A business plan is the starting point for every business. Every entrepreneur when starting off has a vague business idea and the business plan helps define the idea, giving it a definition and structure. A business plan is defined as a written description of the business’s objectives, goals and future, a document that tells what exactly the entrepreneur plans to do, the steps the entrepreneur plans to take to achieve the business goals and the time frame within which the entrepreneur plans to reach the objectives and goals. The business plan, apart from giving direction to the business idea, is an important document that is presented to investors or bank officials while applying for a loan. The said authorities get an idea about the business, it’s objectives, the vision and how the business will operate to achieve the same. In fact, the business plan is a must even while obtaining funding for the business.
Therefore, every business needs to have a written business plan, whether it’s to provide direction or attract investors, a business plan is vital for the success of the business organization, including a grocery store.
A grocery store is a retail shop that primarily sells food, either fresh or preserved along with significant amounts of non-food products, such as household items like soaps, detergents, hygiene products and day to day essentials. A grocery store is a place for people to buy their daily necessities such as milk, bread and other food items. Starting a grocery store is a great business idea as it is a place that is visited by several people almost on a daily basis and it is indispensable since food is required for survival and people cannot do without the grocery store.
A grocery store is a profitable business opportunity, which is why there are a number of grocery stores in every neighborhood. For an entrepreneur to start a successful grocery store, he needs to plan the business in detail, think of new additions and services he can introduce and the most vital, prepare a detailed grocery store business plan and include all this information in the plan.
Essentials Of A Grocery Store Business Plan
The grocery business plan, as discussed above, is an important document. This document helps set up a structured business and saves time and resources in the long run. Also, the business plan helps validate the business idea and whether it is truly different from the test of the grocery stores and that the business lives up to its projections. And most importantly, the business plan is the first step to secure funding as it addresses all the concerns of the funding institutions. Since a business plan is so vital, the document must not have any lacunae and to ensure that all the information is included in the business plan, entrepreneurs can refer a business planning checklist in order to prepare a comprehensive business plan. Some of the essential factors to be included in the business plan include-
This includes a snapshot of the entire business described in a summarised form. This means the location of the grocery store, how it will operate, the timing of the shop, the number of people employed within the shop, the business form the grocery store will register for, the capital investment needed for the grocery store, the equipment, etc will be described in a short and concise manner in the executive summary of the business plan.
Under company description, a detailed description of the exact business plan for the grocery store and it’s operations will be mentioned. The company description will include the exact location of the grocery store along with reasons why the location was selected- easily visible and accessible with ample parking and storage space. It also includes details regarding the name of the grocery shop and if the grocery store space is purchased or rented, the details about the transaction and reasons behind it. Further the description even includes details like the kind of registration the shop will undergo, whether a sole proprietorship, or a limited liability partnership or a one person company or a normal partnership. The business entity will be chosen depending on the liability capacity of the entrepreneur and the level of responsibility the entrepreneur wishes to take or if the entrepreneur wants to keep the business as a separate, independent entity.
The description will also include the objectives of the grocery store, which can be, serving the customers in a clean, safe environment with friendly service by providing genuine products at a great value. The mission of the business can also be included in the plan along with the advantages of shopping from the entrepreneur’s grocery store. These advantages could include access to quality products which are reasonably priced and a wide variety of products to choose from. The list of products the grocery store will have can also be included in the business plan. The company description will thus have a thorough description of the grocery shop and details of setting it up.
Market Analysis And Competitive Analysis
Market analysis in the business plan includes details of the target market that is of interest to the grocery store, such as the size, historical and forecasted growth rates, demographics, needs, purchasing trends, etc. of the target audience. The analysis further determines what share of that market the grocery store wants to capture. It could mean analysing if the majority of the population in the area consists of geriatrics or families with small children or young college students, as the stores will display more products catering to those demographics, such as variety of diapers if many toddlers in the area or more sugar free and healthy food choices geriatric population and more snacks, finger foods, aerated drinks, chocolates etc. if the population in the area is chiefly of teenaged kids. Similarly the market analysis determines a lot of the grocery store products and operational aspects.
Competitive analysis involves studying the competition in the area and including their information in the business plan, such as how the competition markets their business, the pricing and advertising strategies of the competition, strengths and weaknesses of the competition. Further the description involves the steps to be taken by the grocery store to compete against the other grocery store owners, and stand out against the crowd.
Management & Operations
The management and operation description of the business plan explains how the grocery shop will operate. It further elaborates on the organizational structure and ownership information. The number of employees hired by the grocery store, the profiles of the management team, and the roles of the staff are also elaborated on in the business plan. Irrespective of the size of the business or the grocery store, the business plan should include a detailed description of who does what in the store and the background information for key players must also be mentioned in the grocery store business plan. The operational information can include details of how the products for the grocery store will be procured, either via wholesale dealers or through manufacturers, the minimum stock to be maintained in the store, the equipment needed to carry out day to day operations, and similar operational details of the grocery store.
Marketing and Sales
The sales and marketing strategies of the grocery store are discussed in the business plan’s marketing and sales description. This includes the discussion of the communication strategy for the business as well as how and where the strategies will be implemented, for example advertising about the grocery store using flyers and pamphlets which can be distributed through newspapers and magazines. The business’s sales plan will focus on who will handle the sales of the business (either the entrepreneur himself or some external agency that will be appointed for the task), what training will be needed to implement the sales plan, the sales strategies that will attract customers, etc. The sales and marketing plans can also include advertising through various mediums such as via print ads or through participation in various related events or via sponsorships or competitions which can indirectly increase the sales at the grocery store. Additionally, sales plans can even include special schemes for loyal customers, promotional deals or introductory offers and demos for new products.
The business plan includes the breakdown of the financial requirements and procurement of the business. The grocery store will require capital for purchasing the shop space, purchasing the equipment, and products, equipping the store with shelves and furniture, day to day expenses band several other costs involved in setting up and running the grocery store. The plan must include details of the various costs involved in starting the business and also the ways in which the entrepreneur plans to procure the funds. As discussed, the entrepreneur can apply for loans from banks or non banking financial institutions, both of which will require a business plan in order to approve the loan.
These are some of the essentials to be included in the grocery business plan. For further elaboration on the points, deAsra can guide entrepreneurs on each of the points and help them create a perfect business plan.