Now that we’ve laid down the foundation of the Biz Plan, it’s time to get down to the bread and butter sections, which starts with Products and Services. The Mission and Vision Statements were the “Why” of your biz. The Company Description and Products and Services sections are the “What” of your biz. What are you selling? Approach this entire section by answering the overall question: How does this benefit my customer?
1. Give Us The Rundown
Explain all about your product or service as if the reader knows absolutely nothing about it. Avoid industry jargon and write in simple language. What exactly are you selling? How is it made? How does it work? What is it used for? How much does it cost? Do you charge by the unit, the box, or the hour? Will you be selling online or from your boutique downtown? Include any photos of your products in the Appendix of your Biz Plan.
2. What Is Your Special Sauce?
Explaining what sets your products and services apart from the competition is critical. Do you own copyrights, trademarks or patents? Are you selling to an under-served niche? If there isn’t currently a market for what you are selling (i.e. a new invention), why is it needed ? On the other hand, if the market is currently saturated with sellers, why does the industry need another? For example, if you sell bulks of hair online like a million other small businesses, highlight how your online tutorials showing how to create styles with the hair you sell will make your company stand out. What makes you so special?
3. Pain or Pleasure
A good product or service does one of two things: 1). Relieves a pain point 2). Gives your customer pleasure. You should be selling something that solves a problem or makes someone feel good. A savvy business owner will figure out how to do both. It is either something they want, or something they need. Pain: A woman doesn’t have a lot of time to spend on her hair. Pleasure: She wants to look good. Solution: Your packs of hair and styling tutorials. Pain: A small business owner doesn’t know how to do his taxes. Solution: Your accounting services. Pleasure: A son wants to buy his mother a special birthday gift. Solution: Your handmade crystal heart pendant.
4. Who’s Got The Goods?
How do you get your products – are you the manufacturer or do you purchase wholesale? Do you get materials from an outside vendor and assemble them yourself? If you are a jewelry maker, do you create all of your own jewelry or do you also sell the work of other artists? If your business grows, will your suppliers be able to keep supplying you the goods? Will you be outsourcing distribution? If you are a service provider, do you use cloud based software or a desktop package? Is there any special technology you use to create and sell?
5. What’s Next
Will you be adding to your product line or service offerings in the future? If you sell hair now, will you eventually sell hair care products? If you have an accounting firm, will you expand to offer business management services. If you sell jewelry, will you soon host fashion shows featuring up and coming designers?
The Products and Services section is where you will explain and brag about your “thing”. It’s where you sell your business to the reader of your Biz Plan. If it’s not compelling, to the point, and feasible, the reader may very well toss it in the trash. Make it good, and they will want to learn more.
Next week, we will do a Market Analysis and figure out where our business fits in the greater scheme of things.
Until next time,
Rachel Henderson is a single mompreneur who helps other single mothers turn their pass ion into profit, while maintaining their home. She has over 20 years experience in accounting and business, and is now focused on spreading entrepreneurship among young single mothers. Her hobbies include cooking, shopping, and making gift baskets. She lives and plays with her three boys in sunny Los Angeles, CA. Her faith and the love of her family keeps her motivated every day. For more information visit www.mzrachelzplace.com.