I Will Not Fear the Business Plan Part Two: Products & Services

In today’s market, you can have a product and/or a service, but the key is understanding the difference. Most products have elements of service in them and vice versa. You buy a car, but can take it to the dealership for services as wll. Use any overlap to your advantage.

What Can You Make Me?
If a client asks this, then you have a product. A product is easier to count and measure than a service. Here is a brief list of popular products:
video games

Packaging and presentation are key elements when marketing a product. If you have bought something just because it looked nice or had a great logo, then you understand the value of presentation first hand. Consider what need it is fulfilling and market its advantage. For example, iPhones fulfill the need to be able to communicate using the latest technology. Likewise, product manufacturers market several offerings of merchandise or they can specialize. Squarehue.com specializes in nail polish, but they do it so well no other products are needed. Ask yourself if it is better to have one great product or several. Just make sure they all relate in one way or another. Your company can make great shoe polish, but a customer might not be interested if you are also offering lipstick under the same brand.

What Can You Do for Me?
If a client asks this, then you have a service.The Economist defines a service as any activity “you can’t drop on your foot”. The definition was most likely set before the digital age when the contrast between concrete and abstract did not veer into a gray area.

business plan service
pool cleaning
dog walker

Customer relationships are the key to launching a successful service. No matter how necessary a service is, you cannot take any client for granted. If you are a lifestyle coach, your service cannot be looked at every day or framed, so you must immediately address the value of your service. Services tend to be so specialized that what you wind up selling most is the value of your reputation. Quality can be hard to measure here; however, there is an easier way around this. Siren Publications offers a money back guarantee so if the client is hesitant to take the risk on a writing service, I will absorb the loss not them.

Whether you are offering a product or a service, stick with it in your business plan. A bank or an investor will be rightfully wary of a business that cannot make up its mind on what it offers.


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