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.

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