You want to open a liquor store, but aren’t sure where to start?  

A well-structured liquor store business plan is the No. 1 step for new liquor stores. It’s essential to launch and create a thriving liquor shop. What is a business plan?  

Simply stated, it’s a new liquor store’s business roadmap. It defines who their customers are, what makes their shop unique, and outlines financial, sales, and marketing plans for the business. A business plan may also include the tools a shop will need, like a liquor store POS system, loyalty software, and inventory management tools. 

Wondering how to create a business plan for your liquor store? This guide outlines exactly what to include and how to structure your plan. Follow this guide if you’re interested in creating a roadmap to set your business up for success. 

What Is a Liquor Store Business Plan?  

A clear business plan serves as a roadmap for your liquor store business’ growth and development.  

A liquor store business plan is a detailed document. It outlines the vision, goals, target market, risks, strategies, and other important aspects of the business. 

The most critical components of a liquor store business plan include:  

Market Research and Analysis

First start by adding information related to the local and national liquor store market. This will help you stay up to date on the latest trends in the industry. Include this information:  

Industry Overview  

Performing research should give you first-hand insights into whether the business is right for you or not. For example, here are a few numbers related to liquor industry trends:

  • $72.5 Billion – The U.S. beer, wine, and liquor store industry is worth $72.5 billion  
  • 10.5% Growth – The global alcohol market is expected to grow 10.5% annually through 2025  
  • 40,600 Stores – In 2022, 40,600 beer, wine, and liquor stores were operating in the U.S.  
  • 190,000 – Number of people employed in the liquor store business  

Local Market Analysis  

Analyzing the market is critical to your liquor store business plan. You can use it to compare direct and indirect competitors and spot trends. It can also help you set prices and understand what makes your liquor store unique. Additionally, you can see what products customers want.   

Target Market

Your liquor store business plan should include details about your customers. This includes their age, location, preferences, shopping habits, and income level. 

Knowing your customers is important for the success of your business. Understanding their needs and preferences can help you tailor your products and services to better meet their expectations. This can ultimately lead to increased customer satisfaction and loyalty. 

Business Model and Strategy 

Next, outline your business model. You should focus on what your store will do differently, and how you will serve your audience. Include this information:  

Business Concept  

This part of your liquor store business plan should discuss how the business was established, its current position, and the goals you have for its future.   

Value Proposition  

Highlight the competitive advantage or unique value proposition of your liquor store business. Generally, a product or service that will set you apart in the minds of your customers. 

It could be exclusive partnerships, a curated selection of beverages, exceptional customer service, or a reward program led by a liquor store POS system. Most importantly, this section will catch the attention of your potential investors. 

Marketing & Sales Strategy  

This section should mainly outline how you’ll attract and retain customers. Companies widely accept and use the marketing and sales tactic based on the “Four P’s”:  

  • Product 
  • Price 
  • Place 
  • Promotion 

Legal and Licensing Requirements  

Your liquor store’s business plan should also outline the required licenses and any local or state regulations you must adhere to. You should also outline how you will set up your business. Include this information:  

Business Structure  

The wisest decision to make in your liquor store business plan is the organization’s structure. You may choose to register it as a sole proprietorship, partnership, LLC, or corporation. Whichever you decide will have different legal and tax implications. If required, you should consult a tax expert to widen your knowledge.  

Licensing & Permits  

Each state and locality highly regulate licensing and permits for liquor stores, with specific alcohol regulations varying. Check all the legal requirements, permits, licenses, and regulatory compliance for your city before you start. 


Mentioning the right kind of insurance needed in your liquor shop business plan is one of the most essential points. 

Insurance protects your business if there is a robbery, theft, accident, fraud, natural disaster, or any such incidents. It covers the liability and protects all stakeholders involved in the business. 

Marketing and Promotion

This is one of the most important sections of a business plan. It outlines how you will reach your customers and grow sales, how you will launch your store, and what you will do to differentiate. Information to include:  

Marketing Channels

Enlist all the marketing channels in your business plan for liquor store that you wish to implement at some point. These could be online marketing, offline marketing, print media advertising, social media, partnerships, etc.  

Promotional Strategies  

Dictate various promotional strategies you wish to leverage, such as seasonal promotions (Christmas, Halloween, etc.), discounts/coupons, loyalty programs, and reward benefits. 

Public Relations & Community Engagement  

It involves hosting events such as community gatherings and product samplings. These events can attract residents, increase foot traffic, raise awareness, and foster connections with neighboring businesses. 

List all activities in your business plan that will leave your customers with a positive and memorable experience.  

Financial Projections 

Everything comes down to numbers. Including a section of financial projections in your liquor store business plan will help you define success. You should include:   

  • Startup CostsStarting a business requires planning for initial costs like renting a store, buying inventory, getting insurance, licenses, and permits. 
  • Sales Forecast – Present detailed monthly and yearly sales forecasts outlining your growth trajectory.  
  • Operating Expenses – This section of the report should estimate daily costs like utilities, staff, marketing, and salaries.   
  • Profitability Analysis – Provide a profit analysis of your liquor store and accompany it with a break-even analysis.  

How Will You Fund Your Store? 

In addition, you should outline funding needs. Calculate and provide all the funding requirements you need to start your liquor store business. If you wish to opt for the financing option, then state the same in your liquor shop business plan. 

To raise money, consider getting funds from various sources. These can include bank loans, business credit lines, SBA loans, angel investors, venture capitalists, family, and friends.    

For a better understanding, here is an estimated startup cost breakdown. But keep in mind that it may vary based on location, store size, inventory size, and other factors. 

  • Setting up a business name $150 – $200  
  • Business licenses & permits $500 – $15,000  
  • Insurance $1,000 – $5,000/year  
  • Website setup $1,500 – $3,000  
  • Rent $2,000 – $5000/month  
  • Marketing $500 – $2,000/month  
  • Working capital $25,000  
  • Opening Inventory $50,000 – $75,000  

Wrapping Up 

The average sale in a liquor store is just about $20. And on this, your profit margin can range from 10-40% on average. In other words, liquor stores tend to have narrow margins. A business plan is essential to navigating this market. 

If you wish to future-proof your liquor store business, it is highly recommended to embark on the digital landscape. A reliable POS system for liquor stores can help with inventory, restocking, checking IDs, generating reports, and other tasks efficiently. Allowing you to focus on business growth and expansion.  

Overall, a meticulously prepared business plan should highlight a deep understanding of industry, market dynamics, and revenue. And provide a detailed summary that includes a business model, marketing strategy, and brand vision. Don’t neglect it. A business plan is often the first step to long-term success.