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How to Write a Business Plan For a Retail Store: Complete Guide

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  • August 3, 2022
  • Small Businesses

how to write a business plan for retail store

Whether you’re looking to raise funding from private investors or to get a loan from a bank (like a SBA loan) for your retail store, you will need to prepare a solid business plan.

In this article we go through, step-by-step, all the different sections you need in your retail store business plan. Use this template to create a complete, clear and solid business plan that get you funded.

1. Executive Summary

The executive summary of a business plan gives a sneak peek of the information about your business plan to lenders and/or investors.

If the information you provide here is not concise, informative, and scannable, potential lenders and investors will lose interest.

Though the executive summary is the first and the most important section, it should normally be the last section you write because it will have the summary of different sections included in the entire plan.

Why do you need a business plan for a retail store?

The purpose of a business plan is to secure funding through one of the following channels:

  • Obtain bank financing or secure a loan from other lenders (such as a SBA loan )
  • Obtain private investments from investment funds, angel investors, etc.
  • Obtain a public or a private grant

How to write your retail store business plan’s executive summary?

For any retail business, the following information must go into the executive summary:

  • Business overview : include your business name and model (independent retail store or franchise model), the products you intend to sell (and whether you want to expand with additional product offerings), the legal structure of your business, etc.
  • Market analysis : how many retail stores operate in your area and what do they sell? The estimated number of visitors your customers receive per week, target audience demography (the products you sell must fulfill their needs), purchasing power, etc. must also be included
  • People : organizational setup and the management hierarchy along with retail store experience of the key people in the management
  • Financial plan : how much profit and revenue do you expect in the next 5 years? When will you reach the break-even point and start making profits? It is ideal to include a chart depicting your key financials such as revenue, gross profits, and net profit
  • Financial ask : what loan/investment/grant are you seeking? How much do you need? How long will this last?

how to write a business plan for retail store

2. Business Overview

The business overview is essentially the company description. The second section of your business plan, it should cover the following for a retail store:

  • The products you will sell in your store
  • The price range of the products
  • The company structure
  • Target audience information

Let’s look at different subsections that you must include:

Give a brief explanation of why you want to open a retail store. It must display two things:

  • Your passion & interest for this type of business
  • Feasibility of the business

There may be other retail stores in your area, but they don’t fulfill certain needs of the potential customers. Your business may fill in that gap. 

For example, there may not be any retail store in your area addressing the needs of cyclists. Even if there are competing retail stores, are they offering everything like electric bikes, mountain bikes, touring bikes, BMX, folding bikes, etc.? Do they offer spare parts and customizations?

b) Business Model

This is where you will explain the following:

  • Is your retail store independent?
  • Are you buying an existing retail store?
  • Are you settling for a franchise store of an established bike brand?

c) Products

Your retail store can sell various products. Lenders or investors must get a clear idea of the products you intend to sell. If you want to focus on one or two specific products, you must clarify that, too.

For instance, if you are opening a retail bicycle or bike store , do you intend to sell only assembled bikes or do you intend to sell spare parts, too? What about toolkits? Do you have plans to sell supporting products for cyclists such as helmets, pants, shorts, gloves, eyewear, etc.?

If you have plans to specialize in something (for example, mountain bikes with shock absorption, gears, disc brakes, etc.), mention that.

how to write a business plan for retail store

d) Pricing Strategy

It is important that you add a pricing list here. You don’t need to go into extreme details. Just an average range will be more than enough. 

For instance, mountain bikes can cost anywhere between $400 and $800 . Depending on the components used, the average price can increase or decrease.

A pricing chart for all major products you are offering can help the investors or lenders to tie your pricing strategy with your financial projections.

e) Target Audience

Knowing your customers is very important. That will give you an edge over your competitors. For example, if you are opening a retail bicycle store, you must know whether your potential customers will be enthusiasts, hobbyists, or professionals.

Another important aspect is to understand the type of cyclists you will focus on. The products you sell will depend on that.

Knowing your customers well help in two things:

  • You can better retain your customers
  • Lenders or investors will be more confident about your business strategy

f) Legal Structure

Finally, your business overview section should specify what type of business structure you opt for. Is this a corporation or a partnership (LLC)? Who are the investors? How much equity percentage do they own? Is there a Board of Directors? If so, whom? Do they have experience in the industry?

3. Market Analysis

The market analysis is the next most important aspect of your retail store business plan. You must demonstrate to the potential investors that you know your market. Investors must be confident that the retail store you are trying to open (or you are already operating) makes sense.

For example, if you want to open a retail store specializing in mountain bikes, it’d be better if you’re located in states like Utah, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, North Carolina, Michigan, etc., because these states have ideal mountain bike destinations. Similarly, Texas isn’t really popular for mountain biking.

Again, you will never want to sell high-end bikes in a middle class neighborhood because they will most likely not be able to afford those items.

a) Retail Market Trends

You must also focus on the market size and growth opportunities. For example, if the location of your retail store doesn’t have enough cyclists, your bicycle business will probably not make enough profits. Again, if there are way too many competitors, the growth opportunities may be stifled.

Find market data for your city / area

It is always a good idea to get city-level data to get a clearer picture of the market size in addition to any national-level data you are providing.

Getting city level data might not be an easy task. In fact, you may have to get out and collect the necessary data. You may have to do some math. For example, if there were 30 bicycle retailers in your city in 2019 and the number grew to 33 in 2020, the annual growth rate will be 10%. 

You may want to investigate the factors leading to such growth. For instance, median income may have increased, there may be an influx of population, growing environmental consciousness, increased health awareness, etc., can be some of the factors.

However, you may actually notice a drop. In such a case, you must investigate the reasons. There can be varied factors like drop in income (and hence, sales that led to closure of businesses), decrease in population (may be younger popular moved out of the location), etc.

If there is a drop, you must explain the rationale behind opening a business, the industry of which is showing a gradual decline. It may also happen that the market may rebound back after a temporary decline.

how to write a business plan for retail store

b) Competition

Your competitor analysis is very important. Here are a few questions that you must answer:

  • How many retail stores are there?
  • How many of those stores are your direct and indirect competitors?
  • What type of products do your competitors sell?
  • What is the price your competitors are charging for the same or similar product?
  • How many employees do your competitors have on an average?
  • How many customers do they receive per month?

Some of the answers will end in approximation of data. That’s totally fine. For example, you may not be able to get the exact number of customers your competitors receive.

Draw a strong conclusion for your competitive analysis

Your competitive analysis must bring out the reasons why you are trying to open a retail store. For example (related to the retail bicycle store example):

  • There are no specialised mountain bike retailers in the area despite a high percentage of mountain bikers
  • Existing bike retailers offer only bikes and spares. No retailer offers clothing and protective gear

c) Customers

You already spoke about the target audience in the Business Overview section. Here, you must provide hard data that establishes the existence of your potential customers in the area.

This section must answer the following questions (with reference to the bike store example):

  • What is the age group of the cyclists in your area?
  • What percentage of the cyclists are women vs. males?
  • What type of bikes are they mostly interested in?
  • Do the customers also look for related accessories?
  • Do they prefer online shopping or offline shopping?
  • What is the average household income per month (and also their average disposable income)?

Much of this hard data will come from your competitor analysis. Also, the data must support your decision to open a retail store. For example, if people have a tendency to buy online, you may be better off opening an online retail store instead of a physical store.

how to write a business plan for retail store

4. Sales & Marketing Strategy

The 4th section of your retail store business plan is where you outline your customer acquisition strategy. Try to answer the following questions:

  • What is your USP?
  • What marketing channels will you use (online or offline)?
  • Do the marketing channels aptly grab the attention of your target audience? For instance, young adults will most likely not pay attention to TV ads. Instead, use social media
  • How do you intend to track the success of your marketing strategy?
  • What is your CAC or customer acquisition cost?
  • What is your marketing budget?
  • What introductory promos and offers do you intend to provide for attracting new customers?

Let’s expand a bit on a few questions below:

a) Marketing channels

A few marketing channels retail stores typically use are:

  • Email marketing
  • SMS marketing
  • Social media
  • Pay-per-click campaigns (e.g. Google Ads, Amazon Ads)
  • Partnerships (e.g. with companies to offer employees coupons, discounts, etc.)

how to write a business plan for retail store

b) What is your unique selling proposition?

In other words, how do you differentiate yourself vs. competitors? This is very important as you might need to win customers from competitors.

A few examples of USPs are (with reference to retail bike store example):

  • Price : you may have cheaper prices than competitors
  • Specialization : you may be specializing in some specific product
  • Additional products : you sell additional accessories and safety gear that your competitors don’t
  • Freebies : you may offer freebies like helmets or tail lights

Your USP will definitely depend on the products you are selling.

5. Management & Organizational Structure

You must address two things here:

  • The management team and their experience / track record
  • The organizational structure: what are the different teams and who reports to whom?

a) Management

Your store’s management will vary depending on the business type and size. For instance, if you are opening a franchise store, you may have to give a lot more details compared to an independent store.

You may have co-founders and/or senior managers. You must explain their roles, too. Apart from that, you must also explain their industry experience and why they are suitable for those positions.

b) Organizational structure

Note that even if you have not already hired senior managers and other team members, you must include the details. 

You must define their roles and the hierarchy of reporting. This will demonstrate to the potential lenders and investors the solid management plan you have in place to operate your business efficiently and successfully.

Create and attach an organizational chart for a visual understanding of your store’s staff and their reporting lines.

how to write a business plan for retail store

6. Financial Plan

The financial plan is perhaps, with the executive summary, the most important section of any retail store business plan.

Indeed, a solid financial plan tells lenders that your business is viable and can repay the loan you need from them. If you’re looking to raise equity from private investors, a solid financial plan will prove them your retail store is an attractive investment.

There should be 3 sections to your financial plan section:

  • Your historical financials (only if you already operate the business and have financial accounts to show)
  • The startup costs of your project (if you plan to open a new retail store, renovate your store, etc.)
  • The 5-year financial projections

Historical Financials (if any)

In the scenario where you already have some historical financials (a few quarters or a few years), include them. A summary of your financial statements in the form of charts e.g. revenue, gross profit and net profit is enough, save the rest for the appendix.

If you don’t have any, don’t worry, most new businesses don’t have any historical financials and that’s ok. If so, jump to Startup Costs instead.

Startup Costs

Before we expand on 5-year financial projections in the following section, it’s always best practice to start with listing the startup costs of your project. For a retail store, startup costs are all the expenses you incur before you open the space to your customers. These expenses typically are:

  • The lease deposit for the space you rent
  • The design and renovation of the existing facilities
  • The equipment and furniture

The total startup costs depend on a number of factors, such as the size of your store, the quality of the building (whether there is a lot or remodeling to do or not), the quality of the furniture, etc.

Financial Projections

In addition to startup costs, you will now need to build a solid financial model over 5 years.

Your financial projections should be built using a spreadsheet (e.g. Excel or Google Sheets) and presented in the form of tables and charts in your business plan.

As usual, keep it concise here and save details (for example detailed financial statements, financial metrics, key assumptions used for the projections) for the appendix instead.

Your financial projections should answer at least the following questions:

  • How much revenue do you expect to generate over the next 5 years?
  • When do you expect to break even?
  • How much cash will you burn until you get there?
  • What’s the impact of a change in pricing (say 5%) on your margins?
  • What is your average customer acquisition cost?

You should include here your 3 financial statements (income statement, balance sheet and cash flow statement). This means you must forecast:

  • The number of customers over time ;
  • Your expected revenue ;
  • Operating costs to run the business ;
  • Any other cash flow items (e.g. capex, debt repayment, etc.).

When projecting your revenue, make sure to sensitize pricing and the number of customers, sales as a small change in these assumptions will have a big impact on your revenues.

how to write a business plan for retail store

7. Use of Funds

This is the last section of your retail store business plan. Now that we have explained what your retail store sells and to whom, the industry, management and your marketing strategy, this section must answer the following questions:

  • How much funding do you need?
  • What financial instrument(s) do you need: is this equity or debt, or even a free-money public grant?
  • How long will this funding last?
  • Where else does the money come from? If you apply for a SBA loan for example, where does the other part of the investment come from (your own capital, private investors?)

If you raise debt:

  • What percentage of the total funding the loan represents?
  • What is the corresponding Debt Service Coverage Ratio ?

If you raise equity

  • What percentage ownership are you selling as part of this funding round?
  • What is the corresponding valuation of your business?

Use of Funds

Any business plan should include a clear use of funds section. This is where you explain how the money will be spent.

Will you spend most of the loan / investment in paying your employees’ salaries and the inventory? Or will it cover mostly the cost for the lease deposit and the renovation of the building?

Those are very important questions you should be able to answer in the blink of an eye. Don’t worry, this should come straight from your financial projections. If you’ve built solid projections like in our retail store financial model template , you won’t have any issues answering these questions.

For the use of funds, we recommend using a pie chart like the one we have in our financial model template where we outline the main expenses categories as shown below.

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Retail Business Plan Template

Written by Dave Lavinsky

Growthink.com Retail Business Plan Template

Over the past 20+ years, we have helped over 10,000 entrepreneurs and business owners create business plans to start and grow their retail businesses. On this page, we will first give you some background information with regards to the importance of business planning. We will then go through a retail business plan template step-by-step so you can create your plan today.

Download our Ultimate Retail Business Plan Template here >

What Is a Business Plan?

A business plan provides a snapshot of your retail business as it stands today, and lays out your growth plan for the next five years. It explains your business goals and your strategy for reaching them. It also includes market research to support your plans.

Why You Need a Retail Business Plan

retail clothing

Sources of Funding for Retail Businesses

With regards to funding, the main sources of funding for a retail business are bank loans and angel investors. With regards to bank loans, banks will want to review your business plan and gain confidence that you will be able to repay your loan and interest. To acquire this confidence, the loan officer will not only want to confirm that your financials are reasonable. But they will want to see a professional plan. Such a plan will give them the confidence that you can successfully and professionally operate a business.

The second most common form of funding for a retail business is angel investors. Angel investors are wealthy individuals who will write you a check. They will either take equity in return for their funding, or, like a bank, they will give you a loan. 

Venture capitalists will not fund a retail business. They might consider funding a chain, but never an individual location. This is because most venture capitalists are looking for millions of dollars in return when they make an investment, and an individual location could rarely achieve such results.

Finish Your Business Plan Today!

Retail business plan template example.

Your business plan should include 10 sections as follows:

Executive Summary

retail business plan merchandise

The goal of your Executive Summary is to quickly engage the reader. Explain to them the type of retail store you are operating and the status; for example, are you a startup, do you have a retail business that you would like to grow, or are you operating a chain of retail businesses.

Next, provide an overview of each of the subsequent sections of your plan. For example, give a brief overview of the retail industry. Discuss the type of retail store you are operating. Detail your direct competitors. Give an overview of your target customers. Provide a snapshot of your marketing plan. Identify the key members of your team. And offer an overview of your financial plan.

Company Analysis

In your company analysis, you will detail the type of retail business you are operating.

For example, you might operate one of the following types:

  • Speciality Store – a store with a tight focus (e.g., hip apparel for women)
  • Off-Priced/Used Goods Store – sells massively discounted or used products
  • Department Store – often located at a mall and offer tons of products (e.g., Macy’s)
  • Supermarket – focuses primarily on food items
  • Convenience Store – offers just the most popular items a supermarket offers in a much smaller location
  • Drug Store/Pharmacy – primarily offer medicines and medical products
  • Discount Store – offer large inventories at low prices (e.g., Walmart)
  • Hypermarket – offer many food and non-food items often in large quantities at a discount (e.g., Costco)
  • E-commerce – offers products for sale online (e.g., Amazon)

retail business salesperson

Include answers to question such as:

  • When and why did you start the business?
  • What milestones have you achieved to date? Milestones could include sales goals you’ve reached, new store openings, etc.
  • Your legal structure. Are you incorporated as an S-Corp? An LLC? A sole proprietorship? Explain your legal structure here.

Industry Analysis

In your industry analysis, you need to provide an overview of the retail business.

While this may seem unnecessary, it serves multiple purposes.

First, researching the retail industry educates you. It helps you understand the market in which you are operating. 

Secondly, market research can improve your strategy particularly if your research identifies market trends. For example, if there was a trend towards local retail businesses with online counterparts, it would be helpful to ensure your plan calls for a significant online presence.

The third reason for market research is to prove to readers that you are an expert in your industry. By conducting the research and presenting it in your plan, you achieve just that.

The following questions should be answered in the industry analysis section of your retail business plan:

  • How big is the retail business (in dollars)?
  • Is the market declining or increasing?
  • Who are the key competitors in your local market?
  • Who are the key suppliers in the market?
  • What trends are affecting the industry?
  • What is the industry’s growth forecast over the next 5 – 10 years?
  • What is the relevant market size? That is, how big is the potential market for your retail business. You can extrapolate such a figure by assessing the size of your niche’s market in the entire country and then applying that figure to your local population.

Customer Analysis

retail lighting

The following are examples of customer segments: college students, sports enthusiasts, soccer moms, techies, teens, baby boomers, etc.

As you can imagine, the customer segment(s) you choose will have a great impact on the type of retail business you operate. Clearly baby boomers would want a different atmosphere, pricing and product options, and would respond to different marketing promotions than teens.

Try to break out your target customers in terms of their demographic and psychographic profiles. With regards to demographics, include a discussion of the ages, genders, locations and income levels of the customers you seek to serve. Because most retail businesses primarily serve customers living in their same city or town, such demographic information is easy to find on government websites.

Psychographic profiles explain the wants and needs of your target customers. The more you can understand and define these needs, the better you will do in attracting and retaining your customers.

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Competitive Analysis

Your competitive analysis should identify the indirect and direct competitors your business faces and then focus on the latter.

Direct competitors are other retail businesses. They are most likely local businesses who sell similar items to you.

Indirect competitors are other options that customers have to purchase from you that aren’t direct competitors. You most likely will have online competitors; companies that sell the same or similar items to you, but which operate online.

retail business shop owner

  • What types of customers do they serve?
  • What products do they offer?
  • What is their pricing (premium, low, etc.)?
  • What are they good at?
  • What are their weaknesses?

With regards to the last two questions, think about your answers from the customers’ perspective. Look at review websites to gain this information.

The final part of your competitive analysis section is to document your areas of competitive advantage. For example:

  • Will you provide superior products or services?
  • Will you provide products that your competitors don’t?
  • Will you make it easier or faster for customers to acquire your products?
  • Will you provide better customer service?
  • Will you offer better pricing?

Think about ways you will outperform your competition and document them in this section of your plan.

Marketing Plan

retail business plan merchant

Product : in the product section you should reiterate the type of retail business that you documented in your Company Analysis. Then, detail the specific products you will be offering.

Price : Document the prices you will offer and how they compare to your competitors. Essentially in the product and price sub-sections of your marketing plan, you are presenting the items you offer and their prices.

Place : Place refers to the location of your retail business. Document your location and mention how the location will impact your success. For example, is your retail business located next to a heavily populated office building, or gym, etc. Discuss how your location might provide a steady stream of customers. Also, if you operate or plan to operate kiosks, detail the locations where the kiosks will be placed.

Promotions : the final part of your retail business marketing plan is the promotions section. Here you will document how you will drive customers to your location(s). The following are some promotional methods you might consider:

  • Making your storefront extra appealing to attract passing customers
  • Social media marketing
  • Search engine optimization
  • Advertising in local papers and magazines
  • Reaching out to local bloggers and websites 
  • Partnerships with local organizations
  • Local radio advertising
  • Banner ads at local venues

Operations Plan

While the earlier sections of your business plan explained your goals, your operations plan describes how you will meet them. Your operations plan should have two distinct sections as follows.

Everyday short-term processes include all of the tasks involved in running your retail business such as serving customers, procuring inventory, keeping the store clean, etc.

Long-term goals are the milestones you hope to achieve. These could include the dates when you expect to serve your 5,000th customer, or when you hope to reach $X in sales. It could also be when you expect to hire your Xth employee or launch a new location.

Management Team

store owner

Ideally you and/or your team members have direct experience in the retail business. If so, highlight this experience and expertise. But also highlight any experience that you think will help your business succeed.

If your team is lacking, consider assembling an advisory board. An advisory board would include 2 to 8 individuals who would act like mentors to your business. They would help answer questions and provide strategic guidance. If needed, look for advisory board members with experience in retail businesses and/or successfully running retail and small businesses.

Financial Plan

Your financial plan should include your 5-year financial statement broken out both monthly or quarterly for the first year and then annually. Your financial statements include your income statement, balance sheet and cash flow statements.

Income Statement : an income statement is more commonly called a Profit and Loss statement or P&L. It shows your revenues and then subtracts your costs to show whether you turned a profit or not.

In developing your income statement, you need to devise assumptions. For example, will you serve 100 customers per day or 200? And will sales grow by 2% or 10% per year? As you can imagine, your choice of assumptions will greatly impact the financial forecasts for your business. As much as possible, conduct research to try to root your assumptions in reality.

Balance Sheets : While balance sheets include much information, to simplify them to the key items you need to know about, balance sheets show your assets and liabilities. For instance, if you spend $100,000 on building out your retail business, that will not give you immediate profits. Rather it is an asset that will hopefully help you generate profits for years to come. Likewise, if a bank writes you a check for $100.000, you don’t need to pay it back immediately. Rather, that is a liability you will pay back over time.

Cash Flow Statement : Your cash flow statement will help determine how much money you need to start or grow your business, and make sure you never run out of money. What most entrepreneurs and business owners don’t realize is that you can turn a profit but run out of money and go bankrupt. For example, you may need to purchase inventories now that you can’t sell (and get paid for) for several months. During those months, you could run out of money.

In developing your Income Statement and Balance Sheets be sure to include several of the key costs needed in starting or growing a retail business:

  • Location build-out including design fees, construction, etc.
  • Cost of fixtures
  • Cost of initial inventory
  • Payroll or salaries paid to staff
  • Business insurance
  • Taxes and permits
  • Legal expenses

Attach your full financial projections in the appendix of your plan along with any supporting documents that make your plan more compelling. For example, you might include your store design blueprint or location lease.

Retail Business Plan Summary

Putting together a business plan for your retail business is a worthwhile endeavor. If you follow the template above, by the time you are done, you will truly be an expert on retail business planning and know everything you need about writing a retail store business plan. You will really understand the retail business, your competition and your customers. You will have developed a marketing plan and will really understand what it takes to launch and grow a successful retail store.

Download Our Retail Business Plan PDF

You can download our retail business plan PDF here . This is a business plan template you can use in PDF format.  

Retail Business Plan FAQs

What is the easiest way to complete my retail business plan.

Growthink's Ultimate Retail Business Plan Template allows you to quickly and easily complete your Retail Business Plan.

Where Can I Download a Retail Business Plan PDF?

You can download our retail business plan PDF template here . This is a business plan template you can use in PDF format.

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Other Helpful Business Plan Articles & Templates

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Retail Business Plan Template

Written by Dave Lavinsky

Retail Business Plan

You’ve come to the right place to create your retail business plan.

We have helped over 10,000 entrepreneurs and business owners create business plans and many have used them to start or grow their retail companies.

Retail Business Plan Template & Sample

Below is a retail business plan template to help you create each section of your retail store business plan.

Executive Summary

Business overview.

Artisan Home & Decor is a startup retail shop located in Pasadena, California. The company is founded by Joyce Hernandez, a retailer who has worked as a store manager of a local home decor store for nearly a decade. Joyce has recently graduated from California University with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Management. Now that she has gained real-world experience managing a store and the education on how to run a retail business, she is inspired to start her own company, Artisan Home & Decor. Joyce is confident that her ability to effectively manage employees, customer relationships, and retail operations will help her establish a profitable retail store. Joyce plans on recruiting a team of highly qualified sales associates, accountants, and buyers to help manage the day to day complexities of retail – marketing, sales, budgeting, sourcing, and purchasing.

Artisan Home & Decor will provide uniquely curated home decor products created by local artisans. The home decor shop will be the ultimate choice for customers in Pasadena who value one-of-a-kind pieces for their homes. Artisan Home & Decor will provide its customers with a refreshingly personalized shopping experience they can’t get anywhere else. The shop’s sales associates will be able to help customers find the perfect pieces to suit their individual preferences and styles.

Product Offering

The following are the products that Artisan Home & Decor will provide:

  • Lamps & Lighting
  • Throw Blankets
  • Photo Frames
  • Cookware Sets
  • Kitchen Gadgets
  • Kitchen and Bathroom Fixtures
  • Waste Baskets
  • Soap Dispensers

Customer Focus

Artisan Home & Decor will target home decor shoppers looking for a personalized experience and unique pieces in Pasadena. The company will target boomer, millennial, and gen z  consumers looking for unique decor for their homes, apartments, or condos. They will also target businesses looking for special pieces to furnish their corporate offices, waiting rooms, and lobbies. No matter the client, Artisan Home & Decor will deliver the best communication, service, and high quality products.

Management Team

Artisan Home & Decor will be owned and operated by Joyce Hernandez, a retailer who has worked as a store manager of a local home decor store for nearly a decade. Joyce has recently graduated from California University with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Management. Now that she has gained real-world experience managing retail stores and the education on how to run a retail business, she is inspired to start her own company, Artisan Home & Decor.

Joyce Hernandez has recruited her former assistant manager, Melissa Jacobs to come on board to help her manage Artisan Home & Decor. While Joyce will oversee the employees, day-to-day operations, and client relationships, Melissa will be the Inventory Manager. She will be in charge of sourcing, purchasing, and pricing all inventory. Melissa will work directly with suppliers to stock the retail shop with unique artisan pieces.

Melissa is a graduate of the University of California with a Bachelor’s degree in Interior Design. She has been working at a local retail home decor company for over a decade as an assistant manager. Melissa has an eye for design and keen organizational skills that will allow her to effectively manage Artisan Home & Decor’s one-of-a-kind inventory. Her communication skills will enable her to establish and maintain working relationships with artisans and suppliers.

Success Factors

Artisan Home & Decor will be able to achieve success by offering the following competitive advantages:

  • Friendly, knowledgeable, and highly qualified team of sales associates and interior design experts that are able to provide a personalized customer experience and help each client find the right home decor pieces to suit their preferences.
  • Artisan Home & Decor will bring fresh inventory into their retail store on a regular basis so there will always be something new for customers to check out. In addition to in-store sales, the company will sell pieces online through its website.
  • Artisan Home & Decor offers one-of-kind pieces created by local artisans to suit a wide variety of home decor styles and tastes. By purchasing from the shop, customers are supporting these local artisans and getting fresh decor that no one else will have.

Financial Highlights

Artisan Home & Decor is seeking $210,000 in debt financing to launch its retail business. The funding will be dedicated towards securing and building out the retail space and purchasing the initial inventory. Funds will also be dedicated towards three months of overhead costs to include payroll of the staff, rent, and marketing costs for print ads, website and SEO marketing initiatives, and association memberships. The breakout of the funding is below:

  • Retail space build-out: $25,000
  • Retail store shelving, displays, equipment, supplies, and materials: $40,000
  • Three months of overhead expenses (payroll, rent, utilities): $120,000
  • Marketing costs: $15,000
  • Working capital: $10,000

The following graph below outlines the pro forma financial projections for Artisan Home & Decor.

how to write a business plan for retail store

Company Overview

Who is artisan home & decor.

Artisan Home & Decor is a newly established retail company in Pasadena, California. The new home decor shop will be the ultimate choice for people looking for uniquely curated one-of-a-kind furniture and other home products crafted by local artisans. Artisan Home & Decor will provide its customers with a refreshingly personalized shopping experience they can’t get anywhere else. The shop’s sales associates and experienced interior designers will be able to help customers find the right pieces to suit their preferences and styles.

Artisan Home & Decor will be able to provide a personalized shopping experience for serving customers in-store and online. The team of professionals and sales associates are highly qualified and experienced in interior design, home decor, and the customer experience. Artisan Home & Decor removes all headaches and issues of the home decor shopper and ensures all issues are taken care off expeditiously while delivering the best customer service.

Artisan Home & Decor History

Artisan Home & Decor is owned and operated by Joyce Hernandez, a retailer who has worked as a store manager of a local home decor store for nearly a decade. Joyce has recently graduated from California University with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Management. Now that she has gained real-world experience managing retail stores and the education on how to run a retail business, she is ready to start her own company. Joyce is confident that her ability to effectively manage employees, customer relationships, and retail operations will help her establish a profitable retail store. Joyce has begun recruiting a team of highly qualified sales associates, accountants, and buyers to help manage the day to day complexities of retail – marketing, sales, budgeting, sourcing, and purchasing.

Since incorporation, Artisan Home & Decor has achieved the following milestones:

  • Registered Artisan Home & Decor, LLC to transact business in the state of California.
  • Has a contract in place to lease the retail space.
  • Reached out to numerous local artisans to advise them on the upcoming retail shop in order to start getting supplier contracts.
  • Began recruiting a staff of sales associates, interior designers, an accountant/bookkeeper, marketing director, and assistant manager to work at Artisan Home & Decor.

Artisan Home & Decor Services

Industry analysis.

The retail industry in the United States is valued at over $4T currently and is forecasted to reach $4.9T by the end of 2022. This is up from $3.8T in 2019. After a decade of retail decline between 2010 and 2020, the market is rebounding at a surprising rate. There were twice as many store openings as closings in 2021 alone. The number of brick-and-mortar retail establishments is increasing even as ecommerce shopping has grown by 70% in the last three years.

The role of retail stores is evolving and industry operators are discovering in-store experiences are still vital from the customer perspective. Successful brick-and-mortar industry operators are incorporating ecommerce into their business models. Trends include providing ship-from-store and buy online, pickup in store options to give customers more flexibility in the way they can shop. Key success factors include the level of customer satisfaction, product selection, prices, and convenience.

Customer Analysis

Demographic profile of target market.

The precise demographics for Pasadena, California are:

Customer Segmentation

Artisan Home & Decor will primarily target the following customer profiles:

  • Millennial customers looking for one-of-a-kind home decor
  • Boomer customers looking for one-of-a-kind home decor
  • Gen z customers looking for one-of-a-kind home decor
  • Businesses looking for unique decor for their offices, waiting rooms, or lobbies

Competitive Analysis

Direct and indirect competitors.

Artisan Home & Decor will face competition from other retailers with similar business profiles. A description of each competitor company is below.

Pasadena Home Decor

Pasadena Home Decor provides high-end home decor for the conscientious consumer. Located in Pasadena, California, the home decor retailer is able to provide a tailored shopping experience for its customers. The store’s list of products includes tables, chairs, wall hangings, rugs, vases, photo frames, candles, office decor, and paintings by local artists. Pasadena Home Decor sells online and in-store to give customers flexibility.

Pasadena Home Decor’s promise is to deliver high quality pieces that will stand out. Customers who purchase furniture and home decor from Pasadena Home Decor will be delighted with the customer service, cleanliness of the store, and personalized design services the company offers.

Home Shoppe

Home Shoppe is a California-based home decor retail store that provides outstanding pieces for discerning clientele. Home Shoppe stocks unique furniture and other decor items that are 100% hand-crafted. The owners of Home Shoppe are experienced craftsmen themselves, so they know how quality furniture and home decor pieces should be made. Clients can depend on their selection of products for durability, style, and eco-friendly materials. Choose Home Shoppe for your next home decor project and let the sales team take the stress out of the redecorating process by helping you select the best products for your home.

Redecorating For You

Redecorating For You is a trusted Pasadena retail company that provides superior home decor products for shoppers in Pasadena and the surrounding areas. The shop offers an extensive inventory of home decor items in a variety of styles so there is something for every taste. Redecorating For You is able to provide premium pieces that fill every space with elegance and style. The shop also eases the stress of redecorating by providing in-store pickup and delivery options for busy customers.

Competitive Advantage

Artisan Home & Decor will be able to offer the following advantages over their competition:

  • Artisan Home & Decor will bring fresh inventory into the store on a regular basis so there will always be something new for customers to check out. In addition to in-store sales, the company will sell pieces online through its website.
  • Artisan Home & Decor offers one-of-kind pieces created by local artisans to suit a wide variety of home decor styles and tastes.

Marketing Plan

Brand & value proposition.

Artisan Home & Decor will offer the unique value proposition to its clientele:

  • Artisan Home & Decor will make redecorating easy for customers by providing in-store shopping, pickup, delivery, online shopping, ship-from-store, and buy online-pickup in store options.
  • By purchasing from the shop, customers are supporting local artisans and getting fresh decor that no one else will have.

Promotions Strategy

The promotions strategy for Artisan Home & Decor is as follows:

Social Media Marketing

The company will use various social media platforms such as TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Snapchat to promote the shop, feature artisans, and show off new pieces. The marketing director will oversee the social media marketing activities to grow the customer base.

Professional Associations and Networking

Artisan Home & Decor will become a member of professional associations such as the National Retail Federation, California Retailers Association, and the Home Furnishings Association. The company will focus its networking efforts on expanding its network of clients, designers, and artisans.

Print Advertising

Artisan Home & Decor will invest in professionally designed print ads to display in programs or flyers at industry networking events, in home decor publications, and direct mailers.

Website/SEO Marketing

Artisan Home & Decor’s marketing director will be responsible for creating and maintaining the company website. The website will be well organized, informative, and list all of the products currently available for purchase online.

The marketing director will also manage Artisan Home & Decor’s website presence with SEO marketing tactics so that any time someone types in the Google or Bing search engine “Pasadena home decor retailer” or “home decor store near me”, Artisan Home & Decor will be listed at the top of the search results.

The pricing of Artisan Home & Decor will be premium and on par with competitors so customers feel they receive value when purchasing the one-of-a-kind products.

Operations Plan

The following will be the operations plan for Artisan Home & Decor.

Operation Functions:

  • Joyce Hernandez will be the Owner and Manager of the store. She will oversee all staff and manage day-to-day operations. Joyce has spent the past year recruiting the following staff:
  • Melissa Jacobs – Inventory Manager who will be responsible for sourcing, purchasing, pricing, and maintaining the inventory.
  • Robert Brown – Staff Accountant/bookkeeper who will provide all store accounting, tax payments, and monthly financial reporting.
  • Bill Johnson – Marketing Director who will provide all marketing and sales activities for Artisan Home & Decor including maintaining the website, social media, print advertising, and promotions.
  • Julia Smith – Lead Sales Associate & Designer who will manage all sales associates and provide design services for customers.

Milestones:

Artisan Home & Decor will have the following milestones complete in the next six months.

9/1/2022 – Finalize contract to lease the retail space.

9/15/2022 – Finalize personnel and staff employment contracts for the management team.

10/1/2022 – Finalize contracts for suppliers.

10/15/2022 – Begin networking at industry events and implement the marketing plan.

10/22/2022 – Begin moving into the Artisan Home & Decor shop.

11/1/2022 – Artisan Home & Decor opens for business.

Artisan Home & Decor will be owned and operated by Joyce Hernandez, a retailer who has worked as a store manager of a local home decor store for nearly a decade. Joyce has recently graduated from California University with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Management. Now that she has gained real-world experience managing a store and the education on how to run a retail business, she is inspired to start her own company, Artisan Home & Decor.

Melissa is a graduate of the University of California with a Bachelor’s degree in Interior Design. She has been working at a local retail home decor company for over a decade as an assistant manager. Melissa has an eye for design and keen organizational skills that will allow her to effectively manage Artisan Home & Decor’s one-of-a-kind inventory. Her communication skills will enable her to establish and maintain working relationships with suppliers.

Financial Plan

Key revenue & costs.

The revenue drivers for Artisan Home & Decor are the retail fees they will charge to the customers in exchange for their products. The shop will charge a healthy margin to make sure artisans are paid well for their products while ensuring a solid profit for the business.

The cost drivers will be the overhead costs required in order to staff a retail store. The expenses will be the payroll cost, rent, utilities, store supplies, and marketing materials.

Funding Requirements and Use of Funds

  • Store shelving, displays, equipment, supplies, and materials: $40,000

Key Assumptions

The following outlines the key assumptions required in order to achieve the revenue and cost numbers in the financials and in order to pay off the startup business loan.

  • Average number of items sold per month: 300
  • Average sales per month: $90,000
  • Retail space lease per year: $100,000

Financial Projections

Income statement, balance sheet, cash flow statement, retail business plan template faqs, what is a retail business plan.

A retail business plan is a plan to start and/or grow your retail business. Among other things, it outlines your business concept, identifies your target market, presents your marketing plan and details your financial projections.

You can  easily complete your retail business plan using our Retail Business Plan Template here .

What are the Main Types of Retail Businesses?

There are a number of different kinds of retail businesses, some examples include: Specialty Store, Off-Priced/Used Goods Store, Department Store, Convenience Store, Drug Store/Pharmacy, Discount Store, Hypermarket, and E-commerce.

How Do You Get Funding for Your Retail Business Plan?

Retail businesses are often funded through small business loans. Personal savings, credit card financing and angel investors are also popular forms of funding.

A solid retail business plan with comprehensive financial statements will help show investors your are well-prepared to start your own business.  A retail business plan template will help you quickly and easily get started.

What are the Steps To Start a Retail Business?

Starting a retail business can be an exciting endeavor. Having a clear roadmap of the steps to start a business will help you stay focused on your goals and get started faster.

1. Develop A Retail Business Plan - The first step in starting a business is to create a detailed retail store business plan that outlines all aspects of the venture. This should include supporting market research, your potential market size and target customers, the services or products you will offer, marketing strategy, your competitive advantages and detailed financial projections.

2. Choose Your Legal Structure - It's important to select an appropriate legal entity for your retail business. This could be a limited liability company (LLC), corporation, partnership, or sole proprietorship. Each type has its own benefits and drawbacks so it’s important to do research and choose wisely so that your retail business is in compliance with local laws.

3. Register Your Retail Business - Once you have chosen a legal structure, the next step is to register your retail business with the government or state where you’re operating from. This includes obtaining licenses and permits as required by federal, state, and local laws. 

4. Identify Financing Options - It’s likely that you’ll need some capital to start your retail business, so take some time to identify what financing options are available such as bank loans, investor funding, grants, or crowdfunding platforms. 

5. Choose a Location - Whether you plan on operating out of a physical location or not, you should always have an idea of where you’ll be based should it become necessary in the future as well as what kind of space would be suitable for your operations. 

6. Hire Employees - There are several ways to find qualified employees including job boards like LinkedIn or Indeed as well as hiring agencies if needed – depending on what type of employees you need it might also be more effective to reach out directly through networking events. 

7. Acquire Necessary Retail Equipment & Supplies - In order to start your retail business, you'll need to purchase all of the necessary equipment and supplies to run a successful operation. 

8. Market & Promote Your Business - Once you have all the necessary pieces in place, it’s time to start promoting and marketing your retail business. This includes creating a website, utilizing social media platforms like Facebook or Twitter, and having an effective Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy. You should also consider traditional marketing techniques such as radio or print advertising.

Where Can I Get a Retail Business Plan PDF?

You can download our free retail business plan template PDF here . This is a sample retail business plan template you can use in PDF format.

Other Helpful Business Plan Templates

Ecommerce Business Plan Template Clothing Store Business Plan Template Beauty Supply Store Business Plan Template T-Shirt Business Plan Template

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How to create a retail store business plan

By Andrea Nazarian

how to write a business plan for retail store

A successful retail business starts with a well-thought-out retail business plan. While you may think you have your business ideas all figured out in your head, putting them down on paper in the form of a business plan is crucial for several reasons. 

In this post, we’ll explore what a retail business plan is, why it’s different from other business plans, what to include in it, common mistakes to avoid, and how to make your plan stand out.

What Is a Retail store business plan and why do you need one?

A retail store business plan is a comprehensive document that outlines your business model, identifies your target customers, and lays out a roadmap for turning your retail store or online shop into a profitable business. 

It’s a planning and forecasting tool that provides clarity and direction for your business. With a good business plan, you’re more likely to achieve success. 

Here’s why having a retail store business plan is essential:

Planning and forecasting

A retail store business plan helps you plan and set clear goals for your business’s short-term and long-term success.

Planning helps you set goals, allocate resources wisely, and stay on track. It ensures that day-to-day operations run smoothly. Forecasting, on the other hand, helps businesses anticipate future trends and challenges, allowing them to make informed decisions and adapt to changing circumstances. 

Together, planning and forecasting help you avoid costly mistakes, reduce labor costs , seize opportunities, and achieve both short-term and long-term objectives. In essence, they’re like a GPS for your retail business, guiding it towards profitability and sustainability.

Securing investment

A retail store business plan helps secure investment by demonstrating a clear and well-thought-out strategy. It shows potential investors that you’ve done your homework, understand your market, and have a solid plan for success. 

The plan outlines your business goals, target market, competitive analysis, and financial projections, instilling confidence in investors that their money will be used wisely. It also highlights your commitment and professionalism, making you a more attractive investment opportunity. 

Essentially, a strong retail business plan reassures investors that your venture is a sound investment with a higher likelihood of delivering returns on their capital.

Guiding business operations

A retail store business plan serves as a roadmap for guiding business operations. It outlines your business’s goals, strategies, and tactics, providing a clear direction for daily activities. 

It helps you make informed decisions about product offerings, retail staff scheduling , pricing, local business marketing , online marketing and staffing. The plan also includes financial projections and budgeting, ensuring you manage resources effectively. 

Regularly reviewing the plan allows you to track progress, identify areas needing improvement, and adjust strategies accordingly. Overall, it keeps the business focused, organized, and aligned with its objectives, making day-to-day operations more efficient and effective in achieving long-term success.

Get your team in sync with our easy-to-use, all-in-one employee app.

How is a retail business plan different from other business plans?

Retail businesses are unique in many ways, and your business plan should reflect that. Unlike other businesses, retail operations involve factors such as inventory management , supply chains, order fulfillment, deliveries, and customer returns. 

Here’s how a retail store business plan differs:

Inventory management

Unlike other business plans, retail plans must handle challenges like seasonal sales variations and predicting what customers will buy. Inventory management in retail business plans is about keeping the right amount of products in stock to meet customer demand while avoiding excess or shortages. 

They also need to explain how they get products, where they store them, and how they restock when items run low. In contrast, many other businesses don’t deal with these inventory issues.

Retail store business plans focus more on handling and controlling inventory to make sure they always have what customers want and don’t waste money on too much stock.

Marketing strategy

Marketing strategy in retail store business plans, compared to other business plans, often emphasizes attracting customers to physical or online stores, creating appealing displays, and running promotions like sales or loyalty programs. 

Retail plans typically prioritize reaching a broad consumer base and enticing them with visually appealing products. In contrast, other business plans might focus on more specialized marketing, like B2B partnerships or online advertising. 

Retailers also consider factors like store location and layout, which are less significant for many other businesses. So, simply put, retail business plans concentrate on tactics to draw in shoppers and make their shopping experience enjoyable and memorable.

Growth strategy

Growth strategy in retail store business plans, unlike other business plans, often centers on expanding to new locations, introducing new product lines, or attracting more customers. Retailers aim to increase sales by opening additional stores, going online, or diversifying their offerings. 

In contrast, some businesses may focus on improving internal processes or targeting specific niche markets. 

Retailers typically rely on broadening their reach to fuel growth, making strategies like franchising, adding new store branches, or exploring e-commerce crucial components of their plans. So, in simpler terms, retail business plans tend to emphasize expanding the business footprint and customer base as a primary path to success.

What to do before you start writing your retail store business plan

Research your market.

T horough market research is essential. Investors look for evidence of a healthy market and an unmet need that your business can address.

You’ll want to gather data on who your customers are, what they want, and where they’re located. Analyze your competition to see what makes your business unique. This research helps investors see that there’s a demand for your products or services and that your business can thrive in the market. 

It’s about proving that your idea is well-informed and has the potential to succeed. So, in simple terms, thorough market research shows investors that your business plan is based on a strong foundation of knowledge and understanding.

Understand your competitors

 Know your competition inside out. Understanding what sets you apart is crucial.

You need to know who you’re up against and what makes them tick. Research your competitors thoroughly: their strengths, weaknesses, and strategies. Identify what sets your business apart – your unique selling points. 

Investors want to see that you’ve done your homework and can explain how your retail store will outshine the competition. Maybe it’s better prices, superior quality, or outstanding customer service. 

This knowledge not only helps you stand out but also shows investors that you’re ready to face the competition head-on, which can boost their confidence in your business’s potential success.

Have a growth strategy

Define a clear growth strategy to demonstrate how your business will expand once it’s up and running. It shows investors that you’re not just focused on starting your business but also on making it grow in the long run. 

You can outline different growth strategies like market penetration (selling more to existing customers), product development (creating new products for existing customers), market development (selling existing products to new markets), or diversification (introducing new products to new markets). 

This helps investors understand your vision and how you plan to increase your business’s value over time, making your retail venture a more attractive investment opportunity.

What to Include in your retail store business plan

Business overview.

Provide a high-level description of your retail business, including your company’s structure, location, and the products or services you’ll offer.

Business goals

Explain your business goals, whether they’re related to market share, product ranges, or online expansion.

It should give a clear, simple picture of your retail business. Explain whether your business will operate in a physical store, online, or both. 

Mention the legal name of your company, where it’s located, and briefly describe the products or services you plan to sell. Keep it straightforward and easy to understand, so anyone reading your plan can quickly grasp what your retail business is all about. 

This section sets the stage for the rest of your plan, helping readers get a sense of your business from the get-go.

Your industry experience

In the “Your industry experience” section of your retail store business plan, it’s your time to shine. Tell the readers about your background and expertise, especially if you’ve held important positions in recognized retail businesses. 

If you’ve previously led successful growth initiatives or managed to open new stores that flourished, this is the place to mention it. Basically, this section is all about showcasing your qualifications and experience in the retail world.

It helps build trust and confidence that you’re the right person to turn your retail business idea into a thriving reality. Keep it concise but impressive.

The “ Marketing strategy ” section of your retail store business plan is where you paint a picture of how you’ll present your store to the world. Explain your store’s image, the strategy for your brand, and how you plan to market your products or services. 

Don’t forget to dive into the 4Ps of retail marketing:

  • Product : Describe what you’re selling and what makes it special.
  • Pricing : Explain how you’ll price your products and why.
  • Place : Tell where you’ll sell your products, be it online, in-store, or both.
  • Promotion : Detail your strategies for promoting your store and products.

This section gives a clear roadmap for how you’ll attract customers and make your business a success. Keep it straightforward and compelling.

Financial strategy and forecast

The “Financial strategy and forecast” section of your retail store business plan is where you show the money side of your business. Investors want to see the numbers, so include things like:

  • Estimated capital requirements : How much money do you need to get started and keep going?
  • Profit and revenue models : Explain how you plan to make money and what your sales goals are.
  • Sales volume projections : Predict how many products you expect to sell.
  • Financial statements : Include balance sheets, cash flow projections, and any other financial documents.

These details help investors understand your business’s financial health and potential. Make sure your numbers are realistic and based on careful research and planning.

Management structure

In the “Management structure” section of your retail store business plan, you’ll provide details on how you intend to organize your team and manage your business effectively. This section involves explaining several key aspects:

Firstly, you’ll specify the number of team members you plan to hire. This is essential to understand the size and scope of your workforce.

Secondly, you’ll describe the roles and responsibilities of each team member. This clarification ensures that everyone knows their specific duties and contributes to the smooth operation of the business.

Lastly, you’ll illustrate how each team member fits into your overall business plan. This section helps investors and stakeholders comprehend how your team will collaborate and work together to achieve the business’s goals and objectives. 

A well-defined retail management structure assures potential investors that you have a competent team ready to execute your business plan effectively.

Homebase offers user-friendly employee management tools to streamline team communication , time tracking, and scheduling , helping you refine your management structure. 

Common mistakes to avoid when making your retail store business plan 

A successful business plan is as much about what you leave out as what you put in. Here are some common mistakes to avoid:

Too much detail

Avoid long, rambling text. Use visuals and graphics when possible and attach heavy content as appendices.

Poor financial planning

Account for growing expenses, taxes, and market influences in your financial projections.

Poor spelling and grammar

Basic errors can undermine how partners and investors view your plan.

Strengthening your business plan

To strengthen your business plan, consider your audience, which may include potential investors, business partners, and financial institutions. Be transparent, avoid exaggerations, and demonstrate the value of your idea.

Conclusion: Finishing your retail store business plan

A well-crafted retail store business plan is more than just a guide; it’s a tool to attract investors, secure funding, and set the foundation for a successful retail business. Leveraging tools like Homebase can help you stay competitive and efficient in the retail industry.

Don’t delay writing your plan—it could be the first step towards realizing your retail business dreams.

FAQs about writing a retail store business plan

What is a retail store business plan, and why is it important.

A retail store business plan is a comprehensive document outlining your retail store business’s model, goals, and strategies. It’s crucial as it provides clarity, attracts investors, and guides daily operations for success.

How does a retail store business plan differ from other business plans?

Retail store business plans are unique due to their focus on inventory management, marketing tactics to attract shoppers, and growth strategies centered on expanding customer reach.

What should I include in my retail store business plan’s business overview section?

In the business overview, provide a concise description of your retail business, including its structure, location, and the products or services you intend to offer.

How can a retail store business plan help secure investment?

A retail store business plan demonstrates a well-thought-out strategy, outlining business goals, target market, competitive analysis, and financial projections. It reassures investors, making your venture a more appealing investment opportunity.

What common mistakes should I avoid when creating a retail store  business plan?

Common mistakes include excessive detail, poor financial planning, and grammar/spelling errors. To avoid these, focus on clarity, accurate financial projections, and proofreading.

Remember:  This is not legal advice. If you have questions about your particular situation, please consult a lawyer, CPA, or other appropriate professional advisor or agency.

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how to write a business plan for retail store

The Ultimate Guide to Writing a Retail Store Business Plan

When you’re starting a retail business , the first thing to do is make sure that your plan includes details about what type of store and how it will be marketed. You need all these things if you want your biz to succeed.

What is your business plan? Who are you trying to reach with this product or service? How will they afford it and what do you need for them to buy from us instead of the competition. All these questions can help answer how we should structure our sales strategy.

In this post, you’ll learn the ins and outs of creating a plan for your retail business. We’ll discuss how having one will help boost profits and walk through the steps needed to make it.

Starting a retail business is never easy, but this post can help you find the right plan. Whether you’re just starting or looking for an investment in your existing store, we’ve got some helpful tips.

All You Need to Know About a Retail business Plan

retail store business plan

A business plan is a document that outlines the need-to-know information about how your company will operate. It’s like a roadmap for understanding what kind of growth you’re looking to see and where it might happen.

The business plan is just a guide, but it should give people an idea of the inner workings.

Have a Strategy and Goals for Your Retail Business

Many entrepreneurs indeed start their businesses without a written plan. But if you’re going to be successful, it is vital to have a well-thought-out strategy and clearly defined goals.

It’s tempting to dive right in and start working your butt off, but sometimes you need a plan. If you are opening up an establishment with lots of moving parts like retail stores , it can be challenging without serious capital.

Don’t just think about these things in your head. Write them down. It’s important to formalize the plan and put it on paper for yourself and stakeholders.

If you are looking to start a business, it is essential that you create an initial plan Click To Tweet

. There are many benefits of having one including:

To provide clarity, you need to move ahead

If you have a business plan, it can serve as your roadmap for taking your business off the ground. However, it is overwhelming to figure out which steps need more attention and implement them.

The best way to plan a business is by writing down the steps you need to take and having an idea of how you will do them. It’s much easier than constantly feeling lost or unprepared.

To explore your business idea to see if it works.

A business plan is a necessary step in the process of starting your own company Click To Tweet

. It’s often an opportunity to explore potential issues with the idea you’re hoping will succeed.

As an entrepreneur, you want to spot problems as early as possible so that if the picture doesn’t work out, then at least it doesn’t take up too much of your time. You don’t want to invest all this effort into a business idea only for it not to turn out.

To get investors for your business idea.

It’s imperative to have a formal business plan if you’re looking for funding. Creditors and investors will want the information about your idea in writing to understand it, which then helps them decide whether or not to give you money.

Writing a Retail Business Plan

Now that you know what a retail business plan is and why it’s important, let’s talk about creating one for your company. It starts with identifying the different components of an effective business plan; these include goals, marketing strategy, financial projections.

Let’s dive in.

retail store business plan

1. Business Overview

The executive summary is a crucial part of any business plan. It gives readers an overview and helps them understand why you started the company, your goals, etc.

One of the more critical aspects of your business plan is motivating and compensating employees . It’s essential to be aware that there are many different ways in which this can happen, but here’s a list:

Business synopsis

The name of my business is _____. I’m starting a maternity apparel boutique devoted to providing stylish clothes for pregnant women and moms-to-be.

You can start your business description with something like, “You’re looking for a company that is dedicated to making sure you have the right equipment and space. We know how important it is to make sure all of our customers are satisfied.”

Luxe Maternity is a high-end maternity clothing store that caters to affluent mothers. Luxe will sell top-of-the-line, expensive clothes for wealthy pregnant women.

We are proud to announce that we will be opening the first luxury maternity boutique in Neptune, CA. We hope this store becomes a destination for wealthy moms-to-be and capture 75% of their market share.

Your purpose for the business

It’s essential to explain the purpose of your business and what you hope it will become Click To Tweet

With Luxe Maternity, for example, their mission is ‘to provide parents with innovative yet classic pieces that are chic in design while also being comfortable.'”

It can be hard to find clothes that make you feel good about yourself as a new mom. That’s why the True Motherhood line is designed for stylish moms-to-be who want clothing that makes them look and feel beautiful.

Company goals

Continue to provide high-quality products and services -Utilize various marketing strategies, such as print ads or social media posts.

  • To create a store environment that makes mothers-to-be feel comfortable, beautiful, and stylish
  • To capture 75% of market share by 2020
  • To gain a 50% profit margin after year 1

2. Business structure

Once you’ve covered the basics, it’s time to get into more detail about your business. This section will cover:

What is your company structure and ownership? 

If you’re the owner of a company, this is where to talk about how it works.

It would help if you also mentioned your company’s legal and business structure. Are you a sole proprietor or an LLC? It doesn’t matter, but be sure to include it in your retail plan.

What is your general location? 

While you may not have set up shop yet, it’s essential to let your audience know where you plan on opening. Luxe Maternity could mention that they plan to open in an affluent part of town.

What products are you offering? 

One of the essential parts of any business is what you sell. If your store mainly sells products, make sure that it’s evident in this section and tell people why they should buy from you.

Do you plan to make them yourself, or will you buy from a supplier?

3. Market survey

Your marketing plan should identify the types of customers you want to target and who will be able to buy your products. This must include a description of their kind of people, such as their age group or gender.

When you’re on the hunt for a new position, make sure to include these details in your resume.

What is the size of the market?

Do some research on the market size. Luxe Maternity, for instance, could look into how many pregnant women there are in Neptune every year and then use that information to figure out what kind of market they’re looking at.

Who are your competitors? 

Finding other companies in the same industry is also essential. Who are they? Where do they operate? Understanding these factors will help you make your plan.

What are the trends and forecasts in the market?

It is crucial to forecast where the market will be in 5-10 years, and for this, you’ll need to research how much your current customers are worth. It would be best to look at any notable news or movements that may affect the industry.

What is the demographic information of your target audience?

retail store business plan

To find out about the demographics of your customers, you should have a list ready that includes: -Age group -Income level -Gender.

  • Annual income
  • Education level
  • Where they live and work

What is the psychographic information of your target audience?

When it comes to customer motivation, you need to ask yourself what motivates them. What will make customers come back? How can I help meet their needs? If you find the answers, they are great for your business plan and good strategic decisions.

4. Marketing strategy

Now let’s talk about how you’re going to get your customers. You need a marketing plan that includes:

What is your position in the market? 

Now that I’ve looked at my competition, it’s time to make a plan. So far, the competitors are all targeting small-to-medium size businesses with their products and service offerings.

Luxe Maternity is a company that specializes in high-end maternity clothing and accessories. They have created their own positioning model, which would look something like this:

What is your competitive edge?

Be clear about your store’s unique qualities and how you plan to take on competitors.

What is your branding strategy?

It’s crucial to have a clear branding strategy and style before you even start writing your content. What is the goal of this article? Who are we targeting with our message? How should they feel when reading it, listening to it, or watching it?”

What is your pricing strategy?

What are your pricing plans? Readers of the business plan want to know how much you’ll charge and what profit margin will be acceptable.

Pricing is a significant part of your strategy. What will you be selling items for? Will they all cost the same, or does it depend on what typesizeetc.? It’s not too late to talk about this.

What are your promotional tactics?

As you get ready to start your business, readers must know how they can find out about what you’re doing. So tell them where people will see and hear from you.

What are your sales process and retail experience?

You’ve heard about how we’ll get them to your store, and now it’s time for us to tell you the steps that will convert those customers. Please tell me what sort of retail experience and sales process you have in mind.

When people walk into your store, what will they see? What will you do to get them from browsing around and looking at everything with their hands firmly in their pockets?

5. Management strategy

You should also include some information about your business. Who will you hire? What is the management structure of your company going to look like?

You should discuss:

What is your organizational structure? 

This section should include a flowchart of your company’s hierarchy. You might also want to list out the organization chart, but I’m not sure how useful that would be.

A person at the top of a company is usually answerable to someone else.

Who is your management team? 

If you have a management team already in place, this section talks about the members and their backgrounds. If not, it’s for outlining roles that will be available.

What is your staffing plan? 

If you’re looking to hire managers and associates, your business must be growing. If you need a few people or more than ten hires in the next year, we can help with recruitment strategies.

It would help if you also told them about the benefits and policies you plan to offer, as well as how many people they’ll be working with.

6. Financial projections

The most important part of your retail business plan is how you’ll make money and what it will be over a specific period. It would be best if you had this outlined.

To have a successful business, you need these three things: 1. A marketable product or service that meets the needs of your target customers and generates revenue from sales 2. A comprehensive marketing plan for promoting your products and services in an appropriate way

What are your capital and startup needs? 

This section should detail how much money you need to get started and where that money will be spent.

When I need to plan what my company will do with its capital, I create an account and list out everything we will spend it on.

It’s not essential to be exact with your numbers, but they need to make sense. You should spend some time looking at complicated things like break-even analysis and forecasts.

What is your break-even analysis?

You should perform a break-even analysis to determine when your company will start making money. It’s easy; just take into account the costs and sales projections.

Try drawing a chart if you want to make the most of this article. For example:

What are your sales forecasts?

One of the most important things to do when running a business is to estimate your profits and losses over time. How much money will you make in year one? What about years two, three, four, or five?

What are your cash flow projections? 

Creating a cash flow forecast is essential for any business, so be sure to consider how much money you’ll have coming in and going out on an ongoing basis. Figure out your projected balance at the beginning of each month. Then, use that figure with your expected sales figures to calculate exactly what kind of financial situation you’re in.

There’s a lot of work that goes into starting up your own business. You’ll have to do tons of research make plenty of calculations and projections.

When you create a well-developed retail business plan, your whole company becomes more explicit, and people will be eager to invest in it.

So get to work, start mapping out your plan for success and stop being lazy.

Now that you know how to write a retail store business plan, what are you going to do?

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how to write a business plan for retail store

How to write a business plan for a retail store?

retail store business plan

Whether you are launching a new store or looking to grow an existing retail operation, having an effective and comprehensive business plan is essential. 

Luckily for you, this in-depth guide will provide all the information needed to write a successful business plan for any retail store.

We’ll cover why writing a business plan is important, what information should be included in your retail store business plan, how the document should look, and which tools can help you create one quickly and easily. 

So, let’s get started!

In this guide:

Why write a business plan for a retail store?

  • Information needed to create a business plan for a retail store?

How do I build a financial forecast for a retail store?

The written part of a retail store business plan, what tool should i use to write my retail store business plan.

There are several reasons to write a retail store business plan. Below, we cover some of the most important ones!

To draw up a roadmap

Writing a business plan for a retail store is an essential part of running a successful business. 

It not only helps set objectives and goals for the next 3-5 years but also provides existing retail stores with an opportunity to evaluate their businesses’ current performance and develop strategies for future growth.

A comprehensive business plan can help pinpoint areas in need of improvement, identify potential opportunities, and create actionable steps towards achieving these objectives.

Writing a business plan forces you to think critically about your business’s direction, long-term goals and financial performance which are all necessary components of any successful enterprise.

To compare financials

A well-crafted business plan allows you to regularly compare actual performance against what was planned, enabling you to recalibrate your financial forecasts accordingly in order to maintain visibility on future cash flows. 

By taking this approach of constantly assessing progress and making adjustments along the way, you give yourself the best chance of anticipating any potential problems such as a shortfall in cash.

To secure financing

Whether you are starting from scratch or have an existing business, creating a comprehensive and well-thought out business plan is vital for gaining the financing you need from a bank. 

Banks will use your written document as evidence that you are capable of repaying the money they loan to your company. A detailed and thorough business plan can help convince potential lenders that investing in your venture would be a smart decision.

Similarly, equity investors will carefully examine whether or not their investment is likely to generate a worthwhile return.

They want evidence of healthy growth, profitability and cash generation potential in order to take the plunge. 

Now that we have discussed why it is important to create a business plan for a retail store, let's move on to the information needed to create one.

Create your retail business plan online!

Think your retail store could be profitable? Find out how with a business plan!

retail store business plan online

Information needed to create a business plan for a retail store

Writing a retail store business plan requires research so that you can project sales, investments and cost accurately in your financial forecast.

In this section, we cover three key pieces of information you should gather before drafting your plan!

Carrying out market research for a retail store

Carrying out market research is an important step before writing a business plan for a retail store. Doing so allows you to accurately forecast revenues and gain valuable insights into their target markets, competitors, and the industry as a whole. 

It also helps you identify opportunities that can be capitalized on in order to maximize returns from your investments. 

By understanding the needs of customers and potential buyers, retailers are better equipped to develop effective marketing strategies that will help increase sales and profitability. 

Furthermore, researching trends in the retail sector gives businesses an edge over their rivals by helping them anticipate changes in customer preferences ahead of time. 

This should help you stay one step ahead of your competition while staying relevant in today's ever-evolving marketplace.

Developing the marketing plan for a retail store

Creating a marketing plan for a retail store involves setting aside dedicated funds for sales and marketing activity.

This budget must be carefully calculated in order to ensure that the right amount of resources are available to generate the desired level of sales.

Careful consideration should be taken when constructing this marketing budget, as it will need to cover everything from advertising and promotions to staff wages and other associated costs.

By incorporating this budget into the overall business plan, it will be possible to ensure that all of the necessary resources are available to deliver the expected growth.

business plan for a retail store business plan: successful entrepreneur

The staffing and equipment needs of a retail store

It is important to consider the recruitment plan and investments that will be required to set up and expand the business as this will be needed when creating the financial forecast.

This includes costs associated with running a retail store, purchasing equipment such as cash tills, clothes rails and baskets, as well as establishing any necessary training programs.

Additionally, you should take into account any other overhead costs such as rent, insurance, travel expenses, and more.

Once you have the information needed to create the business plan for your retail store, it is time to start creating your financial forecast.

The financial forecast for a retail store is made up of four main parts: 

  • The Profit and Loss Statement (P&L) shows how much income the retail store generates over time.
  • The Balance Sheet shows the store's assets, liabilities, and equity at a specific point in time.
  • The Cash Flow Statement tells you if more money is coming in or going out over a period of time. 
  • The Sources and Uses Table explains where funds are coming from and where they are going to help fund the business venture.

The projected P&L statement

A projected P&L statement for a retail store shows how much money the store might make and how profitable it could be in the future. 

Investors will look at this before deciding on whether to invest money or not. They would like to see a reasonable return on their investment within a given period.

example of projected profit and loss statement in a retail store business plan

The projected balance sheet of your retail store

A retail store balance sheet is a financial statement that provides a snapshot of the store's assets, liabilities, and equity at any given point in time. 

Examples of common business assets include cash, inventory, equipment, and vehicles, whilst liabilities may include any outstanding debts or accounts payable. Equity is calculated by subtracting liabilities from assets.

projected balance sheet in a retail store business plan

For lenders and investors, the balance sheet provides insight into the store's financial health and ability to repay debts. It can also indicate whether or not it is a good investment opportunity. 

For business owners, the balance sheet helps them manage their cash flow, track profits and losses, and plan for future growth. 

Looking at a retail store's balance sheet can provide an overall view of the health of the business, helping to ensure that short- and long-term goals are on track. It is also useful for benchmarking against similar stores in the industry. 

The projected cash flow statement

A projected cash flow statement for a retail store shows how much cash the company will generate, and how much it will consume.

It helps store owners decide how much money they will have to spend on things like new products, advertising, and other expenses. 

retail store business plan: projected cash flow

This information helps anticipate potential shortfalls in cash, equipment renewals, and plan new store openings.

The initial financing plan

The initial financing plan (also called a sources and uses table) is an important tool when starting a retail store.

It shows where the money needed to set up the store will come from (sources) and how it will be allocated (uses).

Having this plan helps you understand what costs are involved in setting up the retail store, so you can make sure that everything is taken care of before launching.

retail store business: sources and uses of funds

Having a well-constructed financial forecast is important for any retail store business plan, but it's not enough. The reader of the plan needs to understand the context of why and how you made those predictions in order to judge if they are reliable. 

That's why it's also essential to include the written part of your business plan which provides more information about your retail store. Let’s take a look at what should be included in this section.

The written part of a retail store business plan is composed of 7 main sections:

  • The executive summary
  • The presentation of the company
  • The products and services section
  • The market research analysis
  • The strategy section
  • The operations section
  • The financial plan

Let’s take a look at each section in more detail!

1. The executive summary

Writing the executive summary section of a retail store business plan requires a great deal of thought and consideration. 

The executive summary should provide a comprehensive overview that highlights the key components of the business plan, including the goals and objectives. 

The executive summary should start with a business overview explaining what the business does, what it sales and to who, and where it is located. 

Next comes the market overview, which should provide an overview of industry trends, as well as an understanding of the target customer demographics.

Key financials, such as startup costs and projected profits and cash flows should also be included in the executive summary. You should also include key financial data such as projected revenues and profitability.

Finally, state how much financing you require from investors or lenders. 

Remember that an executive summary should be concise and to the point, aiming to encourage investors or lenders to continue reading the business plan further.

2. The presentation of the company

When crafting the company presentation of a retail store business plan, it is important to address structure and ownership. 

The organizational structure of the company should be detailed to demonstrate how the store's operations will run smoothly. Additionally, any ownership details such as investors or shareholders should be cited in the plan. 

Secondly, the location of the store should be highlighted as this can greatly influence customers and profits. Ensure to include information on the neighbourhood, demographic, foot traffic and nearby attractions that could benefit your business. 

Finally, your plan should highlight key management team members who will help to drive success for the store. Summarize each individual’s experience, qualifications and professional qualities in order to show the team's ability to lead the retail store.

3. The products and services section

This is an important part of your business plan, as it outlines exactly what type of goods and services the store intends to provide.

It’s essential for you to clearly communicate how your product line meets customer needs, as this will be an influential factor in whether or not investors decide to back your venture. 

Describe each category of items being sold at the store in detail, such as brands available. Also mention what services you offer: click and collect, 30 days return, etc. . 

The reader will want to understand what makes your products unique from other businesses in this competitive market.

clothes, shoes and handbags in a retail store: illustration for the products and services section of the business plan

4. The market analysis

When writing the market analysis section for your retail store business plan, you should include detailed information about demographics and segmentation, target markets, competition, barriers at entry, and regulation.

This is important because it provides investors or banks with an understanding of the current environment surrounding the company and its potential customers.

For starters, it is important to understand who makes up your customer base by looking into demographic data such as age range and income level. 

Additionally, analyzing consumer behavior can help identify different segments that exist within this customer base so that they can be better targeted with marketing efforts. 

It is also essential to look into competitors operating in the same space to understand what strategies have been successful or unsuccessful thus far. This might be direct competitors (other retail stores in the area) or indirect competitors (online businesses).

Moreover, understanding any regulatory requirements related to entering a particular market will help ensure that all legal guidelines are met before launching operations. 

All these elements combined provide investors or banks with more confidence when deciding whether or not to invest in a certain venture. 

5. The strategy section

When writing the strategy section of your retail store business plan, it is important to consider how the business will differentiate itself from competitors, create an attractive pricing model for customers and develop a marketing plan. 

When writing the competitive edge section, you should articulate why your store offers something different in comparison to existing stores (for example, product selection or customer service). 

Furthermore, you need to determine what pricing structure makes sense for both customers and profitability. You may choose to pursue a competitive pricing strategy, cost-plus pricing strategy or other ones.

Additionally, your marketing plan should outline which channels can best be used to reach potential buyers as well as what type of messaging will resonate with them most effectively. 

Additionally, setting milestones can help track progress while identifying any areas of improvement along the way. 

Lastly, potential risks associated with the retail store must be identified and addressed with effective mitigants in order to minimize negative impact on operations and profitability.

6. The operations section

The operations section of your retail store business plan is an important part of the overall document. 

It should provide details on how the store will be managed and operated, including staffing roles and responsibilities, opening hours, key assets and intellectual property, and suppliers.

When discussing staffing, outline the roles and responsibilities of each team member and how they will contribute to the success of the store. This section should also include a recruitment plan outlining how you intend to hire new staff members when needed.

The business plan should also include information about opening hours. This includes details about when your store will be open, any changes in operating hours based on seasonality, or holiday closures.

Details about key assets and intellectual property that the business needs to operate should also be included in the operations section. You could mention any key equipment that your business needs to purchase (for e.g. a payment processing machine).

Finally, talk about the suppliers that you chose to work with and why. You might have a strong relationship with them, having worked with them in the past or be attracted by their brand image (perhaps sustainability if you operate a t-shirt business).

By providing all of the necessary details about how your store will operate, you can give potential investors and lenders an accurate picture of what they’ll be getting into when they support your business. 

7. The presentation of the financial plan

This is where you will present the financial forecast that we talked about earlier in this guide.

Now that you have a better understanding of what should be included in the content of your retail store business plan, it’s time to look at the tools that can help you create one.

You could create a retail store business plan using applications such as Excel or Word, hire a consultant or accountant to write it for you, or use online business plan software.

Let's look at the benefits and drawbacks of each solution.

Create your retail store's business plan using Word or Excel

Excel and Word were very popular tools for creating a business plan in the 1990s.

The advantage of using Excel and Word to create a business plan for a retail store is that these tools don't cost much.

However, creating a full business plan with Excel and Word is a long and tedious process which makes the solution not quite cost-effective.

If you’re using Word, you must start with a blank page and spend hours formatting the document yourself once written - something that may be too time-consuming for a busy business owner. 

Furthermore, you need to have a solid background in accounting and finance in order to create an error-free financial forecast in Excel. And it is unlikely that a bank or investor will trust your numbers unless you have a degree in finance or accounting.

Ultimately, both Excel and Word have their pros and cons when it comes to creating a retail store business plan. Consider your needs carefully before deciding which one is best for your business.

Hire a consultant to write your retail store's business plan

When it comes to creating a business plan for a retail store, outsourcing the task to a consultant or accountant is a potential solution. 

Consultants are experienced in writing business plans and can create accurate financial forecasts without errors. Accountants also have the ability to identify potential issues that could arise down the road.

The main issue with that approach is the cost: hiring a consultant will be expensive: budget at least £1.5k ($2.0k) for a complete business plan, more if you need to make changes after the initial version (which happens frequently after the initial meetings with lenders).

Use an online business plan software for your retail store's business plan

Another alternative is to use online business plan software .

There are several advantages to using specialized software:

  • You are guided through the writing process by detailed instructions and examples for each part of the plan
  • You can be inspired by already written business plan templates
  • You can easily make your financial forecast by letting the software take care of the financial calculations for you without errors
  • You get a professional document, formatted and ready to be sent to your bank
  • The software will enable you to easily track your actual financial performance against your forecast and update your forecast as time goes by

If you're interested in using this type of solution, you can try our software for free by signing up here .

We hope that this guide helped you better understand how to write the business plan for a retail store. Do not hesitate to contact us if you still have questions.

Also on The Business Plan Shop

  • How to write the business plan for a t-shirt company
  • How to write the business plan for a vending machine company
  • What is the difference between a business plan and a pitch deck?
  • 5 years business plan guide
  • How to create a business plan cover page?

Know someone in the retail industry? Share this article with them!

Guillaume Le Brouster

Founder & CEO at The Business Plan Shop Ltd

Guillaume Le Brouster is a seasoned entrepreneur and financier.

Guillaume has been an entrepreneur for more than a decade and has first-hand experience of starting, running, and growing a successful business.

Prior to being a business owner, Guillaume worked in investment banking and private equity, where he spent most of his time creating complex financial forecasts, writing business plans, and analysing financial statements to make financing and investment decisions.

Guillaume holds a Master's Degree in Finance from ESCP Business School and a Bachelor of Science in Business & Management from Paris Dauphine University.

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How to write a business plan for a retail store?

6 June 2022

A retail store business plan is a formal document. It provides a snapshot of what your business is and how it can develop. Typically, a retail store business plan will forecast the next five years. Think of it as a map which shows you where you are going. And how to get there. A plan can help you anticipate potential pitfalls. A retail store business plan helps you think about what you will be doing months or years ahead. It is also something you can show to investors. Crafting a business plan is a creative experience.  Ankorstore can help you.

What’s a retail store business plan? 

7 steps of the business plan, what are the essential elements of a retail business plan, who to present the business plan to, what exactly is a business plan.

A business plan is a document which contains all your important business goals, the methods of attaining them and the resources and timescale needed for this. It is a summary of everything you want to achieve. All your strategy will need to be set out to enable you to get sales for your product or products.

It will also contain all your professional details. It is one of the most important documents you will ever create. . It is better to get it absolutely right through lots of in-depth research. So much depends on it, so…

  • Don’t rush it..
  • Take the time it needs.
  • Every word is important.
  • Think through every concept.

Why making a business plan helps the success of the retail project

Many new entrepreneurs are creative. They have things to sell that you won’t find elsewhere. But creativity needs a structure, a good business plan for your retail store . A good retail business plan is a necessary step to save you from making expensive mistakes. It will also help you look professional and is an absolute necessity if you are looking for investors.

Start by setting your goals

Do you have dreams of a high-street store or an e-commerce website? You need to plan every aspect from finances to marketing. As you do your research you will clarify your own ideas and understand your business better.

A plan should include both your short-term and long-term goals. There are also internal and external objectives. The internal ones might not be a public part of the plan. They might involve discussing goals with employees and offering incentives to them. In the external objectives you set goals for overall performance. Pricing and customer service are important here.

How to efficiently analyse the market

Entrepreneurs come from all sorts of backgrounds. Some have had a wealth of experience in the retail trade before deciding to go it alone. Others are straight out of school or university and have brilliant ideas they want to put into operation. Entrepreneurs are starting concept stores offering brands and authentic goods of the sort you cannot find on Amazon or in the average supermarket. Your specialty might be:

  • gourmet foods;

It can be almost anything that is a bit special. You can learn by looking at the business plan s of other retail stores , particularly those who are offering similar lines of products.  If you have a high street store you can also check out similar businesses in your area.

A few tips to analyse customer behaviour

Who is your ideal customer? What is their age, background, education, financial status? Is this going to be a rare expensive purchase? Or is it something people will need to buy frequently? How do you get repeat custom? Word of mouth is one of the best recommendations. You have to inspire trust to get that.

How to set you retail strategies

Make a one-page summary to start with. You need to find an answer to the following questions:

  • Who is your target market?
  • Who are your competitors?
  • Will you need staff?
  • Who are your suppliers?
  • What is your market plan?
  • How will you run your business?
  • What is the supply chain?

Besides, you will need a merchandising plan to make sure you get the best return on your investment. And how will you record your sales, returns, purchases of materials, etcetera? And what is your positioning in the market? What makes your brand different?

The importance of making short-term plans

Not everything in your plan will be long-term. With a retail store some things will be seasonal. You could focus on the next sales period. Or do you have products suitable for Mother’s Day? Or for Christmas gifts? Do you want to run a Black Friday campaign, American style? Do you want to celebrate your store’s opening day with special offers for customers?

How to implement your plans

Make sure all the legalities are in place before you start. Who owns the company? Does it have a separate correspondence address? How can the public contact you?  Are there other directors involved? If so, what are their roles? Try to keep to your original goals within the times set. Stick to your aims. Try to meet specific targets.

In-depth analysis of your performance

The analysis of performance will be an ongoing process as your business progresses. Choose intervals at which you want to reassess this analysis . This will help you improve on several aspects:

  • Are you reaching the goals you set out at the start?
  • Is anything getting in your way?
  • Has a new competitor appeared?
  • What do you need to do to improve profits?
  • Who is responsible for keeping all the pages on social media and your website up to date?

And you will also need to do a thorough financial analysis. Have you started to make a profit after the start-up costs?

Project presentation

Explain your products. This part can be great fun. Let the world know what you are selling and why you are so enthusiastic about your goods. How do your products differ from those of your competitors? Make sure you have professional photographs to enhance the image of your products online.

Publicity is another thing to consider. Where do you want to advertise online and offline? What is your budget? Does your shop have a website? Can you make additional use of Facebook, Instagram and all the other host of places in social media to promote your goods online ? Consider the four Ps otherwise known as the marketing mix:

Products and restocking

Products can be dispatched on your behalf from warehouses or distribution centres. Some entrepreneurs prefer this. Others like a more hands-on approach which could involve anything from a bricks-and-mortar store to a thriving regular market stall. The choice is yours. Online or offline or better still both.

Make sure you are always well-stocked with the most popular products. Customers can be fickle. If they can’t buy what they want when the mood takes them, they may take their cash elsewhere. It is more important to keep successful lines well-stocked than to attempt to stock everything. But also look at new products. Keep up with the competition.

Market research

Find your target market. Who are they and why should they buy from you? Is your product something basic everyone needs like foods, beauty products, clothes? Or are you targeting a specific luxury market?

It is useful to gather information on your competitors as well as possible clients. If you are working from a shop rather than solely online by e-commerce, location will be an important aspect. Is there a similar business nearby? What can you do better than them?

Look at general trends in retail. What is selling? And what isn’t? How can you boost sales ?

Presenting to investors

Investors may be family or friends you have known all your life. Or they may be people who have a particular interest in the products you are selling. Or they could be those who think that you and your business look like a promising investment.

Presenting to banks

Banks are cautious investors, and you will need the best of business plans to get a loan these days. But they have financial acumen and will know a good business proposition when they see one.

Be complete and precise in your retail store business plan. Have it proofread for feedback. Include all the essential information and practical details. Write about goals, ideas, strategy, innovation, marketing, and performance. But remember – it is not fixed in stone. As your business grows you may want to adjust your original ideas. The market is always changing, and you will want to stay ahead of the competitors to maximise your profits.  Ankorstore helps you to get all the details right.

A business model is a one-size-fits all statement. It is useful up to a point but not as essential as a business plan. A business plan is specific to you, your business and its location.

A business plans needs to be written right at the start of any business. It is essential as a tool to clarify your own ideas. It is also important as a mark of professionalism to secure cash investors.

Whether your store is going to be offline or online you will need to begin your business plan with a good company description. What is the company’s name? Where are you located? Is it online or offline? Or both? Let the world know what product or products you are selling and why your products are better than everybody else’s. The rest is aims, finances and a general picture of the sales market for your product

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If you’ve ever wondered why you need a business plan or what it’s used for, read on. From market research to budgeting, there is so much day-to-day managing for small businesses that it’s critical to maintain clear objectives and a concise repository for all that information.

The executive summary or operational summary is essential for attracting funders. With the advice of Ankorstart’s experts, strengthen your business plan.

Before starting an e-commerce business, it is important to be well prepared. Here is a step-by-step guide to writing an effective business plan tailored to the specificities of retail e-commerce.

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Home » Sample Business Plans » Wholesale & Retail

How to Write a Retail Store Business Plan [Sample Template]

Are you about starting a retail business? If YES, here’s a complete sample online retail store business plan template & feasibility report to help you get started. Okay, so we have considered all the requirements for starting a retail store. We also took it further by analyzing and drafting a sample retail store marketing plan template backed up by actionable guerrilla marketing ideas for retail stores. So let’s proceed to the business planning section.

Why Start a Retail Store?

There are times when one might not be disposed to buy stuff in bulk. This might be due to financial constraint or other contingencies. This is one of the reasons why retail outlets are scattered all over the world. They know the importance of reaching all and sundry, and that is why they want to provide services that can reach all classes of people.

Those who are already in the trade know the huge profit levels which they attain always. If you have decided to start a retail business, then good news is that you are in a profitable trade, as nearly all the type of goods that are being dealt in is such that is important to all

A Sample Retail Store Business Plan Template

1. industry overview.

When we talk about retailing, we talk about a business that deals in loads of consumer goods; which can be categorized into three major areas. These categories are: general merchandise, apparel, and furniture. In other words, retailers are engaged in the selling of finished goods; they get the goods from the manufacturers and they sell to the end users (consumers).

Retail goods can also be categorized into durable goods and non – durable goods. Durable goods are goods such electronics, computers and accessories, furniture, and other large appliances et al and non – durable goods are good such as food, toiletries, drinks, beauty products, jewelry, clothing and shoes et al.

The retail industry is a major sector of the economy of the united states which generates a whooping sum of well over trillion annually from more than a million retail outlets scattered all around the United States of America.

The industry is responsible for the employment of well over 15 million people which is about 12% of the workforce of the U.S. eMarketer.com published that in 2014 alone, the retailing industry on a global scale generated a revenue of well over $22 trillion; it goes to show that the industry is indeed a very large industry.

It is a fact that an estimated two-thirds of the United States’ gross domestic product (GDP) comes from retail consumption. This is why the United States of America’s economy is measured with the yardstick of how well the retailing business is fairing in the U.S. In essence, when there is an unstable economy, purchasing power drops and it impacts the retailing industry negatively which may result in the closure of some retail stores.

In recent time, the retail landscape has seen tremendous changes in the last 20 years; it has grown from the usual mom and pop outlets to a more organized and far reaching venture. The introduction of franchise and online store makes it easier for a retailer to reach out to a larger market far beyond the areas where his physical store is located.

It is interesting to note that more retail shops; especially lager retail outlets have started to include self-serve checkout lanes in their stores. It creates shorter lines that appeal to consumers; the average customer would not want to stay longer on queue.

Over and above, the retail industry is a profitable industry and it is open to any aspiring entrepreneur to come in and establish his or her business; you can chose to start on a small scale in a street corner like the average mom and pop business or you can chose to start on a large scale with several outlets in key cities.

2. Executive Summary

People’s Choice Retail Shop is a retail shop that will be located in one of the busiest streets in Columbus, Ohio. We have been able to lease a facility that is big enough to fit into the design of the retail shop that we intend launching and the facility is located in a corner piece directly opposite the largest residential estate in Columbus, Ohio.

Our retail shop will retail a wide range of durable goods and non – durable goods at affordable prices from different brands. We retail goods such as groceries, clothes, sports equipment, beauty products, jewelry, baby stuffs, children’s toys, home furnishings and home appliances et al.

We are aware that there are several large and small retail outlets all around Columbus, which is why we spent time and resources to conduct our feasibility studies and market survey, so as to offer much more than our competitors will be offering. We have sell service options for our customers, and our outlet is well secured with the various payment options.

Much more than selling the goods and products of top brands in the manufacturing industry, our customer care is second to none in the whole of Columbus, Ohio. We know that our customers are the reason why we are in business, and that is why we will go the extra mile to get them satisfied when they visit our retail shop and also to become our loyal customers and ambassadors.

People’s Choice Retail Shop will ensure that all our customers are given first class treatment whenever they visit our shop. We have a CRM software that will enable us manage a one on one relationship with our customers, no matter how large the numbers of our customers base. We will ensure that we get our customers involved in the selection of brands that will be on our racks and also when make some business decisions.

We are aware of the trend in the retail industry and we are not only going to operate a system where our customers would have to come to our shop to make purchase or whatever they want but we will also operate an online store and our customers can order goods online and they will get it delivered to their houses or any location they want us to deliver the goods to within Ohio.

People’s Choice Retail Shop is a family business that is owned by Bob Wesley and Family. Although the business is launching out with just one outlet in Columbus, Ohio, but there is a plan to open other outlets all around Ohio.

3. Our Products and Services

People’s Choice Retail Shop is in the retailing industry and we will ensure we go all the way to make available a wide range of goods and products from top manufacturing brands in the United States and other countries of the world.

We will have available in our store a wide range of durable goods and non – durable goods at affordable prices. We retail goods such as groceries, clothes, sports equipment, beauty products, jewelry, children’s toys, baby stuffs, home furnishings and home appliances et al.

4. Our Mission and Vision Statement

  • Our vision is to establish a one stop retail shop in Columbus, Ohio and in other cities in Ohio.
  • Our mission is to establish a retail business that will make available a wide range of goods and products from top manufacturing brands at affordable prices to the residence of Columbus, Ohio and other cities in Ohio.

Our Business Structure

People’s Choice Retail Shop do not intend to start a retail business like the usual mom and pop business around the street corner; our intention of starting a retail business is to build a standard retail outlet in Columbus, Ohio. Although our retail business might not be as big as Wal-Mart or Marcy, but will ensure that we put the right structure in place that will support the kind of growth that we have in mind while setting up the business.

We will ensure that we hire people that are qualified, honest, customer centric and are ready to work to help us build a prosperous business that will benefit all the stake holders (the owners, workforce, and customers).

As a matter of fact, profit-sharing arrangement will be made available to all our management staff and it will be based on their performance for a period of three years or more. In view of that, we have decided to hire qualified and competent hands to occupy the following positions;

  • Chief Executive Officer (Owner)
  • Store Manager

Merchandize Manager

Sales and Marketing Manager

Information Technologist

  • Accountants / Cashiers

5. Job Roles and Responsibilities

Chief Executive Officer – CEO:

  • Responsible for providing direction for the business
  • Creates, communicates, and implements the organization’s vision, mission, and overall direction – i.e. leading the development and implementation of the overall organization’s strategy.
  • Responsible for fixing prices and signing business deals
  • Responsible for recruitment
  • Responsible for payment of salaries
  • Responsible for signing checks and documents on behalf of the company
  • Evaluates the success of the organization

Store Manager:

  • Responsible for managing the daily activities in the restaurant
  • Ensures that the store facility is in tip top shape and conducive enough to welcome customers
  • Interfaces with third – party providers (vendors)
  • Controls the sales floor inventory
  • Ensures that goods and products are properly arranged
  • Supervises the entire sales staff and workforce
  • Any other duty as assigned by the CEO
  • Manages vendor relations, market visits, and the ongoing education and development of the organizations’ buying teams
  • Helps to ensure consistent quality of goods and products on our rack
  • Responsible for the purchase of goods and products for the organizations
  • Responsible for planning sales, monitoring inventory, selecting the merchandise, and writing and pricing orders to vendors
  • Ensures that the organization operates within stipulated budget.
  • Manages external research and coordinate all the internal sources of information to retain the organizations’ best customers and attract new ones
  • Models demographic information and analyze the volumes of transactional data generated by customer purchases
  • Manages the organization website
  • Handles ecommerce aspect of the business
  • Responsible for installing and maintenance of computer software and hardware for the organization
  • Manage logistics and supply chain software, Web servers, e-commerce software and POS (point of sale) systems
  • Manages the organization’s CCTV
  • Handles any other technological and IT related duties.

Accountant / Cashier:

  • Receives payments on behalf of the organization
  • Issues receipt to customers
  • Prepares financial report at the end of every working week
  • Handles all financial transaction on behalf of the company
  • Interfaces with our bankers
  • Responsible for payment of tax, levies and utility bills
  • Any other duty as assigned by the CEO / store manager
  • Responsible for cleaning the store facility at all times
  • Ensures that toiletries and supplies don’t run out of stock
  • Cleans both the interior and exterior of the store facility
  • Any other duty as assigned by the restaurant manager,

6. SWOT Analysis

Our intention of starting just one outlet of our retail store in Columbus, Ohio is to test run the business for a period of 2 to 5 years to know if we will invest more money, expand the business and then open other outlets all over Ohio. We are quite aware that there are several retail stores all over Columbus and even in the same location where we intend locating ours, which is why we are following the due process of establishing a business.

We know that if a proper SWOT analysis is conducted for our business, we will be able to position our business to maximize our strength, leverage on the opportunities that will be available to us, mitigate our risks and be welled equipped to confront our threats.

People’s Choice Retail Store employed the services of an expert HR and Business Analyst with bias in retailing to help us conduct a thorough SWOT analysis and to help us create a Business model that will help us achieve our business goals and objectives. This is the summary of the SWOT analysis that was conducted for People’s Choice Retail Store;

Our location, the business model we will be operating on (physical store and online store), varieties of payment options, wide range of products and our excellent customer service culture will definitely count as a strong strength for People’s Choice Retail Store.

A major weakness that may count against us is the fact that we are a new retail outlet and we don’t have the financial capacity to compete with multi – billion dollars retail outlets like Wal-Mart and co when it comes to retailing at a rock bottom prices for all their goods.

  • Opportunities:

The fact that we are going to be operating our retail store in one of the busiest streets in Columbus, Ohio, provides us with unlimited opportunities to sell our goods to a large number of people. We have been able to conduct thorough feasibility studies and market survey and we know what our potential clients will be looking for when they visit our retail outlets; we are well positioned to take on the opportunities that will come our way.

Just like any other business, one of the major threats that we are likely going to face is economic downturn. It is a fact that economic downturn affects purchasing power. Another threat that may likely confront us is the arrival of a new retail outlet in same location where ours is located.

7. MARKET ANALYSIS

  • Market Trends

Retailing business has been in existence for as long as humans started trading goods, but one thing is certain, the retailing industry is still evolving. The introduction of technology and subsequently online retail store has indeed helped in reshaping the industry.

It is now a common phenomenon for retail outlets to leverage on technology to effectively predict consumer demand patterns and to strategically position their shop to meet their needs; in essence, the use of technology help retailers to maximize supply chain efficiencies. No doubt data collected from customers goes a long way to help retail shops serve them better.

Another common trend in the retailing industry is the pricing system. Aside from having varieties of products in a store, one of the easiest ways for retail stores to sell the goods on their racks as fast as they can and keep re – stocking is to ensure that the prices of their goods are a bit lower than what is obtainable elsewhere. For example; it is common to see items with prices in this format; $3.99, $99 and $199 et al as against $4, $100 and $200.

Retailers also engage in massive clearance sales and discount sales to attract customers. It is a strategy that helps them welcome new customers and also reinforce the loyalty of old customers.

8. Our Target Market

Perhaps the retailing industry has the widest range of customers; everybody on planet earth has one or more things that they would need in a retail shop. It is difficult to find people around who don’t patronize retail shops.

In view of that, we have positioned our retail store to service the residence of Columbus, Ohio and every other location our retail stores will be located all over Ohio. We have conducted our market research and we have ideas of what our target market would be expecting from us. We are in business to retail a wide range of products to the following groups of people;

  • Corporate Executives
  • Business People
  • About to wed couples
  • Expectant Mothers
  • Sports Men and Women

Our Competitive Advantage

People’s Choice Retail Store is launching a standard retail shop that will indeed become the preferred choice of residence of Columbus, Ohio. Our retail store is located in a corner piece property on a busy road directly opposite one of the largest residential estates in Columbus, Ohio. We have enough parking space that can accommodate well over 100 cars per time.

One thing is certain; we will ensure that we have a wide range of products available in our store at all times. It will be difficult for customers to visit our store and not see the product that they are looking for. One of our business goal is to make People’s Choice Retail Store a one stop shop. Our excellent customer service culture, online store, various payment options and highly secured facility will serve as a competitive advantage for us.

9. SALES AND MARKETING STRATEGY

  • Sources of Income

People’s Choice Retail Shop is in business to retail a wide range of products to the residence of Columbus, Ohio. In essence, our source of income will be the retailing of a wide range of durable goods and non – durable goods at affordable prices. We will retail goods such as groceries, clothes, sports equipment, beauty products, jewelry, children’s toys, baby stuff, home furnishings and home appliances et al.

10. Sales Forecast

It is important to state that our sales forecast is based on the data gathered during our feasibility studies, market survey and also some of the assumptions readily available on the field. One thing is common with retailing business, the larger a retail store the larger the numbers of customers that will patronize them.

Although we may not be as large as Wal-Mart, but we will ensure that within our capacity we make available a wide range of goods from different manufacturing brands in our retail outlet. Below are the sales projections that we were able to come up with for the first three years of operations;

  • First Year-: $200,000
  • Second Year-: $450,000
  • Third Year-: $700,000

N.B : This projection is done based on what is obtainable in the industry and with the assumption that there won’t be any major economic meltdown and natural disasters within the period stated above. Please note that the above projection might be lower and at the same time it might be higher.

  • Marketing Strategy and Sales Strategy

Before choosing a location for People’s Choice Retail Store, we conducted a thorough market survey and feasibility studies in order for us to be able to be able to penetrate the available market and become the preferred choice for residence of Columbus, Ohio. We have a detailed information and data that we were able to utilize to structure our business to attract the numbers of customers we want to attract per time.

We hired experts who have good understanding of the retail industry to help us develop marketing strategies that will help us achieve our business goal of winning a larger percentage of the available market in Columbus, Ohio. In order to continue to be in business and grow, we must continue to sell the products that are available in our store which is why we will go all out to empower or sales and marketing team to deliver.

In summary, People’s Choice Retail Store will adopt the following sales and marketing approach to win customers over;

  • Introduce our business by sending introductory letters to residence, business owners and organizations
  • Promptness in bidding for contracts
  • Advertise our business in community based newspapers, local TV and radio stations
  • List our business on yellow pages ads
  • Leverage on the internet to promote our business
  • Direct marketing
  • Word of mouth marketing (referrals)

11. Publicity and Advertising Strategy

Despite the fact that our retail store is well located, we will still go ahead to intensify publicity for the business. We are going to explore all available means to promote our retail store. People’s Choice Retail Store has a long term plan of opening outlets in various locations all around Ohio which is why we will deliberately build our brand to be well accepted in Columbus before venturing out.

As a matter of fact, our publicity and advertising strategy is not solely for winning customers over but to effectively communicate our brand. Here are the platforms we intend leveraging on to promote and advertise People’s Choice Retail Store;

  • Place adverts on both print (community based newspapers and magazines) and electronic media platforms
  • Sponsor relevant community programs
  • Leverage on the internet and social media platforms like; Instagram, Facebook , twitter, et al to promote our brand
  • Install our Bill Boards on strategic locations all around Columbus, Ohio
  • Engage in road show from time to time
  • Distribute our fliers and handbills in target areas
  • Position our Flexi Banners at strategic positions in the location where our retail store is located.

12. Our Pricing Strategy

Pricing is one of the key factors that give leverage to retail stores, it is normal for consumers to go to places (retail outlets) where they can goods at cheaper price which is why big player in the retail industry like Wal-Mart will attract loads of consumers. Products in their store are tagged with the cheapest price you can get anywhere in the United States.

We know we don’t have the capacity to compete with Wal-Mart or any other big retail store, but we will ensure that the prices of all the products that are available in our store are competitive with what is obtainable amongst retail stores within our level.

  • Payment Options

Our payment policy is all inclusive because we are quite aware that different people prefer different payment options as it suits them. Here are the payment options that will be available in every of our outlets;

  • Payment by cash
  • Payment via Point of Sale (POS) Machine
  • Payment via online bank transfer (online payment portal)
  • Payment via Mobile money

In view of the above, we have chosen banking platforms that will help us achieve our payment plans without any itches.

13. Startup Expenditure (Budget)

This is the key areas where we will spend our start – up capital;

  • The Total Fee for Registering the Business in Ohio – $750.
  • Legal expenses for obtaining licenses and permits as well as the accounting services (software, P.O.S machines and other software) – $1,300.
  • Marketing promotion expenses for the grand opening of People’s Choice Retail Store in the amount of $3,500 and as well as flyer printing (2,000 flyers at $0.04 per copy) for the total amount of $3,580.
  • Cost for hiring Consultant – $2,500 .
  • Insurance (general liability, workers’ compensation and property casualty) coverage at a total premium – $2,400.
  • Cost for payment of rent for 12 month at $1.76 per square feet in the total amount of $105,600.
  • Cost for Shop remodeling (construction of racks and shelves) – $20,000.
  • Other start-up expenses including stationery ($500) and phone and utility deposits ($2,500).
  • Operational cost for the first 3 months (salaries of employees, payments of bills et al) – $60,000
  • The cost for Start-up inventory (stocking with a wide range of products) – $100,000
  • Storage hardware (bins, rack, shelves, food case) – $3,720
  • Cost for serving area equipment (plates, glasses, flatware) – $3,000
  • Cost for store equipment (cash register, security, ventilation, signage) – $13,750
  • Cost of purchase and installation of CCTVs: $10,000
  • The cost for the purchase of furniture and gadgets (Computers, Printers, Telephone, TVs, Sound System, tables and chairs et al): $4,000 .
  • The cost of Launching a Website: $600
  • The cost for our opening party: $7,000
  • Miscellaneous: $10,000

We would need an estimate of $500,000 to successfully set up our retail store in Columbus, Ohio. Please note that this amount includes the salaries of all the staff for the first month of operation.

Generating Funding / Startup Capital for People’s Choice Retail Store

People’s Choice Retail Store is a private business that is solely owned and financed by Bob Wesley and family. They do not intend to welcome any external business partner which is why he has decided to restrict the sourcing of the start – up capital to 3 major sources. These are the areas we intend generating our start – up capital;

  • Generate part of the start – up capital from personal savings
  • Source for soft loans from family members and friends
  • Apply for loan from my Bank

N.B: We have been able to generate about $200,000 ( Personal savings $150,000 and soft loan from family members $50,000 ) and we are at the final stages of obtaining a loan facility of $300,000 from our bank. All the papers and document have been signed and submitted, the loan has been approved and any moment from now our account will be credited with the amount.

14. Sustainability and Expansion Strategy

The future of a business lies in the numbers of loyal customers that they have the capacity and competence of the employees, their investment strategy and the business structure. If any of these factors is missing from a business (company), then it won’t be too long before the business close shop.

People’s Choice Retail Store will ensure that all the factors listed above are reinforced on a regular basis and also we will engage in continuous capacity building of our workforce. As a matter of fact, profit-sharing arrangement will be made available to all our management staff and it will be based on their performance for a period of three years or more.

We will make sure that the right foundation, structures and processes are put in place to ensure that staff welfare is well taken of. Our company’s corporate culture is designed to drive our business to greater heights and training and re – training of our workforce is at the top burner.

Check List / Milestone

  • Business Name Availability Check:>Completed
  • Business Registration: Completed
  • Opening of Corporate Bank Accounts: Completed
  • Securing Point of Sales (POS) Machines: Completed
  • Opening Mobile Money Accounts: Completed
  • Opening Online Payment Platforms: Completed
  • Application and Obtaining Tax Payer’s ID: In Progress
  • Application for business license and permit: Completed
  • Purchase of Insurance for the Business: Completed
  • Leasing of facility and remodeling the shop: In Progress
  • Conducting Feasibility Studies: Completed
  • Generating capital from family members: Completed
  • Applications for Loan from the bank: In Progress
  • writing of business plan: Completed
  • Drafting of Employee’s Handbook: Completed
  • Drafting of Contract Documents and other relevant Legal Documents: In Progress
  • Design of The Company’s Logo: Completed
  • Graphic Designs and Printing of Packaging Marketing / Promotional Materials: In Progress
  • Recruitment of employees: In Progress
  • Purchase of the Needed furniture, racks, shelves, computers, electronic appliances, office appliances and CCTV: In progress
  • Creating Official Website for the Company: In Progress
  • Creating Awareness for the business both online and around the community: In Progress
  • Health and Safety and Fire Safety Arrangement (License): Secured
  • Opening party / launching party planning: In Progress
  • Compilation of our list of products that will be available in our store: Completed
  • Establishing business relationship with vendors – suppliers of all our needed raw materials: In Progress

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Retail Store Business Plan

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Retail store is a competitive business as competition is intense in this segment. Moreover, many big giants are investing more in e-commerce and digital marketing, making this business even tougher day by day.

Having a physical retail store that offers a shopping experience along with products is a dream for many. It is not only because of the size of a business but the potential and opportunities such a business offers.

And if you are an individual who likes to interact with people, constantly improve your way of doing business, and form communities that work towards something, then you might have thought of having your retail store business.

Now, a retail store has great potential for success, but it is also a very competitive business. You’ll need a retail store business plan to help you stand apart from your competition and have a thriving business.

Industry Overview

Research suggests total retail sales in the United States were projected to amount to 6.03 trillion U.S. dollars in 2022, up from around 5.4 trillion U.S. dollars in 2018, according to the National Retail Federation .

Retail businesses come in many forms such as grocery stores, restaurants, and bookstores. There are around 4 million retail businesses in the United States alone.

The domestic retail market in the United States is very competitive, with many companies recording strong retail sales. Walmart, a retail chain giving low prices and a wide selection of products, is the front-runner in the United States. Amazon, The Kroger Co., Costco, and Target are a selection of other notable U.S. retailers.

Now, to have any genuine hope of getting noticed in such a jammed industry, you need a solid business plan to get success.

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how to write a business plan for retail store

Things to Consider Before Writing Your Retail Store Business Plan

Build a brand image.

A brand image goes a long way for any business, especially for a retail store. It is crucial to pay attention to what people think about your store, what emotions they associate your brand with, and how they perceive your products in general. Above all, what qualities make you different from your competitors?

Pick the right location

A retail store’s location can make or break the deal. Hence, it is very important to pick a location that is both convenient and accessible for your customers. As people are always running short of time, they prefer a store that is on the way and takes less time to get to. It can also act as your USP over the bigger retail stores.

Plan a good store design

A good store design that follows the major principles of consumer psychology is essential for a retail store. The strategic placement of products influences a customer’s buying decisions. Hence, you need to pay attention to it and design your store in a way that maximizes your sales.

Build communities that promote your brand

Building communities that stand by and promote the idea of your brand can be extremely beneficial for your retail store. Hence, ensure that you work towards building one. These communities can be driven by anything from a common belief to a certain cause that your brand stands for.

How Business Plan Can Help?

Regardless if you’ve been operating for a long time already, by writing up a business plan for your retail store, you can get an overview of what you want to achieve with your business, and guidelines for how you’ll achieve your goals.

A retail business plan is a solid foundation for the success of your business, whether you seek funding or not. It helps you see clearly what your business looks like and how it’s positioned in your target market.

If you need to get funding, your retail business plan will work as proof that you and your business are good for investment. Studies suggest you can double your chances of securing a loan with a business plan and grow your business.

How to Write a Retail Store Business Plan?

Writing a retail store business plan requires a good amount of research, a thoroughly competitive and customer analysis, and a little bit of extra help.

You can get help for writing your plan either through a premade template on the internet or through an online business plan software which will help you write a customizable plan anywhere and at any time.

Before you start writing your business plan for your new Retail store business, spend as much time as you can reading through some examples of retail & e-commerce-related business plans .

We have created this sample business plan for you to get a good idea about how a perfect retail store business plan should look like and what details you will need to include in your stunning business plan.

Retail Store Business Plan Outline

This is the standard business plan outline which will cover all important sections that you should include in your business plan.

  • Company Profile Summary
  • Market Research Summary
  • Marketing Summary
  • Finance Summary
  • Business Overview
  • Company History
  • Legal Structure Vision & Mission
  • Industry Profile & Market Size
  • Local Market
  • Target Market
  • Competitor Analysis
  • Keys to Success
  • Customer Survey Summary
  • SWOT Analysis
  • Products and Services
  • Pricing Strategy
  • Marketing Strategy
  • Primary Marketing Activities
  • Positioning Statement
  • The Sales Process
  • Strategic Alliances
  • Location(s)
  • Legal Issues
  • Insurance Issues
  • Human Resources (Or Team)
  • Process/Production
  • Risk Assessment
  • Startup Funding & Capital
  • Start-Up Costs
  • Sales Forecast
  • Projected Profit & Loss

What to include in a Retail Store Business Plan?

A retail store business plan consists of several different aspects. The major ones are as follows:

1. Executive Summary

The executive summary gives an overview of what your business stands for the reader. It should be written in such a way that even an outsider could get an idea of what your business is all about.

This section mainly comprises your business summary, your vision and mission statement, and your financial summary.

2. Company Profile

The company summary or company profile section of your business plan would consist of everything about your company, ranging from its location to information about your team.

While the executive summary section consists of information about the functional aspects of your business, a company summary consists of information about the structural aspects of your business.

While writing a company summary, it is a good practice to take suggestions from your team, as this section represents you as a team of individuals more than representing you as a brick-and-mortar company.

3. Market Research

Conducting market research helps you understand what you are getting yourself into. It helps you understand your target market, your competitors, and the working of the industry in general.

You can conduct thorough market research by using tools like PESTEL analysis or SWOT analysis . These tools help you conduct research specific to your business and prevent you from wasting your time on vague data.

4. Marketing Plan

As a retail store, it is your primary job to let your customers know about your existence. And to retain them once they start coming to your store.

A good marketing plan would help you do just that.

Based on the information you have gathered about your target audience through market research you can design your marketing campaign and promotional offers that’ll appeal to your customer base.

5. Operations

As a retail store, a proper operations plan can prevent your business from turning into a chaotic mess. An operations plan consists of your business’s logistic and functional information. It helps an outsider see what a typical day at your business looks like.

It also consists of your long-term and short-term goals. As well as the milestones you’ll have to reach for achieving them.

As a retail store business, your operations plan would consist of your supply renewal cycles, your backup distributors, a plan for the working of your store, your daily sales targets, and your long-term expansion goals, etc.

6. Financial Plan

A financial plan ensures that your business sails smoothly through tough times and also generates maximum profits.

It would consist of your funding requirements, cash flow projections, and profit forecasts.

As a retail store, your financial plan would consist of the funding requirements for setting up your store, buying supplies, and hiring people. It would also consist of your projected profits and break-even analysis.

Download a sample retail store business plan

Need help writing your business plan from scratch? Here you go;  download our free retail store business plan pdf  to start.

It’s a modern business plan template specifically designed for your retail store business. Use the example business plan as a guide for writing your own.

The Quickest Way to turn a Business Idea into a Business Plan

Fill-in-the-blanks and automatic financials make it easy.

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Retail Store Business Plan Summary

In conclusion, a retail store business plan helps you organize and manage your store better. It takes care of everything that goes behind the scenes of running a retail store, so you can greet your customers with a smile.

From angry customers to poorly stocked supplies, a business plan can save you from all of it.

After getting started with Upmetrics , you can copy this retail store business plan template into your business plan and modify the required information and download your retail store business plan pdf or doc file.

It’s the fastest and easiest way to start writing your business plan.

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Upmetrics is the #1 business planning software that helps entrepreneurs and business owners create investment-ready business plans using AI. We regularly share business planning insights on our blog. Check out the Upmetrics blog for such interesting reads. Read more

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How to Start a Retail Business: A Step-by-Step Guide

Sally Lauckner

Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This influences which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own. Here is a list of our partners and here's how we make money .

If you’re thinking about starting a business in the retail industry, you’re in good company. Although local retailers don’t get the same level of attention as nationwide brands do, small retail businesses actually make up the vast majority of all U.S. retail businesses.

In fact, researchers found that small retailers (with 50 or fewer employees) made up 98.6% of all retail businesses in 2019. To break into this vibrant industry and open a store of your own, therefore, you first need to understand how to start a retail business.

To help you through the process, we’ll guide you through all the steps required to start a retail business, as well as offer additional resources to assist you on your startup journey.

how to write a business plan for retail store

How to start a retail business in 10 steps

These steps will have you running your retail business in no time. Let’s get started.

Step 1: Find your niche.

The first decision you'll need to make in order to learn how to start a retail business is figuring out your company's niche. You may already have an idea of the type of company you want to form, or you may still be grappling to figure out where to focus your retail company. To determine your niche market, we recommend:

Explore your interests and passions: Determine what you love doing or what you'll enjoy selling.

Brainstorm potential conflicts: No industry is perfect, but figuring out what obstacles or issues you could encounter in your niche will help you plan ahead and determine if an industry is a good fit for your business.

Consider profitability: At the end of the day, you want to make money from your retail business, so you'll need to find a niche that has the potential for profitability. Generally, if your niche has absolutely no competitors, it's usually a sign there's no demand, and therefore, your focus will not be profitable. Use our guide to learn more about the most profitable business ideas.

Research competitors: Once you've found a niche market using the above three steps, it's time to research your competition. Figure out how they're marketing and selling and determine what you can learn from them and how you can improve upon what they have to offer.

Retail business examples

Deciding on your niche can take a long time. It requires significant research and the passion to work within a particular market. To help you get started in identifying your niche market, here are a few retail business examples worth exploring:

Coffee shops

Apparel shops (eyewear, sports apparel, undergarments, outerwear)

Restaurants and bars (determine a theme, whether that's the cuisine, small plates, a canteen, etc.)

Game centers (board games, video games, etc.)

Monthly box subscriptions

Pet supply shop

How much do you need?

with Fundera by NerdWallet

We’ll start with a brief questionnaire to better understand the unique needs of your business.

Once we uncover your personalized matches, our team will consult you on the process moving forward.

Step 2: Write a business plan.

We don’t doubt that you have an amazing idea for a retail store, but an idea alone isn’t enough to turn a dream into a reality. By writing a business plan, you’re providing yourself (and, potentially, future lenders and other stakeholders) a physical roadmap detailing every step you’ll take to open and run your retail business.

Therefore, when you're crafting your business plan for opening a retail store, you can start by answering essential questions about your business model:

What kinds of products are you selling?

Will you open a brick-and-mortar location, an e-commerce website , or will you take an omnichannel selling approach?

Who is your target market, and how will you market to them?

How will you set your store apart from your competition?

You’ll also need to dig into details related to your processes, answering questions such as:

Who are your vendors? How will you store your inventory?

How much staff will you need?

What will your hiring process look like?

What will your startup costs be?

How much money will you need to launch?

How long will it take for you to break even?

How long will it take for you to make a profit?

Keep in mind, however, that your preliminary business plan is exactly that—preliminary. You can always return to your retail store business plan to make changes, updates, and additions as you gain experience with starting and running your business.

Create a business budget

Along the same lines, you should also create a business budget, to the best of your ability, well before you’ve opened your doors. At this stage, you should be paying especially close attention to your startup costs.

Unfortunately, if you're wondering how to start a retail business with no money, you're going to find it's extremely difficult. Although there a variety of ways to cut costs—selling online instead of opting for a physical location, for example—there will always be a handful of costs associated with starting and launching your retail store.

This being said, in addition to standard startup costs like equipment, business insurance, and payroll, if you’re opening a brick-and-mortar retail store, you’ll have to cover some specific costs, like a down payment, potential renovations, and monthly rent and utilities for your store. You’ll also be responsible for purchasing your merchandise, shipping and delivery costs, and storing excess inventory.

And don’t forget about the other tools and software you’ll need to run your business, including a POS system, retail accounting software, and a security system to monitor shoplifting and theft.

Step 3: Register your business.

With your business plan and budget in hand, you can now move onto the next step involved in learning how to start a retail business—making it official.

Come up with a business name

If you haven’t already, you’ll first need to come up with a business name. Choose a name that reflects your business’s purpose and brand identity, allows you room to grow, and, perhaps most importantly, is actually available for use.

Once you’ve landed on your dream business name, run your moniker through a Google search to make sure another entrepreneur isn’t already doing business under that name. Then, check for trademark filings in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, and conduct a Secretary of State business search to make sure there isn’t another business in your area with your potential name.

Once you’ve established that your name is free and clear, you'll want to buy your domain name and create social media accounts with your name. That way, you can build a business website and launch your marketing strategy ASAP.

Determine your legal structure and register your business

Next, in order to register your business, you’ll first need to decide on your business’s legal structure. Your business structure determines how you’re taxed, the degree of legal protection you’re afforded, your business’s ownership structure, and your ability to receive business funding (in addition to allowing you to register your business in the first place).

There are lots of business entities to choose from—all of which we overview in detail in our guide to types of business entities. Additionally, we’d highly recommend consulting a business attorney or accountant to guide you through this crucial step.

Once you’ve landed on a business entity type, you can go ahead and register your business through your state’s Secretary of State website. After that, head over to the IRS' website to apply for an EIN (employer identification number) online. Your EIN is a bit like your business’s social security number, and it’ll help the government identify you for tax purposes. You might also need an EIN to apply for a business loan down the line.

Step 4: Obtain licenses, permits, and business insurance.

Some states require a general business license, while others require licenses and permits at an industry level. You may also need to acquire local permits and licenses, so consult your county or city clerk’s website for their particular requirements, too. The SBA is an excellent resource for licensing and permitting information at both the federal and local levels.

For those learning how to start a retail business, you’ll likely need to obtain multiple retail licenses related to your field, including a resale certificate, seller’s permit, and a certificate of occupancy. We also recommend partnering with a trusted business attorney during this step.

Additionally, you won't want to forget about business insurance. As a retailer, you should consider general liability insurance, a business owner’s policy, and business crime insurance; and as an employer, you’re likely required by law to carry workers comp insurance, health insurance, and unemployment insurance for your staff.

Take a look at our guide to small business insurance for more information on the types of coverage you need.

Step 5: Find a physical location and build an online store.

If your retail business will include a physical store, finding the right location is arguably the most important aspect of this process. Your location can make or break the success of your business: If you’re located in a heavily trafficked area, then your marketing efforts are practically built-in. If it’s in a tough-to-find location, or if parking is limited, then your bottom line might suffer.

The right location for your business depends largely upon who your target market is and where they hang out. If you’re opening an upscale boutique, for example, you probably want to choose a neighborhood that skews less toward students and cash-strapped millennials, and more toward people with some discretionary income to burn.

Of course, you’ll also have to keep in mind how much space you need for display areas, a back-office and break room for your staff, dressing rooms, and an inventory storage area. Your location will also depend largely upon how much room you have in your budget for renovations, store design, remodels, updates, a down payment, and your monthly rent and utility bills. That may mean opting for your second or third choice location to protect your budget.

Build an e-commerce store

Even if you always dreamed of a brick-and-mortar store with in-person transactions, we also recommend opening an online store to give your retail business as much exposure as possible.

Luckily, building and managing an online store is incredibly easy with an e-commerce platform. Here are a few recommendations to get you started:

Shopify: This platform provides an infinitely customizable, standalone store that you build and manage entirely on your own.

Squarespace or Wix: These business website platforms are simple to use and offer e-commerce functionalities.

Etsy, Amazon, or eBay: These popular marketplaces will provide you with plenty of built-in traffic and handy seller tools. On the downside, you won’t have as much control over your branding, customer relationships, or fulfillment process as you would with your own e-commerce store.

The combination of e-commerce and in-person retail is sometimes referred to as "bricks and clicks." You can use our guide to learn more about the bricks and clicks business model.

» MORE: How to start an online boutique

Step 6: Establish relationships with vendors and suppliers.

This is the next step to learning how to start a retail business—and beyond your store’s location, arguably one of the most crucial aspects of your potential success—is finding trustworthy vendors and suppliers. Your vendors might become your most valuable partners and a great vendor can present you with new merchandise, determine which products will sell best, and cut costs for you.

There are a few considerations to keep in mind as you’re searching for vendors.

Budget: Your vendors need to work within the supplier budget you’ve established.

Quality: The quality of their merchandise is crucial.

Reputation: You want to work with a supplier who is guaranteed to deliver your agreed-upon items on time and in good condition—every time you place an order.

Customer service: Remember that you’ll be working closely with your vendors, so their service team must be reliable, personable, and easy to contact in case you run into any issues.

We recommend establishing relationships with several vendors. Even if your vendor of choice is stable, reliable, and cost-efficient, you need to have a contingency plan in place—without merchandise to sell, you won’t have a business to run.

Step 7: Hire staff.

If you’ve never hired an employee before, take a look at our guide on how to hire great employees who’ll stick with you for the long run. When hiring for a retail position, make sure to interview as much for their attitude as you are for their experience. While you can train your employees to use your POS system and manage your inventory, you can’t teach them to be kinder, friendlier, or more trustworthy than they innately are.

In advance of hiring your first team member, make sure you understand your state-regulated employer requirements. Your state might require that you buy certain types of insurance for your staff. Additionally, you’ll probably need to complete some other steps, like creating a state withholding account for payroll, reporting new hires, and verifying your potential new hire’s employment eligibility as well.

Step 8: Find the right POS system.

Your POS system just might become your retail business’s best friend. It’ll certainly become your employees’ best friend—assuming you choose an intuitive, easy-to-use model, of which there are tons on the market right now.

A point of sale system combines hardware and software that enables your business to accept and process all kinds of payments. Most POS software is loaded with valuable back-end capabilities, like inventory management, employee management, CRM tools, sales reports, and vendor tracking.

If you’re opening a brick-and-mortar location, you’ll need a POS system that can accept cash, checks, contactless payments, and both chip and swipe cards. In addition, you’ll need a barcode scanner, receipt printer, and cash drawer.

For more flexibility, you might want to look into a POS system that allows on-the-go payments, too. For example, Square (and most other POS systems) has mobile card readers that plug into your phone or tablet so you can accept payments from virtually anywhere, whether that’s at a pop-up shop, craft fair, or trunk show.

Similarly, Clover also has a fully equipped, handheld POS device so you or your staff can ring up your customers from anywhere in your store.

Ultimately, you have options—a lot of them. To help you navigate the selection process, consult our guide on the best retail POS systems.

Step 9: Organize your finances.

As we mentioned earlier, it's nearly impossible to figure out how to start a retail business with no money—so, whether you have a large amount of startup capital or are operating on a tight budget, it's extremely important to organize your finances.

First, you'll want to open a business checking account . If you’re happy with your current bank, you may want to open a business bank account there. It’s logistically easier for you to maintain all your finances with the same institution. In addition, many banks offer discounts and other incentives when consumer clients open business accounts. If you want to compare your options, we recommend looking into our best business bank accounts guide.

Next, you'll want to get a business credit card . Most credit card companies allow business customers to apply for a business credit card online—which makes this step even easier than opening a business bank account.

If your business is too new to have any financial data, you can provide your personal financial information on your application. If you’re approved, you’ll receive your card in the mail in about a week or two. Use it for your business’s smaller, daily expenses, and be mindful of only using it for business-related purchases to maintain personal and business financial separation.

Get funding

Most entrepreneurs need a little (or a lot of) financial help to get their businesses off the ground. That may be especially true of retailers and brick-and-mortar business owners, who have a few extra startup costs to contend with.

Although it can be difficult to get a business loan as a startup, there are a variety of alternative options you can consider, especially as you start to run your retail store and become more established.

Finally, don’t forget to sign up for a good business accounting software solution, which will streamline, automate, and organize your business’s finances.

Step 10: Market your retail business.

At this point, you've learned the most important pieces of how to start a retail business, and now, you're ready to open your doors and get to work.

Of course, to get the word out about your business, you need to develop a small business marketing strategy, which provides you with an opportunity to get a little creative. The best marketing strategies, especially for brick-and-mortar stores, use a combination of SEO, social media, email marketing, paid online marketing strategies (if their budget allows for it), and analog marketing efforts.

At the very start of your venture, your time is best spent building a business website and creating social media accounts. Squarespace and Wix provide users with tons of customizable, professionally designed templates and built-in SEO tools. For social media, focus on creating diverse, high-quality content, posting regularly, and responding promptly to your followers’ comments and DMs—both the positive and the negative.

As a brick-and-mortar store owner, in-person marketing tactics are also important. We recommend:

Getting active in your local retailer community, networking with your fellow business owners, and participating in craft fairs and other events showcasing local businesses.

Partnering up with a local business whose target market is similar to yours and putting on an event together, or hosting pop-up shops or trunk shows in each other’s locations.

Using good sales incentives—like BOGO deals, giveaways, and free trial periods—to draw even more customers into your store.

To boost your marketing strategy, it's important to take some time to develop your brand identity. Establish your messaging, market positioning, and how your unique business can provide your customers with what they’re looking for—then create the materials to reflect those core values.

ZenBusiness

Start Your Dream Business

The bottom line

As you navigate the business formation steps, be careful not to lose sight of why you’re opening your retail business in the first place. If you remember the passion that inspired you to launch your business, you might even enjoy the finer points involved in the process—who knew finding a POS system could be so fun?

This article originally appeared on JustBusiness, a subsidiary of NerdWallet.

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    Updated June 24, 2022 A retail business plan is a document that explains the details of a retail business idea. Varying in length and purpose, a retail business plan often provides information on how a business would achieve its goals and daily operations.

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  6. Retail Business Plan Template & Sample (2024)

    You've come to the right place to create your retail business plan. We have helped over 10,000 entrepreneurs and business owners create business plans and many have used them to start or grow their retail companies. You can download the Retail business plan (including a full, customizable financial model) to your computer here <-

  7. How to Create a Retail Store Business Plan

    Planning and forecasting A retail store business plan helps you plan and set clear goals for your business's short-term and long-term success. Planning helps you set goals, allocate resources wisely, and stay on track. It ensures that day-to-day operations run smoothly.

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  9. Ultimate guide to writing a business plan for a retail store

    The strategy section The operations section The financial plan You are guided through the writing process by detailed instructions and examples for each part of the plan You can be inspired by already written business plan templates

  10. How to write a business plan for your retail store

    6 June 2022 A retail store business plan is a formal document. It provides a snapshot of what your business is and how it can develop. Typically, a retail store business plan will forecast the next five years. Think of it as a map which shows you where you are going. And how to get there. A plan can help you anticipate potential pitfalls.

  11. Retail Store Business Plan [Sample Template for 2022]

    How to Write a Retail Store Business Plan [Sample Template] Are you about starting a retail business? If YES, here's a complete sample online retail store business plan template & feasibility report to help you get started. Okay, so we have considered all the requirements for starting a retail store.

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    Create a Business Plan Retail store is a competitive business as competition is intense in this segment. Moreover, many big giants are investing more in e-commerce and digital marketing, making this business even tougher day by day. Having a physical retail store that offers a shopping experience along with products is a dream for many.

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