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Nature's Candy

Executive Summary

Opportunity

Problem

The modern world brings knowledge about the human body and the convenience of having things sent to one’s home. Why should that only be an option for people with more income? We will make sure that everyone has the option of health and convenience. 

Solution

Nature’s Candy’s mission is to provide the finest in natural supplements using the Internet to lower the consumer’s cost.  We exist to attract and maintain customers.  When we adhere to this maxim, everything else will fall into place.  Our services will exceed the expectations of our customers.  

Market

The nutritional supplement market is a semi-mature market characterized by high-growth rates, medium barriers to entry, and a few large competitors.  Despite the competition in the market, many companies have reported annual growth levels of 30%.  The market leaders are as follows:

  • GNC (General Nutritional Companies, Inc.): This company is a nationwide specialty retailer of vitamins, minerals, and sports nutrition supplements.  With over 3,000 stores, GNC generated $1.19 billion in 2000.
  • Nature’s Sunshine Products, Inc.: Nature’s manufactures and markets a variety of health supplements.  This multi-level marketing company had 2000 revenues of approximately $370 million.
  • Rexall Sundown, Inc.: Rexall develops, manufactures, markets and sells vitamins, nutritional supplements, and consumer health products through retailers, independent distributors, and mail order.  Rexall had 2000 revenues of approximately $370 million.
  • International Vitamin Company, Inc.: IVC manufactures, packages, sells, and distributes private label vitamins and nutritional supplements to drug stores, supermarkets and health food stores.  IVC had revenues of $107 million in 2000.

The primary channels of distribution in this market are:

  • Mass market retailers (Fred Meyer, Rite Aide).
  • Direct Sales organizations.
  • Health Food Stores (GNC).
  • Mail order catalogs and the Internet.

Competition

Within the mass market retailer channel, the three main primary vitamin and supplement product categories are national brands, broad-line brands, and private label brands.  The national and broad line brands consist of 60% of the domestic market, which the private label brands account for the remaining 40% of the market.

Why Us?

Nature’s Candy’s mission is to provide the finest in natural supplements using the Internet to lower the consumer’s cost.  We exist to attract and maintain customers.  When we adhere to this maxim, everything else will fall into place.  Our services will exceed the expectations of our customers.  

Expectations

Forecast

In the next three years Nature’s Candy intends to create an icon e-commerce brand through laser-focused marketing and will grow and eventually make a profit by the second year 

Financial Highlights by Year

Chart visualizing the data for Financial Highlights by Year

Financing Needed

We will be starting with $80,000 from founders: 

Quack $45,000

Stewart $35,000

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Opportunity

Problem & Solution

Problem Worth Solving

The modern world brings knowledge about the human body and the convenience of having things sent to one’s home. Why should that only be an option for people with more income? We will make sure that everyone has the option of health and convenience. 

Our Solution

Nature’s Candy’s mission is to provide the finest in natural supplements using the Internet to lower the consumer’s cost.  We exist to attract and maintain customers.  When we adhere to this maxim, everything else will fall into place.  Our services will exceed the expectations of our customers.  

Target Market

Market Size & Segments

The market for vitamins and nutritional supplements has grown to over $6.5 billion annually. Herbal sales alone are growing by 20% per year.  This market is lead by the aging Baby Boomer who is concerned with his/her mortality.  Also, there has been a paradigm shift of perception of nutritional supplements.  Homeopathic and naturopathic products are seen as normal.  In addition, positive medical results from major studies have further legitimized these products.

4.1 Market Segmentation

A significant trend in America, and abroad, is that people are taking a more proactive interest in their health.  This is exemplified by the increase of health clubs and health club memberships.  People are looking to avoid invasive surgery and powerful pharmaceuticals. People are taking an active role in the maintenance of their health and practicing preventive medicine.  Naturopathic medicine promotes the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of human disorders through the use of non-invasive, non-pharmaceutical products and practices.  In 1993, the United Stated government recognized this trend when it established the Office of Alternative Medicine.

Besides the general development of naturopathic medicine, the aging of the American population is a significant trend driving the use of naturopathic and homeopathic health supplements.  The Baby Boomers are now reaching middle age and mortality is becoming a focus.  This demographic segment, which is comprised of 80 million people, represents over 50% of our county’s discretionary income.  It is reasonable to believe that this wealthy market segment will continue to grow the sales of naturopathic products.

Another global trend is the emergence and popularity of e-commerce.  Brand-focused Web retailers that can provide quality products, customer service, information, and the intangible, emotional buy-in by the customer are becoming hugely successful.  E-commerce retailers have an advantage in that "Unlike traditional retailers, Web-based sellers are not slowed by the friction of store growth and local marketing"  (J.W. Gurley, Fortune, 1/11/98).  In addition, e-commerce companies do not have the excessive overhead of a traditional brick and mortar retailer.  As seen by the recent success of Amazon.com and Gap.com, consumers are comfortable buying online and will pay for convenience.  Experts predict Web sales to grow to $12 billion by 2003.

This enthusiasm about the Internet is not irrational but grounded in reality in light of the recent market crash of Internet retailers.  The recent Internet crash was based on too-easy access to capital invested into retailers and other dot-coms without reasonable business plans or revenue models.  Regardless of the recent fallout, the Internet is a very efficient marketing and distribution model that if done right, significantly decreases costs of serving the consumer. Nature’s Candy will harness these efficiencies and will grow intelligently unlike other .dot-coms that became dot-bombs.

Competition

Current Alternatives

Within the mass market retailer channel, the three main primary vitamin and supplement product categories are national brands, broad-line brands, and private label brands.  The national and broad line brands consist of 60% of the domestic market, which the private label brands account for the remaining 40% of the market.

National Brands
Examples:  Centrum, One-A-Day.
Generally do not provide a full line of vitamins or other supplements.
The product formulas are conservative and generic in nature.

Broad-line Brands
Examples:  Rexall Sundown, GNC’s Nature’s Fingerprint, Country Life.
Full lines of produce under one brand.
Manufactured by company.
This is the market segment where most of the product development and innovation occurs.
Stronger potencies and cutting edge ingredients.
Highest price.

Private Label Products
Examples:  NatureMed.
Under retailer’s name.
Smaller line of products than broad-line brands.
Manufactured by a third party.
More conservative potencies than broad line.
Tend to be the cheapest.

Our Advantages

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.

Keys to Success

Keys to Success

Nature’s Candy’s keys to success are:

  • Marketing.
  • Web design.
  • Product quality.
  • Service.
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Execution

Marketing & Sales

Marketing Plan

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.

Sales Plan

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.

Operations

Technology

Products

Nature’s Candy will market and sell private label (manufactured by a company that places the retailer’s name on the packaging) naturopathic homeopathic dietary supplements to individual consumers via the Internet.  These products will include ginseng, ginkoba, and various antioxidants.  After year one additional products will be offered.

Milestones & Metrics

Milestones Table

Milestone Due Date
Business Plan
Aug 21, 2017
Office Set up
Sept 26, 2017
Website Complete
Oct 23, 2017
Complete Hiring Personnel
Dec 19, 2017
Q1 Review
Mar 14, 2018
Q2 Review
June 14, 2018
Q3 Review
Sept 12, 2018
Q4 Review
Dec 12, 2018

Key Metrics

Our key Metrics are

  • # of views on the website 
  • # of visitors 
  • # of tweets and retweets 
  • # of returning customers 
  • inventory turnover 
  • customer favorite products 

 

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Company

Overview

Ownership & Structure

Nature’s Candy is a privately held Oregon corporation.  Quack Vendor will be the majority owner.  The company intends to recruit a sophisticated team of owner board members. The board members will be granted shares of stock to provide an incentive for their performance on the board.

Team

Management Team

Quack Vendor, president and founder.  Quack worked for Arthur Andersen until qualifying for his CPA credential.  He left Arthur Andersen to become operations manager at Nautilus Footwear, a niche footwear start-up.  His duties included general office management, finance manager, and jack-of-all-trades.  Quack has gained useful insight into the supplemental industry through in-depth conversations with his father, a naturopathic physician.  He received his BS from the University of Oregon.

Stewart Wachit, technology officer.  Stew worked at Imagina for two years where he specialized in C++ and HTML/XML programming.  Stewart left Imagina to become a Web database developer at Systems Management Incorporated, specializing in ColdFusion and JSP.  He received his BS from the University of Pittsburgh.

There are important gaps as follows:

  • Customer service representative/manager.
  • Distribution/warehouse manager.
  • Advisory board.

Personnel Table

2018 2019 2020
Quack $40,800 $41,616 $42,448
Stewart $40,800 $41,616 $42,448
Customer Service $33,600 $34,272 $34,957
Programmer $48,000 $48,960 $49,939
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Financial Plan

Forecast

Key Assumptions

Our Key Assumptions: 

  • The new trend is people are focusing on their health 
  • Vitamins help prolong health 
  • People need price accessible Vitamins 

 

Revenue by Month

Chart visualizing the data for Revenue by Month

Expenses by Month

Chart visualizing the data for Expenses by Month

Net Profit (or Loss) by Year

Chart visualizing the data for Net Profit (or Loss) by Year

Financing

Use of Funds

Nature’s Candy will incur the following start-up costs

Legal$1,000

Stationery etc.$200

Web Development$10,000

TOTAL START-UP EXPENSES$ 11,200

Sources of Funds

We will be getting $80,000: 

Quack$45,000

Stewart$35,000

Statements

Projected Profit & Loss

2018 2019 2020
Gross Margin $233,504 $251,720 $261,380
Operating Expenses
Salaries & Wages $163,200 $166,464 $169,792
Employee Related Expenses $32,640 $33,293 $33,958
Marketing $5,760 $5,760 $5,760
Sales $7,500 $7,500 $7,500
Utilities $2,400 $2,400 $2,400
Insurance $1,500 $1,500 $1,500
Rent $24,000 $24,000 $24,000
Interest Incurred
Depreciation and Amortization $0 $0 $0
Gain or Loss from Sale of Assets
Income Taxes $0 $0 $0
Total Expenses $505,896 $531,197 $546,530
Net Profit ($3,496) $10,803 $16,470

Projected Balance Sheet

Starting Balances 2018 2019 2020
Cash $65,600 $96,904 $101,080 $118,513
Accounts Receivable $0 $0 $0
Inventory
Other Current Assets
Total Current Assets $65,600 $96,904 $101,080 $118,513
Long-Term Assets $3,200 $3,200 $3,200 $3,200
Accumulated Depreciation $0 $0 $0
Total Long-Term Assets $3,200 $3,200 $3,200 $3,200
Accounts Payable $34,800 $28,172 $29,136
Income Taxes Payable $0 $0 $0
Sales Taxes Payable $0 $0 $0
Short-Term Debt
Prepaid Revenue
Total Current Liabilities $34,800 $28,172 $29,136
Long-Term Debt
Long-Term Liabilities
Paid-In Capital $80,000 $80,000 $80,000 $80,000
Retained Earnings ($11,200) ($11,200) ($14,696) ($3,893)
Earnings ($3,496) $10,803 $16,470

Projected Cash Flow Statement

2018 2019 2020
Net Cash Flow from Operations
Net Profit ($3,496) $10,803 $16,470
Depreciation & Amortization $0 $0 $0
Change in Accounts Receivable $0 $0 $0
Change in Inventory
Change in Accounts Payable $34,800 ($6,628) $964
Change in Income Tax Payable $0 $0 $0
Change in Sales Tax Payable $0 $0 $0
Change in Prepaid Revenue
Investing & Financing
Assets Purchased or Sold
Investments Received
Dividends & Distributions
Change in Short-Term Debt
Change in Long-Term Debt
Cash at Beginning of Period $65,600 $96,904 $101,080
Net Change in Cash $31,304 $4,175 $17,434
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