Unformatted text preview: ainly text. It normally
appears as Chapter 3.0 in the plan, after the company description, but before the market analysis. Start with an Overview
Every section in a business plan should have an opening paragraph that describes the rest of the
section. These summary paragraphs can also be used quite effectively in summary memos and loan
application support documents. Readers may frequently skip the details, but only when they have
an effective summary. It should be a clear and concise single paragraph that can be merged into the
executive summary page. For this section, what do you sell, and to whom? Add Detail as Needed
The previous topic was the summary, so in this topic, you need to provide more detail. List and
describe the products or services you sell. Cover the main points, including what the product or
service is, how much it costs, what sorts of customers make purchases, and why. You might not want
or need to include every product or service in the list, but at least consider the main sales lines.
It is always a good idea to think in terms of customer needs and customer beneﬁts as you deﬁne
your product offerings, rather than thinking of your side of the equation — how much the product or
service costs, and how you deliver it to the customer.
As you list and describe your sales lines, you may run into one of the serendipitous beneﬁts of
good business planning, which is generating new ideas. Describe your product offerings in terms of
customer types and customer needs, and you’ll often discover new needs and new kinds of customers
to cover. This is the way ideas are generated. HURDLE: THE BOOK 7.2 ON BUSINESS PLANNING Competitive Comparison
Use this topic for a general comparison of your offering as one of several choices a potential buyer
can make. There is a separate topic, in the market analysis section, for a detailed comparison of the
strengths and weaknesses of your speciﬁc competitors.
In this topic you should discuss how your product lines and retail offering compare in general to the
competition. For example:
• Your ski shop might offer better ski equipment than some other general outdoor store, or perhaps
it is located nex...
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