How to Write An Attention-Grabbing Retail Business Plan

Success in businessWithout a plan, it is difficult to succeed. In the case of retail storesThis means that you must put in effort and time to develop your retail business plan. 

Now, you might be thinking: ‘why do I need a business plan, if I’ve got it all mapped out in my head?’ Business plans can be so much more than another action item on your ever-growing to-do list.  

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How do retail business plans work? 

They’re planning and forecasting documents. The retail business plan describes your business model, your customer base and your plans to make your shop or website a success. 

What makes retail business plans so different?

Because retail businesses differ. This is something you know. Whether you’re selling from a brick-and-mortar store or through an online shop, you have to consider a combination of factors that many other businesses don’t. Consider inventory, store supplies as well as sourcing and supply chains. Even more complicated activities include order fulfillment, delivery and customer returns. 

You don’t need to write a tome that covers all of these areas, but they will inform how you put your business plan on paper.  


Be sure to prepare your plan for a retail store before you start writing it.

But let’s pump the brakes for a second. Although it might seem tempting to just jump in and write your business plan right away, this is not the best idea. These suggestions are important to consider before you rush. 

Research your market first

“Without a market, a retail firm cannot exist,” said Susan Smith, marketing manager at Velden Engineering. “One of the first things readers will look for when reading your business plan is A healthy market is evidenceAnonymous unmet needHow your company can meet the needs of that market. Completing thorough market research before developing your business plan should be a top priority,” she said.

Know your rivals 

“Most industries are becoming oversaturated at this point, so investors want to know What sets you apart?. You are unique. As much as possible, research your rivals. Your own business,” said Gabriel Dungan, CEO and founder of mattress topper company, ViscoSoft. You will gain valuable insights into the products and services you offer.

Develop a strategy for growth

Michelle Ebbin (Owner of Australian clothing brand) suggests that you identify a growth strategy in order to improve your business plan. JettProof.  “Most companies focus on market penetration where they sell current products to an already existing market,” said Ebbin. “While that’s a feasible route, you might also want to explore product development by introducing new, innovative products to existing customers.”

“There’s also market developmentWhere you can try to discover new markets for existing products Diversification for introducing new products to new markets,” she said. Ebbin believes determining a clear growth strategy can increase retailers’ chances of convincing potential investors, who essentially want to know how you will grow your business once it’s up and running. 

TIP: You can get help from financial planners and accountants to prepare your retail business plan. 


How to plan your retail business 

Include these details when discussing the particulars.  

Provide a brief overview of your business

A high-level overview of your retail business. You can mention your company’s structure, legal name, location and the products or services you’ll sell. You can describe whether your business will sell in-store or online. This section should be kept simple. Make sure you use simple language. 

Describe your company’s goals

This section should be about your goals. This doesn’t need to be lengthy or complex. And the goal doesn’t need to be huge, either. Take this example:

“Our goal is to become the go-to provider of HD gaming and streaming cameras for teenagers in San Francisco within 18-24 months.”  

This could be used to cover your goals regarding locations, product lines or online shops. 

Demonstrate your industry expertise

This is all about you as the owner. Again keep it brief, but say why you’re the right person to take this retail business from an idea to a reality. Mention:

  • It could be your specialty such as brick-and mortar, ecommerce, both, or both. Another option is direct-to consumer (DTC).
  • Any leadership roles in well-respected national or regional retail companies
  • Sales or lead generation goals you’ve driven before
  • Successive growth initiatives include new store openings.

Simply put, it is the area where you show off your passion for the success of the business. 

Set your marketing strategy 

Here’s where you talk about your store’s image and branding strategy. This section covers the basics of retail marketing and your plans for 4Ps. Here’s a quick reminder about what they are:  

  • Product: What you’ll sell and your Unique Selling Proposition (USP). 
  • Pricing: How much your products will cost and why you’ve chosen these price points. 
  • Place: Where you’re going to sell your products (online, in-store or omnichannel).
  • Promotion: How you’re going to promote both your store and the products you will sell.  

Again, this section doesn’t need to be overlong or complex. If you want to dive into the details—or provide a complete Marketing Plan—you can do this in an appendix at the end of the plan. 

Forecast and financial strategy

This is the information that 98% of people who read your business plan want most.

“At the end of the day, your company will be judged on its capacity to generate a profit,” said Will Cannon, CEO of Sign upAn e-signature company. “Investors will want to see some data related to your startup demands and revenue estimates, no matter how succinct and appealing your retail business plan is,” he said. 

You might consider including the following:

  • Estimated capital requirements
  • Revenue and profit model
  • Estimated sales volume
  • Calculating the break-even point
  • Projections of balance sheets
  • Projections of cash flows

These figures should be grounded in reasoning.

Define the management structure

Your management structure. This will allow things to move more smoothly during initial settle-in. You will be able to communicate with everyone where you stand, and how you intend to lead people every day. This strategy should include information such as the number of team members you’ll hire, their roles and how those roles fit into the wider plan. 

Here are some common mistakes to avoid

Good business plans are as about the things you don’t do as well as what you do. 

Too much detail

“Potential partners and investors will not waste time poring over hundreds of pages of rambling nonsense,” said Nick Edwards, Director at Snowfinders, a ski holiday company in the UK.“ Long blocks of text should be avoided, and instead, visuals and graphics should be used to substitute prose, with any exceptionally heavy content being attached as appendices if necessary.”

Financial planning is poor 

A landlord might take part in the sales of the property to pay rent. And it’s common for rent to increase annually. Retail business plans should consider rising expenses, taxes, and other market factors. 

Grammar and spelling

Keep it simple. Grammar and spelling errors show you haven’t put diligence into the planning process. That can affect how investors, partners, and other potential stakeholders view the plan.  


How to improve your business plan 

As you’ll have noticed by now, you need to keep a few different audiences in mind while writing your business plan. There are usually three.

  • Potent investors Businesses and people who are interested in financing your company with capital. In return, they may be eligible to share profits.
  • Potent business partners Business partners, suppliers, and brands that may be interested in supplying goods or services for your company, or helping you manage the entire show. 
  • Insurance, Banks and Lenders You may require financial institutions for overdrafts or loans, credit cards, credit cards, and other credit services. 

“Be wary about exaggerating your numbers or laying out too difficult or impossible things,” said Stacey Kane, Business Development Lead at Merchants with ease. “You want the investor who finds flaws in your plan to be the exception, not the norm. This perspective will help you to see the possibilities and make better decisions based on research results. Finding ways to show how valuable your idea is will also help make them more likely to invest,” she said.  


Complete your retail plan 

Business plans can be more than just a guide for your business. They’re a resource to attract future business partners, and even a foundation for securing outside funding. Don’t put writing your retail business plan on the backburner for too long—it could be one of the first stepping stones to your very own thriving retail business. 

Are you ready to create your retail plan?Speak to Small BizSense’s product expertsFind out how the best POS technology could help you prove to investors and business partners that your company is serious. 

Cyndy Lane

Cyndy is business journalist with a focus on entrepreneurship and small business. With over a decade of experience covering the startup and small business landscape, Cyndy has a reputation for being a knowledgeable, insightful and approachable journalist. She has a keen understanding of the challenges and opportunities facing small business owners and is able to explain them in a way that is relatable and actionable for her readers.