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Products & Services Section in a Business Plan (+ Examples)

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  • March 21, 2024
  • Business Plan , How to Write

products & services

In this blog post, we’ll guide you through writing the products and services section of your business plan. We’ll cover how to describe what you’re selling and why it’s important in your business plan.

Whether you’re launching a new startup or creating a business plan for an existing business, this section is crucial for showing the value you bring to customers. Let’s get started!

Why do we include them in a business plan?

The products and services section of a business plan is more than just a list of what a company sells; it’s a vital narrative that tells the story of the business’s core offerings and their significance to the market.

This section is paramount for readers (especially potential investors) to grasp the essence of what the business is about, the unique problems it solves, or the specific needs it addresses.

A meticulously crafted products and services segment does much more than describe offerings. Indeed, it lays the groundwork for comprehensive marketing strategies , informs operational planning, and financial projections.

Moreover, understanding the business’s offerings in depth enables stakeholders to envision the company’s value proposition and competitive edge.

Where should you include them?

In a business plan, the Products and Services section is typically included within the business overview section.

This allows you to first introduce the business model and what it offers to customers. Only after this you can provide more details of the products and services.

The Products and Services section should clearly detail what you are selling, highlight the unique value proposition . It should also ideally explain how it meets the needs of your target market if it isn’t obvious. T

What to include: 2 Examples

Begin with a clear, engaging description of each product or service you offer. For services, describe the process, customer experience, and outcome. For products, discuss the materials, technology, and any unique features.

Services example: a Cryotherapy business plan

product offering in business plan example

Products example: a Brewery business plan

product offering in business plan example

Privacy Overview

How to describe your product and service in a business plan like a pro

It’s deceiving.

You’d think that this part of a business plan does exactly what it says on the tin–describe your product & service offering– right ?

And yes, you are partially right. 

But there’s a very specific way in which this description should be written to make sure that your business has the best chance of succeeding – in real life and under the eagle eye of a potential backer (if you’re preparing a business plan for external financing purposes).

Keep reading to find out the secret sauce to writing a winning product and service description:

WHAT is the Product and Service Description in a Business Plan?

This business plan section is also known as:

  • Product and/or Service Overview

HOW Do You Write a Product and Service Description in a Business Plan?

So, what should a good product/service overview contain?

Here are some items to consider including into this section:

1.     Portfolio:

The range of products and/or services that a business offers to potential and current customers.

2.     Features and benefits (value proposition):

Explain what the product/service does and how it works.

3.     Problem and solution (value proposition cont.):

The problem(s) the product or service solves. Every business needs to solve a problem that its customers face. Explain what the problem is and how the product or service solves it.

4.     Innovation:

If the company is doing something new and different, explain why the world needs the innovation.

5.     Proprietary advantages:

Any proprietary features that contribute to a competitive advantage. This could include: intellectual property (e.g., copyright, trademark, patent filings, trade secret), exclusive agreements with suppliers or vendors, exclusive licenses (e.g., for a product, service or technology), company’s own research and development activities.

6.     Development stage:

Current stage of development of the product / service (e.g., idea, development, testing, prototype, already on the market).

7.     Product life-cycle:

Estimate the life span of the product or service.

Specify whether the product or service under consideration is a short-lived fad or has a long-term potential.

8.     Future:

Mention plans for changes and new additions to the current portfolio of products / services.

Describe any plans to move into new markets in the future (e.g., serving different types or sizes of customers, industries, geographic areas).

Make your best guess at when the business will be ready to address these markets and what it needs to do first to be ready.

9.     Limitations:

If applicable, explain any risks or limitations associated with the product (e.g., liability issues like guarantees or returns), along with any legal advice received regarding these issues.

10.  Visual aids:

Use photos, images, diagrams and other graphics to help the reader visualize and learn about the products / services.

If the business is tackling several distinct problems through different products / services, describe the solutions individually .

However, for a large line of products / services, there is no need to list each one, just identifying the general categories will suffice.

How LONG Is the Product and Service Chapter of a Business Plan?

This part of a business plan can be very short, just a couple of paragraphs, or it can spread over multiple pages, depending on how many products/services you offer and how much explanation they require.

If your products or services are particularly complex , technical , innovative , or proprietary , you will want to provide more information and spend considerable time describing them.

This is especially true if you are seeking funding for a new product or service, particularly one that is not immediately understandable to the business plan readers, and if potential funders are likely to be motivated by the specifics.

In any case, when describing a product or service, provide just enough information to paint a clear picture of what it is and does . A brief explanation of what you will be making, selling or doing is appropriate here.

Excessive detail makes this section cumbersome for a reader to wade through. Reserve detailed descriptions (e.g., production processes) for the Appendix.

In any case, it is a good idea to first summarize the value proposition of each product or service into a one short sentence, and only then continue with a more detailed description of the product or service.

If any images or graphics are available that would contribute to the understanding of the product or service, the writers of a business plan should use them.

Otherwise, include any product or service details , such as technical specifications, drawings, photos, patent documents and other support information, in the Appendix section of the business plan document.

TOP 4 TIPS for Writing a Product and Service Overview

Tip #1: features v. benefits.

Don’t just list the features of the product / service.

Instead, describe the specific benefits it will offer to customers – from their perspective.

Make it clear what your customers will gain through buying your product or service. Include information about the specific benefits of your product or service – from your customers’ perspective.

Features are not the same thing as benefits. And you need to understand both.

Confused? Let’s clarify:

What Is the Difference Between Features and Benefits?

Tip #2: problem v. solution.

If at all possible, present the information in the Problem >> Solution format.

Start by describing the key problem that your customers have, immediately followed by the solution with which you will address this need for your target market.

Tip #3: Competitive Advantage

You should also comment on your ability to meet consumers’ key problems or unmet needs in a way that brings your product or service advantages over the competition.

For example:

  • If you have a common business, such as a restaurant:

Explain why your customers need your particular restaurant. Do you offer lower prices? More convenient hours? A better location? A different concept, such as a vegan ice-cream pop up store? A specialty that is not otherwise available in your area, such as a Peruvian ceviche or Hungarian goulash?

  • If your company is doing something new and innovative :

What is it about the existing solutions that is subpar? Maybe you are improving on a mediocre product category, such as creating better medical uniforms for healthcare workers (e.g., more flattering cut, trendy designs, sustainable materials). Or perhaps your new blockchain solution has the potential to entirely eliminate the middle-men in an entire industry.

Although the subject of competitive advantage regarding the business as a whole will be fully explored in the Market and Competitor Analysis part of a business plan, it is advisable to touch on it here also – in the context of the company’s products and service.

Tip #4: Validating the Problem and Solution

Speaking of which, when you are doing market research and analysis for your business plan, remember to validate the problem and solution your product or service is addressing.

There is a plethora of minor issues out there that people are perfectly fine with just tolerating. To build a solid business, though, you need a problem that a sufficient number of people are motivated to solve. That is, that they recognize it as a problem that’s worth paying you to solve. Even if they didn’t realize it was solvable until they were presented with your solution.

So, how do you get evidence that prospects are willing to pay for your solution?

Validation of Problem

Describe what you’ve done so far to confirm that the problem you are focused on is a real problem for your customers.

  • Existing Business:

For an established business, this is probably just a matter of recapping your success in the marketplace. Your customers have already voted with their wallets.

  • New Business:

For a startup, it is important to survey and have conversations with as many potential customers as possible about where they are having problems, how they solve them today, and validate that they are interested enough in addressing those problems to pay for a good solution.

Validation of Solution

Describe how you have tested your ideas with existing or potential customers to confirm that there is a good market for the products or services you plan to offer. Summarize the positive customer feedback or market traction that you have achieved with your solution so far.

For an established business, the answers probably lie in your paying customer base – their existence itself, combined with their repeat business, word-of-mouth referrals, follow-up customer surveys, and other indicators of customer satisfaction.

For a new business, you can start validating your solution immediately by trying it out with potential customers, even informally or at no charge, to get their opinion. If your product or service does not exist yet, talk to prospects about what you plan to offer and measure their feedback.

In summary, this section should answer the million dollar question:

What makes you think that people will buy, be satisfied with, and recommend your products or services?

Related Questions

What are products and services.

Products and services are items that businesses offer for sale to a market. While services are intangible, meaning that they do not exist in a physical form, products are of tangible nature, in other words – you can touch them.

What is a Product Line?

Product line is a group of related products that are all produced or sold by one entity and typically marketed under one brand name.

What is a Service Line?

Service line is a group of related services that are all produced or sold by one entity and typically marketed under one brand name.

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Write Products and Services Section of a Business Plan

Product and Service Description Workbook

Free Product & Service Description Worksheet

Ayush Jalan

  • January 3, 2024

Product & Services section

The core purpose of any business is to sell its offerings to its target customers.

To do this, you devise a plethora of strategies, tactics, and plans. While that is important, your sales ultimately depend on the value you provide to your customers through your products and services.

FYI, we have used the term “product” in this article to refer to both products and services unless mentioned otherwise.

Table of Contents

What is a Products & Services Section?

  • What’s Included in the Products & Services Section
  • 6 Tips on Writing a Good Products & Services Section

The products and services section of your business plan is where you mention and elaborate on your product range, product descriptions, pricing strategies, and other relevant details.

If you’re looking for partners or investors, this section plays a crucial role in persuading them. What you include in this section and how you write it can deeply impact whether or not your investors will seal the deal with you.

What’s Included in the Products and Services Section

Things To Include In Products And Services Section

In the products and services section of your business plan, you provide an overview of what you offer. Here are all the key elements your products and services section should cover:

1. Description

In this part, you include all the important details of your offerings. To write an accurate description, you can use the 5W2H method and answer these questions:

  • Who can use this product? Mention the details of your ideal customer.
  • What are the fundamental aspects of your product? These may include features, materials, ingredients, costs, dimensions, etc.
  • When should someone use this product? Mention the occasion, or the season if it’s a seasonal product. You can also mention if it is designed for a specific purpose.
  • Where should your customers use the product? Is it used indoors or outdoors? Specify these details.
  • Why should your customers use your product? Mention how the product fulfills their needs.
  • How should they use your product? Mention if there are any important user instructions.
  • How much should they use it? Mention the ideal frequency of usage that’s essential to follow while using the product.

2. Pricing Procedure

Planning Pricing for product

A pricing strategy refers to the tactics you use to set a price for your products and services. There are several pricing strategies to choose from; you can pick the one that best fits your business model .

There are several things to consider before setting your price. Conduct a price analysis to get an idea of which pricing strategy works for you. Here are the steps involved in conducting a pricing analysis:

Determine cost of goods sold ( COGS ):

To calculate the total cost of your products and services, add all the expenses that you incurred before the sale. This will include costs such as manufacturing, labor, warehousing, distributing, packaging and labeling, marketing, etc.

Collect data about the price preferences of your customers:

Study your competitors’ prices:, consider all the legal and ethical aspects:.

After conducting a pricing analysis, you can look at these pricing strategies to choose one for your business.

3. Product Comparison

Regardless of what you’re selling, chances are someone in the market is already selling it. Unlike direct competitors, indirect competitors are those who sell similar products with slight variations.

Looking at your competitors can help you draw a comparison. To do that, examine their products and services and list down the similarities and differences.

Categorize this information into qualitative and quantitative aspects and organize it in tables. Finally, summarize it by including your advantages over competitors. Also, include how you will leverage them to balance your drawbacks.

4. Sales Literature

Sales process

Sales literature refers to the promotional and informative materials you use to inform, clarify, and convince your customers to make buying decisions. These include brochures, catalogs, newsletters, price lists, customer testimonials, and case studies .

List out all the sales literature you use or plan to market your products and services; explain the information it conveys in brief. Another integral part of your sales literature is your website; explain how it contributes to your sales.

Perhaps you run a blog to promote your products and inform your customers about new releases. Maybe you sell your products and services directly from your website; in that case, your sales literature material will go there.

Sales literature is a quick and attractive tool to market your products and services.

5. Order Management

Order processing refers to the stages from the moment a customer places an order to the delivery of the product paired with after-sales services. Here, you explain how customers will order or buy the product and the delivery process.

For instance, if you are an online retail store , your order processing may include these stages:

  • Order Placement
  • Order processing
  • Picking inventory
  • Product Delivery
  • Customer support

Depending on your offerings, your order processing workflow can have several stages. Describe each step and provide elaborate details about the execution.

6. Delivery Requirements

Delivery requirements

If the delivery or creation of your products and services needs any resources, you mention them here. These include equipment, vehicles, technology, and software.

For instance, a cafe owner will need kitchen equipment and IT solutions to run and provide its services. These should be mentioned in this part of the products and services section.

To cite another example, a consumer electronics company needs an IT infrastructure and production facility to create its products. For delivery, it needs vehicles and an online portal for customers to place and receive orders. All these are mentioned here.

7. Intellectual Properties

Intellectual

Mention all the IP documents that are related to your products and services. These include trademarks, seller permits, patents, other licenses, etc. Here you can also include any legal issues you are currently facing. Explain how you are dealing with the existing issues.

Further, mention the issues that might occur in the future and the counteractive measures you will take to prevent them. These include adding safety labels, and disclaimers, opting for insurance policies, etc.

8. Future Offerings

This is a chance to impress your investors or partners by briefing them about your future products or services. This shows that you’re already working on new ideas which help convey your potential and dedication.

If your future products are an extension of your current ones, you can rodenticide an outline of the improvements made. Mon whether your future products are under development or ready for launch.

6 Tips on Writing a Good Products and Services Section

Tips To Write Products And Services Section

1. Opt for a customer-centric approach:

Your goal is to cater to the needs of your customers through your products or services. Hence, write as if you are talking to your customers and directly addressing their issues. Point out how your product will make their lives better and easier.

2. Keep it simple:

Clearly represent the information. You can use bullet points and lists to convey your message. You can also use tables and charts to display product comparisons, strengths, etc.

3. Ditch buzzwords and industrial jargon:

Everyone who reads your business plan may not understand the industrial jargon and buzzwords. Therefore, it is best to skip the complicated lingo and use layman’s terms.

4. Specify market pain points:

Elaborate on the problems your target audience is facing. You can gather this data by conducting a market analysis. Mention the various pain points and the features of your product that address them. Consider citing examples and relevant statistics to display how your product solves a customer problem .

5. Emphasize your USP:

Highlight the benefits and the unique features of your products and services. Mention the things you do differently than your competitors and how you offer more value in comparison.

6. Flaunt your achievements:

Make sure to show off the business milestones you’ve achieved such as awards, news articles, customer reviews, etc. You can also include your past sales numbers, your customer base, and the projects you fulfilled. These instill trust and help investors, clients, and partners to make decisions.

Persuade Interest with a Products and Services Section

Products and services are the lifeblood of your business. An accurate representation of your offerings is crucial to scoring funding and demonstrating your potential to grow in the market.

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About the Author

product offering in business plan example

Ayush is a writer with an academic background in business and marketing. Being a tech-enthusiast, he likes to keep a sharp eye on the latest tech gadgets and innovations. When he's not working, you can find him writing poetry, gaming, playing the ukulele, catching up with friends, and indulging in creative philosophies.

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Business Plan Offering Example: Everything You Need to Know

A small business plan offering example revolves around the goods or services you plan to offer to the public or other businesses. 3 min read updated on January 01, 2024

A small business plan offering example revolves around the goods or services you plan to offer to the public or other businesses. It's important to understand what your company is offering in order to engage in the proper marketing efforts.

It's also important to understand how that offering will compare to the competition in your marketplace. Of course, the end goal is to influence a customer to purchase from you over the competition.

Some businesses offer multiple goods and/or services. For example, a car dealership might sell cars, but it can also offer services to repair and maintain cars. The term "product mix" refers to the entire line of products and services offered by such a business.

Product Depth

The product lines of companies have varying depths. Varying depth refers to the number of products or services a company plans to offer in each product line.

The depth of a product line also refers to the customer segments, or the various kinds of customers, that the product line will satisfy. For example, a car dealership might sell luxury, sport, economy, and utility vehicles in an effort to cater to a wide variety of customers. This may also help the dealership quash other competitors in the marketplace.

Product Width

Along with product depth, businesses may also want to consider "product width." Product width refers to the number of product lines being offered.

Product width can help a company increase its sales and marketing efforts. This may make its profits less susceptible to market fluctuations in the demand for each type of product.

For example, if a company sells hot chocolate and ice cream, it will withstand the market fluctuations that come with an increase in hot chocolate sales in the winter and a plummet in the summer.

Products or Services Section

In the Products or Services Section of your business plan , you'll describe the products or services you're offering and explain the concept for your business (including manufacturing, purchasing, packaging, and distribution). This is also the time to annotate suppliers and fees. You should also indicate how your offerings will fit into the current marketplace and size up against the competition.

This section provides a clear understanding of your motivations, what you plan to sell, how you will compete, and how you can find a niche that no one else is filling.

The Products or Services section must emphasize the value you will be providing to your clients or customers.

How to Write the Products or Services Section

This is the opportunity to provide an in-depth look at every element pertaining to the products and/or services you're selling. The Products or Services section can be broken down into the following parts:

  • A description of your products and/or services
  • A comparison to other products and/or services currently on the market
  • A list of all your price points
  • An explanation of how your product and/or service orders will be filled
  • An overview of specialized equipment, software, supplies, or technology required to produce your products and/or services
  • An outline of planned future offerings

In every part, you must maintain a focus on the benefits of your products and/or services to the public.

Explain your offerings in layman's terms so that even someone who's unfamiliar with those products or services may become excited about them. Always keep the reader in mind. Be aware of any elements you might take for granted because you know the industry inside out but that might not be common knowledge to your investors or lenders.

Avoid technical knowledge, acronyms, and buzzwords. Never make assumptions about the knowledge level of your readers. To make sure you've hit the mark, ask someone who's not in the industry to proofread this section. See if they can paraphrase the section for you in their own words and state the benefits of your products and/or services.

Other Considerations for the Products or Services Section

You may also want to include any pertinent accreditations or intellectual property in this section. Was your product tested or certified? Did you copyright, patent, or trademark your product? Each of these elements can add credibility and substance to your business plan.

Photos or brochures will also provide a visual representation of your offerings. Although these are typically found in the business plan's appendix, you could refer to them in this section as well.

If you need help with a business plan offering example, you can post your legal need on UpCounsel's marketplace. UpCounsel accepts only the top 5 percent of lawyers to its site. Lawyers on UpCounsel come from law schools such as Harvard Law and Yale Law and average 14 years of legal experience, including work with or on behalf of companies like Google, Menlo Ventures, and Airbnb.

Hire the top business lawyers and save up to 60% on legal fees

Content Approved by UpCounsel

  • What Is Service Product?
  • Service Business Plan
  • Is a Service a Product? Everything You Need to Know
  • Parts of Business Plan and Definition
  • What Are Product and Services Examples?
  • Business Plan Outline: Everything You Need To Know
  • What Is a Product or Service Description?
  • How to Make a Business Plan Format
  • Creating a Business Plan
  • Business Description Outline

How To Write the Products and Services of a Business Plan

Crucial to business plans designed to secure funding or partnerships, your products and services section needs to showcase the quality, value, and benefits your business offers.

It’s not just a list of what your business is going to produce or provide. Instead, it outlines what you make or do, why your market needs your products or services, how you will compete with other companies selling the same or similar products or services, and what you will charge.

What To Include In The Products and Services Section

When looking at how to write the Products and Services section of your plan, be sure to include:

  • A description of the products or services you offer or plan to offer
  • A pricing model for your products or service, including how you set your prices and how you will make a profit. Include a breakdown of your Costs of Goods (COG) and Costs of Services (COS), what your contingency plan is in the event of a shift in market conditions, changes to laws, or availability of supplies, and your markup strategy.
  • A comparison of your competitors’ products or services against yours, including a survey of what your competitors charge for similar items, along with a discussion explaining your pricing strategy
  • Any sales literature or marketing materials you will use, including your website’s role in your sales efforts.
  • An outline of how your orders will be processed or fulfilled.
  • Any needs required to create or deliver your products (for example, up-to-date computer equipment)
  • Any intellectual property (trademarks) or legal issues needing to be addressed.
  • Future product or services

How to Make The Products & Service Section Appealing

Ideally, this section should elicit excitement in your reader and entice them to fund your business or work with you.

Here are few ways to accomplish this when deciding how to write the Products and Services section of your business plan:

  • Showcase why there is a need for your product or service. Doing so is especially important if you’re introducing a new concept or invention or introducing your product or service into a place where there is currently no market for it.
  • Emphasize the features of your product or service. How does it differ from that of your competitors in terms of make, shape, form, or appearance? Or price point? Or the level of service? What makes it unique?
  • Focus on benefits. Once you’ve identified what features make your product unique, it’s vital to show how those features provide value to consumers. Is your product cheaper? Is your service faster? You want to clearly indicate how your product or service will fix a problem or improve a client or customer’s life.
  • Be clear and concise and talk in layman’s terms. Avoid getting bogged down in lengthy descriptions or unnecessary details. Use bullet points and numbered lists to highlight important information. Don’t assume that your potential funders, partners, or customers have the same level of knowledge. Instead, consider the reader doesn’t know as much as you do when explaining your offering. Stay away from acronyms, jargon, industry buzzwords, and aim to be customer-oriented. If you have to use acronyms or jargon, always provide a definition.
  • “ Why are you the best person to provide your products and services?”
  • “What education or experience do you have that makes you qualified to provide them?”

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  • Phone Number

Don’t forget to include any testimonials, awards, or accolades you’ve received as well as any patents, copyrights, or trademarks you own or have applications for. Have you had the product tested or certified? Gotten approvals from industry experts? Including these details adds credibility to your overall business plan.

  • Identify any liability issues: A liability lawsuit can significantly change the landscape of your business. Even if you don’t foresee any liability issues, include a statement to that effect rather than not address it at all. If there is a liability issue, real or apparent, acknowledge it and describe how you’ll deal with it. Let the reader know you will take all necessary steps to protect your business, your products, and yourself from litigation.
  • Be precise in your product or service descriptions. For example, you don’t want only to say, “I sell shoes.” You want instead to say, “I sell leather boots targeted at women aged 16 – 25 who buy online”. Wherever possible, also include pictures of your products.

Questions to Answer in Your Products & Services Section

  • Are your products or services in development or existing and on the market?
  • If they currently aren’t on the market, what is the timeline for bringing them to it? Do you have a prototype?
  • What makes your product or service different? What are your competitive advantages? What are your competitive disadvantages, and how will you overcome them?
  • Is your pricing an issue? Are your operating costs low enough to allow for a reasonable profit margin?
  • Where are you acquiring your products? Do you manufacture them, or do you assemble them using third-party components? Do you purchase from suppliers or wholesalers? If demand increases, do you have a steady supply of products available?
  • How are you going to sell your product or service? Will it be available online or in retail stores? Do you have any vendors lined up?

Once you’ve answered these questions, stop and reread the section. Ask yourself if you’ve tried to answer why a client would want your product or service. Consider whether your offering will make your customers’ lives better or more accretive.

Examine the need you are fulfilling or the problem you are solving. More importantly, does the section give the reader a clear understanding of why you’re in business, what you sell, and how you differ from your competitors?

After completing this exercise, if you’re still unsure or would like more support about how to write the Products and Services section of your business plan, we invite you to reach out to our team at Bsbcon.

We are available to help small-medium-sized enterprises worldwide tackle their most critical challenges and capture their most significant opportunities.  We make a point to understand new trends, digital options, and partnerships that help our clients today and tomorrow. Call us toll-free at 1(888) 880-1898, write [email protected] , or fill out our contact form here .

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How to Write a Business Plan: Step-by-Step Guide + Examples

Determined female African-American entrepreneur scaling a mountain while wearing a large backpack. Represents the journey to starting and growing a business and needi

Noah Parsons

24 min. read

Updated May 7, 2024

Writing a business plan doesn’t have to be complicated. 

In this step-by-step guide, you’ll learn how to write a business plan that’s detailed enough to impress bankers and potential investors, while giving you the tools to start, run, and grow a successful business.

  • The basics of business planning

If you’re reading this guide, then you already know why you need a business plan . 

You understand that planning helps you: 

  • Raise money
  • Grow strategically
  • Keep your business on the right track 

As you start to write your plan, it’s useful to zoom out and remember what a business plan is .

At its core, a business plan is an overview of the products and services you sell, and the customers that you sell to. It explains your business strategy: how you’re going to build and grow your business, what your marketing strategy is, and who your competitors are.

Most business plans also include financial forecasts for the future. These set sales goals, budget for expenses, and predict profits and cash flow. 

A good business plan is much more than just a document that you write once and forget about. It’s also a guide that helps you outline and achieve your goals. 

After completing your plan, you can use it as a management tool to track your progress toward your goals. Updating and adjusting your forecasts and budgets as you go is one of the most important steps you can take to run a healthier, smarter business. 

We’ll dive into how to use your plan later in this article.

There are many different types of plans , but we’ll go over the most common type here, which includes everything you need for an investor-ready plan. However, if you’re just starting out and are looking for something simpler—I recommend starting with a one-page business plan . It’s faster and easier to create. 

It’s also the perfect place to start if you’re just figuring out your idea, or need a simple strategic plan to use inside your business.

Dig deeper : How to write a one-page business plan

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  • What to include in your business plan

Executive summary

The executive summary is an overview of your business and your plans. It comes first in your plan and is ideally just one to two pages. Most people write it last because it’s a summary of the complete business plan.

Ideally, the executive summary can act as a stand-alone document that covers the highlights of your detailed plan. 

In fact, it’s common for investors to ask only for the executive summary when evaluating your business. If they like what they see in the executive summary, they’ll often follow up with a request for a complete plan, a pitch presentation , or more in-depth financial forecasts .

Your executive summary should include:

  • A summary of the problem you are solving
  • A description of your product or service
  • An overview of your target market
  • A brief description of your team
  • A summary of your financials
  • Your funding requirements (if you are raising money)

Dig Deeper: How to write an effective executive summary

Products and services description

This is where you describe exactly what you’re selling, and how it solves a problem for your target market. The best way to organize this part of your plan is to start by describing the problem that exists for your customers. After that, you can describe how you plan to solve that problem with your product or service. 

This is usually called a problem and solution statement .

To truly showcase the value of your products and services, you need to craft a compelling narrative around your offerings. How will your product or service transform your customers’ lives or jobs? A strong narrative will draw in your readers.

This is also the part of the business plan to discuss any competitive advantages you may have, like specific intellectual property or patents that protect your product. If you have any initial sales, contracts, or other evidence that your product or service is likely to sell, include that information as well. It will show that your idea has traction , which can help convince readers that your plan has a high chance of success.

Market analysis

Your target market is a description of the type of people that you plan to sell to. You might even have multiple target markets, depending on your business. 

A market analysis is the part of your plan where you bring together all of the information you know about your target market. Basically, it’s a thorough description of who your customers are and why they need what you’re selling. You’ll also include information about the growth of your market and your industry .

Try to be as specific as possible when you describe your market. 

Include information such as age, income level, and location—these are what’s called “demographics.” If you can, also describe your market’s interests and habits as they relate to your business—these are “psychographics.” 

Related: Target market examples

Essentially, you want to include any knowledge you have about your customers that is relevant to how your product or service is right for them. With a solid target market, it will be easier to create a sales and marketing plan that will reach your customers. That’s because you know who they are, what they like to do, and the best ways to reach them.

Next, provide any additional information you have about your market. 

What is the size of your market ? Is the market growing or shrinking? Ideally, you’ll want to demonstrate that your market is growing over time, and also explain how your business is positioned to take advantage of any expected changes in your industry.

Dig Deeper: Learn how to write a market analysis

Competitive analysis

Part of defining your business opportunity is determining what your competitive advantage is. To do this effectively, you need to know as much about your competitors as your target customers. 

Every business has some form of competition. If you don’t think you have competitors, then explore what alternatives there are in the market for your product or service. 

For example: In the early years of cars, their main competition was horses. For social media, the early competition was reading books, watching TV, and talking on the phone.

A good competitive analysis fully lays out the competitive landscape and then explains how your business is different. Maybe your products are better made, or cheaper, or your customer service is superior. Maybe your competitive advantage is your location – a wide variety of factors can ultimately give you an advantage.

Dig Deeper: How to write a competitive analysis for your business plan

Marketing and sales plan

The marketing and sales plan covers how you will position your product or service in the market, the marketing channels and messaging you will use, and your sales tactics. 

The best place to start with a marketing plan is with a positioning statement . 

This explains how your business fits into the overall market, and how you will explain the advantages of your product or service to customers. You’ll use the information from your competitive analysis to help you with your positioning. 

For example: You might position your company as the premium, most expensive but the highest quality option in the market. Or your positioning might focus on being locally owned and that shoppers support the local economy by buying your products.

Once you understand your positioning, you’ll bring this together with the information about your target market to create your marketing strategy . 

This is how you plan to communicate your message to potential customers. Depending on who your customers are and how they purchase products like yours, you might use many different strategies, from social media advertising to creating a podcast. Your marketing plan is all about how your customers discover who you are and why they should consider your products and services. 

While your marketing plan is about reaching your customers—your sales plan will describe the actual sales process once a customer has decided that they’re interested in what you have to offer. 

If your business requires salespeople and a long sales process, describe that in this section. If your customers can “self-serve” and just make purchases quickly on your website, describe that process. 

A good sales plan picks up where your marketing plan leaves off. The marketing plan brings customers in the door and the sales plan is how you close the deal.

Together, these specific plans paint a picture of how you will connect with your target audience, and how you will turn them into paying customers.

Dig deeper: What to include in your sales and marketing plan

Business operations

The operations section describes the necessary requirements for your business to run smoothly. It’s where you talk about how your business works and what day-to-day operations look like. 

Depending on how your business is structured, your operations plan may include elements of the business like:

  • Supply chain management
  • Manufacturing processes
  • Equipment and technology
  • Distribution

Some businesses distribute their products and reach their customers through large retailers like Amazon.com, Walmart, Target, and grocery store chains. 

These businesses should review how this part of their business works. The plan should discuss the logistics and costs of getting products onto store shelves and any potential hurdles the business may have to overcome.

If your business is much simpler than this, that’s OK. This section of your business plan can be either extremely short or more detailed, depending on the type of business you are building.

For businesses selling services, such as physical therapy or online software, you can use this section to describe the technology you’ll leverage, what goes into your service, and who you will partner with to deliver your services.

Dig Deeper: Learn how to write the operations chapter of your plan

Key milestones and metrics

Although it’s not required to complete your business plan, mapping out key business milestones and the metrics can be incredibly useful for measuring your success.

Good milestones clearly lay out the parameters of the task and set expectations for their execution. You’ll want to include:

  • A description of each task
  • The proposed due date
  • Who is responsible for each task

If you have a budget, you can include projected costs to hit each milestone. You don’t need extensive project planning in this section—just list key milestones you want to hit and when you plan to hit them. This is your overall business roadmap. 

Possible milestones might be:

  • Website launch date
  • Store or office opening date
  • First significant sales
  • Break even date
  • Business licenses and approvals

You should also discuss the key numbers you will track to determine your success. Some common metrics worth tracking include:

  • Conversion rates
  • Customer acquisition costs
  • Profit per customer
  • Repeat purchases

It’s perfectly fine to start with just a few metrics and grow the number you are tracking over time. You also may find that some metrics simply aren’t relevant to your business and can narrow down what you’re tracking.

Dig Deeper: How to use milestones in your business plan

Organization and management team

Investors don’t just look for great ideas—they want to find great teams. Use this chapter to describe your current team and who you need to hire . You should also provide a quick overview of your location and history if you’re already up and running.

Briefly highlight the relevant experiences of each key team member in the company. It’s important to make the case for why yours is the right team to turn an idea into a reality. 

Do they have the right industry experience and background? Have members of the team had entrepreneurial successes before? 

If you still need to hire key team members, that’s OK. Just note those gaps in this section.

Your company overview should also include a summary of your company’s current business structure . The most common business structures include:

  • Sole proprietor
  • Partnership

Be sure to provide an overview of how the business is owned as well. Does each business partner own an equal portion of the business? How is ownership divided? 

Potential lenders and investors will want to know the structure of the business before they will consider a loan or investment.

Dig Deeper: How to write about your company structure and team

Financial plan

Last, but certainly not least, is your financial plan chapter. 

Entrepreneurs often find this section the most daunting. But, business financials for most startups are less complicated than you think, and a business degree is certainly not required to build a solid financial forecast. 

A typical financial forecast in a business plan includes the following:

  • Sales forecast : An estimate of the sales expected over a given period. You’ll break down your forecast into the key revenue streams that you expect to have.
  • Expense budget : Your planned spending such as personnel costs , marketing expenses, and taxes.
  • Profit & Loss : Brings together your sales and expenses and helps you calculate planned profits.
  • Cash Flow : Shows how cash moves into and out of your business. It can predict how much cash you’ll have on hand at any given point in the future.
  • Balance Sheet : A list of the assets, liabilities, and equity in your company. In short, it provides an overview of the financial health of your business. 

A strong business plan will include a description of assumptions about the future, and potential risks that could impact the financial plan. Including those will be especially important if you’re writing a business plan to pursue a loan or other investment.

Dig Deeper: How to create financial forecasts and budgets

This is the place for additional data, charts, or other information that supports your plan.

Including an appendix can significantly enhance the credibility of your plan by showing readers that you’ve thoroughly considered the details of your business idea, and are backing your ideas up with solid data.

Just remember that the information in the appendix is meant to be supplementary. Your business plan should stand on its own, even if the reader skips this section.

Dig Deeper : What to include in your business plan appendix

Optional: Business plan cover page

Adding a business plan cover page can make your plan, and by extension your business, seem more professional in the eyes of potential investors, lenders, and partners. It serves as the introduction to your document and provides necessary contact information for stakeholders to reference.

Your cover page should be simple and include:

  • Company logo
  • Business name
  • Value proposition (optional)
  • Business plan title
  • Completion and/or update date
  • Address and contact information
  • Confidentiality statement

Just remember, the cover page is optional. If you decide to include it, keep it very simple and only spend a short amount of time putting it together.

Dig Deeper: How to create a business plan cover page

How to use AI to help write your business plan

Generative AI tools such as ChatGPT can speed up the business plan writing process and help you think through concepts like market segmentation and competition. These tools are especially useful for taking ideas that you provide and converting them into polished text for your business plan.

The best way to use AI for your business plan is to leverage it as a collaborator , not a replacement for human creative thinking and ingenuity. 

AI can come up with lots of ideas and act as a brainstorming partner. It’s up to you to filter through those ideas and figure out which ones are realistic enough to resonate with your customers. 

There are pros and cons of using AI to help with your business plan . So, spend some time understanding how it can be most helpful before just outsourcing the job to AI.

Learn more: 10 AI prompts you need to write a business plan

  • Writing tips and strategies

To help streamline the business plan writing process, here are a few tips and key questions to answer to make sure you get the most out of your plan and avoid common mistakes .  

Determine why you are writing a business plan

Knowing why you are writing a business plan will determine your approach to your planning project. 

For example: If you are writing a business plan for yourself, or just to use inside your own business , you can probably skip the section about your team and organizational structure. 

If you’re raising money, you’ll want to spend more time explaining why you’re looking to raise the funds and exactly how you will use them.

Regardless of how you intend to use your business plan , think about why you are writing and what you’re trying to get out of the process before you begin.

Keep things concise

Probably the most important tip is to keep your business plan short and simple. There are no prizes for long business plans . The longer your plan is, the less likely people are to read it. 

So focus on trimming things down to the essentials your readers need to know. Skip the extended, wordy descriptions and instead focus on creating a plan that is easy to read —using bullets and short sentences whenever possible.

Have someone review your business plan

Writing a business plan in a vacuum is never a good idea. Sometimes it’s helpful to zoom out and check if your plan makes sense to someone else. You also want to make sure that it’s easy to read and understand.

Don’t wait until your plan is “done” to get a second look. Start sharing your plan early, and find out from readers what questions your plan leaves unanswered. This early review cycle will help you spot shortcomings in your plan and address them quickly, rather than finding out about them right before you present your plan to a lender or investor.

If you need a more detailed review, you may want to explore hiring a professional plan writer to thoroughly examine it.

Use a free business plan template and business plan examples to get started

Knowing what information to include in a business plan is sometimes not quite enough. If you’re struggling to get started or need additional guidance, it may be worth using a business plan template. 

There are plenty of great options available (we’ve rounded up our 8 favorites to streamline your search).

But, if you’re looking for a free downloadable business plan template , you can get one right now; download the template used by more than 1 million businesses. 

Or, if you just want to see what a completed business plan looks like, check out our library of over 550 free business plan examples . 

We even have a growing list of industry business planning guides with tips for what to focus on depending on your business type.

Common pitfalls and how to avoid them

It’s easy to make mistakes when you’re writing your business plan. Some entrepreneurs get sucked into the writing and research process, and don’t focus enough on actually getting their business started. 

Here are a few common mistakes and how to avoid them:

Not talking to your customers : This is one of the most common mistakes. It’s easy to assume that your product or service is something that people want. Before you invest too much in your business and too much in the planning process, make sure you talk to your prospective customers and have a good understanding of their needs.

  • Overly optimistic sales and profit forecasts: By nature, entrepreneurs are optimistic about the future. But it’s good to temper that optimism a little when you’re planning, and make sure your forecasts are grounded in reality. 
  • Spending too much time planning: Yes, planning is crucial. But you also need to get out and talk to customers, build prototypes of your product and figure out if there’s a market for your idea. Make sure to balance planning with building.
  • Not revising the plan: Planning is useful, but nothing ever goes exactly as planned. As you learn more about what’s working and what’s not—revise your plan, your budgets, and your revenue forecast. Doing so will provide a more realistic picture of where your business is going, and what your financial needs will be moving forward.
  • Not using the plan to manage your business: A good business plan is a management tool. Don’t just write it and put it on the shelf to collect dust – use it to track your progress and help you reach your goals.
  • Presenting your business plan

The planning process forces you to think through every aspect of your business and answer questions that you may not have thought of. That’s the real benefit of writing a business plan – the knowledge you gain about your business that you may not have been able to discover otherwise.

With all of this knowledge, you’re well prepared to convert your business plan into a pitch presentation to present your ideas. 

A pitch presentation is a summary of your plan, just hitting the highlights and key points. It’s the best way to present your business plan to investors and team members.

Dig Deeper: Learn what key slides should be included in your pitch deck

Use your business plan to manage your business

One of the biggest benefits of planning is that it gives you a tool to manage your business better. With a revenue forecast, expense budget, and projected cash flow, you know your targets and where you are headed.

And yet, nothing ever goes exactly as planned – it’s the nature of business.

That’s where using your plan as a management tool comes in. The key to leveraging it for your business is to review it periodically and compare your forecasts and projections to your actual results.

Start by setting up a regular time to review the plan – a monthly review is a good starting point. During this review, answer questions like:

  • Did you meet your sales goals?
  • Is spending following your budget?
  • Has anything gone differently than what you expected?

Now that you see whether you’re meeting your goals or are off track, you can make adjustments and set new targets. 

Maybe you’re exceeding your sales goals and should set new, more aggressive goals. In that case, maybe you should also explore more spending or hiring more employees. 

Or maybe expenses are rising faster than you projected. If that’s the case, you would need to look at where you can cut costs.

A plan, and a method for comparing your plan to your actual results , is the tool you need to steer your business toward success.

Learn More: How to run a regular plan review

Free business plan templates and examples

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How to write a business plan FAQ

What is a business plan?

A document that describes your business , the products and services you sell, and the customers that you sell to. It explains your business strategy, how you’re going to build and grow your business, what your marketing strategy is, and who your competitors are.

What are the benefits of a business plan?

A business plan helps you understand where you want to go with your business and what it will take to get there. It reduces your overall risk, helps you uncover your business’s potential, attracts investors, and identifies areas for growth.

Having a business plan ultimately makes you more confident as a business owner and more likely to succeed for a longer period of time.

What are the 7 steps of a business plan?

The seven steps to writing a business plan include:

  • Write a brief executive summary
  • Describe your products and services.
  • Conduct market research and compile data into a cohesive market analysis.
  • Describe your marketing and sales strategy.
  • Outline your organizational structure and management team.
  • Develop financial projections for sales, revenue, and cash flow.
  • Add any additional documents to your appendix.

What are the 5 most common business plan mistakes?

There are plenty of mistakes that can be made when writing a business plan. However, these are the 5 most common that you should do your best to avoid:

  • 1. Not taking the planning process seriously.
  • Having unrealistic financial projections or incomplete financial information.
  • Inconsistent information or simple mistakes.
  • Failing to establish a sound business model.
  • Not having a defined purpose for your business plan.

What questions should be answered in a business plan?

Writing a business plan is all about asking yourself questions about your business and being able to answer them through the planning process. You’ll likely be asking dozens and dozens of questions for each section of your plan.

However, these are the key questions you should ask and answer with your business plan:

  • How will your business make money?
  • Is there a need for your product or service?
  • Who are your customers?
  • How are you different from the competition?
  • How will you reach your customers?
  • How will you measure success?

How long should a business plan be?

The length of your business plan fully depends on what you intend to do with it. From the SBA and traditional lender point of view, a business plan needs to be whatever length necessary to fully explain your business. This means that you prove the viability of your business, show that you understand the market, and have a detailed strategy in place.

If you intend to use your business plan for internal management purposes, you don’t necessarily need a full 25-50 page business plan. Instead, you can start with a one-page plan to get all of the necessary information in place.

What are the different types of business plans?

While all business plans cover similar categories, the style and function fully depend on how you intend to use your plan. Here are a few common business plan types worth considering.

Traditional business plan: The tried-and-true traditional business plan is a formal document meant to be used when applying for funding or pitching to investors. This type of business plan follows the outline above and can be anywhere from 10-50 pages depending on the amount of detail included, the complexity of your business, and what you include in your appendix.

Business model canvas: The business model canvas is a one-page template designed to demystify the business planning process. It removes the need for a traditional, copy-heavy business plan, in favor of a single-page outline that can help you and outside parties better explore your business idea.

One-page business plan: This format is a simplified version of the traditional plan that focuses on the core aspects of your business. You’ll typically stick with bullet points and single sentences. It’s most useful for those exploring ideas, needing to validate their business model, or who need an internal plan to help them run and manage their business.

Lean Plan: The Lean Plan is less of a specific document type and more of a methodology. It takes the simplicity and styling of the one-page business plan and turns it into a process for you to continuously plan, test, review, refine, and take action based on performance. It’s faster, keeps your plan concise, and ensures that your plan is always up-to-date.

What’s the difference between a business plan and a strategic plan?

A business plan covers the “who” and “what” of your business. It explains what your business is doing right now and how it functions. The strategic plan explores long-term goals and explains “how” the business will get there. It encourages you to look more intently toward the future and how you will achieve your vision.

However, when approached correctly, your business plan can actually function as a strategic plan as well. If kept lean, you can define your business, outline strategic steps, and track ongoing operations all with a single plan.

Content Author: Noah Parsons

Noah is the COO at Palo Alto Software, makers of the online business plan app LivePlan. He started his career at Yahoo! and then helped start the user review site Epinions.com. From there he started a software distribution business in the UK before coming to Palo Alto Software to run the marketing and product teams.

Check out LivePlan

Table of Contents

  • Use AI to help write your plan
  • Common planning mistakes
  • Manage with your business plan
  • Templates and examples

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Business Plan Products and Services Section: How to Write Guide .

Sep 17, 2023 | Business Consulting , Business Growth , Business Plan , Business Strategy Development , Products and Services , Starting a Business , Strategy

How to Write the Business Plan Products and Services Section

How to Write the Business Plan Products and Services Section

The business plan products and services section provides a comprehensive overview of your business, including your business model, product and service offerings, target market, and sales forecast.

“You’ve got to start with the customer experience and work back toward the technology – not the other way around.” – Steve Jobs

In this, the fifth installment in our” Creating your business plan” article series, we will discuss the information you should include regarding your products and services, how they contribute to your unique value proposition, and what sets you apart from your peer group.

Most companies either sell a range of products or offer several services to their customers, sometimes both, especially as you grow and scale up your business operations.

How to Write the Business Plan Products and Services Section

This section of your business plan should excite potential investors or partners. Here are some tips to create a compelling products and services section.

The products and services section should not just list your business offers in your business plan. It should provide comprehensive information on the pricing of your products and services, how you intend to fulfill orders, and other relevant details that investors require to make funding decisions. Find out more below.

Why you need a products and services section in a business plan

The section on products and services in your business plan is the focal point of your entire plan. Although other areas are significant, this section is the core of your business and serves as the foundation for the rest of your plan.

Describe your b usiness plan p roduct or service offerings

Firstly, within this section of your business plan, you want to include a description of your products or services. These should be reasonably detailed to give your reader a strong understanding of how they fit into your overall business plan.

You should discuss the general categories under which your products or services fall and then describe the relevant characteristics of your offerings. It’s important to remember that, while offering a detailed review, you shouldn’t get too technical. It would help if you avoided buzzwords, acronyms, and dense industry jargon.

There’s a good chance that some of your readers won’t be familiar with these terms, and using them could confuse them. Instead, write for someone who doesn’t know anything about your business. That guarantees that your descriptions are clear and understandable.

Remember the following questions as you sculpt each entry’s product and service description.

  • What is the current status of the product or service offering in the marketplace?
  • Is the offering an existing product or service or one in development?
  • How will you offer the product or services?
  • What are the ideal price point and profit margins?
  • What are your innovation plans for this product or service?

For the former, discuss how long it has been a part of your company, any significant historical developments, industry awards, or the use of technology or advanced sustainability elements that differentiate you.

For the pricing, you can list the product category or individual SKUs (items). If you use Point of Sale (POS) software, like Shopify , you can include information from the system.

  • Item 1 = $4.99
  • Item 2 = $7.99
  • Item 3 = $15.95

If it’s a new product or service, give your business plan readers information about where it is in its development, what else is required to bring it to completion (and ready to sell), and when you expect to roll it out.

Develop strategic priorities for your business plan

Whether your offerings are currently in the market or under development, to remain competitive, you need a strategic roadmap plan to guide their continued innovation over time, offering customers thoughtful and innovative new solutions to delight and introduce them to your broader product and service offering.

Ideally, you would want to include an innovation roadmap for each product or service you offer customers.

For each overarching category, describe how this helps your customers articulate how your product offering or services fit into the marketplace and how you plan to develop it to stay ahead of your competitors.

Your strategy roadmap describes how you’ll remain competitive in the future, but you also need to discuss how your products and services are currently differentiated.

  • What are the characteristics, design innovations, and features set your offering apart from the rest of the market?
  • How do they fit in general, and where do they shine?
  • Where do your prices fall relative to your competitors?
  • Is price a distinguishing feature?
  • Are you catering to value-conscious or price-sensitive consumers, or do you charge more than the competition because your products and services warrant it?

Affordability is a relative term. High-end products aren’t affordable to most people, but affordability isn’t generally a concern if your market strategy targets wealthy consumers.

You can also talk about product and service shortcomings if any exist. Describe how your three-to-five-year forward-focusing strategy and innovation plans will help to rectify the situation. Other than providing enrichment, this will demonstrate to your business plan readers that you’re open, transparent, honest, and proactive in seeking solutions.

Unique value proposition for your b usiness plan products and services section

Your value proposition is a declaration from you about the benefits your customers receive by using your service or the challenges they will overcome by using your product versus an alternative in the marketplace.

Discuss why your target market prefers or should prefer your offerings over the competition.

  • What is your value proposition, and what does this mean for your customers?
  • How does your product or service offering solve/ improve problems?
  • What benefits do you provide that are lacking from other market contenders?
  • What is the product and service difference that you selected for marketing purposes that will drive customer adoption?

Your value propositions should focus on your customer needs, and answering these questions will give your business plan readers a robust understanding of everything you offer and your future aspirations for business growth.

You may have different value propositions for each of the target core customer groups. As your business grows, you will likely have to revisit your value proposition for each product and service to safeguard your competitiveness and relevance in the marketplace.

Be strategic. You can’t leave change up to chance. You will need a strategy development process to oversee your decisions and focus your efforts. Otherwise, you run the risk of stagnation, ultimately impacting your business growth and cash flow.

Why is the b usiness plan products and services section important?

In the products and services section of your business plan, you can explain the purpose behind your business. This can include detailed information about your products or services, such as pricing, and more personal aspects like your mission statement.

The goal is to create a compelling and well-rounded description of what you offer, how it operates, and why it is beneficial. This section should be able to stand alone and be supported by the other areas of your plan.

For example, have a look at Bplans , US-SBA , or Upmetrics have some valuable insights/

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Contact Noirwolf Consulting today using the website contact form or by emailing [email protected] or call us at +44 113 328 0868.

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How to Write the Products or Services Section

Learn about this essential part of a business plan

Alyssa Gregory is an entrepreneur, writer, and marketer with 20 years of experience in the business world. She is the founder of the Small Business Bonfire, a community for entrepreneurs, and has authored more than 2,500 articles for The Balance and other popular small business websites.

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Describe and Compare

Price points, order fulfillment, tips for writing the products or services section.

The products or services section of your business plan should clearly describe what you are selling with an emphasis on the value you're providing to your customers or clients. Include an in-depth look at all of the elements related to what you are selling.

The section needs to explain exactly what you are selling and how it fits in the marketplace. It's easier to describe the value provided if you are the only business in the area selling the product or service in question, but it is likely competitors are doing something similar.

Provide information about your competitors' offerings, how they are similar to yours, and how they are different. It's possible your business has a slightly different take on the product or service or is targeting a slightly different audience. It's also possible what you are offering is almost identical to what your competitors are offering, but demand in the marketplace is high enough to support multiple businesses doing the same thing. Explain your situation.

In addition to describing the actual products or services, break down how much they will cost. Products may come in different sizes, quantities, or varieties that will impact price, and services might be more or less extensive depending on the price being charged.

Address what competitors are doing in this regard as well. Perhaps you are offering higher or lower quality for a different demographic, but be clear about the cost and who can afford it.

Explain what happens once someone purchases what you are selling. If it is a product, they might buy it from a retail store, have it delivered from your online shop, or perhaps they submit a custom order in advance and pick it up at a later date.

If you are offering a service, it might be something that involves clients coming to you, or you might go to them. Whatever the details, make sure the process is clear.

If special technology is involved, outline what it entails. This could be specific technology you need in order to provide your services, or it might be technology clients or customers need in order to take advantage of what you're selling.

For example, if signing up clients for a training seminar, you might need specific hardware and software for a presentation. Perhaps you are selling software that requires the latest version of a particular operating system. Be sure these details are provided.

Make your description of available products or services an effective part of your business plan by following these tips:

  • Focus on the customer:  The purpose of the products or services section is to clearly express the benefits you're providing to your customers or clients. Focus on that goal by addressing how what you are selling benefits your customers. Show how it makes their lives better, easier, or more profitable.
  • Get to the point:  State the value upfront, then elaborate throughout the rest of the section while providing supporting materials. For example, if the primary benefit of what you are offering is that it saves time, state as much right away. Follow this statement with details about how it saves time and data to support the claim.
  • Keep It simple:  Assume the reader has little to no understanding of your industry and product or service. You're the expert in the industry, but the basics may not be as clear to those reading your business plan.
  • Show what makes you unique:  While describing similar products and services that are already in existence, take some time in your description to express how your product or service stands out as something different.
  • Include the fine print:  While the bulk of your products or services section should focus on the end result, you also should include information about your pricing and how you arrived at that price point.

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How to Write Products and Services Section of Business Plan

Business plan products and services section  gives details of your product or service, how it is different and if you have a reliable manufacturing or sourcing system for the product. 

How do you write the business plan products and services section?

Key questions to answer in the business plan products and services section.

Show competitive advantages of your product or service. Convince investors or lenders that you can outperform competition; you’ll likely get the funding you need. 

Use this article as a guide when writing the product and service section of your business plan.

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Your goal in writing the business plan products and services section should be to explain your offering in simple, layman’s terms. 

Anyone reading about your products or services should be able to understand:

  • what you are offering
  • what is the unique value you are offering
  • how will you do quality assurance 
  • How will you meet the increased demand?

The product service plan section should include the following.

Explain Your Products or Services

Explain your product or service in detail. Try to include a brief about all the aspects of your product or service that will improve the consumers’ lives or increase business efficiency. 

Show why your Product is Unique 

Talk about the distinctive features of your product. Show what competitors are offering and explain how your offer is unique and better. 

Emphasize the Benefits 

Your hopes of capturing a share of the market depend on the benefits your product or service provides. Describe the benefits in terms customers can relate to. 

For example, if you are offering the same features as the competitors but at a low price, highlight the low price.

Manufacturing, Sourcing, and Fulfillment 

Explain if you will manufacture your products or you’ll source. If you are going to source the product from a manufacturer, how will you select the manufacturer?

Also, briefly explain the product supply chain and fulfillment process. Potential lenders may want to know if your supply chain and fulfillment system can handle high demand. 

Be Short and Concise 

Keep to the point. The Product service section in a business plan is about introducing your offering with a fair amount of detail. However, don’t make it lengthy.

You will discuss your product or service in every section of the business plan one way or another.

Show your Expertise 

A product coming from an acknowledged expert gets more acceptance in the market. 

Show your education or experience with the offering. If your business has any patents, trademarks, or special permits, make sure you showcase them. That way, you can establish yourself as an authority. 

For a sole proprietor, you can include your experience or education. For example, when an athlete starts a fitness brand, it becomes a quick success. However, other similar businesses face struggles at the start. 

Explain in Simple Language 

Make a detailed plan of product service but explain everything in simple language. 

Every industry has its jargon and buzzwords. People familiar with your product can understand the technical details, but the lenders or investors may not know much about your industry.  

Here is a pro tip for this. When you have written the product or service description, ask a trusted friend or family member to read it and explain your product to you. That way, you can know if your product service part of the business plan is generally understandable. 

What is your Exclusive Advantage? 

Your exclusive advantage is what makes you stand out. You spotted your exclusive advantage when you developed your product or service offering. Explain that exclusive advantage here. 

If you think there is no exclusive advantage, see if you can lower your price or provide better after-sale support. Even if your exclusive advantage is indirectly related to your product, it can help you get ahead fast. 

Assume you are talking to the customer

When you walk into the customer’s shoes, you can understand their needs better. 

Assume you are talking to an actual customer and convincing them to buy from you. They know your competition and they know what they need. You will have to talk in layman’s terms without missing any important details. You will need to focus on your competitive advantage. 

You will write an excellent product or service section when you think you are explaining it to a potential customer.

  • Do you have a ready product or an under-development product?
  • When will you bring new products or services to the market?
  • What is the unique advantage of your product or service?
  • What are the competitive advantages of your product or service?
  • Does your product or service have any competitive disadvantages?
  • Are you bound to charge a price in a short range, or can you charge a different price with a better offer?
  • Are your business operating costs reasonable?
  • Will you manufacture your products or buy from a supplier? 
  • Do you sub-contract the parts of your product to different manufacturers and assemble the product at your facility?
  • Will you be able to keep a steady and reliable supply chain for your product when demand rises?

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In the products and services section, describe your offerings in detail, including their features, benefits, and uniqueness. Include information on pricing, any proprietary technology or intellectual property, and how your products or services meet customer needs.

Differentiate your products or services from competitors by highlighting their unique selling points, such as superior quality, innovative features, customizable options, or exceptional customer service. Explain how these differentiators give you a competitive advantage.

Yes, it’s important to outline your pricing strategy in the products and services section. Explain your pricing model, whether it’s based on cost-plus, value-based, or market-based pricing. Justify your pricing strategy by considering factors such as market demand, competitors’ pricing, and perceived value.

Demonstrate the market need for your products or services by providing market research and analysis. Include data on customer demographics, target market size, and any trends or consumer preferences that support the demand for your offerings.

Yes, you can mention future product or service expansion plans in the products and services section. Briefly outline your growth strategy, such as introducing new product lines, expanding into new markets, or offering additional services. However, focus primarily on your current offerings and their value proposition.

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Business Plan Section 4: Products and Services

To give others a clear understanding of the value your product or service provides, read about 11 important things to include in this section of your plan.

Products and Services

This is the part of your business plan where you will describe the specific products and services you’re going to offer. You’ll fully explain the concept for your business, along with all aspects of purchasing, manufacturing, packaging, and distribution. You’ll go over suppliers, costs, and how what you’re offering fits into the current market and stacks up against your competitors.

How do you write the Products and Services section of a business plan?

While your product may be technical, don’t get caught up in complicated industry jargon. Explain and describe what you’re offering in layman’s terms, so someone who isn’t familiar with your business will understand and be excited about it. It may be necessary to give some basic background if this is an area or industry people are unfamiliar with.

While you write up the Products and Services section of your business plan, keep your reader in mind. Things that you might take for granted or know inside-out might not be common knowledge to potential lenders or investors. As you write, avoid being too technical, assuming too much knowledge from your readers, and using buzzwords.

You don’t want to come off as condescending, but you do want to make sure everyone understands what you’re talking about. To see if you’ve succeeded, have some trusted people who aren’t in your industry proof-read this section for you, and ask them to explain your product or service in their own words, along with the benefits to using them.

Here are the points you want to write up in the Products and Services section of your business plan:

The Product or Service Description

What is your product and service, and how does it work? How does it benefit customers? How do you make it or how will you get it made?

Product Comparison

What makes this product or service unique or better than what’s already available in the market? Why would someone choose to buy your product or do business with you over someone else?

Accreditations/Intellectual Property

Have you had the product tested or certified? Gotten approvals from industry experts? Did you trademark, copyright, or patent your product ? These can add substance and credibility, so be sure to mention them.

Where are you currently with this product or service? Is it in the idea stage or do you have a prototype? Have you produced some and are looking to expand? Have you started offering this service already or are you still in the planning stages ?

How much will you charge for the products or services you’re offering? Where does this fit in with what’s currently available?

Sales and Distribution Strategy

How will you sell it? Will you market it online or in retail stores? Have you lined up any vendors? How will you distribute it or deliver the service you’re providing?

Fulfillment

How will you fill orders or deliver the service? Will you manufacture items yourself or outsource to someone else? Who will handle distribution, and how?

Requirements

Will you need any special equipment or technology to provide your product or service?

Do you envision future products or services as an extension of the business once it’s successfully launched?

Photos or Brochures

It’s beneficial to include a visual representation of your offering. Photos or brochures would generally get put in the plan’s appendix, but you would refer to them in this section.

How Do You Stand Out?

Perhaps most importantly, emphasize how and why you are competitive. How do you stand out, and why does this business have such a terrific chance at succeeding? In talking about your product or service, always try to answer why a client would want it. How will your offering make your customers’ lives better or more profitable? What need are you fulfilling or what problem are you solving?

To sum up, the product and services section of your business plan gives the reader a clear understanding of why you’re in business, what you sell, how you compete with what’s already available, or how you fill a niche that no one else is meeting.

Next > Business Plan Section 5: Market Analysis

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How to Describe your Product in a Business Plan

Products and Services

The product or products your business intends to produce or offer will have to be described in the product description section of your business plan. This section of your business plan is meant to explain how your product will stand out from comparable items in the market.

You have to clearly explain its concept, coupled with all aspects of purchasing, manufacturing, packaging, and distribution. You should also identify your suppliers, costs, and how the product you are offering fits into the current market.

Note that the product description in your business plan is more than a simple listing of product features. In this section, you will need to highlight your product’s most unique characteristics that will ensure it stands out in the marketplace and attract buyers who won’t mind paying your price.

Note that a properly written product description in your business plan can entice investors and help your business grow. Make sure you describe what you are offering in layman’s terms, to guarantee that someone who isn’t conversant with your business will grasp and be excited about it.

It may also be necessary to provide some basic background if this is an area or industry that people are not so familiar with. While you write up the Products and Services description section of your business plan, always keep your reader in mind.

What to Include in the Products and Services Description Section of Your Business Plan

Just as was noted above, the products and services section of your business plan will have to explain in detail your product or service, its demand in your market, and how it intends to compete with other businesses selling the same or similar products or services. Nonetheless, the product and services description section of your business plan is expected to include:

The Product or Service Description

It is important the product description section of your business plan clearly explains the concept of your product, coupled with all aspects of purchasing, manufacturing, packaging, and distribution. What are your product and service, and how does it work? How will this product benefit your customers? How do you plan to make it or how do you intend to get it made?

Product Comparison

This section of your business plan will also have to explain how your product compares with similar products in the market. What makes this product or service unique or better than what’s already obtainable in the market? Why would anyone prefer your product or do business with you?

You will need to describe how and why you are competitive. How do you stand out, and why do your business and everything it offers have such a viable chance at succeeding? In talking about your product or service, always try to answer why a client would want it and how it can make their lives better or more profitable?

Accreditations/Intellectual Property

For businesses that have had their product tested by industry experts, you must include this information when describing your product. Don’t forget to highlight any certifications, trademarks, copyrights, or patents.

Have it in mind that these added advantages or achievements can give you and your product an upper hand. Verified patents and trademarks can also heighten the value of your product especially since it shows that only your company can manufacture the product for the life of the patent.

Have it in mind that a product’s life cycle includes the idea, prototype, and expansion stages. If you are still in the idea stage, you must buttress in your description how you intend to get the product made and why your product matters.

If you maybe already have a prototype, outline your plans for evaluating the prototype and manufacturing your product. If your business has been making the product but is looking to expand to keep up with demand, ensure you explain this when describing your product in your business plan.

You will also want to include the cost of your product and how that cost aligns with other comparable products on the market. In very concise detail, explain how you came to this price, including the cost to manufacture, selling price, and profit margin.

Sales and Distribution Strategy

Also, take your time to explain how and where you will sell your product. Have in mind that your options may include online stores, brick-and-mortar locations, and vendors. If you already have vendors selling your product, ensure to note who they are and their locations in this section of your business plan.

Fulfillment

When describing your product in your business plan, it is also important you describe your plan to ensure your product gets to the intended customers. This should include manufacturing details and delivery specifics. If you plan to outsource the production of your goods, don’t forget to note manufacturer specifics such as location and production time. Also, remember to include the approximate delivery times and methods.

Requirements

Will you require any special equipment or technology to provide your product or service? Also explain if any specialized technology, materials, or equipment will be required to manufacture your product.

You will also have to explain your plans for product development and introduction especially as your business grows.

Photos or Brochures

Also, make sure that your potential investors can get a good insight into your product through photos and brochures. Don’t forget that your business plan is expected to have an appendix for photos and brochures. Also, don’t forget to refer to them in the product description section.

Tips for Writing a Product Description

To ensure you describe your product thoroughly, here are some vital tips to guide you;

  • Always remember the reader. The product description section of your business plan must note your product’s most vital information. Always remember to make this section very easy to read and understand. Consider making it better by leveraging numbered lists and bullets.
  • Focus on benefits. When describing your product, you must explain how its features can provide value to consumers. Translate your features into benefits, and remember that the aim is to describe how your product or service will be a solution to a problem or improve a client or customer’s life.
  • Highlight the features of your product or service. To attain substantial success in any business, your business will need the ability to set itself apart from other businesses that offer or sell the same products and services. Take your time to analyze key features, such as price point or level of service, or anything that makes your product unique in the market.
  • Show off a little. Don’t forget that you are selling a product and also selling yourself as the most viable provider of that product. Ensure to include all vital educational or industry-specific experiences and awards in this section. If you have endorsements or testimonials specific to your product, include them as well.
  • Show the need for your product. Also make sure you explain how your product will cater to a need or improve life, showing why your product is very necessary to the consumer. This is very pertinent if your product has no current market.

The product and services description section of your business plan is meant to provide the reader with an explicit understanding of why you are in business, what you sell, how you will compete with what’s already available, or how you intend to fill a niche that no one else is currently meeting. Noted above are things you need to consider when creating the product description section of your business plan to ensure that it will indeed grab your readers’ attention.

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What is a Product Offering?

Attribution: Today’s post is inspired by a lesson I recently learned from Dr. Dwight Porter, President of Applied Decision Resources and all around business genius.  I’m very lucky to study under his tutelage.

—–

Imagine for a second that you (the reader) and I just started a brand new tech company.  We’ll call it Andrew and Jon’s Technology Company (I’m going to refer to you as Jon, just play along).  The first thing we do is draw up a thesis on what the company could be, maybe we raise a small amount of money from friends and family or angel investors and then we hit the streets trying to sell our software.  For the sake of this exercise let’s say we’re building a software application for corporate instant messaging.  Our value proposition is that unlike current players in the market, our app lets you view group chats in a threaded pattern (big weakness of current apps in the market, like Slack ).

To start, we’ll have zero customers, a work-in-progress messaging platform, and no revenue.  Our immediate goal is to land our first customer – someone who believes in us and is willing to bet on us.  Chances are we’ll pitch dozens of prospective customers before we find a single company who will buy anything from us.  The first 30 companies we talk to use Slack and don’t have a need for anything more sophisticated or different.  However after weeks of searching for a customer, we do find a security company called Security Inc. that has a special unmet need.  They need a messaging app with a very high level of security.  Well – it’s a little different than our business plan, but these folks are willing to pay us, so why not give it a shot?  

At this point, our “product map” looks roughly like this:

In exchange for being our first customer, Security Inc. has lots of custom requests and expects a heavy influence on our product roadmap.  At this point, we’re willing to do just about anything, so we sign Security Inc. as our first customer and commit to all of their requests.  After the deal is signed we spend the next several months heads-down just trying to meet their expectations.

If we’re lucky and work hard we’ll have delivered the secure messaging app on time and have satisfied our first paying customer.  After a short breath of relief, the next thing we’ll do is go out into the marketplace and look for other customers that look like Security Inc.  Since we’ve already built the secure messaging app, the easiest thing to do is sell what we’ve built to other customers who also need secure messaging.  If we find that there are a lot of other customers out there who look like Security Inc, then we’ve just created our first “product offering” and our product map will look like this:

We still have a single messaging platform, but we’ve now defined our first product offering that we’re calling “Secure Messaging”.  We’ve matched that product to two customer segments that we think will buy our software: Security Firms and Private Detectives.  We put our eyes toward scaling the business and hire a sales person to sell Secure Messaging, we teach her the sales pitch, set a sales quota, and set her loose on the market.

As founders, you and I now go back out into the market (with a little bit of a spring in our step) to look for what else we can develop for prospective large customers.  Before too long we find a customer, Mobile Inc., who really needs a messaging app built for the iWatch.  It’s a huge customer – much bigger than Security Inc. so we decide to take a chance and commit to building the iWatch app for Mobile Inc.  Again, we put our heads down and deliver for a big strategic client.  Then we look out into the market and see who else needs our iWatch messaging app.  If we find that there is a market, we update our product map as follows:

However, as we go back to our current customers, we find that our existing customer segment, Private Detectives, also need the iWatch messaging app – what good fortune!  We can now upsell them to use both of our products.  Now our product map looks like this:

We hire a sales person for iWatch Messaging, teach them how to sell, give them a quota, and then we repeat the process.  You and I (the visionary founders) go back into the field, always pushing the boundaries of what we offer, then packaging it into a product offering for the team to sell.

A product offering is a group of platform features that work together to deliver a specific value proposition for an end client.  That offering can be named, marketed, priced, sold and serviced.

As our company matures we are always out in the market selling custom deals to “whale” sized clients, and then packaging the capabilities we build into product offerings for our team to sell and scale.  Over time you and I will sit back and look at the beautiful portfolio of product offerings we have built.

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What Is a Product Offering? Definition and Overview

June 23, 2023 max 5min read.

product offering in business plan example

This article covers:

What Is a Product Offering?

The benefits of a strong product offering, how to create a strong product offering.

In the software field, understanding the concept of a product offering is crucial. So, what exactly is a product offering? Let’s dive in and explore.

A product offering is like a carefully curated package designed specifically for individuals in the software industry, just like you. It combines various features, functionalities, and services into a comprehensive solution. Think of it as an assortment of collaborative tools and technologies to address your unique challenges and provide value to your digital ventures.

By embracing a product offering, you gain access to cutting-edge technologies that help you stay ahead of the competition. Whether you need intuitive user interfaces, robust security measures, or scalable solutions, a well-crafted product offering is your trusted companion on your software journey.

Definition:

A product offering is a combination of products, services, and experiences a company offers its customers. It is more than just the product itself. It also includes how it is marketed and sold, as well as the customer’s overall experience with the company.

Why are product offerings important?

Product offerings are essential for a number of reasons:

  • They help to attract and retain customers . By offering a variety of products and services, businesses can appeal to a wider range of customers.

For example, a company that sells only shoes might only appeal to people who need shoes. But if the company also sells clothes, accessories, and home goods, it can appeal to a wider range of people.

  • They help to differentiate a company from its competitors . When a company offers unique products or services that no one else does, it can set itself apart from its competitors and attract more customers. 

For example, Apple is known for its innovative products, such as the iPhone and the iPad. These products have helped Apple differentiate itself from its competitors and become one of the most successful companies in the world.

  • They help to increase sales and revenue . By offering a variety of products and services, companies can appeal to a wider range of customers. This can lead to increased sales, as more customers will be interested in buying something from the company. 

In addition, companies can also increase the average sale amount by offering premium products and services. Premium products and services typically have a higher price tag, which can lead to increased revenue for the company.

Types of product offerings

There are many different types of product offerings, including:

  • Core products : These are the main products or services that a company offers. For example, a software company’s core product might be project management software.
  • Supplementary products : These are additional products, services, or features that enhance the value of the core product. For example, a software company might offer customer support, training programs, or customization options as supplementary products.
  • Bundled products : These involve combining multiple products or services together as a package. This allows customers to access a comprehensive solution and often offers cost savings compared to purchasing individual components separately.
  • Product line extensions : This refers to introducing variations or extensions of existing products to cater to different customer segments or needs. For example, a software company might offer different versions of its software with varying features and pricing options.

A strong product offering is essential for any business that wants to succeed. It can help you attract new customers, retain existing customers, and grow your business.

Here are some of the benefits of a strong product offering:

  • Increased sales : A strong product offering can help you increase sales by attracting new customers and encouraging existing customers to buy more from you.
  • Improved customer satisfaction : A strong product offering can help you improve customer satisfaction by providing products and services that meet your customers’ needs.
  • Increased brand awareness : A strong product offering can help you increase brand awareness by getting your products and services in front of more people.
  • Enhanced competitive advantage : A strong product offering can help you enhance your competitive advantage by differentiating your business.

Here are some tips for creating a strong product offering:

  • Understand your target market : Who are your ideal customers? What are their needs and wants? Once you understand your target market, you can design a product offering that meets their needs.
  • Identify your unique selling proposition (USP) : What makes your product or service unique? What value do you offer that your competitors don’t? Your USP should be the foundation of your product offering.
  • Develop a compelling value proposition : Clearly communicate the value your product or service brings to customers. What problems does it solve? What benefits does it offer? Your value proposition should be clear, concise, and persuasive.
  • Create a clear and concise product description : Your product description should clearly and concisely explain what your product does, how it works, and why customers should choose it. Use simple language that is easy to understand.
  • Set a competitive price : Your price should be competitive with similar products on the market. However, it’s also essential to make sure you are profitable.
  • Promote your product offering effectively : Let people know about your product or service! Use a variety of marketing channels to reach your target market.

By following these tips, you can create a strong product offering to help you succeed in business.

Understanding and developing a solid product offering is crucial for business success. Creating a compelling product that meets customer needs can drive increased sales, enhance customer satisfaction, and gain a competitive advantage. So, have you thought about what sets your product apart from the competition? How can you communicate the unique value it offers to customers?

Following the steps outlined in this article, you can craft a strong product offering that captures attention, resonates with your target market, and delivers exceptional value. 

Remember, continuously refining and adapting your product offering based on customer feedback and market trends will keep you ahead in a dynamic business landscape. So, are you ready to create a product offering that stands out and drives success for your business?

More Like This

  • What Is Product Placement? Definition and Examples
  • What Is Cross Selling? Definition, Strategies & Examples
  • What Is Growth Hacking? Strategies and Examples

A: A product offering refers to a tangible item that you sell to customers, such as a physical product or software. On the other hand, a service offering involves providing intangible services or expertise to customers, such as consulting, maintenance, or professional services.

A: Here are a few examples of product offerings:

  • Smartphones

A: In a marketing plan, product offerings refer to the range of products or services that a company offers to its target market. It outlines the specific products or services, their unique features, pricing, positioning, and strategies for promoting and selling them to customers.

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How to build a winning product strategy in a competitive marketplace.

Forbes Technology Council

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Andy Boyd is the CPO at Appfire , an enterprise collaboration software company that enables teams to plan and deliver their best work.

In today's fiercely competitive technology ecosystem—with evolving customer demands and a boom in artificial intelligence (AI) offerings—the ability to craft a winning product strategy is essential. Moreover, building that winning strategy requires a multifaceted approach that includes engaging deeply with customers and fostering innovation.

It also demands that product and business leaders understand market dynamics and leverage those insights to build a differentiated strategy that aligns with customer needs. As a chief product officer, these are my non-negotiable considerations for any organization looking to uplevel their approach to product strategy development.

Understanding Market Dynamics And Establishing A Strong Foundation

With the proliferation of collaboration software and the integration of AI-driven productivity products into the workplace, software vendors must navigate complex dynamics to remain relevant in crowded markets and keep a competitive edge with customers.

Successfully executing a winning product strategy and maintaining your share of the market means understanding your audience and their wants and needs. How are their demands shifting amid changing marketplace dynamics such as the rise of AI and hybrid-remote work models?

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The following are my best practices for gaining a detailed understanding of the market so you can adapt to changing customer demands and build a solid foundation for your product strategy.

• Consult third-party research. By evaluating data and research from impartial parties, business leaders can gain a deeper understanding of changes in market trends and dynamics. When conducting this research, pay particular attention to the impact of AI. As AI continues to advance, understanding both how it is being used across your market and customer perceptions of AI-powered solutions will be essential to preserving customer satisfaction and the relevance of your product as trends shift.

• Evaluate competitive products. Amid a changing competitive environment, pay attention to your organization’s competitors—both direct and indirect—to gain a comprehensive understanding of the entire landscape. It’s also important to recognize that competition is good. If you find yourself competing heavily for market share, this is a good thing; it means you’ve developed a high-demand product. Competition allows you to continue innovating and driving toward business success.

• Conduct your own customer interviews. Speak with existing and prospective customers directly; take note of the ways your software meets their needs and where competitors are falling short as the market evolves. To support these efforts further, analyze product data to identify changing customer usage and adoption patterns during market shifts. This allows you to develop a qualitative and quantitative view of your target audience that can be used to cater your offerings toward their needs.

• Leverage data to inform product strategy and adjust. Data is one of the key elements that can help elevate your approach to product development and go-to-market (GTM) strategy. Utilizing market, customer and product data can help quantify the feedback you receive from customers in a way that will enable you to quickly and effectively address it. Frameworks like the Pirate Metric can be highly effective when analyzing customer journeys, as they outline and capture the most important data and characteristics driving customer behavior across your industry.

Building A Differentiated Strategy To Meet The Needs Of Your Customer Base

Once you fully understand current market demands and establish a foundation for your strategy, focus on differentiating your product in a way that’s appealing to your customer base. I recommend implementing the following tips across your business and product development processes to position your organization favorably throughout customer lifecycles.

• Ensure your product is unique in a way that matters. With your target customer in mind, clearly define what you, and your product, do better for customers in a way that matters to them. The foundational understanding of your target audience established through data and research can help ensure you know exactly what those “ways that matter” are—whether it’s easier time tracking so teams have more time for creative brainstorming, simpler whiteboard interfaces or otherwise. Knowing the problems your customers need solving can enable more effective innovation and GTM messaging.

• Stay vigilant against competitive threats. In addition to regular audits of your closest competitors, it is imperative to maintain continuous technology innovation and development to protect your organization against losing customers to other market players. You’ll also want to ensure your customers feel connected to your brand and product by cultivating a relationship with customers.

Creating a way for customers to express qualitative concerns about a product, in addition to having access to rapid support and feedback options, strengthens the vendor-customer relationship. When your customers feel comfortable flagging concerns, it creates a level of trust that can translate to customer loyalty and decrease the likelihood of customers switching to a competitor’s product.

• Align product and GTM strategies to meet your customers' needs. Your product must deliver the intended differentiated value for your customers, but that’s not all. You must communicate that differentiated value to your customers. To achieve this, work cross-functionally with GTM teams to communicate those messages.

• Defend your intellectual property. Beyond these differentiated approaches to appealing to your customer base, take advantage of defensive strategies such as patents to protect your intellectual property. Even a quick, internal discussion about the next phase of development for a particular product can potentially leak to individuals working with your competitors. While it seems like an obvious step, without taking it at each stage of innovation, your work will be vulnerable to your competitors.

Crafting a winning product strategy is imperative for business success in today’s rapidly evolving technology landscape. It starts with a solid foundation and deep understanding of customer preferences and the shifting dynamics of the current market. With these insights, leaders can develop a distinctive strategy tailored to their customer base.

By aligning product and GTM strategies, organizations can effectively address challenges posed by competitors and emerging trends, all while capitalizing on growth opportunities. Through continual adaptation, fostering strong vendor-customer relationships and embracing technological advancements such as AI, businesses can not only survive but thrive in today's dynamic marketplace.

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Andy Boyd

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Designed for general contractors, owners and developers, the coverage is available in over 40 states on admitted paper, Intact said in a statement.

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product offering in business plan example

Artificial intelligence in strategy

Can machines automate strategy development? The short answer is no. However, there are numerous aspects of strategists’ work where AI and advanced analytics tools can already bring enormous value. Yuval Atsmon is a senior partner who leads the new McKinsey Center for Strategy Innovation, which studies ways new technologies can augment the timeless principles of strategy. In this episode of the Inside the Strategy Room podcast, he explains how artificial intelligence is already transforming strategy and what’s on the horizon. This is an edited transcript of the discussion. For more conversations on the strategy issues that matter, follow the series on your preferred podcast platform .

Joanna Pachner: What does artificial intelligence mean in the context of strategy?

Yuval Atsmon: When people talk about artificial intelligence, they include everything to do with analytics, automation, and data analysis. Marvin Minsky, the pioneer of artificial intelligence research in the 1960s, talked about AI as a “suitcase word”—a term into which you can stuff whatever you want—and that still seems to be the case. We are comfortable with that because we think companies should use all the capabilities of more traditional analysis while increasing automation in strategy that can free up management or analyst time and, gradually, introducing tools that can augment human thinking.

Joanna Pachner: AI has been embraced by many business functions, but strategy seems to be largely immune to its charms. Why do you think that is?

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Yuval Atsmon: You’re right about the limited adoption. Only 7 percent of respondents to our survey about the use of AI say they use it in strategy or even financial planning, whereas in areas like marketing, supply chain, and service operations, it’s 25 or 30 percent. One reason adoption is lagging is that strategy is one of the most integrative conceptual practices. When executives think about strategy automation, many are looking too far ahead—at AI capabilities that would decide, in place of the business leader, what the right strategy is. They are missing opportunities to use AI in the building blocks of strategy that could significantly improve outcomes.

I like to use the analogy to virtual assistants. Many of us use Alexa or Siri but very few people use these tools to do more than dictate a text message or shut off the lights. We don’t feel comfortable with the technology’s ability to understand the context in more sophisticated applications. AI in strategy is similar: it’s hard for AI to know everything an executive knows, but it can help executives with certain tasks.

When executives think about strategy automation, many are looking too far ahead—at AI deciding the right strategy. They are missing opportunities to use AI in the building blocks of strategy.

Joanna Pachner: What kind of tasks can AI help strategists execute today?

Yuval Atsmon: We talk about six stages of AI development. The earliest is simple analytics, which we refer to as descriptive intelligence. Companies use dashboards for competitive analysis or to study performance in different parts of the business that are automatically updated. Some have interactive capabilities for refinement and testing.

The second level is diagnostic intelligence, which is the ability to look backward at the business and understand root causes and drivers of performance. The level after that is predictive intelligence: being able to anticipate certain scenarios or options and the value of things in the future based on momentum from the past as well as signals picked in the market. Both diagnostics and prediction are areas that AI can greatly improve today. The tools can augment executives’ analysis and become areas where you develop capabilities. For example, on diagnostic intelligence, you can organize your portfolio into segments to understand granularly where performance is coming from and do it in a much more continuous way than analysts could. You can try 20 different ways in an hour versus deploying one hundred analysts to tackle the problem.

Predictive AI is both more difficult and more risky. Executives shouldn’t fully rely on predictive AI, but it provides another systematic viewpoint in the room. Because strategic decisions have significant consequences, a key consideration is to use AI transparently in the sense of understanding why it is making a certain prediction and what extrapolations it is making from which information. You can then assess if you trust the prediction or not. You can even use AI to track the evolution of the assumptions for that prediction.

Those are the levels available today. The next three levels will take time to develop. There are some early examples of AI advising actions for executives’ consideration that would be value-creating based on the analysis. From there, you go to delegating certain decision authority to AI, with constraints and supervision. Eventually, there is the point where fully autonomous AI analyzes and decides with no human interaction.

Because strategic decisions have significant consequences, you need to understand why AI is making a certain prediction and what extrapolations it’s making from which information.

Joanna Pachner: What kind of businesses or industries could gain the greatest benefits from embracing AI at its current level of sophistication?

Yuval Atsmon: Every business probably has some opportunity to use AI more than it does today. The first thing to look at is the availability of data. Do you have performance data that can be organized in a systematic way? Companies that have deep data on their portfolios down to business line, SKU, inventory, and raw ingredients have the biggest opportunities to use machines to gain granular insights that humans could not.

Companies whose strategies rely on a few big decisions with limited data would get less from AI. Likewise, those facing a lot of volatility and vulnerability to external events would benefit less than companies with controlled and systematic portfolios, although they could deploy AI to better predict those external events and identify what they can and cannot control.

Third, the velocity of decisions matters. Most companies develop strategies every three to five years, which then become annual budgets. If you think about strategy in that way, the role of AI is relatively limited other than potentially accelerating analyses that are inputs into the strategy. However, some companies regularly revisit big decisions they made based on assumptions about the world that may have since changed, affecting the projected ROI of initiatives. Such shifts would affect how you deploy talent and executive time, how you spend money and focus sales efforts, and AI can be valuable in guiding that. The value of AI is even bigger when you can make decisions close to the time of deploying resources, because AI can signal that your previous assumptions have changed from when you made your plan.

Joanna Pachner: Can you provide any examples of companies employing AI to address specific strategic challenges?

Yuval Atsmon: Some of the most innovative users of AI, not coincidentally, are AI- and digital-native companies. Some of these companies have seen massive benefits from AI and have increased its usage in other areas of the business. One mobility player adjusts its financial planning based on pricing patterns it observes in the market. Its business has relatively high flexibility to demand but less so to supply, so the company uses AI to continuously signal back when pricing dynamics are trending in a way that would affect profitability or where demand is rising. This allows the company to quickly react to create more capacity because its profitability is highly sensitive to keeping demand and supply in equilibrium.

Joanna Pachner: Given how quickly things change today, doesn’t AI seem to be more a tactical than a strategic tool, providing time-sensitive input on isolated elements of strategy?

Yuval Atsmon: It’s interesting that you make the distinction between strategic and tactical. Of course, every decision can be broken down into smaller ones, and where AI can be affordably used in strategy today is for building blocks of the strategy. It might feel tactical, but it can make a massive difference. One of the world’s leading investment firms, for example, has started to use AI to scan for certain patterns rather than scanning individual companies directly. AI looks for consumer mobile usage that suggests a company’s technology is catching on quickly, giving the firm an opportunity to invest in that company before others do. That created a significant strategic edge for them, even though the tool itself may be relatively tactical.

Joanna Pachner: McKinsey has written a lot about cognitive biases  and social dynamics that can skew decision making. Can AI help with these challenges?

Yuval Atsmon: When we talk to executives about using AI in strategy development, the first reaction we get is, “Those are really big decisions; what if AI gets them wrong?” The first answer is that humans also get them wrong—a lot. [Amos] Tversky, [Daniel] Kahneman, and others have proven that some of those errors are systemic, observable, and predictable. The first thing AI can do is spot situations likely to give rise to biases. For example, imagine that AI is listening in on a strategy session where the CEO proposes something and everyone says “Aye” without debate and discussion. AI could inform the room, “We might have a sunflower bias here,” which could trigger more conversation and remind the CEO that it’s in their own interest to encourage some devil’s advocacy.

We also often see confirmation bias, where people focus their analysis on proving the wisdom of what they already want to do, as opposed to looking for a fact-based reality. Just having AI perform a default analysis that doesn’t aim to satisfy the boss is useful, and the team can then try to understand why that is different than the management hypothesis, triggering a much richer debate.

In terms of social dynamics, agency problems can create conflicts of interest. Every business unit [BU] leader thinks that their BU should get the most resources and will deliver the most value, or at least they feel they should advocate for their business. AI provides a neutral way based on systematic data to manage those debates. It’s also useful for executives with decision authority, since we all know that short-term pressures and the need to make the quarterly and annual numbers lead people to make different decisions on the 31st of December than they do on January 1st or October 1st. Like the story of Ulysses and the sirens, you can use AI to remind you that you wanted something different three months earlier. The CEO still decides; AI can just provide that extra nudge.

Joanna Pachner: It’s like you have Spock next to you, who is dispassionate and purely analytical.

Yuval Atsmon: That is not a bad analogy—for Star Trek fans anyway.

Joanna Pachner: Do you have a favorite application of AI in strategy?

Yuval Atsmon: I have worked a lot on resource allocation, and one of the challenges, which we call the hockey stick phenomenon, is that executives are always overly optimistic about what will happen. They know that resource allocation will inevitably be defined by what you believe about the future, not necessarily by past performance. AI can provide an objective prediction of performance starting from a default momentum case: based on everything that happened in the past and some indicators about the future, what is the forecast of performance if we do nothing? This is before we say, “But I will hire these people and develop this new product and improve my marketing”— things that every executive thinks will help them overdeliver relative to the past. The neutral momentum case, which AI can calculate in a cold, Spock-like manner, can change the dynamics of the resource allocation discussion. It’s a form of predictive intelligence accessible today and while it’s not meant to be definitive, it provides a basis for better decisions.

Joanna Pachner: Do you see access to technology talent as one of the obstacles to the adoption of AI in strategy, especially at large companies?

Yuval Atsmon: I would make a distinction. If you mean machine-learning and data science talent or software engineers who build the digital tools, they are definitely not easy to get. However, companies can increasingly use platforms that provide access to AI tools and require less from individual companies. Also, this domain of strategy is exciting—it’s cutting-edge, so it’s probably easier to get technology talent for that than it might be for manufacturing work.

The bigger challenge, ironically, is finding strategists or people with business expertise to contribute to the effort. You will not solve strategy problems with AI without the involvement of people who understand the customer experience and what you are trying to achieve. Those who know best, like senior executives, don’t have time to be product managers for the AI team. An even bigger constraint is that, in some cases, you are asking people to get involved in an initiative that may make their jobs less important. There could be plenty of opportunities for incorpo­rating AI into existing jobs, but it’s something companies need to reflect on. The best approach may be to create a digital factory where a different team tests and builds AI applications, with oversight from senior stakeholders.

The big challenge is finding strategists to contribute to the AI effort. You are asking people to get involved in an initiative that may make their jobs less important.

Joanna Pachner: Do you think this worry about job security and the potential that AI will automate strategy is realistic?

Yuval Atsmon: The question of whether AI will replace human judgment and put humanity out of its job is a big one that I would leave for other experts.

The pertinent question is shorter-term automation. Because of its complexity, strategy would be one of the later domains to be affected by automation, but we are seeing it in many other domains. However, the trend for more than two hundred years has been that automation creates new jobs, although ones requiring different skills. That doesn’t take away the fear some people have of a machine exposing their mistakes or doing their job better than they do it.

Joanna Pachner: We recently published an article about strategic courage in an age of volatility  that talked about three types of edge business leaders need to develop. One of them is an edge in insights. Do you think AI has a role to play in furnishing a proprietary insight edge?

Yuval Atsmon: One of the challenges most strategists face is the overwhelming complexity of the world we operate in—the number of unknowns, the information overload. At one level, it may seem that AI will provide another layer of complexity. In reality, it can be a sharp knife that cuts through some of the clutter. The question to ask is, Can AI simplify my life by giving me sharper, more timely insights more easily?

Joanna Pachner: You have been working in strategy for a long time. What sparked your interest in exploring this intersection of strategy and new technology?

Yuval Atsmon: I have always been intrigued by things at the boundaries of what seems possible. Science fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke’s second law is that to discover the limits of the possible, you have to venture a little past them into the impossible, and I find that particularly alluring in this arena.

AI in strategy is in very nascent stages but could be very consequential for companies and for the profession. For a top executive, strategic decisions are the biggest way to influence the business, other than maybe building the top team, and it is amazing how little technology is leveraged in that process today. It’s conceivable that competitive advantage will increasingly rest in having executives who know how to apply AI well. In some domains, like investment, that is already happening, and the difference in returns can be staggering. I find helping companies be part of that evolution very exciting.

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  • Cloud Storage

Best Cloud Storage for Business in 2024

Cloudwards.net may earn a small commission from some purchases made through our site. However, any earnings do not affect how we review services. Learn more about our editorial integrity and research process .

Best business cloud storage

Finding the best cloud storage for business is challenging, as each service offers something different. Depending on your size, business needs and budget, you could opt for a highly secure and private solution, or you could prioritize productivity and collaboration tools. To help you decide, we’ll take a look at the best cloud storage for business.

Jason Stagnitto

Last Updated: 17 Mar'24 2024-03-17T13:44:12+00:00

All our content is written fully by humans; we do not publish AI writing. Learn more here.

Key Takeaways: What Is the Best Cloud Storage for Business?

  • Sync For Teams — Cheap storage and private, end-to-end encryption
  • Box Business — Great native apps with Google and MS Office connections
  • Egnyte — Highly customizable, with popular third-party integrations
  • Dropbox Business — Robust file sharing; great native apps and integrations
  • Tresorit  — Good file sharing and account customization with solid security

It’s rare in today’s digitally connected world to find a business that doesn’t need cloud storage. Anything from document collaboration to sharing files is integral to business productivity. However, it can be tough to choose from the many excellent cloud storage choices. In this article, we list the best business cloud storage options.

It should come as little surprise that several cloud storage providers on this list also make the cut as the best cloud storage services overall. For the best combination of security, customization and functionality, Box is a top option for enterprise businesses.

Meanwhile, Sync for Teams offers the cheapest pricing while also providing strong security and privacy, making it the best cloud storage solution for small businesses. However, if productivity and collaboration are important aspects, several other options on the list will fit the bill. 

Updated Sync.com’s plans and pricing information.

This article has been rewritten for 2023 to include updated providers, pricing and features.

Top Business Cloud Storage Services

Logo: Sync.com for Teams

  • : Unlimited GB

Logo: Tresorit

How We Chose the Best Cloud Storage for Business

To review a cloud service, we first have our tester actively use it for around a week, going through every available feature to see if it works as it should. We also run technical tests to see how fast a service is and how much RAM and CPU it uses. We also check its encryption methods and privacy policy for any flaws.

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For our eagle-eyed readers, you may notice that our individual reviews offer scores that would seem to differ from what the list below indicates. Our reviews are balanced equally among the different areas of the service we evaluate. However, when comparing business cloud storage, some features (such as features or app integration) weigh heavier than others (for example customer service or ease of use).

Collaboration & Management Features

Collaboration and management tools are important considerations, even for smaller teams and businesses. Some cloud storage solutions for businesses include workflow and task management features.

These tools typically do not replace dedicated project management applications, but they can help you effectively monitor project progress and maintain communications with comments at the document level.

File Storage & Sharing

Without robust file storage and sharing features, cloud storage designed for businesses wouldn’t be very useful. Syncing folders and files across devices and allowing teams to organize and structure folders are important considerations. The ability to easily share files internally and externally helps to foster a productive and collaborative environment.

Privacy & Security

Security and privacy factor heavily, as poor security or questionable privacy erodes trust in a cloud storage service, especially when storing or sharing important business documents or project files. Our suggestions offer secure storage and strong privacy protections, some including end-to-end encryption.

Business Pricing

Additionally, how much business cloud storage costs is also a strong factor. In some ways, the pricing between the following business cloud storage providers vary greatly. Although none of the options offer free cloud storage for business, small business teams could get by with smaller plans.

The 5 Best Business Cloud Storage Services

Data security, app integrations and collaboration tools are critical components of an enterprise-level cloud storage service, and Egnyte has all these features and more. For small businesses concerned with privacy and security, Sync for Teams is the best choice .

However, each of the services below has something to offer businesses. Let’s take a deeper look at each option.

1. Sync for Teams – Best Cloud Storage for Small Business

sync account

More details about Sync for Teams:

  • Pricing : $72 per user per year
  • Free plan : None; 30-day free trial and 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Provider website : sync.com
  • Excellent security & privacy
  • Easy file sharing
  • Generous file versioning
  • Affordable plans
  • Not very fast
  • Not great for collaboration

Sync for Teams is a secure cloud storage option for small businesses offering end-to-end, zero-knowledge encryption for all accounts. This makes the service great for storing sensitive data.

File sharing and ease of use are also highlights of Sync for Teams. Secure file sharing happens in a few simple steps, with the option to password-protect the shared link or set an expiration date. Additionally, Sync for Teams has MS Office integrated, allowing the creation of new documents like Word or PowerPoint.

It’s easy to add and manage users through a dedicated tab accessible from the main account page. New users have basic access, and administrators can assign specific roles and include users in project folders. If a new custom role is required, admins can create and assign it as needed.

File Versioning

Sync for Teams makes it easy for users to review and restore previous versions of a file. The Solo and Teams business plans have 180 days of file versioning without limits to the number of files kept. Solo Pro, Pro Teams Unlimited and the Enterprise plans have a full 365 days of file versioning without any file number limit.

Accessing older file versions happens by navigating to a given file and selecting “version history.” All file versions display on the page up to the allotted time frame. Returning to an older version is as simple as selecting it and making it the current version. Restoring deleted files works similarly, and Sync will hold them for 30 days.

sync team pricing

Sync for Teams is affordable; plans start at $6 per user per month for two or more users and 1TB of shared storage. That’s the lowest minimum price of any provider on this list. The Pro Teams Unlimited has a 30-day free trial, and all Sync.com plans have a 30-day money-back guarantee . Check out our Sync for Teams review to learn more.

  • Price per user. Users: 2+
  • Unlimited GB

2. Box Business – Cloud Storage Solution for Business with Third Party Integrations

box account

More details about Box Business:

  • Pricing : $180 per user per year
  • Free plan : None; 14-day free trial
  • Provider website : box.com
  • Many third-party integrations
  • Strong security
  • Native apps
  • Slower speeds
  • Paid private encryption

Box Business offers an excellent combination of strong security, popular third-party integrations and native apps that helps teams become and stay productive. Integrations to MS Office and Google Workspace allow for plenty of collaboration between individuals and teams. Additionally, Box supports connections to hundreds of other apps, such as Airtable and Zapier.

Every Box Business plan comes with access to the admin console, which contains several options and customizable settings for teams and user accounts. However, a number of features within the admin console are reserved for the higher-priced plans. Private encryption is only available as a paid add-on, called Key Safe, and it gives you total control of encryption keys.

Native Apps

Box’s native apps are excellent additions to any account. For example, Box Notes is similar to Dropbox Paper and offers real-time collaboration on documents from a web browser. You can share Box Notes internally or externally. Our Box Notes article goes into more detail.

Box Sign is another native app, as is Box Drive. Similar to DocuSign, Box Sign allows you to send or receive digitally signed documents. Box Drive is a downloadable app for desktops that functions like an external drive. With Box Drive, you can store and access your documents without taking up hard disk space. 

box pricing

Box offers different plans for individuals, small teams and businesses. For unlimited storage, plans start at $15 per user per month, billed annually, with a minimum of three users. All business plans have unlimited storage — which is why the provider tops our review on the best unlimited cloud storage providers .

Box cloud storage for business can get expensive, although most business plans offer a 14-day free trial . To learn more, check out our Box Business review .

3. Egnyte – Highly Customizable Cloud Storage Solution

egnyte file management

More details about Egnyte Connect:

  • Pricing : $240 per user per year
  • Free plan : None; 15-day free trial
  • Provider website : egnyte.com
  • Excellent security
  • Third-party connections
  • Customizable settings
  • No zero-knowledge security
  • Can be expensive

Egnyte is an enterprise file synchronization and sharing solution (EFSS) designed to support businesses and teams. It has native apps for both Windows and Mac and third-party integrations to Google Workspace and MS Office. Additionally, it supports connections to hundreds of other apps, including Slack, Trello and Zoom, to name a few.

Egnyte’s cloud storage platform supports businesses looking to manage teams on a granular level. It has a built-in task manager and workflow system that, while helpful, are basic and won’t replace dedicated apps. Engyte also lets you manage your account with a robust settings and configurations menu.

Settings and Configurations

Egnyte is also a secure cloud storage solution for businesses. It offers one of the most customizable experiences for user and team management. User types include admins, power users or standard users. Admins can configure options such as password requirements or enable two-factor authentication. 

Other options include setting up email notifications for when you’re approaching the limits of your storage allotment. Additionally, accounts come with a private folder, and admins can adjust its size. Egnyte has a separate section for reports and audits, letting admins monitor everything from storage usage to file-sharing data.

egnyte pricing

Egnyte has three business plans : Business, Enterprise Lite and Enterprise. The Business plan costs $20 per user per month, billed annually for 10 users (meaning a minimum of $200 per month) that share 1TB of data. Prices increase — significantly, in some cases — with a la carte-style add-ons. You’ll need to contact Egnyte for Enterprise pricing. Our Egnyte review has more details on this service.

  • 1-10 users max.
  • Price per user; Secure collaboration; Privilege management; Ransomware protection
  • Everything in Business; 3rd-party source support; Content lifecycle management; Threat detection
  • Everything in Enterprise Lite; Privacy & compliance; Advanced ransomware protection & recovery; Content safeguards

4. Dropbox Business – Best File Sharing for Small Business

dropbox-business-account

More details about Dropbox Business:

  • Free plan : None; 30-day free trial
  • Provider website : dropbox.com
  • Excellent file sharing
  • Block-level & selective sync
  • No private encryption (yet)

Dropbox Business takes the best Dropbox features — file sharing and collaboration — and adds tools that support productivity and collaboration for teams. The Dropbox Business native apps are a significant feature of the service.

One example is Dropbox Paper, a real-time collaborative web-based document editor. Other native apps include eSign (securely send and receive documents) and Capture, which lets you record your screen.

File synchronization is a strong feature, as Dropbox Business supports block-level and online-only sync. Block-level sync updates only the changes in a given file, while online-only sync lets you determine the folders to sync with a cloud account.

Additionally, for the privacy-minded, Dropbox recently purchased Boxcryptor, with plans to bring private encryption storage to its business plans.

Third-Party Integrations

Dropbox Business supports many third-party integrations. Popular options include Google Workspace and MS Office. Users can create new Google or Microsoft files directly in a Dropbox account when connected.

Other integration options include Slack, Trello and Notion. Most connections work within the respective app by creating a dedicated Dropbox tab or folder. For example, connecting Dropbox Business and Slack lets you share files directly in the Slack app or have conversations within Dropbox using the file preview feature.

dropbox business pricing

Dropbox Business plans have individual and team options, with a separate plan that includes DocSend. The Standard plan comes with 5TB of shared storage for a minimum of three users. It costs $15 per user per month when billed annually. Most Dropbox Business plans have a 30-day free trial . For more information, read our Dropbox Business review .

  • minimum 3 users
  • Price per user
  • Price per user, 30-day free trial (minimum 3 users)
  • Price & storage per user, 30-day free trial. (minimum 3 users)
  • minimum 1 user

5. Tresorit – Secure Cloud Storage for Business

tresorit folder sync

More details about Tresorit:

  • Pricing : $174 per user per year
  • Free plan : 3GB ; 14-day free trial
  • Provider website : tresorit.com
  • Strong security & privacy
  • Strong file sharing
  • Selective sync
  • Not the fastest option
  • Can get expensive

Tresorit cloud storage has many tools designed to support businesses and teams. All plans come with encryption for email attachments. Additionally, the downloadable Tresorit Drive app provides access to account documents and folders on computers, even offline. For team managers and administrators, Tresorit has a robust admin center with customization options and account settings.

Perhaps the main drawback to Tresorit is that it charges extra for features that come standard with some of its competitors. The ability to send and receive digital signatures will cost you extra with Tresorit eSign. Additionally, if you want to encrypt the contents of your email in addition to any attachments, you’ll also have to pay for an add-on.

Admin Center

Tresorit provides detailed data and analytics through its admin center that support managers and administrators. Every business account comes with access to this managerial tool. The dashboard is a snapshot of high-level account information, showing the number of users, storage used and the number of devices connected.

The admin center provides more granular information in other tabs. The “users” tab lets you manage users and permissions, as well as invite new users to the team. The “security” tab lets account managers enable two-factor authentication requirements for all accounts. Some elements are reserved for the higher-priced plans, such as setting policies specific to account usage or data security.

tresorit business prices

Tresorit isn’t the most affordable option available and could become cost-prohibitive when accounting for the paid add-ons. On the Business Standard plan, each user gets 1TB of storage; the plan costs $14.50 per user per month when billed annually. We cover more in our Tresorit review .

  • Price per user (billed annually), Storage per user, User count: 3-9
  • Price per user (billed annually), Storage per user, User count : 10+
  • Price per user (billed annually), Storage per user, User count : 100+

Honorable Mentions

While the above five choices are, in our opinion, the best business cloud storage providers, there are a few other options in this crowded and competitive industry that deserve your consideration. Depending on your business’s needs, they might be the perfect fit for you. Two such services are Zoho WorkDrive and pCloud Business.

Zoho WorkDrive

zoho work drive account

Zoho WorkDrive has a suite of native apps that supports nearly every business function. Many of its apps enhance collaboration and productivity among teams. Navigating around in Zoho WorkDrive is a seamless experience where you can create favorite folders for quick access or add labels to support projects and teams.

Overall, Zoho WorkDrive is an affordable business cloud storage provider; the Business plan costs $108 per year for three users and 5TB of data storage. However, those prices come with limits, so Zoho WorkDrive probably isn’t best for larger teams or complex projects.

pCloud Business

pcloud business teams

pCloud is an excellent cloud storage provider. Its business plans add a dedicated space to manage teams and users on top of a service with excellent security and file-sharing capabilities.

Within the “business” tab, you can add new members and create teams. Additionally, logs show granular information on user activity. Perhaps best of all, a business account — costing per year for three users and of storage — includes pCloud Crypto, giving teams a private encryption folder.

However, pCloud business does not have any native apps that support collaboration between team members. Additionally, there are no third-party integrations, which could be a deal-breaker for some teams. pCloud supports many file types, but you won’t be able to work with them collaboratively within the app; you can only preview files. We cover the service in detail with our pCloud review .

  • + FREE Encryption
  • Price per user (minimum 3)
  • Encryption for pCloud Drive

How Is Cloud Storage Used in Business?

Most businesses use cloud storage as a repository for project files. Additionally, businesses use these services to support collaboration and productivity among teams. File sharing, both internally and externally, is a critical feature. The more customization and flexibility administrators have to manage users and teams, the better.

Native apps and third-party integrations are important considerations, especially for businesses or teams using a preferred ecosystem like Google or Microsoft. Collaborating in real-time on a document between team members is an excellent feature for business cloud storage.

Final Thoughts: Cloud Storage for Business

Every cloud based storage for business on our list does an excellent job of providing business options with strong security that increase productivity and enhance collaboration. Each service offers a unique value proposition; some are better for small businesses, while others excel at supporting larger teams.

Do you use any of these business cloud storage providers? If so, what has been your experience using a given service? Did we miss a great cloud storage for businesses? Let us know in the comments section below. Thanks for taking the time to read our article.

FAQ: Cloud Storage for Businesses

The best cloud storage solution for a business comes down to a business’s requirements and needs. Sync for Teams and Tresorit are excellent options if top-notch security and privacy are most important to your small business. Egnyte, Box or Dropbox Business will meet your needs if productivity and collaboration are at the top of your list.

The costs associated with business cloud storage vary significantly across different cloud services. Some have additional paid add-ons, which can increase the overall costs. Most have different plan choices that scale up in storage and cost.

Most businesses that operate in today’s digitally-connected world would find it tough to collaborate and share files without using a cloud service. If your business uses computer-based documents or interacts with digital signatures, for example, then moving to the cloud is likely the right choice.

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  1. Products & Services Section in a Business Plan (+ Examples)

    In a business plan, the Products and Services section is typically included within the business overview section. This allows you to first introduce the business model and what it offers to customers. Only after this you can provide more details of the products and services. The Products and Services section should clearly detail what you are ...

  2. How to Write the Business Plan Products and Services Section

    Business plans include details about products and services you'll offer, including exactly how you plan to market, sell, and deliver on customer orders. The best business plans are clear and concise. The products and services section of your plan should show off why your product or service is needed.

  3. How to Write a Business Plan Products and Services Section

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  5. Write Products and Services Section of a Business Plan

    1. Opt for a customer-centric approach: Your goal is to cater to the needs of your customers through your products or services. Hence, write as if you are talking to your customers and directly addressing their issues. Point out how your product will make their lives better and easier. 2.

  6. How to write the products and services section of your business plan

    To begin with, you should provide a description of the broader categories your products or services belong to. Once this is addressed, you can go into more detail, explaining each of the key products and services that your business offers. In this section, you should explain: What each of your products or services are. Who are they aimed at.

  7. Business Plan Offering Example

    In the Products or Services Section of your business plan, you'll describe the products or services you're offering and explain the concept for your business (including manufacturing, purchasing, packaging, and distribution). This is also the time to annotate suppliers and fees. You should also indicate how your offerings will fit into the ...

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    We make a point to understand new trends, digital options, and partnerships that help our clients today and tomorrow. Call us toll-free at 1 (888) 880-1898, write [email protected], or fill out our contact form here. Let's Get Started! It's not just a list of what your business is going to produce or provide.

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    Most business plans also include financial forecasts for the future. These set sales goals, budget for expenses, and predict profits and cash flow. A good business plan is much more than just a document that you write once and forget about. It's also a guide that helps you outline and achieve your goals. After completing your plan, you can ...

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    Plus, we offer a free 30-minute consultation to ensure we fit your needs correctly. Let's get started! Contact Noirwolf Consulting today using the website contact form or by emailing [email protected] or call us at +44 113 328 0868. The business plan products and services section is the focal point of your entire plan and serves as the ...

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    Product Offering refers to the combination of products, services, and experiences a company offers its customers. Key Components of a Product Offering include the product or service itself, pricing, marketing, and customer service. Developing and testing product offerings is an ongoing process that requires market analysis, customer feedback ...

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  15. Business Plan Section 4: Products and Services

    This is the part of your business plan where you will describe the specific products and services you're going to offer. You'll fully explain the concept for your business, along with all aspects of purchasing, manufacturing, packaging, and distribution. You'll go over suppliers, costs, and how what you're offering fits into the current ...

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    Ensure that your product description is easy to understand. Present your product in easy-to-understand terms to give potential partners without industry expertise the ability to see the value in your business plan. Show off a little. Remember that you selling a product and selling yourself as the best provider of that product.

  19. Write your business plan

    Common items to include are credit histories, resumes, product pictures, letters of reference, licenses, permits, patents, legal documents, and other contracts. Example traditional business plans. Before you write your business plan, read the following example business plans written by fictional business owners.

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    Promote your product offering effectively: Let people know about your product or service! Use a variety of marketing channels to reach your target market. By following these tips, you can create a strong product offering to help you succeed in business. Conclusion. Understanding and developing a solid product offering is crucial for business ...

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    Step 8: Determine Follow-Up Questions and Provide Answers. At the end of your product presentation, prospects or investors are likely to have a handful of questions about your product. Typically prospective customers ask questions to know if the product is a right fit for their organization.

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