Making a Business Plan Step 5: Service or Product
- September 10th, 2014
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Congratulations on finishing the organizational and management part of your business plan! You’re officially in the homestretch—only four steps to go! It’s now time to draw out your plans for the service or product that your company will provide. This is where it’s important to accentuate the benefit of your product or service to your potential customers, and how your company has an edge on your competition. Identify a need in your market, and show exactly how your product or service will meet that need.
Your Service or Product Line Section Should Include:
A Description of Your Service or Product – What is your product/service? What purpose does it serve and how does it work? What are its specific benefits in the eyes of your potential customers? Use this section to illustrate how your product or service will meet your market’s need and how or why your product or service will meet that need better than your competition. Also indicate where your product/service is in the development process, whether it’s an idea, there’s a prototype, or it’s fully developed.
Your Product’s Life Cycle – What is the life cycle of your product or service? Where does it stand in the cycle currently, and what may influence the cycle in the future?
Information Regarding Intellectual Property – Does your company have any currently existing copyright or patent filings? Are any pending or are there any you anticipate having in the future? If so, you’ll need to list those here. You also need to indicate if there are any key aspects of your products or services that may be considered trade secrets. If you have any information that pertains to existing legal agreements, such as non-compete or non-disclosure agreements, you need to include them here as well.
Research and Development (R&D) Details – If your company is currently involved in any R&D activities, outline them in this section. Also include any R&D that you plan to take on in the near future. What do you anticipate the outcome of your future R&D activities will be? Take this time to not only analyze the R&D efforts of your company, but of other companies within your industry as well.