How to Write a Business Plan: Part 5 – Product and Sales

How to Write a Business Plan: Part 5 – Product and Sales

The business plan boot camp will consist of nine parts in total, each tackling a portion of the plan and the basics of how to handle its successful creation as prospective businesses look to secure funding and backing. Put together, these skills will help create a business plan that will wow potential investors.

Part 5. Product and Sales

By the time you’ve reached the Marketing and Sales section of your business plan you are nearing the end and are in really good shape. This section is focused on your company’s sales strategy and deployment. While your business marketing strategy is closely related to product and sales it will come in a different section of this tutorial as each is dense enough to warrant its own space allotment.

The marketing and sales portion of the business plan should be broken up into a number of parts. You’ll be responsible for concisely describing the product/service line, the life cycle of those lines, a list of intellectual property associated with those lines, and any research and development to date.

Whereas some sections allow for the writer of the business plan to include certain parts and leave others out, it is important to include each of the following sections in your marketing and sales plan:

Description of your product and/or service line

Describing products and services is more than stating the specs. This isn’t a holiday catalog. You want to write about the specific and unique characteristics of your products or services that directly benefit your target customer. Your potential investors want to know what it is specifically about your company and its offerings that set it apart from the competition.

  • How are your products and services better?
  • Is there any product and/or service that is in a development stage, such as in the idea stage or has been developed into a prototype?

Listing this information out concisely, but in detail, will give your potential investors an idea of where you’re going with your product and services. This is a fine line that must be straddled for a successful description.

The Life Cycle of your product and/or service line

Part of the marketing and sales section should expand upon any products or services that are in a development stage. You can use a flow chart to show multiple products or services in their specific stages of your development life cycle and support that chart with a narrative about the current state of the products and services and where you hope to take them within a certain time period.

Intellectual Property List

Intellectual property is as important as any other type. In this section, you’ll want to describe any patents or copyrights you have officially filed and their current statuses. Have they officially been filed? Are they pending?

You’ll also want to write about key elements of the products and services that are so unique that they may be considered “trade secrets.” This gives your potential investors a sense that you have a product line or service that is truly exceptional and something that they’ll want to pay closer attention to in the future.

Be sure to include information about any legal agreements you have entered into, such as non-compete or non-disclosure agreements that may affect the way you are able to market and produce your product lines and/or services. Potential investors will want to know about any roadblocks to profitability.

R&D Activities To Date

Research and Development activities that you currently are engaged in or you are planning to engage in sometime in the near future. Be able to answer questions about planned R&D

  • What do you hope to gain?
  • What is the outcome you are expecting?

This section will carry more weight if you outline your company’s R&D plans as well as those of your industry competitors.

  • How do you stack up with your competitors?
  • What are you doing differently?
  • How will you set yourself apart over time?

You have a great product or service. Now what? How will you make sure that communication about your product or service gets in front of your target audience? In a world of competing messaging and technology, you must have a solid marketing plan to be successful. Look for an in depth overview of how to write about your marketing strategy in part six of the business plan tutorial.

About author

Michael Barry
Michael Barry 33 posts

Michael Barry is the Editor-In-Chief at AgeOfTheSmallBusiness.com. Currently living in Boston, Massachusetts, he received his B.A. in Financial Economics from St. Anselm College and his MFA in Creative Writing from the Stonecoast Program at the University of Southern Maine.

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