How to Write a Business Plan for a Retail Store

How to Write a Business Plan for a Retail Store. You have decided to become an entrepreneur and start your own retail business. Before you open your doors, you will want to write up a business plan to help you define your objectives, set goals and see potential problems. You can then correct any problems before they occur. Basically, a business plan is a plan for success.

Business Description

Describe the products, services, location and facilities. List the benefits to the customer. Discuss your business objectives.

Prepare your business analysis. Assemble an industry analysis and do a market analysis. Research the competition and evaluate their products. Consider the advantages and disadvantages you have over other retailers.

Create a product development plan. Discuss customer service, quality assurance and insurance. List the vendors, including electric, phone, water and shipping.

Create a management plan. Decide on your business structure and create the management team. Determine your staffing needs.

Write an executive summary. This is a miniature version of your business plan and where you describe the business and create your mission statement. Include market potential, management team and prepare an exit strategy.

Marketing Plan

Establish your sales objectives and develop a marketing strategy.

List your promotions, advertising and publicity strategies.

Determine the method of distribution for your retail business.

Decide on pricing, discounts and incentives. You might offer discounts to regular customers.

Financial Plan

Focus on a financial strategy. Basically figure out the funds available and the funds required for your retail business.

Assemble the financial documents. This includes a profit/loss statement, cash flow analysis, balance sheet, projected income statement and break even analysis.

List your financial resources. Determine any additional funding needs and how you will meet them.

Predict sales forecasts.

Prepare a list of inventory.


  • Give an overview of the product lines. Include visual aids. Do an organizational chart to illustrate your management plan. Use resources such as websites, small business agencies and financial consultants. Look at sample retail business plans online. There are also business plan software available for purchase. Make sure your retail business is customer-friendly. The executive summary will appear first in your document, but will be the last thing you will finish writing. The first impression is critical for your retail business. Ensure that it is a good one for your customers. Networking is very important. Consider joining the Chamber of Commerce or other organizations. Advertise during peak seasons for your retail business. Be sure the numbers add up. Be detailed. Use charts and graphs as visual aids.


  • Don't forget to look into the regulatory issues and technology required for your retail industry. If you are using bar codes, make sure they are UCC compliant. Don't forget to figure out the tax rates and commissions.


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