How to describe your product and service in a business plan like a pro
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
- 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?
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 your business plan
Business plans help you run your business.
A good business plan guides you through each stage of starting and managing your business. You’ll use your business plan as a roadmap for how to structure, run, and grow your new business. It’s a way to think through the key elements of your business.
Business plans can help you get funding or bring on new business partners. Investors want to feel confident they’ll see a return on their investment. Your business plan is the tool you’ll use to convince people that working with you — or investing in your company — is a smart choice.
Pick a business plan format that works for you
There’s no right or wrong way to write a business plan. What’s important is that your plan meets your needs.
Most business plans fall into one of two common categories: traditional or lean startup.
Traditional business plans are more common, use a standard structure, and encourage you to go into detail in each section. They tend to require more work upfront and can be dozens of pages long.
Lean startup business plans are less common but still use a standard structure. They focus on summarizing only the most important points of the key elements of your plan. They can take as little as one hour to make and are typically only one page.
Traditional business plan
Lean startup plan
Traditional business plan format
You might prefer a traditional business plan format if you’re very detail-oriented, want a comprehensive plan, or plan to request financing from traditional sources.
When you write your business plan, you don’t have to stick to the exact business plan outline. Instead, use the sections that make the most sense for your business and your needs. Traditional business plans use some combination of these nine sections.
Briefly tell your reader what your company is and why it will be successful. Include your mission statement, your product or service, and basic information about your company’s leadership team, employees, and location. You should also include financial information and high-level growth plans if you plan to ask for financing.
Use your company description to provide detailed information about your company. Go into detail about the problems your business solves. Be specific, and list out the consumers, organization, or businesses your company plans to serve.
Explain the competitive advantages that will make your business a success. Are there experts on your team? Have you found the perfect location for your store? Your company description is the place to boast about your strengths.
You'll need a good understanding of your industry outlook and target market. Competitive research will show you what other businesses are doing and what their strengths are. In your market research, look for trends and themes. What do successful competitors do? Why does it work? Can you do it better? Now's the time to answer these questions.
Organization and management
Tell your reader how your company will be structured and who will run it.
Describe the legal structure of your business. State whether you have or intend to incorporate your business as a C or an S corporation, form a general or limited partnership, or if you're a sole proprietor or limited liability company (LLC).
Use an organizational chart to lay out who's in charge of what in your company. Show how each person's unique experience will contribute to the success of your venture. Consider including resumes and CVs of key members of your team.
Service or product line
Describe what you sell or what service you offer. Explain how it benefits your customers and what the product lifecycle looks like. Share your plans for intellectual property, like copyright or patent filings. If you're doing research and development for your service or product, explain it in detail.
Marketing and sales
There's no single way to approach a marketing strategy. Your strategy should evolve and change to fit your unique needs.
Your goal in this section is to describe how you'll attract and retain customers. You'll also describe how a sale will actually happen. You'll refer to this section later when you make financial projections, so make sure to thoroughly describe your complete marketing and sales strategies.
If you're asking for funding, this is where you'll outline your funding requirements. Your goal is to clearly explain how much funding you’ll need over the next five years and what you'll use it for.
Specify whether you want debt or equity, the terms you'd like applied, and the length of time your request will cover. Give a detailed description of how you'll use your funds. Specify if you need funds to buy equipment or materials, pay salaries, or cover specific bills until revenue increases. Always include a description of your future strategic financial plans, like paying off debt or selling your business.
Supplement your funding request with financial projections. Your goal is to convince the reader that your business is stable and will be a financial success.
If your business is already established, include income statements, balance sheets, and cash flow statements for the last three to five years. If you have other collateral you could put against a loan, make sure to list it now.
Provide a prospective financial outlook for the next five years. Include forecasted income statements, balance sheets, cash flow statements, and capital expenditure budgets. For the first year, be even more specific and use quarterly — or even monthly — projections. Make sure to clearly explain your projections, and match them to your funding requests.
This is a great place to use graphs and charts to tell the financial story of your business.
Use your appendix to provide supporting documents or other materials were specially requested. 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. Rebecca owns a consulting firm, and Andrew owns a toy company.
Lean startup format
You might prefer a lean startup format if you want to explain or start your business quickly, your business is relatively simple, or you plan to regularly change and refine your business plan.
Lean startup formats are charts that use only a handful of elements to describe your company’s value proposition, infrastructure, customers, and finances. They’re useful for visualizing tradeoffs and fundamental facts about your company.
There are different ways to develop a lean startup template. You can search the web to find free templates to build your business plan. We discuss nine components of a model business plan here:
Note the other businesses or services you’ll work with to run your business. Think about suppliers, manufacturers, subcontractors, and similar strategic partners.
List the ways your business will gain a competitive advantage. Highlight things like selling direct to consumers, or using technology to tap into the sharing economy.
List any resource you’ll leverage to create value for your customer. Your most important assets could include staff, capital, or intellectual property. Don’t forget to leverage business resources that might be available to women , veterans , Native Americans , and HUBZone businesses .
Make a clear and compelling statement about the unique value your company brings to the market.
Describe how customers will interact with your business. Is it automated or personal? In person or online? Think through the customer experience from start to finish.
Be specific when you name your target market. Your business won’t be for everybody, so it’s important to have a clear sense of whom your business will serve.
List the most important ways you’ll talk to your customers. Most businesses use a mix of channels and optimize them over time.
Will your company focus on reducing cost or maximizing value? Define your strategy, then list the most significant costs you’ll face pursuing it.
Explain how your company will actually make money. Some examples are direct sales, memberships fees, and selling advertising space. If your company has multiple revenue streams, list them all.
Example lean business plan
Before you write your business plan, read this example business plan written by a fictional business owner, Andrew, who owns a toy company.
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The 7 Best Business Plan Examples
So you want to start a business . Kudos! You’re doing big things.
One of the first steps to building a strong foundation for your new venture is to write a rock-solid business plan . When done right, your business plan can pave your path to success, all while helping you to smoothly cruise through any obstacles that may come up.
Plus, a good business plan can help you secure critical partnerships and funding that you might need in your early stages.
If you’re unsure how to write one, a great place to start is to learn from the pros. In this article, we’ll look at companies that built incredible business plans.
Take notes on the structure, format, and details. Hopefully you’ll leave with plenty of inspiration to write your own.
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7-part template for business plan examples
We’ll look at a business plan that is structured using a seven-part template. Here’s a quick review of those parts:
- Executive summary: A quick overview of your business and the contents of your business plan.
- Company description: More info about your company, its goals and mission, and why you started it in the first place.
- Market analysis: Research about the market and industry your business will operate in, including a competitive analysis about the companies you’ll be up against.
- Products and services: A detailed description of what you’ll be selling to your customers.
- Marketing plan: A strategic outline of how you plan to market and promote your business before, during, and after your company launches into the market.
- Logistics and operations plan: An explanation of the systems, processes, and tools that are needed to run your business in the background.
- Financial plan: A map of your short-term (and even long-term) financial goals and the costs to run the business. If you’re looking for funding, here’s the place to discuss your request and needs.
7 business plan examples (section by section)
In this section, you’ll find hypothetical and real-world examples of each aspect of a business plan to show you how the whole thing comes together.
- Executive summary
Your executive summary offers a high-level overview of the rest of your business plan. You’ll want to include a brief description of your company, market research, competitor analysis, and financial information.
In ThoughtCo’s sample business plan for a fictional company called Acme Management Technology, the executive summary is three paragraphs and occupies nearly half the page:
- Company description
You might go more in-depth with your company description and include the following sections:
- Nature of the business. Mention the general category of business you fall under. Are you a manufacturer, wholesaler, or retailer of your products?
- Background information. Talk about your past experiences and skills, and how you’ve combined them to fill in the market.
- Business structure. This section outlines how you registered your company —as a corporation, sole proprietorship, LLC, or other business type.
- Industry. Which business sector do you operate in? The answer might be technology, merchandising, or another industry.
- Team. Whether you’re the sole full-time employee of your business or you have contractors to support your daily workflow, this is your chance to put them under the spotlight.
You can also repurpose your company description elsewhere, like on your About page, Instagram page, or other properties that ask for a boilerplate description of your business. Hair extensions brand Luxy Hair has a blurb on its About page that could easily be repurposed as a company description for its business plan.
- Market analysis
Market analysis comprises research on product supply and demand, your target market, the competitive landscape, and industry trends. You might do a SWOT analysis to learn where you stand and identify market gaps that you could exploit to establish your footing. Here’s an example of a SWOT analysis we did for a hypothetical ecommerce business:
You’ll also want to run a competitive analysis as part of the market analysis component for your business plan. This will show you who you’re up against and give you ideas on how to gain an edge over the competition.
- Products and services
This part of your business plan describes your product or service, how it will be priced, and the ways it will compete against similar offerings in the market. Don’t go into too much detail here —a few lines are enough to introduce your item to the reader.
- Marketing plan
Potential investors will want to know how you’ll get the word out about your business. As such, it’s essential to build a marketing plan that highlights the promotion and customer acquisition strategies you’re planning to adopt.
Most marketing plans focus on the four Ps: product, price, place, and promotion. However, it’s easier when you break it down by the different marketing channels . Mention how you intend to promote your business using blogs, email, social media, and word-of-mouth marketing.
Here’s an example of a hypothetical marketing plan for a real estate website:
Logistics and operations
This section of your business plan provides information about your production, facilities, production, equipment, shipping and fulfillment, and inventory.
The financial plan (a.k.a. financial statement) offers a breakdown of your sales, revenue, expenses, profit, and other financial metrics. You’ll want to include all the numbers and concrete data to project your current and projected financial state. For example, the financial statement for ecommerce brand Nature’s Candy includes forecasted revenue, expenses, and net profit in graphs.
It then goes deeper into the financials, citing:
- Funding needs
- Project cash-flow statement
- Project profit-and-loss statement
- Projected balance sheet
You can use Shopify’s financial plan template to create your own income statement, cash-flow statement, and balance sheet.
Types of business plan (and what to write for each)
A one-page business plan is a pared down version of a standard business plan that’s easy for potential investors and partners to understand. You’ll want to include all of the sections, but make sure they’re abbreviated and summarized.
- Logistics and operations plan
A startup business plan is meant to secure outside funding for a new business. Typically, there’s a big focus on the financials, as well as other sections that help determine the viability of your business idea —market analysis, for example. Shopify has a great business plan template for startups that include all the below points.
- Market research: in depth
- Financials: in depth
Your internal business plan acts as the enforcer of your company’s vision. It reminds your team of the long-term objective and keeps them strategically aligned toward the same goal.
- Market research
A feasibility business plan is essentially a feasibility study that helps you evaluate whether your product or idea is worthy of a full business plan.
Mix and match to make a killer business plan
The good news is: there’s no single right way to write a business plan. If you’re feeling unsure about how to craft yours, pull bits and pieces that you like from other examples, and leave out the parts that don’t apply or make sense for you.
The important thing is to clearly communicate your reason for starting the company, what’s needed to operate it, and how you plan to make it work in the long run.
When you can convince others that you have a killer game plan, you’ve nailed it.
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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?
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.
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.
Key Questions to Answer in the Business Plan Products and Services Section
- 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?
Examples of Products and Services in Business Plan
Check out our real business plan examples and See How products and services business plan section is done.
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.
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?
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?
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?
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?
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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Step-by-Step Guide to Writing a Simple Business Plan
By Joe Weller | October 11, 2021
A business plan is the cornerstone of any successful company, regardless of size or industry. This step-by-step guide provides information on writing a business plan for organizations at any stage, complete with free templates and expert advice.
Included on this page, you’ll find a step-by-step guide to writing a business plan and a chart to identify which type of business plan you should write . Plus, find information on how a business plan can help grow a business and expert tips on writing one .
What Is a Business Plan?
A business plan is a document that communicates a company’s goals and ambitions, along with the timeline, finances, and methods needed to achieve them. Additionally, it may include a mission statement and details about the specific products or services offered.
A business plan can highlight varying time periods, depending on the stage of your company and its goals. That said, a typical business plan will include the following benchmarks:
- Product goals and deadlines for each month
- Monthly financials for the first two years
- Profit and loss statements for the first three to five years
- Balance sheet projections for the first three to five years
Startups, entrepreneurs, and small businesses all create business plans to use as a guide as their new company progresses. Larger organizations may also create (and update) a business plan to keep high-level goals, financials, and timelines in check.
While you certainly need to have a formalized outline of your business’s goals and finances, creating a business plan can also help you determine a company’s viability, its profitability (including when it will first turn a profit), and how much money you will need from investors. In turn, a business plan has functional value as well: Not only does outlining goals help keep you accountable on a timeline, it can also attract investors in and of itself and, therefore, act as an effective strategy for growth.
For more information, visit our comprehensive guide to writing a strategic plan or download free strategic plan templates . This page focuses on for-profit business plans, but you can read our article with nonprofit business plan templates .
Business Plan Steps
The specific information in your business plan will vary, depending on the needs and goals of your venture, but a typical plan includes the following ordered elements:
- Executive summary
- Description of business
- Market analysis
- Competitive analysis
- Description of organizational management
- Description of product or services
- Marketing plan
- Sales strategy
- Funding details (or request for funding)
- Financial projections
If your plan is particularly long or complicated, consider adding a table of contents or an appendix for reference. For an in-depth description of each step listed above, read “ How to Write a Business Plan Step by Step ” below.
Broadly speaking, your audience includes anyone with a vested interest in your organization. They can include potential and existing investors, as well as customers, internal team members, suppliers, and vendors.
Do I Need a Simple or Detailed Plan?
Your business’s stage and intended audience dictates the level of detail your plan needs. Corporations require a thorough business plan — up to 100 pages. Small businesses or startups should have a concise plan focusing on financials and strategy.
How to Choose the Right Plan for Your Business
In order to identify which type of business plan you need to create, ask: “What do we want the plan to do?” Identify function first, and form will follow.
Use the chart below as a guide for what type of business plan to create:
Is the Order of Your Business Plan Important?
There is no set order for a business plan, with the exception of the executive summary, which should always come first. Beyond that, simply ensure that you organize the plan in a way that makes sense and flows naturally.
The Difference Between Traditional and Lean Business Plans
A traditional business plan follows the standard structure — because these plans encourage detail, they tend to require more work upfront and can run dozens of pages. A Lean business plan is less common and focuses on summarizing critical points for each section. These plans take much less work and typically run one page in length.
In general, you should use a traditional model for a legacy company, a large company, or any business that does not adhere to Lean (or another Agile method ). Use Lean if you expect the company to pivot quickly or if you already employ a Lean strategy with other business operations. Additionally, a Lean business plan can suffice if the document is for internal use only. Stick to a traditional version for investors, as they may be more sensitive to sudden changes or a high degree of built-in flexibility in the plan.
How to Write a Business Plan Step by Step
Writing a strong business plan requires research and attention to detail for each section. Below, you’ll find a 10-step guide to researching and defining each element in the plan.
Step 1: Executive Summary
The executive summary will always be the first section of your business plan. The goal is to answer the following questions:
- What is the vision and mission of the company?
- What are the company’s short- and long-term goals?
See our roundup of executive summary examples and templates for samples. Read our executive summary guide to learn more about writing one.
Step 2: Description of Business
The goal of this section is to define the realm, scope, and intent of your venture. To do so, answer the following questions as clearly and concisely as possible:
- What business are we in?
- What does our business do?
Step 3: Market Analysis
In this section, provide evidence that you have surveyed and understand the current marketplace, and that your product or service satisfies a niche in the market. To do so, answer these questions:
- Who is our customer?
- What does that customer value?
Step 4: Competitive Analysis
In many cases, a business plan proposes not a brand-new (or even market-disrupting) venture, but a more competitive version — whether via features, pricing, integrations, etc. — than what is currently available. In this section, answer the following questions to show that your product or service stands to outpace competitors:
- Who is the competition?
- What do they do best?
- What is our unique value proposition?
Step 5: Description of Organizational Management
In this section, write an overview of the team members and other key personnel who are integral to success. List roles and responsibilities, and if possible, note the hierarchy or team structure.
Step 6: Description of Products or Services
In this section, clearly define your product or service, as well as all the effort and resources that go into producing it. The strength of your product largely defines the success of your business, so it’s imperative that you take time to test and refine the product before launching into marketing, sales, or funding details.
Questions to answer in this section are as follows:
- What is the product or service?
- How do we produce it, and what resources are necessary for production?
Step 7: Marketing Plan
In this section, define the marketing strategy for your product or service. This doesn’t need to be as fleshed out as a full marketing plan , but it should answer basic questions, such as the following:
- Who is the target market (if different from existing customer base)?
- What channels will you use to reach your target market?
- What resources does your marketing strategy require, and do you have access to them?
- If possible, do you have a rough estimate of timeline and budget?
- How will you measure success?
Step 8: Sales Plan
Write an overview of the sales strategy, including the priorities of each cycle, steps to achieve these goals, and metrics for success. For the purposes of a business plan, this section does not need to be a comprehensive, in-depth sales plan , but can simply outline the high-level objectives and strategies of your sales efforts.
Start by answering the following questions:
- What is the sales strategy?
- What are the tools and tactics you will use to achieve your goals?
- What are the potential obstacles, and how will you overcome them?
- What is the timeline for sales and turning a profit?
- What are the metrics of success?
Step 9: Funding Details (or Request for Funding)
This section is one of the most critical parts of your business plan, particularly if you are sharing it with investors. You do not need to provide a full financial plan, but you should be able to answer the following questions:
- How much capital do you currently have? How much capital do you need?
- How will you grow the team (onboarding, team structure, training and development)?
- What are your physical needs and constraints (space, equipment, etc.)?
Step 10: Financial Projections
Apart from the fundraising analysis, investors like to see thought-out financial projections for the future. As discussed earlier, depending on the scope and stage of your business, this could be anywhere from one to five years.
While these projections won’t be exact — and will need to be somewhat flexible — you should be able to gauge the following:
- How and when will the company first generate a profit?
- How will the company maintain profit thereafter?
Business Plan Template
Download Business Plan Template
Microsoft Excel | Smartsheet
This basic business plan template has space for all the traditional elements: an executive summary, product or service details, target audience, marketing and sales strategies, etc. In the finances sections, input your baseline numbers, and the template will automatically calculate projections for sales forecasting, financial statements, and more.
For templates tailored to more specific needs, visit this business plan template roundup or download a fill-in-the-blank business plan template to make things easy.
If you are looking for a particular template by file type, visit our pages dedicated exclusively to Microsoft Excel , Microsoft Word , and Adobe PDF business plan templates.
How to Write a Simple Business Plan
A simple business plan is a streamlined, lightweight version of the large, traditional model. As opposed to a one-page business plan , which communicates high-level information for quick overviews (such as a stakeholder presentation), a simple business plan can exceed one page.
Below are the steps for creating a generic simple business plan, which are reflected in the template below .
- Write the Executive Summary This section is the same as in the traditional business plan — simply offer an overview of what’s in the business plan, the prospect or core offering, and the short- and long-term goals of the company.
- Add a Company Overview Document the larger company mission and vision.
- Provide the Problem and Solution In straightforward terms, define the problem you are attempting to solve with your product or service and how your company will attempt to do it. Think of this section as the gap in the market you are attempting to close.
- Identify the Target Market Who is your company (and its products or services) attempting to reach? If possible, briefly define your buyer personas .
- Write About the Competition In this section, demonstrate your knowledge of the market by listing the current competitors and outlining your competitive advantage.
- Describe Your Product or Service Offerings Get down to brass tacks and define your product or service. What exactly are you selling?
- Outline Your Marketing Tactics Without getting into too much detail, describe your planned marketing initiatives.
- Add a Timeline and the Metrics You Will Use to Measure Success Offer a rough timeline, including milestones and key performance indicators (KPIs) that you will use to measure your progress.
- Include Your Financial Forecasts Write an overview of your financial plan that demonstrates you have done your research and adequate modeling. You can also list key assumptions that go into this forecasting.
- Identify Your Financing Needs This section is where you will make your funding request. Based on everything in the business plan, list your proposed sources of funding, as well as how you will use it.
Simple Business Plan Template
Download Simple Business Plan Template
Microsoft Excel | Microsoft Word | Adobe PDF | Smartsheet
Use this simple business plan template to outline each aspect of your organization, including information about financing and opportunities to seek out further funding. This template is completely customizable to fit the needs of any business, whether it’s a startup or large company.
Read our article offering free simple business plan templates or free 30-60-90-day business plan templates to find more tailored options. You can also explore our collection of one page business templates .
How to Write a Business Plan for a Lean Startup
A Lean startup business plan is a more Agile approach to a traditional version. The plan focuses more on activities, processes, and relationships (and maintains flexibility in all aspects), rather than on concrete deliverables and timelines.
While there is some overlap between a traditional and a Lean business plan, you can write a Lean plan by following the steps below:
- Add Your Value Proposition Take a streamlined approach to describing your product or service. What is the unique value your startup aims to deliver to customers? Make sure the team is aligned on the core offering and that you can state it in clear, simple language.
- List Your Key Partners List any other businesses you will work with to realize your vision, including external vendors, suppliers, and partners. This section demonstrates that you have thoughtfully considered the resources you can provide internally, identified areas for external assistance, and conducted research to find alternatives.
- Note the Key Activities Describe the key activities of your business, including sourcing, production, marketing, distribution channels, and customer relationships.
- Include Your Key Resources List the critical resources — including personnel, equipment, space, and intellectual property — that will enable you to deliver your unique value.
- Identify Your Customer Relationships and Channels In this section, document how you will reach and build relationships with customers. Provide a high-level map of the customer experience from start to finish, including the spaces in which you will interact with the customer (online, retail, etc.).
- Detail Your Marketing Channels Describe the marketing methods and communication platforms you will use to identify and nurture your relationships with customers. These could be email, advertising, social media, etc.
- Explain the Cost Structure This section is especially necessary in the early stages of a business. Will you prioritize maximizing value or keeping costs low? List the foundational startup costs and how you will move toward profit over time.
- Share Your Revenue Streams Over time, how will the company make money? Include both the direct product or service purchase, as well as secondary sources of revenue, such as subscriptions, selling advertising space, fundraising, etc.
Lean Business Plan Template for Startups
Download Lean Business Plan Template for Startups
Microsoft Word | Adobe PDF
Startup leaders can use this Lean business plan template to relay the most critical information from a traditional plan. You’ll find all the sections listed above, including spaces for industry and product overviews, cost structure and sources of revenue, and key metrics, and a timeline. The template is completely customizable, so you can edit it to suit the objectives of your Lean startups.
See our wide variety of startup business plan templates for more options.
How to Write a Business Plan for a Loan
A business plan for a loan, often called a loan proposal , includes many of the same aspects of a traditional business plan, as well as additional financial documents, such as a credit history, a loan request, and a loan repayment plan.
In addition, you may be asked to include personal and business financial statements, a form of collateral, and equity investment information.
Download free financial templates to support your business plan.
Tips for Writing a Business Plan
Outside of including all the key details in your business plan, you have several options to elevate the document for the highest chance of winning funding and other resources. Follow these tips from experts:.
- Keep It Simple: Avner Brodsky , the Co-Founder and CEO of Lezgo Limited, an online marketing company, uses the acronym KISS (keep it short and simple) as a variation on this idea. “The business plan is not a college thesis,” he says. “Just focus on providing the essential information.”
- Do Adequate Research: Michael Dean, the Co-Founder of Pool Research , encourages business leaders to “invest time in research, both internal and external (market, finance, legal etc.). Avoid being overly ambitious or presumptive. Instead, keep everything objective, balanced, and accurate.” Your plan needs to stand on its own, and you must have the data to back up any claims or forecasting you make. As Brodsky explains, “Your business needs to be grounded on the realities of the market in your chosen location. Get the most recent data from authoritative sources so that the figures are vetted by experts and are reliable.”
- Set Clear Goals: Make sure your plan includes clear, time-based goals. “Short-term goals are key to momentum growth and are especially important to identify for new businesses,” advises Dean.
- Know (and Address) Your Weaknesses: “This awareness sets you up to overcome your weak points much quicker than waiting for them to arise,” shares Dean. Brodsky recommends performing a full SWOT analysis to identify your weaknesses, too. “Your business will fare better with self-knowledge, which will help you better define the mission of your business, as well as the strategies you will choose to achieve your objectives,” he adds.
- Seek Peer or Mentor Review: “Ask for feedback on your drafts and for areas to improve,” advises Brodsky. “When your mind is filled with dreams for your business, sometimes it is an outsider who can tell you what you’re missing and will save your business from being a product of whimsy.”
Outside of these more practical tips, the language you use is also important and may make or break your business plan.
Shaun Heng, VP of Operations at Coin Market Cap , gives the following advice on the writing, “Your business plan is your sales pitch to an investor. And as with any sales pitch, you need to strike the right tone and hit a few emotional chords. This is a little tricky in a business plan, because you also need to be formal and matter-of-fact. But you can still impress by weaving in descriptive language and saying things in a more elegant way.
“A great way to do this is by expanding your vocabulary, avoiding word repetition, and using business language. Instead of saying that something ‘will bring in as many customers as possible,’ try saying ‘will garner the largest possible market segment.’ Elevate your writing with precise descriptive words and you'll impress even the busiest investor.”
Additionally, Dean recommends that you “stay consistent and concise by keeping your tone and style steady throughout, and your language clear and precise. Include only what is 100 percent necessary.”
Resources for Writing a Business Plan
While a template provides a great outline of what to include in a business plan, a live document or more robust program can provide additional functionality, visibility, and real-time updates. The U.S. Small Business Association also curates resources for writing a business plan.
Additionally, you can use business plan software to house data, attach documentation, and share information with stakeholders. Popular options include LivePlan, Enloop, BizPlanner, PlanGuru, and iPlanner.
How a Business Plan Helps to Grow Your Business
A business plan — both the exercise of creating one and the document — can grow your business by helping you to refine your product, target audience, sales plan, identify opportunities, secure funding, and build new partnerships.
Outside of these immediate returns, writing a business plan is a useful exercise in that it forces you to research the market, which prompts you to forge your unique value proposition and identify ways to beat the competition. Doing so will also help you build (and keep you accountable to) attainable financial and product milestones. And down the line, it will serve as a welcome guide as hurdles inevitably arise.
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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.
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 Build a Detailed Business Plan That Stands Out [Free Template]
Updated: March 29, 2022
Published: March 11, 2022
While starting a company may seem easier now than ever before, entrepreneurs have an uphill battle from the moment they start a business. And without a clear, actionable business plan for selling, marketing, finances, and operations, you're almost destined to face significant challenges.
This is why crafting a business plan is an essential step in the entrepreneurial process.
In this post, we'll walk you through the process of filling out your business plan template, like this free, editable version :
Download a free, editable one-page business plan template.
We know that when looking at a blank page on a laptop screen, the idea of writing your business plan can seem impossible. However, it's a mandatory step to take if you want to turn your business dreams into a reality.
That's why we've crafted a business plan template for you to download and use to build your new company. You can download it here for free . It contains prompts for all of the essential parts of a business plan, all of which are elaborated on, below.
This way, you'll be able to show them how organized and well-thought-out your business idea is, and provide them with answers to whatever questions they may have.
Featured Resource: Free Business Plan Template
Building a successful business plan.
In the next section, we'll cover the components of a business plan , such as an executive summary and company description. But before we get to that, let's talk about key elements that should serve as building blocks for your plan.
For some entrepreneurs, the thought of writing a business plan sounds like a chore — a necessary means to an end. But that's a bad take.
A solid business plan is a blueprint for success . It's key to securing financing, presenting your business, outlining your financial projections, and turning that nugget of a business idea into a reality.
At the core, your business plan should answer two questions: why your business and why now?
Investors want to know why your business is entering the market, i.e. what problem it's solving and how it's different from what's currently out there. They also want to know why now is the right time for your type of product or service.
At a minimum, your plan should:
- Be more realistic than idealistic: Too often, business plans focus too much on how things could be instead of how they are. While having a vision is important, your plan needs to be rooted in research and data.
- Legitimize your business idea : If an idea fails on paper, it's a signal to go back to the drawing board. In doing so, you avoid losing precious time or money chasing an unrealistic idea.
- Position your business for funding: To get your business off the ground, chances are you'll need financial backing. Even with a solid business idea, investors, lenders, and banks still need convincing. An effective business plan will outline how much money you need, where it's going, what targets you will hit, and how you plan to repay any debts.
- Lay the foundation: Investors focus on risk – if anything looks shaky, it could be a dealbreaker. Ideally, your business plan will lay down the foundation for how you'll operate your business — from operational needs to financial projections and goals.
- Communicate your needs: It's nearly impossible to communicate your needs if you don't know what they are first. Of course, a business’ needs are always changing — but your plan should give you a well-rounded view of how your business will work in the short and long term.
So back to the question of why and why now – consider three things:
- Your industry – How does your product or service fit within your industry? Are you targeting a specific niche? Where do you see the industry going in the next five to 10 years?
- Your target audience – Who are you targeting? What challenges are they facing? How will your product or service help them in their daily lives?
- Your unique selling proposition (USP) – What sets you apart from your competitors? Is it your product/service features? Your company values? Price?
Once you know the answers to these questions, you'll be equipped to answer the question: why your business and why now.
How to Build a Business Plan
- Executive Summary
- Company and Business Description
- Product and Services Line
- Market Analysis
- Marketing Plan
- Legal Notes
- Financial Considerations
1. Cover Page
Your business plan should be prefaced with an eye-catching cover page. This means including a high-resolution image of your company logo, followed by your company's name, address, and phone number.
Since this business plan will likely change hands and be seen by multiple investors, you should also provide your own name, role in the business, and email address on the cover page.
At the bottom of this page, you can also add a confidentiality statement to protect against the disclosure of your business details.
The statement can read as follows: " This document contains confidential and proprietary information created by [your company name]. When receiving this document, you agree to keep its content confidential and may only reproduce and/or share it with express written permission of [your company name] ."
Remember to keep your cover page simple and concise — and save the important details for other sections.
Why it matters: First impressions are everything, and a clean cover page is the first step in the right direction.
Example of a Cover Page
2. Executive Summary
The executive summary of your business plan provides a one- to two-page overview of your business and highlights the most crucial pieces of your plan, such as your short-term and long-term goals.
The executive summary is essentially a boiled-down version of your entire business plan, so remember to keep this section to the point and filled only with essential information.
Typically, this brief section includes:
- A mission statement.
- The company's history and leadership model.
- An overview of competitive advantage(s).
- Financial projections.
- Company goals.
- An ask from potential investors.
Why it matters: The executive summary is known as the make-or-break section of a business plan. It influences whether investors turn the page or not — so effectively summarizing your business and the problem it hopes to solve is a must.
Think of the Summary as a written elevator pitch (with more detail). While your business plan provides the nitty-gritty details, your Summary describes — in a compelling but matter-of-fact language — the highlights of your plan. If it's too vague, complicated, or fuzzy, you may need to scrap it and start again.
Example of an Executive Summary Introduction
"The future looks bright for North Side Chicago, particularly the Rock Hill Neighborhood. A number of high-end commercial and residential developments are well on their way, along with two new condo developments in nearby neighborhoods.
While the completion of these developments will increase the population within the neighborhood and stimulate the economy, the area lacks an upscale restaurant where residents and visitors can enjoy fine food and drink. Jay Street Lounge and Restaurant will provide such a place."
3. Company & Business Description
In this section, provide a more thorough description of what your company is and why it exists.
The bulk of the writing in this section should be about your company's purpose – covering what the business will be selling, identifying the target market, and laying out a path to success.
In this portion of your business plan, you can also elaborate on your company's:
- Mission statement
- Core values
- Team and organizational structure
Why it matters: Investors look for great structures and teams in addition to great ideas. This section gives an overview of your businesses' ethos. It's the perfect opportunity to set your business apart from the competition — such as your team's expertise, your unique work culture, and your competitive advantage.
Example of a Values/Mission Statement
"Jay Street Lounge and Restaurant will be the go-to place for people to get a drink or bite in an elegant, upscale atmosphere. The mission is to be North Side's leading restaurant, with the best tasting food and the highest quality service."
3. Product & Services Line
Here's where you'll cover the makeup of your business's product and/or services line. You should provide each product or service's name, its purpose, and a description of how it works (if appropriate). If you own any patents, copyrights, or trademarks, it's essential to include this info too.
Next, add some color to your sales strategy by outlining your pricing model and mark-up amounts.
If you're selling tangible products, you should also explain production and costs, and how you expect these factors to change as you scale.
Why it matters: This section contains the real meat of your business plan. It sets the stage for the problem you hope to solve, your solution, and how your said solution fits in the market.
There's no one-size-fits-all formula for this section. For instance, one plan may delve into its ability to market in a more cost-effective way than the competition, whereas another plan focuses on its key products and their unique features and benefits.
Regardless of your angle, it's critical to convey how your offerings will differ from the competition.
Example of a Product/Service Offering
"The menu at Jay Street Lounge and Restaurant will focus on Moroccan cuisine. The stars of the menu (our specialties) are the Moroccan dishes, such as eggplant zaalouk, seafood bastilla, tagine, and chickpea stew. For those who enjoy American dishes, there will also be a variety of options, from burger sliders and flatbread pizza to grilled steak and salads.
The food at Jay Street will have premium pricing to match its upscale atmosphere. During the summer months, the restaurant will have extra seating on the patio where clients can enjoy a special summer menu. We will be open on all days of the week."
4. Market Analysis
It helps to reference your market research documentation in this section, like a Porter's Five Forces Analysis or a SWOT Analysis ( templates for those are available here ). You can also include them in your appendix.
If your company already has buyer personas, you should include them here as well. If not, you can create them right now using the Make My Persona Tool .
Why it matters: Having an awesome product is, well, awesome — but it isn't enough. Just as important, there must be a market for it.
This section allows you to dig deeper into your market, which segments you want to target, and why. The "why" here is important, since targeting the right segment is critical for the success and growth of your business.
It's easy to get lost (or overwhelmed) in a sea of endless data. For your business plan, narrow your focus by answering the following questions:
- What is my market? In other words, who are my customers?
- What segments of the market do I want to target?
- What's the size of my target market?
- Is my market likely to grow?
- How can I increase my market share over time?
Example of a Market Analysis
"Jay Street Lounge and Restaurant will target locals who live and work within the Rock Hill Neighborhood and the greater North Side Chicago area. We will also target the tourists who flock to the many tourist attractions and colleges on the North Side.
We will specifically focus on young to middle-aged adults with an income of $40,000 to $80,000 who are looking for an upscale experience. The general demographics of our target market are women between 20 to 50 years old.
A unique and varied Moroccan-American menu, along with our unique upscale atmosphere, differentiates us from competitors in the area. Jay Street will also set itself apart through its commitment to high-quality food, service, design, and atmosphere."
5. Marketing Plan
Unlike the market analysis section, your marketing plan section should be an explanation of the tactical approach to reaching your aforementioned target audience. List your advertising channels, organic marketing methods, messaging, budget, and any relevant promotional tactics.
If your company has a fully fleshed-out marketing plan, you can attach it in the appendix of your business plan. If not, download this free marketing plan template to outline your strategy.
Why it matters: Marketing is what puts your product in front of your customers. It's not just advertising — it's an investment in your business.
Throwing money into random marketing channels is a haphazard approach, which is why it's essential to do the legwork to create a solid marketing plan.
Here's some good news — by this point, you should have a solid understanding of your target market. Now, it's time to determine how you'll reach them.
Example of a Marketing Plan Overview
"Our marketing strategy will focus on three main initiatives:
- Social media marketing. We will grow and expand our Facebook and Instagram following through targeted social media ads.
- Website initiatives. Our website will attract potential visitors by offering updated menus and a calendar of events.
- Promotional events. Jay Street will have one special theme night per week to attract new clients."
6. Sales Plan
It doesn't matter if your sales department is an office full of business development representatives (BDR) or a dozen stores with your products on their shelves.
The point is: All sales plans are different, so you should clearly outline yours here. Common talking points include your:
- Sales team structure, and why this structure was chosen.
- Sales channels.
- Sales tools, software, and resources.
- Prospecting strategy.
- Sales goals and budget.
Like with your marketing plan, it might make sense to attach your completed sales plan to the appendix of your business plan. You can download a template for building your sales plan here .
Why it matters: Among other things, investors are interested in the scalability of your business — which is why growth strategies are a critical part of your business plan.
Your sales plan should describe your plan to attract customers, retain them (if applicable), and, ultimately, grow your business. Be sure to outline what you plan to do given your existing resources and what results you expect from your work.
Example of a Sales Plan Overview
"The most important goal is to ensure financial success for Jay Street Lounge and Restaurant. We believe we can achieve this by offering excellent food, entertainment, and service to our clients.
We are not a low-cost dining option in the area. Instead, the food will have premium pricing to match its upscale feel. The strategy is to give Jay Street a perception of elegance through its food, entertainment, and excellent service."
7. Legal Notes
Your investors may want to know the legal structure of your business, as that could directly impact the risk of their investments. For example, if you're looking for business partners to engage in a non-corporation or LLC partnership, this means they could be on the line for more than their actual investment.
Because this clarification is often needed, explain if you are and/or plan to become a sole proprietor, partnership, corporation, LLC, or other.
You should also outline the steps you have taken (or will need to take) to operate legally. This includes licenses, permits, registrations, and insurance.
The last thing your investor wants to hear after they've sent you a big chunk of change is that you're operating without proper approval from the local, state, or federal government.
Why it matters: The last thing your investor wants to hear after they've sent you a big chunk of change is that you're operating without proper approval from the local, state, or federal government.
Example of Legal Notes
"Jay Street Lounge and Restaurant is up-to-date on all restaurant licenses and health permits. Our business name and logo are registered trademarks, presenting the possibility of expanding locally."
8. Financial Considerations
Ultimately, investors want to know two things:
- When they will earn their money back.
- When they will start seeing returns on their initial investment.
That said, be clear, calculated, and convincing in this section. It should cover:
- Startup costs.
- Sales forecasts for the next several months/quarters.
- Break-even analysis for time and dollars.
- Projected profit and loss (P&L) statement.
Facts and figures are key here, so be as specific as possible with each line item and projection. In addition, explain the "why" behind each of these sections.
However, keep in mind that information overload is a risk, especially when it comes to data. So, if you have pages upon pages of charts and spreadsheets for this section, distill them into a page or two and include the rest of the sheets in the appendix. This section should only focus on key data points.
Why it matters: One of the most important aspects of becoming "investor ready" is knowing your numbers. More importantly, you need to understand how those numbers will enhance your business.
While it's easy to write a number down on paper, it's more important to understand (and communicate) why you need capital, where it's going, and that your evaluation makes sense.
Example of Financial Projections
"Based on our knowledge and experience in the restaurant industry, we have come up with projections for the business.
Starting with an expenditure of $400,000 in year 1, we forecast sales of $1,500,000 and $2,800,000 for years two and three. We expect to achieve a net profit of 15% by year three."
A detailed and well-developed business plan can range anywhere from 20 to 50 pages, with some even reaching upward of 80.
In many cases, the appendix is the longest section. Why? Because it includes the supportive materials mentioned in previous sections. To avoid disrupting the flow of the business plan with visuals, charts, and spreadsheets, business owners usually add them in the last section, i.e. the appendix.
Aside from what we've already mentioned – marketing plan, sales plan, department budgets, financial documents – you may also want to attach the following in the appendix:
- Marketing materials
- Market research data
- Licensing documentation
- Branding assets
- Floor plans for your location
- Mockups of your product
- Renderings of your office space or location design
Adding these pieces to the appendix enriches the reader's understanding of your business and proves you've put the work into your business plan without distracting from the main points throughout the plan.
Why it matters: An appendix helps the reader do their due diligence. It contains everything they need to support your business plan.
Keep in mind, however, that an appendix is typically necessary only if you're seeking financing or looking to attract business partners.
Use a Business Plan Template to Get Started
Writing a business plan shouldn't be an insurmountable roadblock to starting a business. Unfortunately, for all too many, it is.
That's why we recommend using our free business plan template. Pre-filled with detailed section prompts for all of the topics in this blog post, we're confident this template will get your business plan started in the right direction.
Editor's note: This post was originally published in June 2017 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.
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Nonprofit Business Plan Template & Guide [Updated 2023]
Products, programs, and services.
This section provides more detailed information on exactly what your nonprofit organization does. What services do you offer? What programs do you provide? How does your nonprofit benefit the community? What need does your organization meet and what are your specific plans for meeting that need in the future?
Document your offerings in this section of your plan. This could take 1-3 pages depending upon the scope of the services you offer. Provide details so the reader truly understands what you offer your constituents.
NONPROFIT BUSINESS PLAN OUTLINE
- Nonprofit Business Plan Home
- 1. Executive Summary
- 2. Organization Overview
- 3. Products, Programs, and Services
- 4. Industry Analysis
- 5. Customer Analysis
- 6. Marketing Plan
- 7. Operations Plan
- 8. Management Team
- 9. Financial Plan
- 10. Appendix
- Nonprofit Business Plan Summary
Don't bother with copy and paste.
Get this complete sample business plan as a free text document.
Software Sales Business Plan
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Corporate Software Sales
Products and services.
CSS will provide medium- and large-sized companies with enterprise-wide collaborative planning solutions. We will also provide consulting services by helping companies recognize opportunities for using technology to streamline their business processes. Finally, we will provide complete training for the use of solutions purchased from us.
3.1 Product and Service Description
Software CSS software products consist of a business planning software package that is proven in the consumer market. In fact, this product is the top-rated and best-selling small business planning package. The enterprise version will be similar to the consumer version however, it will be modified to fit the needs of different clients. The product will allow corporate sales forces and franchises to use planning tools to achieve tremendous efficiencies in their business processes. In essence, a sales force will be able to write concise business plans for any customer and through the use of an extranet, allow the customer to collaboratively plan their own account. Franchises will be able to create a road map of their business plans that corporate managers can monitor and adjust accordingly. The possibility exists to customize the product to work with other collaborative tools such as LotusNotes and the clients email applications.
Consulting CSS will perform an analysis of all potential clients’ planning strategies and tactics as well as their degree of aptitude with planning software and information technology. The goal of this analysis is to ensure that all clients get a solution that best fits their needs and capabilities. Whether they decide to purchase the product or not they will have an expert analysis of their planning strategies.
Training CSS will provide further value to our customers, and ease the customer service burden on our partner, by ensuring that all product users are properly trained in the use of all software solutions.
Interface Through the software manufacturer, CSS will provide an additional product which will give the client a dedicated service representative–eliminating the need for product updates. This will in essence create a “living” product which can grow and adapt with the clients’ needs. The interface representative will function through the clients’ established extranet.
3.2 Competitive Comparison
Alternative products do not offer a complete package of tools. For example, to get similar results from another product(s) the client would have to integrate complex spreadsheets, word processing software, instructions and Web based collaboration themselves.
The software package runs on Windows 95, 98, 2000, Windows NT, and Macintosh platforms.
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Write Products and Services Section of a Business Plan
Free Product & Service Description Worksheet
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.
What is a Products & Services Section?
What’s included in the products & services section, 6 tips on writing a good products & services section, persuade interest with a 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
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:
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.
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:, 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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
6 Tips on Writing a Good Products and Services Section
Opt for a customer-centric approach:
Keep it simple:, ditch buzzwords and industrial jargon:, specify market pain points:, emphasize your usp:, flaunt your achievements:, 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.
About the Author
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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How small-business owners can help close the pay gap.
Published: August 29, 2023
Small-business owners can play a significant role in closing the pay gap between women and men, which has barely increased over the past two decades.
Small businesses employ nearly half of all private sector employees, according to the 2019 Statistics of U.S. Businesses , released by the Census Bureau in 2022. That means small-business owners like us play a significant role in closing the pay gap between women and men, which has barely increased over the past two decades.
Pew Research notes that in 2002, women made 80% of what men did. By 2022, women’s earnings compared to men had inched up only 2%. For women of color, the pay gap is even more significant, with Black women making 70% as much and Hispanic women making 65% as much as white men in 2022. (The study is based on the analysis of monthly Current Population Survey (CPS) data from January 1982 to December 2022.)
At my Women+ insights studio, Tote + Pears , we ensure everyone is paid what they deserve. Here's how other small-business owners can follow suit.
Do Your Research
When you’re ready to hire a new team member, consider researching the role you’re creating to ensure the salary you want to offer is at or above market rates.
You can use the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and salary benchmark sites to evaluate current industry rates. Be sure to consider factors like a candidate’s experience, location, and the role's responsibilities.
Women are known to undercharge for their time and may be less likely to negotiate their pay than men, with Pew Research finding in a February 2023 survey of 5,775 U.S. adults that only 28% of women asked to negotiate a higher salary when last hired for a job. Knowing what you should be paying ensures your new hire starts out at market rate, even if they don't feel comfortable negotiating for more.
Create a Recruiting Plan
After you’ve done your research on fair market rates, consider creating a recruiting plan to find the best and brightest talent.
This starts with making a budget for the position and doing your best to stick to it. In many cases, small businesses have a salary range in mind when hiring a new team member, leaving room to account for factors like experience, necessary training, and candidate negotiation. You may be tempted to take less qualified candidates at the lower end of your range, but retaining talent that can afford to stick around while your business grows may be worth a higher cost upfront.
Women tend to undercharge for their time and may be less likely to negotiate pay. As a small business, knowing what you should be paying ensures your new hire starts out at market rate, even if they don't feel comfortable negotiating for more.
Once you have a budget, consider developing an outreach strategy so top talent can find your job listings . You can create a hiring rubric that makes it easy to determine how much you can afford to pay candidates based on their experience and soft skills. This can help you offer competitive rates that align with your business needs and honor the candidate's value.
A rubric can help your team be more objective when reviewing candidate applications. Since unconscious bias can impact anyone, implementing safeguards can be key to closing the pay gap.
Try a Test Run
At Tote + Pears, we take every candidate through a trial project before making a final offer. It helps us feel more confident in a candidate's abilities and gives them a chance to better understand our work and process. It can hopefully provide quick wins to boost the candidate's confidence and get them more excited for the role.
If we find a candidate is overqualified during the test period, we’ll bump up their rate. If there are areas that need work, we’ll create a plan to help them improve over time to reach their desired rate.
I’ve hired thousands of people, and my experiences align with the data indicating women are statistically less likely to ask for what they’re worth. At Tote + Pears, we account for this after successful candidate test runs in order to make hiring as fair as possible.
If a candidate lowballs themselves, we provide them with our findings about the market rate and our belief in what their skills are worth. Then we let them 'sleep on it' and conduct more research before resuming negotiations. This builds trust and loyalty. It also helps us to contribute to closing the pay gap.
Adjust and Adapt
Even after a candidate is hired, your work isn’t done. Adjusting your employees’ salaries as their value to your business increases can help you retain top talent and ensure you’re proactively paying every team member what they’re worth.
Consider keeping an eye on market rates and inflation , and review and adjust your salary budget during planning sessions. Money isn’t the only factor that can contribute to closing the pay gap. Flexible time off, remote work options , professional training, and promotion opportunities can be attractive, especially for working mothers and caregivers who may be juggling multiple responsibilities.
Investing in employees is important for small businesses. By having a plan during the hiring process and continuing to create equal opportunities after candidates join the team, we can be sure we’re doing our part to close the pay gap.
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Biden administration unveils first 10 drugs subject to Medicare price negotiations
- The Biden administration unveiled the first 10 prescription drugs that will be subject to price negotiations between manufacturers and Medicare.
- The announcement kicks off a controversial process under the Inflation Reduction Act that aims to make costly medications more affordable for older Americans.
- The list includes Bristol-Myers Squibb's blood thinner Eliquis, Johnson & Johnson's own blood thinner, Novo Nordisk insulin products and Merck's diabetes drug Januvia.
In this article
The Biden administration on Tuesday unveiled the first 10 prescription drugs that will be subject to price negotiations between manufacturers and Medicare , kicking off a controversial process that aims to make costly medications more affordable for older Americans.
President Joe Biden's Inflation Reduction Act , which passed in a party-line vote last year, gave Medicare the power to directly hash out drug prices with manufacturers for the first time in the federal program's nearly 60-year history. The agreed-upon prices for the first round of drugs are scheduled to go into effect in 2026.
Here are the 10 drugs subject to the initial talks this year:
- Eliquis, made by Bristol-Myers Squibb , is used to prevent blood clotting, to reduce the risk of stroke.
- Jardiance, made by Boehringer Ingelheim, is used to lower blood sugar for people with Type 2 diabetes.
- Xarelto, made by Johnson & Johnson , is used to prevent blood clotting, to reduce the risk of stroke.
- Januvia, made by Merck , is used to lower blood sugar for people with Type 2 diabetes.
- Farxiga, made by AstraZeneca , is used to treat Type 2 diabetes.
- Entresto, made by Novartis , is used to treat certain types of heart failure.
- Enbrel, made by Amgen , is used to treat rheumatoid arthritis.
- Imbruvica, made by AbbVie , is used to treat different types of blood cancers.
- Stelara, made by Janssen, is used to treat Crohn's disease.
- Fiasp and NovoLog, insulins made by Novo Nordisk .
The Medicare negotiations are the centerpiece of the Biden administration's efforts to rein in the rising cost of medications in the U.S. Some Democrats in Congress and consumer advocates have long pushed for the change, as many seniors around the country struggle to afford care.
"Today is the start of a new deal for patients, so big pharma doesn't just get a blank check at your expense – at the expense of the American people," Biden said in a speech at the White House on Tuesday. "On my watch, health care should be a right, not a privilege, in this country."
But the pharmaceutical industry views the process as a threat to its revenue growth, profits and drug innovation. Drugmakers such as Merck and Johnson & Johnson and their supporters aim to derail the negotiations, filing at least eight lawsuits in recent months seeking to declare the policy unconstitutional.
The drugs listed Tuesday are among the top 50 with the highest spending for Medicare Part D, which covers prescription medications that seniors fill at retail pharmacies.
The 10 medicines accounted for $50.5 billion, or about 20%, of total Part D prescription drug costs from June 1, 2022, to May 31, 2023, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, or CMS.
The drugs have been on the market for at least seven years without generic competitors, or 11 years in the case of biological products such as vaccines.
In 2022 alone, 9 million seniors spent $3.4 billion out-of-pocket on the 10 drugs, a senior Biden administration official told reporters Tuesday during a call.
Medicare covers roughly 66 million people in the U.S., and 50.5 million patients are currently enrolled in Part D plans, according to health policy research organization KFF.
What happens next
Drugmakers have to sign agreements to join the negotiations by Oct. 1. CMS will then make an initial price offer to manufacturers in February 2024, and those companies have a month to accept or make a counteroffer.
The negotiations will end in August 2024, with agreed-upon prices published on Sept. 1, 2024. The reduced prices won't go into effect until January 2026.
If a drugmaker declines to negotiate, it must either pay an excise tax of up to 95% of its medication's U.S. sales or pull all of its products from the Medicare and Medicaid markets.
The pharmaceutical industry contends that the penalty can be as high as 1,900% of a drug's daily revenues.
After the initial round of talks, CMS can negotiate prices for another 15 drugs for 2027 and an additional 15 in 2028. The number rises to 20 negotiated medications a year starting in 2029 and beyond.
"I think it's incredibly important to keep in mind that the negotiation process is cumulative," said Leigh Purvis, a prescription drug policy principal with AARP Public Policy Institute. "We could have as many as 60 drugs negotiated by 2029."
CMS will only select Medicare Part D drugs for the medicines covered by the first two years of negotiations. It will add more specialized drugs covered by Medicare Part B, which are typically administered by doctors, in 2028.
The drug price talks are expected to save Medicare an estimated $98.5 billion over a decade, according to the Congressional Budget Office.
The negotiations are also expected to save money for people enrolled in Medicare, who take an average of four to five prescription drugs a month and increasingly face out-of-pocket costs that many struggle to afford.
Nearly 10% of Medicare enrollees ages 65 and older, and 20% of those under 65, report challenges in affording drugs, a senior administration official said Tuesday.
"This is just going to put more money back in the pockets of millions of Americans," Biden said.
Drugmakers' legal challenges
Merck, Johnson & Johnson, Bristol-Myers Squibb and Astellas Pharma are among the companies suing to halt the negotiation process. The industry's biggest lobbying group, PhRMA, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce have filed their own lawsuits.
The suits make similar and overlapping claims that Medicare negotiations are unconstitutional.
The companies argue that the talks would force drugmakers to sell their medicines at huge discounts, below market rates. They assert this violates the Fifth Amendment, which requires the government to pay reasonable compensation for private property taken for public use.
The suits also argue that the process violates drugmakers' free speech rights under the First Amendment, essentially forcing companies to agree that Medicare is negotiating a fair price.
They also contend that the talks violate the Eighth Amendment by levying an excessive fine if drugmakers refuse to engage in the process.
The suits are scattered in federal courts around the U.S. Legal experts say the pharmaceutical industry hopes to obtain conflicting rulings from federal appellate courts, which could fast-track the issue to the Supreme Court.
Some drugmakers have confirmed their intention to bring their legal battle to the nation's highest court.
"As we look forward, we're going to take this to the fullest, which means we'll take it through District Court and, if need be, into Circuit Court and ultimately to the Supreme Court," Merck CEO Robert Davis said during an earnings call earlier this month. "So, really that's the strategy."
Merck, in a statement on Tuesday, called the drug price talks "bad policy" that will stifle pharmaceutical research and development and "have potentially devastating consequences for the millions of patients who need new therapeutic options."
Still, the company said it's committed to working with the government to "enable patient-focused innovation, value, and access."
Meanwhile, the Biden administration has vowed to fight the legal challenges.
Biden and his top health officials have embraced the lawsuits as evidence that they're making progress in the fight to cut drug prices.
On Tuesday, he said drugmakers are hoping the federal courts "will do what Democrats in Congress wouldn't do. Protect the exorbitant profits and keep negotiations from happening."
"We're going to see this through. We're gonna keep standing up to big pharma and we're not going to back down," the president said at the White House.
How much Medicare spends on the drugs
Among the 10 drugs listed, for the period from June 1, 2022, to May 31, 2023, Medicare Part D spent the most on Eliquis, at $16.5 billion, according to a CMS fact sheet .
The plan also spent roughly $7 billion on Jardiance, $6 billion on Xarelto, $4 billion on Januvia and $3.2 billion on Farxiga during that same time period, the fact sheet said. Spending for Entresto, Enbrel, Imbruvica, Stelara and the two insulins came in at more than $2.5 billion each.
In the calendar year 2022, more than 3.5 million enrollees used Eliquis and paid $441 out-of-pocket on average for the blood thinner, according to a separate fact sheet , from the Department of Health and Human Services' Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, or ASPE.
Roughly 1.3 million enrollees used Jardiance in 2022, paying $290 out-of-pocket on average, the ASPE fact sheet said. About 1.3 million beneficiaries used Xarelto and paid $451 out-of-pocket on average.
Far fewer enrollees used Imbruvica and Stelara in the same year, at 22,000 and 20,000, respectively, according to the ASPE fact sheet. But enrollees paid the most out-of-pocket for those drugs: $5,247 for Imbruvica and $2,058 for Stelara on average, the ASPE fact sheet said.
Meanwhile, 763,000 enrollees used Novo Nordisk's two insulin products in 2022 and paid $121 out-of-pocket on average, according to the ASPE fact sheet.
Some drugmakers disputed the data the Biden administration used. A Bristol-Myers spokesperson said the spending numbers for Eliquis "fails to take into consideration all rebates, discounts, and fees paid to Medicare and Part D plans."
The spokesperson said the number CMS cited is "more than three times the actual Medicare spend on Eliquis in the U.S.," without providing additional information or data.
A handful of drugs on the list came as a surprise, including Farxiga and Stelara. Wall Street analysts and health policy researchers had been expecting other names, such as Eli Lilly's diabetes drug Trulicity or Xtandi, a rheumatoid arthritis medication from Astellas Pharma.
A senior administration official said the list likely diverged from predictions due to changes in Medicare Part D spending.
"Data may now have fallen lower on the list because utilization may have dropped off in the last year or other drugs may have become more common," the official said during the call.