How to Create a Business Plan for a Liquor Store

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A business plan is an essential component of any entrepreneurial endeavor, regardless of your industry or the level of experience you may have. With a well-formulated business plan, you’ll be sufficiently prepared to address and overcome common challenges, manage growth in an organized manner, and make plans for sustainable success.

Whether you are working on expanding an existing liquor business or starting a new one, developing a proper business plan will help you:

  • Demonstrate that your business is a worthwhile financial risk for investors or lenders
  • Define a growth plan
  • Pinpoint key obstacles
  • Strategize how to meet your business objectives

In this step-by-step guide, we’re explaining how to create a business plan for a liquor store, including the critical elements that you won’t want to forget.

The Components of an Effective Liquor Store Business Plan

Think of your business plan as a living document that will be in a state of constant evolution: as your business grows and changes, so should your business plan. And while each business plan is unique, several key sections should always be included.

Executive Summary

The executive summary is the first section of a business plan, providing a detailed overview of the plan in question. Typically, this will be the last section you write because it exists as a summary of all other sections in the plan.

Begin the executive summary by briefly describing your business, including its current status and specific type. For example, are you hoping to expand an existing business? Or, will you be launching a chain of liquor stores?

Then, provide concise overviews of each section in your business plan (which we will cover in detail in this guide).

Company Description

Your company description will paint a detailed picture of your business. Discuss the type of liquor store you are or will be operating and how it presently exists. Additionally, share relevant background information about your liquor store.

  • Some productive questions to address in this section include:
  • Why and when did you start your business?
  • What types of milestones have you achieved thus far? (Examples of business milestones can be securing significant funding, opening new locations, building a relationship with an excellent supplier, and more)
  • What is the structure of your business? (Is it an LLC? A sole proprietorship?)
  • What qualifies you to be a competitive presence in the liquor industry?
  • How are you unique from your competitors?
  • Industry Analysis

In a business plan, the industry analysis serves a few purposes:

  • It strengthens your understanding of the industry and the market in which you are running a business.
  • It is a useful tool for improving your strategy, especially in light of information about current trends.
  • It proves that you have researched to become an expert in the industry.

This section includes an overview of the industry, specifically focused on your relative market/niche. 

Some of the core questions to explore in the industry analysis are:

  • How large is the industry (in dollars)?
  • Is your local market increasing or decreasing?
  • Who are the closest competitors in your market?
  • Who are your key suppliers?
  • What trends are currently impacting the industry?
  • What is the industry’s growth potential over the next five to ten years?
  • How large is the potential market for your business?
  • How do you plan to dominate your niche? (For example, will you offer specialty products, engage an active tourism market, or utilize an excellent location?)
  • What are the potential hurdles that exist in your segment of the industry? How will you overcome these?

Customer Analysis

In your customer analysis, you will introduce the customers you serve or plan to serve.

The customer segment(s) you are targeting will significantly influence the type of business you are operating. Aspects of your business, such as pricing, atmosphere, and products, will be based on your chosen customer segment.

Use demographic and psychological profiles to build a “story” surrounding your ideal customers. Details included in these profiles should include the customers:

  • Ages
  • Genders
  • Income levels
  • Locations
  • Purchase behaviors
  • Product knowledge.

With the above information, you will then construct a plan for meeting the specific needs of each customer segment

Competitive Analysis

In this portion, you will discuss both your liquor store’s indirect and direct competitors.

  • Direct competitors include liquor retailers in your geographic area, particularly those that target customer segments similar to yours.
  • Indirect competitors are the alternative options that customers can use to purchase your products, such as grocery stores, bars, or breweries.

For each of your competitors, write an overview of the business and map out their strengths and weaknesses. Explain their products, target customers, pricing, and other relevant information. Then, document how you will leverage your competitive advantages to stand out from the competition.

Marketing Plan

Usually, the marketing section of a business plan is built on the framework of the “Four P’s”:

  • Product: Summarize the type of liquor business, then describe the brands and specific products your store will offer.
  • Price: Detail your planned pricing and how it compares to your competitors.
  • Place: Document how the physical location of your liquor store will play a part in the success of your business.
  • Promotions: Introduce how you plan to attract customers to your business, including strategies such as:
      • Online Marketing
      • Social media
      • Local print and media advertising
      • Community events
      • Partnerships
      • Discounts/coupons
      • Loyalty benefits

Operations Plan

Now that you’ve covered the goals for your liquor store, you will address how you plan to achieve those goals.

In your operations plan, you will develop two sections:


  • The everyday processes that are involved in operating your business, such as:
    • Ordering supplies/products
    • Receiving deliveries
    • Stocking procedures
    • Labeling
    • Complying with local requirements
    • Theft control
  • The long-term goals you want to pursue, such as:
    • A specific time frame in which you would like to achieve a certain dollar amount in sales
    • A date that you want to serve your 1,000th customer 
    • When you expect to launch in new markets

Management Team

For your business to succeed, a strong management team is a necessity. You will use this business plan section to highlight:

  • The experience and backgrounds of management staff
    Relevant expertise
  • How the skills/experience of your management team will contribute to your business

Financial Plan

A business plan’s financial plan section features a five-year financial statement broken down into monthly or quarterly blocks for the first 12 months and then annual blocks for the remaining four years.

Financial statements to include in this section are your:

  • Income statement
  • Balance sheet
  • Cash flow statement

Be sure to incorporate figures for the following:

  • Liquor store real estate and utilities
  • Employee and management salary, wages, and benefits
  • 3PS quota liquor license fees
  • Other insurance, legal, and compliance Fees
  • Marketing budget

How to Buy a Liquor Store

Are you planning to purchase a liquor store business? If so, you’ll need to secure the proper type of liquor license for your establishment.

Before you buy a business or license, it is crucial that you confirm that it is in both current and in good standing with FL regulators. Failing to review the status of the liquor license properly can put you at risk of debt, regulatory issues, and other impediments.

Beverage License Specialists will help you navigate the purchase of a Florida liquor license for your store so that you can make informed, confident decisions for your business.

Get Your Florida Liquor License

Before you can operate a liquor store in Florida, you’ll need to obtain a Florida liquor license. The process can seem overwhelming for many prospective business owners, but Beverage License Specialists are here to eliminate the guesswork.

Our experienced team can help you get a liquor license for a Florida liquor store, ensuring that you maintain full compliance every step of the way. We are well-versed in FL liquor regulations, including the full range of license types and requirements. As a result, Beverage License Specialists can simplify the process to minimize stress, time, and expense.

For more information about how to get a FL liquor license, please contact our team today.

Image Credit: Victor Moussa on Shutterstock

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