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In the Products and Services section of your business plan, you will clearly describe--yep--the products and services your business will provide.
Use simple terms and avoid industry buzzwords so your readers can easily understand. On the other hand, describing how the company's products and services will differ from the competition is critical.
Products for business plans is describing why your products and services are needed if no market currently exists. For example, before there was Federal Express, overnight delivery was a niche business served by small companies.
FedEx had to define the opportunity for a new, large-scale service and justify why customers needed--and would actually use--that service. Patents, copyrights, and trademarks you own or have applied for should also be listed in this section.
Depending on the nature of your business, your Products and Services section could be very long or relatively short. If your business is product-focused, you will want to spend more time describing those products.
If you plan to sell a commodity item and the key to your success lies in, say, competitive pricing, you probably don't need to provide significant product detail. Or if you plan to sell a commodity readily available in a variety of outlets, the key to your business may not be the commodity itself but your ability to market in a more cost-effective way than your competition.
But if you're creating a new product or servicemake sure you thoroughly explain the nature of the product, its uses, and its value, etc. Key questions to answer: Are products or services in development or existing and on the market? What is the timeline for bringing new products and services to market?
What makes your products or services different? Are there competitive advantages compared with offerings from other competitors? Are there competitive disadvantages you will need to overcome? And if so, how?
Is price an issue? Will your operating costs be low enough to allow a reasonable profit margin? How will you acquire your products? Are you the manufacturer? Do you assemble products using components provided by others?
Do you purchase products from suppliers or wholesalers? If your business takes off, is a steady supply of products available?
In the cycling rental business example we've been using, products and services could be a relatively simple section to complete or it could be fairly involved. If Blue Mountain Cycling Rentals plans to market itself as a provider of high-end bikes, describing those bikes--and the sources for those bikes--is important, since "high-end cycling rentals" is intended to be a market differentiation.
If the company plans to be the low-cost provider, then describing specific brands of equipment is probably not necessary. Also, keep in mind that if a supplier runs out of capacity--or goes out of business altogether--you may not have a sufficient supply to meet your demand.
Plan to set up multiple vendor or supplier relationships, and describe those relationships fully. Remember, the primary goal of your business plan is to convince you that the business is viable--and to create a road map for you to follow.
The Products and Services section for our cycling rental business could start something like this: Product Description Blue Mountain Cycle Rentals will provide a comprehensive line of bicycles and cycling equipment for all ages and levels of ability.
Since the typical customer seeks medium-quality equipment and excellent services at competitive prices, we will focus on providing brands like Trek bikes, Shimano footwear, and Giro helmets.
These manufacturers have a widespread reputation as mid- to high-level quality, unlike equipment typically found in the rental market. The following is a breakdown of anticipated rental price points, per day and per week:Access.
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How to Write a Great Business Plan: Products and Services Business Plans The fourth in a comprehensive series to help you craft the perfect business plan for your startup.
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The product and services section of your business plan is more than just a list of what your business is going to provide. Especially if you plan to use your business plan to get funding or find partners, your products, and services section needs to showcase the quality, value, and benefits your business offers.