For example, before there was Federal Express, overnight delivery was a niche business served by small companies. Will your operating costs be low enough to allow a reasonable profit margin? Do you assemble products using components provided by others? Key questions to answer: So is describing why your products and services are needed if no market currently exists.
FedEx had to define the opportunity for a new, large-scale service and justify why customers needed--and would actually use--that service. If Blue Mountain Cycling Rentals plans to market itself as a provider of high-end bikes, describing those bikes--and the sources for those bikes--is important, since "high-end cycling rentals" is intended to be a market differentiation.
If your business takes off, is a steady supply of products available? Use simple terms and avoid industry buzzwords so your readers can easily understand. What makes your products or services different?
In the Products and Services section of your business plan, you will clearly describe--yep--the products and services your business will provide.
Product Description Blue Mountain Cycle Rentals will provide a comprehensive line of bicycles and cycling equipment for all ages and levels of ability. These manufacturers have a widespread reputation as mid- to high-level quality, unlike equipment typically found in the rental market.
Are products or services in development or existing and on the market? Depending on the nature of your business, your Products and Services section could be very long or relatively short.
The following is a breakdown of anticipated rental price points, per day and per week: Patents, copyrights, and trademarks you own or have applied for should also be listed in this section.
The Products and Services section for our cycling rental business could start something like this: Or if you plan to sell a commodity readily available in a variety of outlets, the key to your business may not be the commodity itself but your ability to market in a more cost-effective way than your competition.
Do you purchase products from suppliers or wholesalers? If your business is product-focused, you will want to spend more time describing those products. Since the typical customer seeks medium-quality equipment and excellent services at competitive prices, we will focus on providing brands like Trek bikes, Shimano footwear, and Giro helmets.
How will you acquire your products? If the company plans to be the low-cost provider, then describing specific brands of equipment is probably not necessary. Also, keep in mind that if a supplier runs out of capacity--or goes out of business altogether--you may not have a sufficient supply to meet your demand.
Are there competitive advantages compared with offerings from other competitors? Are you the manufacturer?
And if so, how? Plan to set up multiple vendor or supplier relationships, and describe those relationships fully. Is price an issue? Remember, the primary goal of your business plan is to convince you that the business is viable--and to create a road map for you to follow.
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