Nature's Candy

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E-commerce Retailer Business Plan

Strategy and Implementation Summary

Nature's Candy's strategy is based on capturing a small percentage of the growing homeopathic and naturopathic supplement market share through Web sales.

Also, Nature's Candy intends to create a premier brand, so that they can eventually capture market share across broad geographic lines.

5.1 Competitive Edge

Nature's Candy's competitive edge will be their easy-to-use website and superior customer service.  The website design will be a competitive advantage because research indicates that an easy-to-use website significantly increases sales.  The design of Nature's site will encourage purchases because it is so easy and quick to make the purchase.  Too often sales are lost because of complex websites that are far from intuitive.

Nature's Candy's other competitive edge is superior customer service.   The mantra of the customer service department is to serve the customer in any way required.  Customers that call in with problem/issues will be amazed at the amount of personal attention they receive and how quickly issues are not only resolved, but significantly improved.  This will be a powerful asset.

5.2 Marketing Strategy

Nature's Candy  is focused on the merging/redefined Internet marketplace.  The users will be Baby Boomers, which represent approximately 50% of the discretionary income currently in the United States.  They are looking for proactive, non-invasive, and non-pharmaceutical ways to stay healthy as they age.  Nature's Candy can bring these people cutting-edge products coupled with convenience and service.

The long range goal of Nature's Candy is not only to dominate the naturopathic and homeopathic supplement market, but to create an icon brand.  Initially the company will:

  • Engage in Web-based marketing for the next year to generate awareness of the company and product information.  Because Internet based advertising has declined in recent quarters, the prices for advertising have consequently significantly dropped making the expenditure more cost effective.
  • Engage in outdoor advertising providing general awareness to the public at large and direct individuals to the company's website.

5.3 Sales Strategy

Nature's Candy will process 90% of it's sales online through a secure socket layer (SSL), an secure Internet connection.  All orders will be charged to Visa, Mastercard, or American Express.

By ensuring that the website is easy to navigate as well as simple to order from, Nature's Candy will be ensuring that people who make it to the website will end up purchasing something.  This last point is key.  Research indicates that too many sites that are not easy or intuitive lose customers who migrate through the site, often putting products in their basket, yet leave without purchasing anything.

5.3.1 Sales Forecast

The first month and a half will be used to develop and ready the site. There will be no sales. From month two on, Nature's Candy expects a gradual rise in sales.

Sales Forecast
Year 1 Year 2 Year 3
Baby Boomers $169,466 $371,454 $411,014
Other $19,931 $40,860 $45,212
Total Sales $189,397 $412,314 $456,226
Direct Cost of Sales Year 1 Year 2 Year 3
Baby Boomers $50,840 $111,436 $123,304
Other $5,979 $12,258 $13,563
Subtotal Direct Cost of Sales $56,819 $123,694 $136,868

5.4 Milestones

Nature's Candy will have several milestones early on:

  • Business plan completion.  This will be done as a roadmap for the organization.  This will be an indispensable tool for the ongoing performance and improvement of the company.
  • Office set up.
  • Website completed.
  • Complete hiring of the initial company personnel.
Milestone Start Date End Date Budget Manager Department
Business plan completion 1/1/2001 2/1/2001 $0 ABC Marketing
Office set up 1/1/2001 2/1/2001 $0 ABC Department
Web site completed 1/1/2001 2/1/2001 $0 ABC Department
Complete hiring of the intial company personnel 1/1/2001 2/1/2001 $0 ABC Department
Totals $0