If you have decided that you are going to launch an online beauty store business, you are going to have to write an online, e-commerce, beauty store business plan, executive summary and all. Good planning and preparation ahead of time will save you from headaches in the long run.
Plus, as a business owner, if you need to pivot later, you can adjust your business plan accordingly to any changes that need to be made.
The beauty industry is growing by the billions (yes, with a “B”), but it’s still a very hard target market to be a part of if you don’t have a plan to lay the groundwork for all the work that will be done as you get your online business up and running.
As you are projecting what you want to do for your own online beauty store, you need a beauty business plan that you can rely on to follow and even give to potential investors once your brand starts to gain traction.
Here are the 10 key components to include when writing the best online store plan for your beauty brand business. Make sure this is all established with the knowledge to adapt when things change as your business grows and scales from your initial business idea.
But as with anything in life, it’s always just good to start.
1. Develop a Brand Identity
Whether you have decided to go into the cosmetics industry or skincare, everything from your messaging to your mission and vision statements must stand unified. This will help define who you are as a beauty brand and make you recognizable to stand out above other beauty brands in your niche.
Aesthetics are also highly crucial because setting up the color scheme is what helps make your brand recognizable.
It’s important to have a basis of a brand identity in your business plan template because it helps establish what you will do when you create products, target customers, and build the marketing.
When you are in your growth stage, this brand identity can continue to grow as well. As long as the core of what your brand stays similar, having a brand update will show that you are thinking about how to be innovative within your niche.
2. Decide Niche and Target Customers
The worst mistake any business can make is trying to sell to EVERY SINGLE PERSON. Even if your online beauty business “could” sell to anybody, that cannot be the case when it comes to figuring out your niche and potential customers.
Deciding on a niche means doing research to figure out what is high quality and profitable but also what is unique to what you want to sell.
To build loyal customers, you have to create who these ideal customers are. Just like building a brand identity, you can build your ideal customer that fits in your chosen niche and buyer persona.
Deciding on this when writing your online business plan is crucial when coming up with what products you are going to sell and how you are going to sell them.
3. Create Beauty Product Choices
While you may have that “star product” that got you on this online beauty business trajectory in the first place, it’s also good to look at offering a wide range of choices that fits with your brand, your niche, and your target audience.
Look at what beauty trends are happening (or even making a resurgence) in the beauty space within your chosen niche. There are probably many beauty professionals that are talking about the latest cosmetic products and skin care routine updates are becoming mainstream.
Of course, when writing your online beauty business plan, these products may change depending on what your business can do at the time.
Plus, as you are coming up with your product line, you can even offer beauty tips with your beauty and/or skin care products that can make you stand out as a brand from, say, other online beauty businesses that are offering something similar in the niche.
4. Research Competitors
Throughout this writing process, you should already have been doing copious amounts of research. A common mistake is not doing enough research. It’s necessary to humble yourself and admit that you’re never going to know everything, regardless of how much work you do. But do as much as possible, so you feel comfortable navigating your industry.
The benefits of the internet is the vast online research you can do for free just so you can understand what is going on with your competitors in your target market.
So, as you are constructing your online beauty store business plan, look at industry analysis and competitive analysis. Then create a SWOT analysis chart (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats).
This chart will help you write a helpful action plan for your business because you are doing this in-depth research. This will allow you to visualize the weak points of a business and transform them into strengths and opportunities. Identifying the main problems allows you to better achieve the objectives and enhance the strengths of the company or organization that needs to be analyzed.
5. Construct Financial Plan
There are many different ways to construct a financial plan when writing your online beauty business plan.
However, there are some basic logistics to think about when it comes to finances for your online beauty business, such as:
- financial forecast
- cost of sales
- financial analysis
- business loan
- financial projections
- cash flows
- bank loan
- personal savings
- 2-year forecast
If you are ok with having to answer to other people, then fundraising is fine. If you don’t need the money right away to scale, then bootstrap. Always do everything you can to bootstrap and find as many other alternatives as possible to funding before fundraising.
According to Investopedia’s definition, “Bootstrapping describes a situation in which an entrepreneur starts a company with little capital, relying on money other than outside investments. An individual is said to be bootstrapping when they attempt to found and build a company from personal finances or the operating revenues of the new company.”
There are great alternatives such as grants, loans, friends, and family. Even if you need to have a side hustle to fund your dream, do that. But it might get to the point that you’re not able to scale your business without venture capital, and at that point is a good time to fundraise.
It’s best to make these decisions now when writing your business plan, so that you can see what will work for your particular online beauty brand store.
6. Determine Manufacturing and Retail Strategy
As with any business plan for an online store, it’s important to find suppliers when sourcing products. Beauty supplies also need to be manufactured, so it’s good to determine how this will work for your specific online beauty store.
You can definitely do this in-house yourself and with your team. If you know how to do this type of distribution yourself, then by all means, yes, do this.
However, there are beauty supply store businesses that are “white label.” This refers to a fully supported product or service that’s made by one company but sold by another.
Using a white label company for manufacturing and retail may be a good place to start for your online beauty business. For instance, a white label company called More Naturals, manufactures and distributes beauty products wholesale for makeup brands, beauty and personal care brands, cosmetics for hotels, and more. This beauty supply business also has the raw materials necessary to customize your products the way that you want to customize for your brand.
Having beauty supply products already made to help you out can be a great place to begin distributing your products for ease of retail and supply chain. That way, as Forbes states, you don’t have to “spend too much money developing tools and solutions that already exist in other formats…You can focus on building your brand and selling your services while simplifying the conversion path for your customers.”
As you are writing your supply store business plan, consider all these points when it comes to selling your products, especially when you start to scale.
7. Build Marketing Strategy
Whether you are just by yourself to start as a small business, or when you eventually have a marketing team, marketing campaigns to build an online presence is an absolutely necessary component when writing your online beauty business plan.
The marketing strategy should contain these points:
- Market analysis
- Advertising costs
- Market trends
As you are developing your online social media presence and establishing your website, the goal is to rank high on search engines, such as Google, so that people can organically find your online beauty store just by typing in a few key words that match your beauty brand’s niche and target audience.
Advertising strategies can evolve as you are able to increase your budget when you continue to expand. This is a component that once it’s been written down in the business plan, it will be constantly updated depending on what is going on with the market trends and the strategies implemented. This is also a place where you definitely should look at the analytics involved.
Essentially, when it comes to marketing, there is so much to experiment with when implementing strategy. Are the blogs being written on your website sending people to the shop page? Are the advertisements on Google or Facebook converting to people actually buying the product? These are good questions to have in your business plan, so you can keep tabs on how your brand is being marketed towards your target audience.
8. Increase Customer Service
Customer service is key for the customer lifecycle that happens when selling any type of product or service.
Ideally, you would get a person, or people, who really understands the beauty space and are up to terms within the beauty industry. Of course, these support specialists can be trained, but ultimately, the consumers who are asking questions or have issues that need to be resolved would want to hear about it from someone who is confident in the beauty industry terms to help them with any and all their needs.
The beauty services, product choices, and information that your brand offers have to really be set in stone at this point, so your customer service agents can answer questions promptly and accurately for top-notch service that your audience will be satisfied with.
A lot of times, customers, even loyal customers will leave or stay with a business depending on how effective the customer service is. Make sure the communication is clear, honest, and prompt, or else customers will be leaving due to the lack of care in communication.
At the end of the day, you are building your online beauty business store for them. Therefore, the focus on customers must be a main priority for full service in your beauty care business plan.
9. Monitor Analytics
As you are finishing up writing your online beauty business plan, it’s important to have a statement for an analysis report. Every week and every month, every part of your business should have some sort of analytics report. This company analysis will help with the growth rate and secure accurate sales projections.
But, since you are just writing the business plan for now, make it a company standard to review and monitor analytics appropriately so that all decisions, from marketing to beauty product choices can be driven by the data that is gathered from the collected analysis.
Of course, a lot of decisions are instinctual when it comes to business. But even though that is the case, it does help to back up your instincts with research and data with analytics from everything that is happening within your online beauty business.
10. Evolve to Improve and Scale
As with anything, you have to keep getting better in order to make a difference as a business. As you learn and grow with your beauty business, you will be able to take your online business plan and adjust especially when you need to improve and scale. It’s important to be involved not only with the market, but with your brand as well.
If you and your team notice that your beauty brand business plan is going in a different direction than originally intended in your plan, then change the plan. If it is going exactly according to plan, then make the projections to your plan to match this direction in order to scale effectively.
There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to making an online business strategy. But for an online beauty business plan, it’s good to have these 10 key components in mind as you are writing it.
Think of this business plan as also a living document. It lives and breathes with your business, hence why it has to have the room to evolve and improve for scaling upward and onward.
If you’ve decided that this is what you want to do, then take the time to lay out the foundation to build a structure that can withstand projected sunshine and inevitable storms.