A business plan is a very important document for every start-up or business. It tells about what plan you have made regarding the business future and how you plan to achieve it. It is an important document for the success of your organization. In today’s digital world it is a must especially for e-commerce startups in India
A perfect business plan for an e-commerce company needs to have the following steps:-
1. Executive summary
This is a kind of the whole summary of your entire business. This document is crucial since it is what every new e-commerce startup will be using to pitch their ideas to the potential investor.
It must include all important information about what is your company product and how is it better than the products of other most promising startups in India. It must also let your potential investor know about your management team, any kind of requirements of the fund if need be, your estimate regarding financial projections, etc. You also need to ensure that you present if there is any kind of challenges or potential gap which your product could be facing.
Make sure that your executive summary is clear and concise so that it can be easily understood by your potential investor.
2. Your business
Here you need to answer questions about what is your business all about. It must provide answers to certain questions such as:-
- How long you have been thinking to start your business?
- If you have started your business, how is it going and what all have you done so far?
- You need to tell what kind of e-commerce startup you are such as whether you are a tech start-up,health care starts up or any other.
- You must define how your product will stand apart from the other interesting startups in India products and how it will tackle the changing demands of your target consumer.
- You must also do PESTLE and SWOT analysis so as the potential investor also knows how external factors could influence your business.
- Make sure to include the constraints if any about your new e-commerce startup in a simple manner. The potential investor must not get the impression that he will risk his money by working with you.
3. Your target market and competitors.
You need to make sure that you completely understand your market and your key competitors in your e-commerce industry.You must do effective research and must have an Indian startup list with you ready to know what kind of products they deal with. Hence making use of effective market segmentation technique is the key here. You must be completely aware of how big is your market, what is the demographic of your customer to whom you are targeting the product, why you feel there can be a gap in the market shortly about your product if any.
Knowing about your competitor’s products by going through Indian startups list and where they are lacking or growing through effective PESTLE and SWOT analysis techniques holds a lot of importance.
4. Marketing and Sales
It is the most important thing one can say for the success of your startup. Both these departments need to work in sync and coordinate effectively for generating revenue for the organization.
Here you need to know about how your product could be of value for your target audience over the products provided by the other most promising startups in India. You must also provide details of what is the price of your product, which tools you will use to sell to your online customers. It could be making use of social networking sites, Google Adwords, SEO, etc.
You must also know which promotional channels you will use to reach the global audience. Also, try to state what all products contribute to how much to your profit.
5. Management team
Here you need to provide details about your team, what role will be assigned to which individual based on their experience and background. You must know the strengths and weaknesses of your team and must assign the task accordingly as per the individual skills and talent.
Here you need to know what all assets you hold and need to provide details regarding the same. It may pertain to whether you have a website or you require any, what facilities your startup might be required such as landline for calling, any kind of camera requirement, etc. You must also tell about the details regarding the requirement of your staff and the cost details of the same.
7. Sales forecast
You must need to keep in mind certain factors which determine what sales figure you would want to achieve. Some of the crucial factors for new e-commerce start-ups are:-
- How much time will you take to sell your product?
- How you plan to reach your potential audience?
- How much percent of your prospects you will be able to convert into your potential customers.
- Method of collecting payments from your target customer etc.
8. Financial forecasts
Here also you need to provide details regarding the following:-
- What are your earnings estimates monthly?
- You must provide an estimate of your cash flow and previous statements.
- What will be the estimated monthly expenses for your startup?
- Tell how you plan to tackle in today’s survival of the fittest world to become of the most promising startups in India. Also what can be the worst-case scenario for your business if any?
- Will any operational factors could be a hurdle to your cash flow?
- What is your estimated breakeven period?
- Also, include your projected balance sheet and forecast of profit and loss statement.
Keep in mind to show an estimate of all 3 scenarios that are best, expected and worst regarding your startup so that the potential investor has a clear idea about it. Also, keep having monthly meetings to keep an eye on changes taking place if any as per your estimates made.
9. Risk assessment
Here you need to tell about the worst-case scenario situation which could affect the working of your startup. It could be risks associated with expanding your team without doing adequate research, staff turnover risk, funds in place for emergencies, etc. Doing risk assessment would ensure your potential investor that the company has taken into consideration the potential problems which they could be facing in the future and have an idea on how they plan to tackle it.
10. Presenting the plan
Keep in mind that the person reading your plan has a limited attention span. Hence ensure that plan is prepared in a well laid out manner and is to the point. You must include a title page, ensure all the contents are appropriately placed in a certain sequence. Also, make sure to add your startup logo on the front page and possible on headers and footers to make your plan look more authentic and give it a nice feel. It will automatically provide your startup an edge in the market place in comparison to the other interesting startups in India.
Make sure to do adequate research and spend a good amount of time in preparing your business plan. Not only it is an important document for pitching to your potential investor regarding requirement of loan or investment but it is an important document which will keep you aligned with whatever plans which you have set for your yourselves going forward to make sure you become quite successful and are able to feature in top ten startups in India in the near future.