Step 2 – Identify Your Store and Distribution System

Business Planning Start-Up Guide

Now to the the exciting part.  Since we’re starting to construct your business, there’s not better starting point than it’s “store.”  Where to you plan to execute your business and deliver its products or services from?

storefrontIdentify Your Store Front

Will you sell your product or service primarily at a physical or virtual location?  Specify which store configuration will best suit your business model:

  1. Physical:  Will your store front be in a mall or common location, a street, your home, or a warehouse?
  2. Virtual:  Will your “store front” be a web site or a third-party distributor (e.g. Amazon, eBay, or Google Shopping)?
  3. Combination:  Some businesses are both.  For example, they may sell on Google Shopping and ship from their home garage or warehouse.  Still, others may have a store front, such as a candle store and sell aggressively online.

Why did you chose this store?  What are your long-term plans?  It’s a good idea to consider this now.  But, once it is up and running you’ll want to be deliberate when planning for sustainment and growth.  Don’t spend too much time with this, just jot down a few WAGs or wild assumptions and guesses.

Delivery or Distribution

What is your product or service?  Is is a physical product or an informational or virtual product?

Physical Product or Service

  • Will you physically deliver the service, such as an accounting service?
  • Will you ship it yourself (from your home or warehouse)?  If so, will you use:
    • Government postal service
    • Commercial shippers such as UPS, FEDEX, or local delivery service
  • Is the product such that you need to deliver it by commercial truck, rail or air?
  • Will you use a third-party fulfillment service, such as Amazon Fulfillment or eFullment services?
  • Will you use an import forwarding service to ship from an import dock or source to a distributor or fulfillment service?

Virtual Product or Service

  • If your store is virtual, it will either be on a hosted web site such as 1 and 1 or Blue Host or on a third party “channel” such as eBay or Amazon.
  • Will you offer membership services where clients watch videos, download documents, listen to audio, or interact?
    • If so, where will you house these files, given they will require simultaneous and multiple downloading.
    • Currently, most web hosting sites are not designed to provide these services.  Some consider housing content on Blubrry for podcasts, Amazon Web Services or YouTube for video, and some use Google Documents for PDF-files, slides, and other document types.

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