It might seem easy to start a dropshipping business. You don’t have to buy stock, rent a warehouse, or spend thousands of dollars on inventory. Sounds good, doesn’t it? Even more so when you think about how popular this method is and how many people have made a lot of money by following it. But starting a dropshipping business requires a lot more than just a laptop and an online store.
So, what do you need to do to become a professional drop-shipper who does well? The answer is simple: you need a well-thought-out business plan and a business model that you plan to follow. All of this should be written down in your business plan.
We’ll answer the most important questions about how to write a business plan for your dropshipping business below:
What is a business plan for dropshipping?
Why do you need one?
How to write a business plan for dropshipping in 9 steps?
Let’s take it apart.
What is a Dropshipping Business Plan?
We’ve already said that without a business plan, you can’t even think about starting a successful dropshipping business.
There are so many things to think about and take care of before you start selling that you can’t do it all without a written plan and strategy.
So, if you want to do dropshipping, you need a plan. But what exactly is it?
It’s quite simple:
A dropshipping business plan is a written summary of how you plan to run your business, from starting it and making your first sales to running it successfully.
It’s a plan that helps you make the right choices and cover all the important parts of running a dropshipping business. If you don’t have it, the first bump in the road can easily send you down.
Why Do You Need a Dropshipping Business Plan?
Imagine going on vacation and sleeping in a new apartment that you have never been to before. As you wake up to go to the bathroom, you forget to turn on the light and start walking in the dark. You get to the bathroom in the end, but you have some bruises from knocking over chairs and hitting your head on walls.
This is what dropshipping looks like when you don’t have a business plan.
You can do it, but it will take more failed attempts, bad investments, and bad business decisions.
So, a business plan for dropshipping is written to help you:
Prepare for your new business venture, get money from banks, make a plan for growth, and keep track of your money.
Simply put, its purpose is to make it easier to start and grow a dropshipping business.
Steps to Write a Dropshipping Business Plan
Now that you know why you need a dropshipping business plan, we can talk about how to write it. We’ve made a list in order of the 9 most important steps you should take. You’ll end up with a detailed, professional business plan that will help you start, run, and grow your dropshipping business.
Here are the 9 steps to writing a business plan for dropshipping.
The Bottom Line
The first part of your business plan should be clear and convincing. In your executive summary, you should tell people all the most important things about your business.
Because of this, they will know right away who you are and what you want to do with your dropshipping business.
Here is what you should include:
your unique business idea, your target market and customers, your plans and goals for the future, and what makes you unique and specific.
This is the first part of the business plan, but you can write it last, after all the other parts are done. Everything that comes after this section will be summed up here.
The next step is to write a short section about your business that gives important information about it to the reader. This is a technical matter that you just have to talk about.
So, write the following about your business:
company name, location, and legal structure; company owners or partners; legal permits, licenses, and tax ID numbers; company mission and vision statement;
This will help the reader learn more about you and get an idea of what your dropshipping business is like.
If you want to get money for your dropshipping business, you’ll need to choose the products you’ll sell wisely. You should do research and pick products that:
a hot topic right now; something your audience wants;
If you want to sell products in more than one category, give a short summary of what makes each category interesting and profitable. Provide details such as:
Market research that shows products are in demand; how you’ll price the products; how much your suppliers will charge you; the profit you expect to make; special deals you’ve made with vendors; the financial benefits of selling these products.
Also, describe how your products will solve the problems or meet the needs of your target audience.
In other words, say why you think the products will sell.
Your business plan needs to explain why you expect to make money and show the reader that your business idea has real potential.
Another important thing to do is choose your supplier carefully. There are tens of thousands of suppliers and resellers in China, so it can be hard to find one who can give you consistent service, high-quality products, and fast delivery. Even if you find one, you might not be able to communicate with them or they might not take you seriously because they have bigger customers.
Your best bet is to start working with someone who has proven experience with dropshipping fulfillment and can help you automate a big part of your business.
Like someone who can:
Offer B2B quotes in real time for your products;
Offer a way for several eCommerce platforms to connect all at once;
Make your products and their packaging unique;
Automate your fulfillment Process;
Fast Send your things to many places around the world;
You can handle all the logistics of your dropshipping business from the dashboard, so all you have to do is market your products.
Next, you need to show that you’ve done enough research on the market and are ready to compete for your piece of the pie.
What you should do is this:
Make a list of your biggest competitors and write down what they sell. Look at their website, social media, and all of their advertising channels.
Prove to your readers that you’ve answered the most important questions about the competition:
What are their best and worst qualities?
How can I be different than them?
What can I give that is different and unique?
This will make your business plan even stronger and show the people who read it that you know how to stand out and sell your products.
How much do you plan to sell your products for? How big will the margin be for you?
This information needs to be in your business plan, so you’ll need to decide how much your products will cost. Here’s how you should decide:
request an automatic price quote, find out how much these products sell for, and decide how much you can charge.
You should keep in mind that you are new to the market, so a lower margin might help you sell more. As you get stronger, you can change this margin. But keep in mind that you won’t get rich overnight. This is one of the myths about dropshipping that you need to be aware of.
Your business plan should have the following as part of its pricing strategy:
information about your suppliers, the formulas and calculations you used to set prices, the costs of production and delivery, and your profit margin;
Be clear about the methods you used to set the right prices and will continue to use.
If you’re a new dropshipper in a popular niche, you won’t be able to compete with your rivals unless you have a strong marketing plan that makes you stand out. Your business plan should have a short summary of your future marketing plan, including:
the platforms you’ll use, the type of content you’ll offer, your plans for writing content (whether you’ll outsource, hire, or write it yourself), your social media presence, your blog, your email marketing, and the images you’ll use.
This will also affect your marketing budget, which is an important part of your financial plan as a whole.
So, write a marketing plan that explains in detail the methods, platforms, and strategies you’ll use to reach certain business goals:
increase sales, make more people aware of your brand, and win customer loyalty;
If you want to hire someone else to do your marketing, write about how much it will cost and how it will pay off in the long run. Explain how this will help your finances and why you need to do it.
Owners & Employees
Depending on how your business is set up legally, you may need to list information about the people who run it. It could be just you as the business owner or you and a few other people.
The things that will matter to your readers are:
personal and contact information, education, business experience, and responsibilities in the future business;
Explain how you and your partners have the skills and qualifications to do each part of running your business. Give the readers strong proof of what makes you a good business leader and entrepreneur.
Also, explain if you need to hire people to do small tasks that are needed to keep the business running. Don’t skip this step because potential employees will have a big effect on your investment budget.
Most drop shippers who are just starting out think about hiring:
A content marketer, a personal assistant, a customer service representative, or a website developer;
If you do want to hire any of these professionals, put it in your business plan. Find out how much their services cost and make a rough estimate of how much you’ll have to pay for them.
Lastly, your business plan should include a detailed financial plan that shows how your business will grow, develop, and make money. This part of your business plan might be the most important, since most people who read it will be interested in the money.
You’ll need to cover and go over the most important parts of your financial projection:
your first investment, which could come from your own money, a loan, or money from a bank;
the size of the market in the next 5 to 10 years;
how much of the market you think you’ll get;
expected sales and profits by type of product;
customer predictions that come true;
your operating costs for the business;
how much money they expect to get back;
To put it simply, you need to do the math and show the readers what you’ve found. They need to look at the numbers to know if your business idea is likely or not.
Use tables, charts, and reports to show the data you’re using. This will make this part of the business plan more convincing and easy to understand.
When you’re done writing the main parts of your business plan, you might want to add one last section with all the proof that your ideas, claims, and plans are true.
This could mean:
A report of your research and analysis of the market, products, competitors, etc., your business licenses and permits, your credit history, and information about your suppliers.
Finish the business plan on a strong note and include any supporting documents.
Yes, it’s hard to write a business plan for a dropshipping business, whether you’re just starting out or not. But it’s the one thing you’ll need to make all the right decisions, get the money you need, and get your new business off on the right foot.
The nine steps we told you about above will help you through this process. Use them to start writing your business plan right away and enter the business world like a pro.