December is "Write a Business Plan Month"
If you didn't already know, December has been designated as "Write a Business Plan Month" - a time dedicated to encouraging small business owners and entrepreneurs to focus on creating and refining their business plans. This annual tradition has its roots back in the mid-1990s when business planning advocates promoted setting aside the final month of the year to get those crucial plans on paper.
While some feel business plans are less important in today's fast-paced digital world, taking the time in December to outline your goals, strategies and finances is still highly valuable - particularly for e-commerce brands. A strong, well-thought-out plan can help guide you through what's sure to be an eventful new year in retail.
Effective content marketing, which includes beautiful product photos, is essential for building an authority brand and driving sales online. But without a solid business plan, your content efforts risk becoming disjointed and unfocused instead of strategically designed to accomplish specific goals.
So what exactly should you include in your small business plan during Write a Business Plan Month? Here are a few essential sections:
Briefly introduce your business concept, products/services, target customers and goals or milestones for the upcoming year.
Company & Product Description:
Provide details on your company history, legal structure, products/services including any unique selling propositions or competitive advantages.
Market Research & Analysis:
Research your target customers, industry trends, competition and opportunities or challenges in your marketplace.
Marketing & Sales Strategy:
Outline specific strategies and tactics for acquiring customers through content, paid ads, partnerships and social media. Don't forget to emphasize content like high-quality photos.
Describe your production, fulfillment and customer service processes along with any inventory, equipment or supplier needs.
Management & Organization:
Detail your team members' expertise and any outside advisors or contractors you'll utilize.
Create estimated income statements, cash flow statements and balance sheets for the upcoming year based on sales forecasts and operating expenses.
Present goals and key initiatives by month or quarter to track your strategic progress.
Revisit and refine your plan each December to evaluate wins and address changes in your business or industry. With an updated roadmap in place to guide your content marketing efforts, take advantage of Write a Business Plan Month and position your e-commerce store for success in the new year ahead.