This is a cursory business plan. It should be good enough to use as a basis for developing a real one, if you see fit to do so. To prepare it, see “Building a Business Plan” (Bamford & Bruton, 2016, pp. 300-303). Skip the executive summary. Write each section in paragraph form, with no tables, graphs, or bulleted lists. Prepare separate appendices for tables, graphs, and illustrations. Then simply refer to the appendices in the appropriate sections. Follow these guidelines:
Start with “History and Position of the Business to Date,” which you may call simply “Mission and Description.” Use only the relevant part of Business Plan Part I. Save the strategic part for later. Improve your original commentary. Refer to the bulleted list for further ideas, but refrain from creating bulleted lists in your own work. Write everything strictly in paragraph form.
Continue with “Market Research,” which you may call simply “Marketing.” Use Business Plan Part III for this. Separate any portion that refers strictly to strategy, as that should go in the next section below. Improve your original commentary. As before, refer to the bulleted list for ideas.
Now proceed with “Business Strategy,” or simply “Strategy.” Use the relevant portion of your commentary from Business Plan Parts I and III that apply here. By now, you will have thought through this issue more deeply, as reflected in your approach to the marketing section. Use those insights to improve upon your original Discussion Board commentary for this section.
Improve upon your prior work from the Discussion Board. Include only the discussion portions. Relegate the budget and projected cash flow tables to appendices (no other tables are necessary). Merely reference the appendices here (e.g., “see Appendix A”). As you enhance your discussion, focus on exploring ways to control costs, such as leasing equipment, negotiating with suppliers for credit, and holding off on hiring people (e.g., using independent contractors for a while).
This is your last section. Use only the first nine bulleted items in the textbook to guide discussion about how you will organize your value chain. As always, avoid writing in bullet form. To use images or tables (e.g., critical path—but these are optional), create appendices to reference.
See the syllabus. The minimum length is 1,375 words, which you will easily surpass. There is no upper limit. As the syllabus states, use correct, formal English (e.g., no contractions, colloquial expressions, or quirky comma-phobic stream-of-consciousness meanderings). Above all, avoid duplicating long strings of words from outside sources. Good luck!
Here are the first part, the second part, and the third part I wrote.
Business Plan – Part I
1. Define the business broadly.
My goal is to own an online clothing store.
2. Define the core product or service narrowly
We will disassemble all the products and divide them according to the user’s target group, that is, user-oriented, so that users can find the product that suits them for the first time. We provide high-quality, medium-priced products. We will also give our customers the best service. We will provide customers with stylish, personalized, high-quality clothing. We provide private tailoring and clothing matching. We have an online service to provide advice for customers’ clothing purchases, in order to help customers choose suitable clothing more conveniently. We provide size measurement services. Customers can give the brand and size of the most comfortable product they bought, and our webpage can calculate the size that is the most suitable for the customer based on this. We also provide first-class after-sales service. If there are customers who are dissatisfied with the size of the clothes and the quality, they can return it at any time within a month.
Our mission is to show the user friendly, comprehensive and clear products to the user, leaving a good first impression to the user before the transaction. We will let our customers simply and easily have the clothes that suit them best.
We provide customers with first-class products and services. We put customers first and try our best to meet all the needs of customers. We want to make online shopping simpler, more efficient, more credible, and better meet the needs of different people.
Business Plan – Part II
I plan to open my online clothing store on Taobao. After comparing several online trading platforms, I found that Taobao is the cheapest platform to open a store with a lot of traffic, so I chose Taobao. I checked a small Taobao clothing store online. I used their experience to approximate the cost I will need. I will raise my start-up funds through bank loans. First of all, I have to pay a deposit of about $150 to open a store on Taobao. Out of a lack of understanding of consumer preferences, I will use the purchasing principle of more styles and fewer pieces to purchase. I can use this method to quickly understand what style of clothes the consumer star needs. I will wholesale 100 pieces of each item of my first purchase, and there are not less than 20 types. The estimated cost of the purchase is $4,000. Due to the difference between online stores and traditional sales, there are a few days between the sale of goods and the receipt of payment. This requires me to have sufficient funds to pay for various expenses, such as liquidation of the goods, payment of courier fees, etc. The liquidity is expected to be $1,000. I will also need to purchase data analysis tools to help me analyze the data. The estimated cost of the tool is $1,300 per year. At the beginning, I will work as a customer service person to save the employment fee. I expect that it will cost me $6450 to open an online store.
Business Plan – Part III
The marketing blueprint for the business will fundamentally be characterized by the target market. Since Taobao is a Chinese platform, there is a need to research and get the basics of the Chinese market’s preferences. Based on the porter’s model, since the online store will not be a cost leader, the differentiating aspect in marketing will be based on the differentiation focus generic strategy. The marketing campaign will be centrally focused on the delivery of quality services and unique customized clothing products, whilst trying to maintain low investment costs. The choice of the differentiation and focus generic strategies is justified by the fact that cost differentiation is not practical for this case. The clothes are going to be sold at a medium price range, which does not create any form of cost differentiation from competitors. However, the store will be different in the fact that it will offer high-quality fabric clothes, and it will focus on exploiting an untapped niche market of making customized clothes for clients. This can also be characterized as a defender strategy in the Miles and Snow’s Model whereby the store aims to become viable, is unique, convenient, authentic, and process-oriented.
The products, clothes, ought to be unique, stylish, and made from high-quality fabric, and this complements the differentiation aspect of the marketing strategy. The Chinese market is diverse in culture, hence customization should be a significant differentiating selling point for the products. Taobao is a popular platform in the region, and since it has other online stores, our store will offer the same services, just in a unique manner. Based on the uniqueness of the service and the customization work required, the price of the products will not be too high, nor too low. It will be moderated to ensure that even in these harsh economic times, clients will be able to access our products. In the actual marketing promotions, we intend to use Taobao. Since the majority of the population has accounts on the platform, we will be sure to get the most optimal outreach to clients. Moreover, rather than using third-party advertisements, this will save on the initial capital required for the startup.
The product – In this case, the main product of focus should be the clothes to be sold. The apparel for the Chinese market should include robes, tunic, long shirts, and jackets. Rather than approaching the market in the traditional conventional way of selling designer or branded clothes such as Gucci, our online store will have a unique consumer-based strategy. The clothes to be sold should be of high quality, and customers will have the option of requesting clothes that fit their design preference, size, or color.
The place – The place, in this case, should be Taobao, which is the primary platform within which the online store will operate. Based on the amount and type of traffic that the site gains on a daily basis, it can be rated an “A” location to conduct business on.
The price – for these products, the pricing will be moderate. This is attributed to the fact that high pricing could dissuade customers, and the business is not undertaking cost differentiation as its core strategy. The cost will not be very low owing to the huge production costs that will be involved in making, customizing, and enhancing the products to the unique desired quality. The pricing should, however, not go beyond the pricing of competitors, so as to sustain a competitive advantage.
Promotion – Promotion of the products will essentially rely on search engine optimization and bootstrap marketing from the Taobao website. Also, more advertisements will be conducted on social media sites such as Facebook and Instagram. This is deemed to reduce advertising costs, and give the business a strong head start or consumer base.