Sunday, 18 December 2011

Your business, products and services

With this post we are going to focus on your business and what is going to make you unique and stand out from the sea of competitors offering similar products and services.

You have written your Vision Statement using the previous information. We will now use this and expand upon it to build a clear picture of what your business will be, your target customers and what you will be offering them. This is all information that others are going to want if they are to provide funds or investments.

Now for this section you want to start out by giving an overview of your business, focus on:

  • The date you started trading or proposed start date.
  • Any investment or projected investments to date.
  • The type of business and the sector that it is in.
  • History of the company, including if applicable, previous owners, franchise information, previous successes
  • The legal status (e.g. sole trader, partnership, LLP, LTD) here is a good link for information about these
  • Your vision for the future.
With all of this you will have given investors, banks, partners, angels the information they need to look further at your plan.

Following on from this you are going to discuss your products and or services. An important point to keep in mind is that the person reading your plan may not know anything about the industry, market or products you are offering, so it is vital to keep jargon and acronyms down to a minimum.

You need to consider and write about the following:
  • Describe your products and services as simply and clearly as possible.
  • What makes it different from similar products.
  • What benefits does this have for both your customer and your business.
  • Why will customers buy from you rather than competitors.
  • the key features and success factors in the industry you will be operating within.
  • How you plan to develop you products and services to ensure you are current
  • Any patents or trademarks you currently have
In order to do this accurately you are going to have to have started looking at your competitors and there products, customer bases, look into the size of the current market and what market shares the main companies have. This will help you with this and the next section.

You know your products and customers and so you can read this and fully understand it, to ensure that a person with no industry knowledge can understand it, give it to a friend or family member to read over and ensure that they understand the information within.

Information within here will help give your business shape and ensure that you know who you are targeting and what you have to offer them that makes you stand out from the rest.

Next time we will look at the markets and competitors section of your plan.

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