Having a business plan is essential for the success of your retail enterprise. Writing your business ideas on the back of a napkin can be quite creative, but if you have serious intentions towards your retail endeavor, you will need an elaborate, detailed and scrupulously edited and proofread plan.
The issue of whether business planning is worth its time has been around in the community of entrepreneurs for some time. But a survey by Small Business Trends has put this discussion to an end. Accordingly, businesses that had completed a business plan proved more likely to secure a loan, attract investment capital and grow faster in general.
However, creating a good business plan is only half of what’s necessary for achieving success; the other half lies in executing upon the plan.
Here to help you with your business plan, we’ve prepared five hacks for retail business planning. By following these quick tips you’ll be able to ensure your plan is complete.
1 – Make Sure You Have Clear Objectives
The goals of your retail company should be the foundation of your business plan. So, if you want to have a good business plan, you need start with identifying your goals, otherwise, they’re just a wish.
I completely understand that trying to create a business plan solely based on your goals sounds a bit vague. Some time ago I came across some recommendations by the Australian government to help businesses identify their objectives based on the SMART model:
- Your goals should be Specific, meaning you should be as clear as possible about what you want to achieve;
- Set only Measurable goals by answering the question, “How you will identify whether you’ve achieved your goal?;”
- Make sure that your goals are Achievable within your available resources;
- Your goals should be Relevant, meaning that they should fully support the values of your business;
- Make sure that your goals are Timely and you’ll be able to achieve them within a certain deadline.
The SMART model works for setting business goals perfectly. But before working with this model, I also recommend doing a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) analysis.
2 – Conduct a Market Search
It often happens that someone in your industry already has a similar business plan. While, this shouldn’t stop you from developing your own, you should be confident that your idea is unique and your business can still stand out.
To ensure this, you need to do a market search before developing your business plan. Knowing your market well is essential to understanding how your business will eventually operate. “Market search is also a necessary step that will help you identify the exact audience you’ll be working with,” says Martin Jacobs, a marketing specialist at Write-my-essay-for-me. Indeed, market analysis is an essential step in creating a customer profile, so do a general market search to see what’s trending in your industry.
3 – Work with Your Audience
Creating a customer profile is an essential part of business planning. This is also a step which must be done in every marketing campaign. But for a business plan, you should create a general customer profile of a potential client.
Creating a customer profile involves three simple steps:
- Know your company values. Your customers should clearly see what your company represents to figure out whether they’re interested or not.
- Select a niche. Progress from a general market description to a more detailed one.
- Establish a single customer profile. Describe your ideal customer who is interested in a particular market niche.
Here’s a great example of implementing three steps of creating a customer profile:
Knowing your audience is one of the pillars essential for a great business plan.
4 – Include Personalization
Personalization is a trend that’s here to stay. Thirty-three percent of retailers mentioned targeting and personalization to be one of their top priorities.
Personalization is the feature that should be the priority of your retail business because it ensures that your business is customer-centered. Since customers appreciate personalized products, services, and communication with brands, doing your best to make every one of them feel special is a must.
I would recommend including in a business plan:
- Personalized features that will be available all the time to your customers, like a loyalty program or bonus program;
- Seasonal personalized features or personalized features based on a certain campaign, like discounts, sales, exclusive offers, etc.
Personalized features depend on the product you sell and also on the feedback from your customers, which is very important to take into account.
5 – Acquire Business Insurance
Insuring your business should also be in your business plan as one of the essential steps to undertake. No matter if you are the only person employed or you have a large team of people working with you, your business should be insured.
But what type of insurance coverage should you have? For a retailer, you might consider the following:
- General liability;
- Business owner’s policy;
- Workers comp;
- Auto Insurance.
You can get retailer insurance as one package, but owning business insurance is something that will put your mind to peace if your business goes through some tough times.
The Bottom Line
Having a business plan is crucial for retail business as you’ll be working with tons of customers every day. It will help make sure you deliver the services your customers want from you, and that you also stay true to the values of your business.
About the writer: Tom Jager is professional blogger who works at A-writer. He has degree in Law and English literature. Tom has written numerous articles/online journals. You can reach him at G+ or Facebook.
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