Products and services

It is essential to think about your products and/or services and what you bring to the market.

Are you cheaper, faster, stronger?

Do you have better service, or have the only product of its kind?

Consider the following when determining your products and services.


Some products need research, development and testing before they are ready to be sold. Prototyping is the process of developing a concept from idea to a sample. You may start from a hand drawn sketch or describe a problem that needs solving.

The prototype is the design mock up of the idea which can be tested for strengths and weaknesses.

The benefits of prototyping your product are:

  • showing, touching and feeling the new idea is a far better way of communicating your vision, than simply describing it
  • producing a sample product enables stakeholders to see what is missing or what can be improved
  • prototypes are perfect for testing and further development
  • prototyping enables experimentation as it cheaper than producing a full project.

Competitive advantage

Competitive advantage is figuring out what makes your products or services superior to any other on the market. To create competitive advantage you need to be clear on these three things:

  • benefit:
    • what is the benefit of a customer purchasing your products or services over any other?
    • why would they choose you or your products?
    • what problem are you solving?
  • target market:
    • who are you selling to?
    • what are their needs?
    • what's important to them?
    • how can you create demand that serves your customer's needs?
  • competition:
    • who else is in the market?
    • what do they sell and how do they sell it?

Ensure that you can communicate the benefits of your product or service to your customers that's better than your competitors. That is competitive advantage.

Operations management

Consider how your products and/or services will be made and delivered. You can do this by planning and organising how your products or services will be produced, manufactured and delivered.

Some of the elements involved in operations management include:

  • input - output
  • resources
  • strategy
  • planning
  • control
  • requirements
  • costs.

Supply chain

A supply chain is the organised system of moving products from raw materials to consumable items best illustrated here:

There are range of local businesses and services you can use to outsource your supply chain needs. Visit the local business registry Localised to find businesses that may contribute to your supply chain.

Supply chain explained in images: raw materials to manufacture to distribution to retail to customer.

Market research

Understanding your customers and how your products and services fit into the market is an essential step in planning your business.

Undertaking market research, by looking at data and assessing your customers ensures you can target your marketing activities appropriately.

For more information visit the Market Research page on the Business Victoria website.

Page last updated: Thursday, 15 October 2020