74 hurdle the book on business planning you may also

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Unformatted text preview: ved in assembly or manufacturing, such as in the manufacture of computer chips; and second, the technology incorporated in your product, such as proprietary technology that enhances the value of the product. In either case, technology can be a critical competitive edge. If you are writing a plan for outsiders, then you need to describe the technology and how well or thoroughly you have the technology protected in your business, through contracts, patents, and other protection. Technology might be a negative factor, something to be included in a plan because a threat should be dealt with. For example, that same travel agency that depends on a computerized reservation system might also note growing competition from Internet reservations systems available to consumers who prefer to buy direct. Not all businesses depend on technology. Technology might also be irrelevant for your business. If so, you can delete this topic if it doesn’t seem important. Future Products Now you want to present your outlook for future products or services. Do you have a long-term product strategy? How are products developed? Is there a relationship between market segments, market demand, market needs, and product development? Here again, what you include depends on the nature of your plan. In some cases future products are the most important point for investors looking to buy into your company’s future. On the other hand, a bank is not going to lend you money for product development or hopes for future products; so in a plan accompanying a Loan Application, there would probably be much less stress on this point. 7.4 HURDLE: THE BOOK ON BUSINESS PLANNING You may also need to deal with the issue of confidentiality. When a business plan includes sensitive information on future products, then it should be carefully monitored, with good documentation of who receives copies of the plan. Recipients might reasonably be asked to sign non-disclosure statements and those statements should be kept on file. Sales Literature It is generally a good idea to include specific pieces of sales literature and collatera...
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