Start – Products or Services
Your business might be based on product or services, but good businesses are both.
A service-based business provides value and solves problems through intangible skills, expertise, and time.
A product-based business sells physical, tangible objects, that solves a problem.
Neither category can succeed without the other.
Service Based Businesses
Service based businesses tend to offer –
- Professional services (attorneys, engineers, marketers, etc.)
- Home repair (carpenters, roofers, electricians, plumbers, etc.)
- Creative services (writer, graphic designers, etc.)
- Personal Care (hair stylists, massage therapists, etc.)
- Health Care (doctors, physical therapists, nurses, EMT’s, etc.)
Yet each of these sectors require products to complete the service. And the service provider needs to off quality products with their quality service.
Product Based Businesses
In turn, the product-based business provides-
- Consumer products (hygiene products, clothing, appliances, etc.)
- Raw materials (metals, timber, minerals, etc.)
- Agricultural products (wheat, corn, animal products, etc.)
- Technology products (phones, cameras, laptops, etc.)
These tangible items are offered to their customers and highlight specific features through in-store displays or online demonstrations. But quality customer service is equally important to the success of the business.
Whether you are or will be providing products or services, your marketing techniques, business plan, budget, and inventory need to reflect how you will run your business.
- Start by defining your products or services base and then add customer service and/or quality materials you’ll sell.
- As you define your business, determine your buyer Avatars. Yes, plural. Even if you sell B2B (Business to Business) create Avatars for each potential market.
- Determine how you will sell (on-line, in-store, both, events, travel store (aka. Food truck style, etc.).
- Create a quarterly sales map, using information on sales, special events, etc. Include costs for each event. Divide internet costs by the project # of events for the year and factor that amount into each quarter.
- Total the amount projected for each quarter, Multiply x 3 for product replacement, services, and profit. That is the amount you must sell in order to cover expenses and make a profit.
- Determine the average price for each service or product. Divide the projected sales for each quarter and get the number of items and services you must sell.
How do you/ can you provide that number of services or products?
Is your plan feasible?
Whether you’re selling services or products, take the time to evaluate your potential first. When you are certain you can make money with your idea, use a keyword search, and start comparing your plan to your competitor’s, then use your secret sauce to differentiate your company.
What will you offer that sets you apart from your competitor?
This is where you factor in your why. Your why will help you identify what you want to provide and how. It’s all part of your Brand.
Take the time to write responses to each of the questions, add your keywords and your why. Then compare the results to your original idea. Rewrite your mission statement, if needed, and review your 1-, 2-, and 3-year goals. Do they still represent your dream? Modify now if you need to.
Revisit Lifestyle vs Legacy businesses and think about whether you’ll have a store-front or on-line business. A mobile business or event based. We’ll look at that next week.