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Online retail sales businesses have concerns that differ from brick-and-mortar retail stores as well as online businesses that sell services and virtual products that do not need to be shipped. A sound online retail strategy starts with a business plan that deals with specific retailing problems, then moves on to matters involving online sales.
Write a business plan for your retail business that's independent of the matters related to your online sales strategy. Retail businesses must source products that they can sell at a sufficient markup to be profitable, and online retail businesses are no different.
Operations that exclusively retail online save on substantial costs related to a physical store but have additional expenses stemming from warehousing and online marketing.
An online storefront by definition has no walk-in traffic. Research and choose an online retailing platform. Smaller businesses can use turnkey operations such as Google Checkout and Amazon Storefront, which provide a soup-to-nuts retailing operation online but offer fewer customization options than stand-alone customer services systems.
The latter allow you to run your online storefront in any way you choose but have higher startup and ongoing costs. Determine and source the business flow process you will use for your products.
Many retailers purchase their products at wholesale and then sell them at retail pricing. This requires the retailer to take receipt of the wholesale shipment and repackage it for shipping to the customer.
This can require substantial storage space or product repackaging space, which eliminates some of the savings from lower startup costs when you don't have a retail storefront. However, some products can be drop-shipped from the wholesaler warehouse directly to the customer, which allows the retailer to process orders without ever touching the product.
Set up your pricing structure based on the suppliers you found in Step 3.
Be sure to incorporate your ancillary costs of doing business as well as the variable costs for each order.
For example, you can add on a shipping and handling fee for each order or raise your prices so you can provide "free" shipping. Design your online storefront, implementing your business plan from the previous steps. Hold a "grand opening" online, then begin implementing your marketing and sales plans from your overall business plan.In its simplest form, a business plan is a guide—a roadmap for your business that outlines goals and details how you plan to achieve those goals.
Here's what a business plan entails, and how to choose what type is right for your business. Jan 30, · Whether you’re starting or growing your business, you need a business plan.
Your plan will provide the roadmap to achieve the success you want. Virtual Business Plan Walk through the design of a business plan.
SBA Business Planning Guide – Careful business planning is fundamental to success. The Small Business Planner includes information and resources that will help you at any stage of the business lifecycle.
Internet Service Provider;. A Standard Business Plan Outline [Updated for ] by: Tim Berry funding. This article is part of our Use this business plan section to outline your marketing plan, your sales plan, and the other logistics involved in actually running your business.
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