,” he said.
Think about including your:
- Estimated capital requirements
- Profit and revenue model
- Estimated sales volume
- A break-even point calculation
- Balance sheet projections
- Cash flow projections.
Above all, ground these figures in reason.
Detail the management structure
Explain your management setup. This will make things move much more easily throughout the early settling-in time. Everyone will understand where they stand and you will know how you plan to manage people on a daily basis. This strategy should include information such as the number of team members you’ll hire, their roles and how those roles fit into the wider plan.
Avoid these common mistakes
A good business plan is as much about what you leave out as what you put in.
Too much detail
“Potential partners and investors will not waste time poring over hundreds of pages of rambling nonsense,” said Nick Edwards, Director at Snow Finders , a ski holiday company in the UK.“ Long blocks of text should be avoided, and instead, visuals and graphics should be used to substitute prose, with any exceptionally heavy content being attached as appendices if necessary.”
Poor financial planning
For example, some landlords take a percentage of sales as part of the rent. And it’s common for rent to increase annually. Your retail business plan should account for growing expenses, taxes and wider market influences.
Spelling and grammar
Remember the basics. Grammar and spelling errors show you haven’t put diligence into the planning process. And that can undermine how partners and potential investors view the plan.
How to strengthen your business plan
As you’ll have noticed by now, you need to keep a few different audiences in mind while writing your business plan. In most cases, there are three:
- Potential investors: People or businesses who want to back your business with capital, in return for future profits or part-ownership.
- Potential business partners: Suppliers, brands and business partners who may want to supply goods or services to your business, or even help you run the whole show.
- Banks, lenders and insurers: Financial institutions that you may need for credit cards, overdrafts, loans or revolving credit facilities.
“Be wary about exaggerating your numbers or laying out too difficult or impossible things,” said Stacey Kane, Business Development Lead at Easy Merchant . “You want the investor who finds flaws in your plan to be the exception, not the norm. With this perspective, you can strengthen your view of what can be done with research and transparent results. Finding ways to show how valuable your idea is will also help make them more likely to invest,” she said.
Finishing your retail business plan
Done well, business plans are much more than a helpful written guide to your business strategy. They’re a resource to attract future business partners, and even a foundation for securing outside funding. Don’t put writing your retail business plan on the backburner for too long—it could be one of the first stepping stones to your very own thriving retail business.
Ready to write your retail business plan? Talk to a Lightspeed product expert to discover how the right POS technology can help you show investors and partners that you mean business.
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Luke O’Neill writes for growing businesses in fintech, legal SaaS, and education. He owns Genuine Communications , which helps CMOs, founders, and marketing teams to build brands and attract customers.
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How to Create a Retail Business Plan That Can Get Your Store Off the Ground
In this post, you’ll learn the ins and outs of creating a plan for your retail business. We’ll discuss the benefits of having it and we’ll walk you through the various steps you need to take to create one.
Whether you’re an aspiring retailer who’s just starting out or an existing merchant seeking an investment, this post can help you formulate the right plan.
What is a retail business plan?
It’s a written document that outlines the need-to-know information about a retail business. Think of it as a roadmap that tells you (or any other reader) what the business is and how it plans to grow.
A business plan doesn’t have to be set in stone, but it should give readers an idea of the inner workings of the company.
Why should you create one?
So, why go through all the trouble of creating a business plan? Why not just… you know, start the business?
While there’s a lot of value in taking immediate action and diving into hustle mode, certain businesses — particularly in the retail sector — have a lot of moving parts. You need to iron out an array of details and in some cases, you require serious capital to start and run your company. You can’t accomplish these things if the plan is just inside your head. It’s important to formalize it and put it on paper for the benefit of yourself and your stakeholders.
Here are the key benefits of creating a business plan:
To give you clarity on what you need to do
We’ve said it earlier in this post, but it’s worth repeating: your business plan can serve as a roadmap for how to take your business off the ground. Your retail journey consists of multiple steps, and figuring out how to prioritize and implement everything can get overwhelming.
Writing a business plan forces you to be clear about what you need to do, so when it’s time to carry out the steps, you already have an idea of how to accomplish them.
To test your business idea
A business plan requires research and the process of writing it uncovers roadblocks or issues with your business idea.
As an entrepreneur, you want to spot issues as early as possible, so you can make the decision of whether or not to pursue your idea. The last thing you want is waste time on a business idea that has little chance of succeeding.
To attract investors or help you secure funding
A retail business plan is critical if you’re planning to secure funding for your venture (be it through investments, loans, or lines of credit. Creditors and investors will want a formal document in place so they can understand your idea, which then helps them decide whether or not to provide the funds you need.
How do you write a retail business plan?
Now that you understand what a retail business plan is and why you need it, let’s discuss how to create one for your company. The best way to go about this is to list out the different components of a business plan and what each part requires.
Let’s dive in.
1. Executive summary
The executive summary gives readers an overview of what your business is all about. It offers a glimpse into why you started the company and your general goals. The specifics will vary from one retailer to the next, but here’s a rundown of what you could tackle in this section of your biz plan:
This should be a paragraph or two detailing what your business is. As an example, let’s say you’re planning to start a maternity apparel boutique. Your business synopsis could be something along the lines of…
Luxe Maternity is a high-end apparel boutique that caters to affluent mothers-to-be. As our name suggests, Luxe Maternity will sell high-end maternity wear for the wealthy.
We will be the first luxury maternity boutique in Neptune, CA. Our goal is to capture 75% market share and become the go-to store for wealthy moms-to-be.
Your mission and vision
Talk about the purpose of your business and the big aspirational goal that you’d like to achieve. Going back to the Luxe Maternity example, the company’s mission and vision could be:
To serve the needs of well-to-do mothers-to-be through stylish clothes that make them feel beautiful and confident.
Create a bullet point lists of key goals that you want to achieve. In the case of Luxe Maternity, some of their objectives could be:
- To create a store environment that makes mothers-to-be feel comfortable, beautiful, and stylish
- To capture 75% of market share by 2020
- To gain a 50% profit margin after year 1
2. Business summary
After the overview, you’ll want to reveal more specific details about your business. In this section, you’ll talk about:
Company structure and ownership
Whether you’re the sole owner or have partners on board, this is the section to talk about these things.
You should also mention the legal and business structure of your company. Are you a sole proprietor or a corporation? Are you an LLC? Whatever the case, be sure to mention it in your retail business plan
You may not have secured your official premises at this stage, but you will want to give readers an idea of where you intend to set up shop. Luxe Maternity, for example, could mention that they’re planning to establish their store in an affluent part of town.
Take some time to talk about what you plan to sell. If you’re purely an inventory-based retailer, this is the part where you describe the products that you’ll have in-store, what makes those items special, and how you plan to source them. (Are you making them yourself or do you intend to purchase from suppliers?)
3. Market research
This component of your retail business plan describes your target market and customers. It should outline the size of the market as well as the demographic and psychographic profile of the people who would buy your products. Consider including the following information:
Size of the market
Do some research on how big the market is. Luxe Maternity, for instance, could look into the number of pregnant women in Neptune , CA each year, then make assumptions on the size of the market from there.
It’s also important to look at companies that sell similar products and cater to the same market. Who are they? Where are they located? This part of your plan should answers those questions.
Market trends and forecasts
Based on your market and competitive research, you’ll need to forecast where the market is going. How much will the market be worth a year from now? What about in 5 to 10 years? What are the notable news or movements in the industry that you can capitalize on?
Demographic information of your target customers
Talk about the demographic profile of your customers. Make sure to have the following information handy:
- Annual income
- Education level
- Where they live and work
Psychographic information of your target customers
You’ll also want to dig into the psychographic profile of your customers. What makes them tick? What would prod them to seek out your store? What are their burning needs? The answers to these questions will not only beef up your business plan, but it can help you determine the right positioning and strategy for your retail business.
4. Marketing plan
Now it’s time to talk about how you’re going to engage and sell to your market. This part of your business plan should outline:
Your position in the market
Discuss the niche that you plan to carve out. It may be helpful to come up with a graph that shows your exact position in the market, relative to your competitors. Here’s a sample graph of what Luxe Maternity’s positioning might look like:
Your competitive edge
Talk about your store’s unique qualities. Get clear on what sets you apart from competitors and how you plan to take them on.
This section should detail the specific branding strategy that you’ll implement, along with the style, language, and tone you plan to use in your messaging.
Discuss your pricing structure . Readers of your business plan would want to know the price ranges you plan to offer and the margins you intend to set. Your pricing structure should also be mentioned. For instance, do you intend to sell items at the suggested retail price? Are you looking to implement keystone pricing? Whatever the case, now is the time to discuss it.
This section should give readers an idea of how you plan to put your business out there. What advertising and marketing channels do you intend to utilize? How will you get people through the door?
Sales process and retail experience
You’ve talked about how you plan to get people to your store, now it’s time to discuss how you intend to convert them. Describe your retail experience and sales process. What will visitors see and do when they enter your store? How will you turn them from lookers into buyers ?
5. Management plan
You should also talk about how you intend to run your business. This section should give readers insights into the people you will hire and what your management structure would look like. You should discuss:
This section should outline your organization’s hierarchy. Consider adding a flowchart showing what your org structure would look like — e.g., who sits at the top, who answers to whom, etc.
If you already have an executive or management team in place, you can use this section to talk about who the members are and their backgrounds. If you don’t have a team yet, you can still outline the roles that you want to bring on.
Discuss the different positions you need to fill. If you’re looking to hire managers and associates, mention how many people you need to bring on, what their job descriptions are, and the qualifications you’re looking for.
You should also discuss the compensation and benefits you plan to offer, as well as the staffing policies and procedures you’ll have in place.
This is one of the most important parts of your retail business plan. You need to outline how the company will make money and how much you’ll earn over a certain time period. This component of your business plan should include:
Capital and startup needs
Talk about how much money you need to get off the ground. This section should also detail where you intend to spend the capital. In the case of our fictitious example, Luxe Maternity could say that they need X amount of capital and plan to spend it on leasing expenses, hiring, inventory, etc.
The numbers don’t have to be exact, but they do need to make financial sense, particularly as you move into your more detailed sections like your break-even analysis and forecasts.
A break-even analysis should show the point at which your company will break even. Factor in your costs and sales and plot out when you’ll start to break even. This section will be most helpful if you created a chart illustrating your break-even analysis. Consider the following example:
You should also project your profit and loss over specific time periods. How much revenue will you earn in your first year of business? What about years 2, 3, 4, and 5?
Cash flow projections
Cash flow is critical to any retail business , so be sure to forecast how cash will flow in your company. Create a table explaining how much cash balance you’ll have for month 1, 2, 3, etc of your business, then use your projected sales to calculate cash flow.
In it you’ll learn:
- How to budget for your POS system
- How to find and vet providers
- How to get the most out of the solution
Creating a business takes work. There’s a ton of research involved, and you’ll have a fair amount of calculations and projections to make. But when done right, your retail business plan can set you up for success. A well-developed plan brings clarity in your business and can attract the funding you need to get started.
So don’t shy away from the work. Get down to business and starting mapping out your plan for success.
About Francesca Nicasio
Francesca Nicasio is Vend's Retail Expert and Content Strategist. She writes about trends, tips, and other cool things that enable retailers to increase sales, serve customers better, and be more awesome overall. She's also the author of Retail Survival of the Fittest , a free eBook to help retailers future-proof their stores. Connect with her on LinkedIn , Twitter , or Google+ .
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Start-up business planning.
- Retail Business: Example Business Plan
Thinking about starting a retail business? We’ve created an example business plan to help you get the ball rolling!
Are you looking to make the jump into a retail business? Have you decided if online is the route for you, or maybe a physical store front? Whether you’ve decided or not, starting to write a business plan will help you flush out those details. A business plan will help you to understand costs, outline potential risks, as well as how you’ll manage cash flow and inventories for your business.
To help you get started we’ve created an example business plan for a retail business. Our example focuses on a pet store company, but it will work as a framework no matter what product you’re selling. Click the ‘Download Tool’ button to gain access to the word document.
You can also find the same example in the Business Plan Writer , our free online tool that guides you through the process of starting your business. Just select “retail” as your industry when you register.
Good luck and happy writing!
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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
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Give a business overview · Explain your business goals · Showcase your industry experience · Set out your marketing strategy · Financial strategy
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Are you looking to make the jump into a retail business? Have you decided if online is the route for you, or maybe a physical store front?