You just came up with an amazing dropshipping business idea, but do not know the first steps to take?
Whether it is a flash of inspiration you have got while driving your car or something you have been dreaming about for months, you need a dropshipping business plan.
This means that before taking the plunge and starting your dropshipping business, you must formally analyze and define every aspect of your business idea. Make sure you follow our ultimate dropshipping tips before you start your business journey.
If you want to learn how to create a short business plan for dropshipping, keep reading!
What is a dropshipping business plan and why is it important to any dropshipping business?
A dropshipping business plan is a written document summarizing the financial and operational objectives of a dropshipping business.
But why is it important to your dropshipping business? Let’s find out together!
Prior to jumping directly into startup mode, it is important to plan and provide greater clarity on all aspects of your business, from finance and marketing to operations and product details.
A simple dropshipping business plan should give you a good idea of what you are aiming for. Additionally, it should guide you through each stage of starting and running your online venture.
Planning as a crucial part of your dropshipping business plan
You cannot underestimate the importance of proper planning because it is core to how your business takes shape.
It is crucial to a successful launch and making better decisions in the future. And it is actually the foundation of success.
Think of it as a road map; you can travel without one, but it can only increase your chances of getting lost along the way.
Now you are probably aware of the importance of proper planning. But if you have never created an e-commerce business plan, and you do not even know where to start, you do not have to look for dropshipping business plan examples elsewhere.
In this article, we are going to discuss how to create a business plan for dropshipping.
However, before creating your e-commerce business plan, you need to gather certain information. Then, you can get everything down on paper.
How to create a dropshipping business plan?
If you do not have previous experience in writing something like that, you have come to the right place. Just read on!
Here are the key elements of a simple dropshipping business plan:
Although your executive summary needs to appear first in your plan, you should write it last. As its name suggests, it is a summary and is supposed to highlight what you intend to discuss in the rest of your plan.
In addition, it is a brief outline of your business purpose and goals. Therefore, in this section, you need to highlight the key points you have uncovered while writing your dropshipping business plan.
Briefly write what your business is and why it will be prosperous.
In other words, summarize basic information about your business concept, mission, goals, target market, product, marketing strategy, and current/projected financial state.
Company description is the second key element of your e-commerce business plan. Here, you should provide detailed information about your business.
In simpler terms, this section of your dropshipping business plan should include information about:
- Your business structure. Seek legal advice and decide which legal form of ownership is best for your business. You can choose from a sole proprietorship, a limited liability company, and a partnership.
- Your business model. As you are planning on starting a dropshipping business, your business model is dropshipping, of course.
- Your industry. Determine what industry you are about to sell your products in.
- Your short- and long-term business goals. Set clear, short- and long-term goals. This can help you stay focused and stop your online venture from becoming stagnant.
Market analysis and customer segmentation
The market analysis section of your plan is very important because it needs to provide a detailed overview of your industry and market. This means that you need to do comprehensive market research before writing this section.
In this part of your simple dropshipping business plan, you should address everything from estimated market size to your target market.
That is to say, you should provide detailed statistics and define things like:
- Your industry. Now that you know what industry you are about to sell your products in, learn more about the market size, trends, growth rate, and outlook.
- Your target market. Clearly define your target audience. To put it simply, find out how many people need your products. Also, learn more about their age, gender, location, lifestyle preferences, purchase potential, etc. Just be as specific as possible about who you are trying to reach.
- Your competitors. Do a detailed analysis of your industry while addressing the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors.
This is the part of your dropshipping business plan where you should figure out whether your business idea is viable.
Management and organization
This section of your plan should cover two main aspects of your startup:
- The organization. Define the way your business is structured and the people involved.
- The management. Provide details about team members, if any.
You should incorporate this section into your dropshipping business plan if you intend to set up a multi-member limited liability company or a partnership.
But if you are planning on running your business alone, you can simply skip it.
As you can assume, you need to clearly describe the products you will sell through your online store in this part of your dropshipping business plan.
Furthermore, describe how your products will differ from those of your competition. Plus, you may also want to include the prices of your products here.
In short, you should highlight the features and benefits of your products. Keep in mind that there is a difference between the features and benefits of a product.
The features are the aspects of your products, whereas the benefits are the effects your products will have on your customers.
Just try not to get too bogged down in unnecessary information and description here. So, it is advisable to use a numbered or bulleted list to easily and fast highlight important information.
Sales and marketing
In the world of dropshipping, there is no shortage of competition. And without a good marketing strategy, people simply cannot learn about your store.
Thus, a carefully planned marketing strategy included in your overall dropshipping business plan is indisputably crucial to ensuring the success of your dropshipping business.
So, in your sales and marketing plan, you should address the following topics:
- Your products. Again, focus on your products.
- Your pricing strategy. Define your pricing strategy – set competitive prices but still leave room for a reasonable profit.
- Your sales plan. Identify sales approaches that are suited to your target audience.
- Your marketing and advertising plan. Describe how you will attract and retain customers; e.g., social media, e-mail, content marketing, Google ads, etc.
The simplest way to develop your marketing plan is to define the marketing efforts of your business for a period of one year.
Set down your marketing strategy, advertising, and promotional activities planned for that period.
Logistics and operations plan
This part of your e-commerce business plan should outline the way you are going to turn your business idea into reality. Here, you need to explain in detail the steps you will take to complete your business mission. Focus on things like:
- Wolesale suppliers. Figure out how you will source your products and make sure you partner with a reliable, certified supplier.
- E-commerce platform. Include the e-commerce platform you will use to enable the commercial process of selling over the internet; e.g., Shopify, WooCommerce, BigCommerce, etc.
- Your dropshipping store. Highlight where you will sell your products.
- Shipping and fulfillment. Mention that your dropshipping supplier will be responsible for that.
This section of your dropshipping business plan needs to contain information about the expenditures for your business. That is why you should calculate and evaluate the startup costs for your online business.
You are about to start a dropshipping business, right? Therefore, estimate the costs of website development, e-commerce platforms, dropshipping automation apps, marketing, and advertising, etc. Also, do not forget to include financial projections for the first year.
And remember that proper financial forecasts can help you make your online venture a success.
Grow with a short dropshipping business plan
Want to learn how to create a business plan for dropshipping? Looking for dropshipping business plan examples?
In this article, we have provided the key elements of a simple dropshipping business plan.
We hope it can help you get started and move in the right direction.
But you can also stay tuned for new and more elaborate business plan templates, guides, checklists, and e-books coming soon!