Ebiz “J” and my Business Plan

A few days ago a friend of mine asked me if I knew what a business plan was.  I understand the concept of one, but I’ve never written for any of my businesses.  In fact, I never even have a plan.  Up until now, I’ve basically been winging it.  I decide to start a business and give myself a few short deadlines and then I go from there.

So I decided to write an outline for my latest business that I started this week.  This is not a plan, but just an outline to see how close I come to it a year from now.  So here goes.  This is Ebiz Store “J”

Started April 10 2011

April 2011

  1. Determine Store Name
  2. Purchase Domain
  3. Contact Suppliers
  4. Purchase Store Software
  5. Get Toll Free Number

I have already completed the above tasks.  I found a good one word 5-letter domain.  I contacted 4 of the top suppliers in the industry and they all dropship.  I have 3 of the 4 accounts set up already.  I was hoping for better margins on some of the products, but I think I can get it to work.  I bought the store software and created a  simple logo that looks decent.  I also got an 888 number from Kall8.com.  At this point I have $320 into the store.  But the $300 store software is no risk because there is a 60 day refund.  So if the suppliers and margins don’t look good, I can get my money back on the software.

May 2011

  1. Input Product (2 Categories Only)
  2. Configure Checkout, Shipping, Etc…
  3. Research Products
  4. Add Content (Blog, Info Pages)
  5. Begin SEO

This industry is a pretty decent niche and attempting to go after the whole thing at once would spread myself too thin.  So I am going to start with 2 main lines of products because it is easier to SEO a narrower keyword list.  As with any new supplier I don’t know what shipping charges will look like until I get a few orders.  I’ll just start with the standard $9.99 to $30 depending on weight and adjust.

I know absolutely nothing about these products.  I don’t intend to ever use them but I need to start to learn about them so I can write intelligently about them for SEO purposes.  Alot of a store’s success is based on content other than the product pages.  You have to know your product well to sell them.  Also, it helps when you know what you’re talking about when you answer the phone!

I will begin to do SEO on the keywords in late June and will outsource a bunch of it to be done in the month of June since I’ll be gone during that time.

June 2011

  1. Continue SEO

I will continue to outsource the SEO.  The store should be complete and ready for business this month, but since I’ll be in Prague the entire month I don’t want to be processing my first orders from across the globe in case something goes wrong.

July 2011

  1. Open Store
  2. Continue SEO
  3. Research PPC

The store will open on July 5th.  Hopefully by this time there will be decent traffic and it will be ranking for a bunch of long tail keywords.  I don’t expect the main keywords to rank yet.  I may also begin a PPC campaign depending on the costs for the keywords.

August 2011

  1. Sell, Sell, Sell

I don’t have a clear handle on the number of sales for 2011, but if i were to take a swag (scientific wild ass guess – a popular term from my corporate days) at it.  I would say that this store will gross $60,000 in 2011 (5 months) and make only $12,000.

Goals for Ebiz “J”

This store is an ambitious store. It was born while I was in Vegas researching products.  I think it’s a homerun store.  This is not a small niche market like my other ones.  However, I am going to treat it like a small niche in the beginning and expand.  Basically I’m going to take each category as a small niche until it gets decent sales and then expand into another category.  It would be like opening up to compete against Petsmart and only starting with dog toys.  After ranking close to #1 for dog toys, I would expand to dog collars, then dog treats, and dog food, etc…  with the hopes of becoming the #1 dog store online.

Looking at my competitors, the top store is grossing about $2 million a year.  I plan to take a chunk out of that in the first 12 months, maybe about $250,000.  Then the next goal is to take half of his sales by end of 2012.  If I can gross $1 million in 2013, the profits could be around $250,000 for this single store.

2011 – $60,000 (semi-realistic)
2012 – $300,000 (very realistic, might be low even)
2013 – $1,000,000 (maybe be a stretch, but what the hell, it’s a cool number to shoot for)

About Kenric

My blog about living life to the fullest by generating passive income through real estate, business and online investments.
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