On to the next part of the business plan; the Service or Product section. Here you want to clearly describe….yep, you guessed it, your service or product.
Let’s begin with what NOT to do. I wouldn’t recommend writing that includes using overly detailed or super technical terms or descriptions. What you want to do is describe your business, of course, but the highlight should be why your product or service will be better than the next guy’s. If you’re lucky enough to have come up with an idea with no existing market, then you will talk about why the product or service is needed. This section should also include a list of any trademarks, copyrights, & patents you may own.
Every company is unique so the length of this section will vary from entrepreneur to entrepreneur. If you happen to be a product oriented company, more time will be used describing those products. Remember, the goal in this section is to set yourself apart from the competition. So, really finding what makes your product the best, is important.
Ask yourself a few questions and answer them in this section.
- Do your products/services currently exist in a market?
- How long until yours is ready to bring to the market? A timeline.
- What makes you special? What’s your competitive advantage? Can you be more cost-effective? Have you improved existing products? How?
- What are your competitive disadvantages? How will you move past it?
- Are there any issues with costs? How do you plan on overcoming issues of cost & pricing in order to profit?
- How will you obtain your products? Will you assemble them or have another company handle that? What suppliers & wholesalers will you use?
- Lastly, inventory. Having the correct amount of product is a matter of supply and demand. What will you start with? If your business skyrockets, how quickly can you increase inventory? Always plan a backup plan for suppliers & discuss it here.
Let’s break it down before we wrap this section up. You’ll begin with a summary of your product or service. Touch on what makes you unique and list your anticipated prices. You may also discuss policies & procedures. Next, discuss the competition, mainly your competitive advantage. Is it price? Is it shipping? Is it what you offer? And if you’re “there”, discuss plans for future products & growth goals! You are going to run the business but your products or services are the heart of it so be clear when answering the “what” question.
Stay tuned for our next section of the business plan!