You’re setting up your online boutique, and you have so much to do! Now, everyone is telling you to create an online boutique business plan as if you really need another item on your To-Do list! But do you need a business plan? And if so, how to create a business plan for an online boutique when you’ve never done one? Let’s find out!
Why You Want a Boutique Business Plan
You’ll require an online boutique business plan to apply to a bank or organization for funding. And if you want to attract business partners, they will need to review and accept your business plan. Even your parents will feel better providing funding for your venture if they can review a detailed business plan. But you know what? The most important person who needs to read your boutique business plan is you.
Benefits of Writing a Boutique Business Plan
Why is writing a business plan so important?
- A detailed boutique business plan proves that you are serious about your new business venture and that you take the risks, the rewards, and the hard work necessary for success seriously.
- Your business plan will be a road map identifying and defining where you are now and where you wish to go over the next 3 to 5 years. It should consist of a series of mini-plans — one for sales and marketing, one for pricing and discounts, one for developing new sources of wholesale boutique clothing, etc.
- Writing your boutique business plan will uncover “hidden” assumptions you aren’t aware you are making. When you force yourself to put every step of your plan down on paper, you’ll discover these assumptions and put them to the test so that you can analyze the results.
- Having your detailed business plan to refer back to will help you to recognize opportunities and tripwires to come.
How to Create a Business Plan for an Online Boutique
Before we get to the nitty-gritty of how to create a business plan for an online boutique, remember these three guidelines for the way you write it:
- Write simply, in everyday language. You’re creating a valuable business tool you will use again and again.
- Be specific.
- Be confident. Your business plan is your roadmap to your success.
What to Include in a Boutique Business Plan
If you wish to follow a boutique business plan template, Template.net offers 21 good options for you for free. If you’d like to look at online boutique business plan examples, Bplans has three good samples. Your business plan should include the following sections:
This section summarizes your entire boutique business plan. Although it goes at the beginning of your business plan, you will typically write it last. This shorter version of your complete plan should run no more than 1 to 2 pages, and it should briefly cover:
- Target Market
- Competition Analysis
- Financial summary
- Funding requirements
As you draw up your company description, outline your boutique in detail and include:
- Boutique name
- Tag line
- Mission statement
- Goals and objectives
- Business philosophy
- Evaluation of what makes your online boutique unique in the market
- Description of the owner(s)
- Number and role(s) of employees
This section of your online boutique business plan is about much more than “I want to make money.” Describe your particular niche and whether you have plans to expand that niche in the future. Will you bring on partners eventually or open a brick-and-mortar store down the line? All of your objectives, both immediate and long-term, belong here.
Products and Services
Describe all the products and services you intend to offer here. Be specific about wholesale vendors, quality, pricing structure, and everything related to the products you sell. If you’re responsible for storing the inventory then packaging and shipping the orders, these are services you provide, and the details about how you’ll do so belong in this section.
The Operational Plan portion of your boutique business plan should outline the day-to-day activities of your online boutique. This includes (but is not limited to):
- Product sourcing and purchasing
- Inventory storage and maintenance
- Website maintenance
- Product posting and descriptions
- Order processing
This is the section of your online boutique business plan where you identify your target market for your boutique. Who is your customer? Be specific. Your target market isn’t “women” or “middle-class women.” Identify with your customer. Perhaps your target customer is in her early 20s, not yet married, with an active social life, and prioritizes going to music festivals. She loves bohemian style and vintage rock t-shirts and always wears boots instead of heels. Develop such a honed-in profile that new product purchases are made easier as you identify what your customer wants to wear.
Be as detailed as possible when writing the marketing section of your business plan. Instead of “social media marketing,” outline our plans for the platforms you’ll use, how often, and in what way. Will you reach out to influencers? Which ones, and how? Determine your marketing budget, tools, strategy, and methods.
This section will include:
- Startup capital
- Startup expenses
- Sources for additional funding
- Banking information
- First year’s projected profit and loss
- Financial plan
The Competition analysis section of your online boutique business plan should identify your competitors in your niche. Evaluate their strengths, their weaknesses. What are they getting right? What can you do better?Now, it’s time to put all your hopes, dreams, and plans into black and white. Write your boutique business plan and chart your course to success!