Business plan template.pdf

Note the differences between features and benefits

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Note the differences between features and benefits, and think about them. For example, a house gives shelter and lasts a long time; those are its features. Its benefits include pride of ownership, financial security, providing for the family, and inclusion in a neighborhood. You build features into your product so you can sell the benefits. What after-sale services are supplied? For example: delivery, warranty, service contracts, support, follow-up, or refund policy. Customers Identify your customers, their characteristics, and their geographic locations; that is, demographics. The description will be completely different depending on whether you sell to other businesses or directly to consumers. If you sell a consumer product, but sell it through a channel of distributors, wholesalers, and retailers, you must carefully analyze both the end user and the intermediary businesses to which you sell. You may have more than one customer group. Identify the most important groups. Then, for each consumer group, construct a demographic profile: Age Gender
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Page 10 of 29 Location Income level Social class/occupation Education Other For business customers, the demographic factors might be: Industry (or portion of an industry) Location Size of firm Quality/technology/price preferences Other Competition What products and companies compete with you? List your major competitors, including their names and addresses. Do they compete with you across the board, just for certain products, certain customers, or in certain locations? Use the following table to compare your company with your three most important competitors. In the first column are key competitive factors. Because these vary with each market, you may want to customize the list of factors. In the cell labeled "Me," state honestly how you think you stack up in customers' minds. Then decide whether you think this factor is a strength or a weakness for you. If you find it hard to analyze yourself this way, enlist some disinterested party to assess you. This can be a real eye-opener. Now analyze each major competitor. In a few words, state how you think they stack up.
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Page 11 of 29 In the last column, estimate how important each competitive factor is to the customer. 1 = critical; 5 = not very important. Table 1: Competitive Analysis FACTOR Me Strength Weakness Competitor A Competitor B Competitor C Importance to customer Products Price Quality Selection Service Reliability Stability Expertise Company reputation Location Appearance Sales method Credit policies Advertising Image After you finish the competitive matrix, write a short paragraph stating your competitive advantages and disadvantages.
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Page 12 of 29 Niche Now that you have systematically analyzed your industry, your product, your customers, and the competition, you should have a clear picture of where your company fits into the world.
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