Your Products or Services
Adapted from content excerpted from the American Express® OPEN Small Business Network
Describe each of your products or services with a particular focus on how it will be used. Go into as much detail as necessary for the reader to get a real flavor for what you are selling. What are the applications and the end uses? Underscore the specific features or variations that your products have.
Stress Your USP
Be sure to emphasize your USP - Unique Selling Proposition. Your USP is the proprietary information that sets your product or service apart from your competition. If you are using your business plan to solicit funds, this is what your reader will want to see. If it is an internal document, your USP will be critical to your sales and marketing strategies. Without a USP, your product or service will appear drab and there will be no compelling reason for people to buy it.
What would some USPs be? For a food product, it could be a proprietary recipe (like Kentucky Fried Chicken's secret recipe) or a special way the food is served (like Boston Market's hand-carved turkey). OXO Good Grips, a maker of kitchen gadgets, set itself apart by using ergonomically designed grips and handles on all its products. Tower Records' USP would be its broad selection of all types of music and its knowledgeable floor staff. Take a look at the Sample Product Description for more details.
- Focus on your success factors. In other words, think about how you are going to turn a buck. Why will your products or services be successful in the marketplace? There are any number of reasons you can use - it's a well-organized business, we use state-of-the-art equipment, our location is exceptional, the market is ready for our product, its a great product at a fair price, etc.
- If you are selling a product, you may want to include full specifications. If available, include a quality photograph as well.
- One of your challenges will be to keep the "unique" in your USP. If there is a chance your competition will begin offering products or services that also have your unique features, then you should also discuss how you plan to remain ahead of the pack.
- Be specific in describing your competitive edge. Don't just say something like "we intend to provide better service." Explain how you will do so, and why that sets you apart from your competitors.
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