Product / Service: USP and unique selling proposition – becoming self-employed Part 3

Product / Service: USP and unique selling point – From the founder / founding team you are now coming to the actual products. Your next considerations will be entirely about your product or service. Here you answer above all the question about the USP, the Unique Selling Proposition, the unique selling point that makes your product or service so special and distinguishes it.

USP and unique selling point of your business idea

In addition, you need to make statements about your development status. Whether it is software or a physical product that has to be produced in the Far East, for example. The development from the first concept over the design up to the finished product costs time and money. That is why the conditions are also important, what has already been created and what conditions still have to be fulfilled before it can start? From the trademark application to the patent, depending on the product, the preparation is very different. Let’s go into business! Product creation:

  1. What is special about your offer?
  2. Start of production/service?
  3. State of development of your product/performance?
  4. What requirements must be met before starting?
  5. When can the product be marketed?
  6. What legal formalities (e.g. approvals, etc.) have to be completed?

What is special about your offer?

The USP is special. With the USP you express the uniqueness, the special, the added value of the product, which will ultimately convince customers to change from competing products or access the product for the first time. The USP must always be brief. Ideally, you manage to limit the benefits of your product or service to three key points.

State of development of your product / service?

The stage of development of the project is extremely important, depending on its complexity. From one experience, there are even certain industries in which you have to demonstrate your work in advance extremely many qualifications. This includes one or the other training, as well as proofs by authorities and offices as well as certificates of good conduct but also certain structural changes.

The production continues. Those who can do everything themselves have a clear advantage, of course. E.g. your own online shop, independent setup, adding new payment providers, checking interfaces, search engine optimization and design. In this case you can of course make a lot of statements about the development status of the business idea or product.

As a rule, however, most founders are dependent on external service providers. Whether this is the advertising agency, for the online shop, the producer for the first prototypes for sale or also the developer for the software project. Accordingly, the status must be noted in the business plan and also permanently updated. Where are you at and where are the risks?

Also here briefly own experience by acquaintances: For example, if you have an app developed and the agency dissolves after two years, who will continue working on the project? And much better, who thinks of such a question in advance? Suddenly you’re looking for a new development team. Have a good time. Developers are even more difficult to get than craftsmen, that’s for sure. Accordingly, at the stage of development, you need to focus not only on where you are and what steps are next, but also on how you consider possible risks that may arise in months or years.

When can the product be marketed?

With the marketing begins of course also the attention and publicity. As soon as a product is on the market, competitors will know about it and of course people who are not yet competitors will also know about it.

Accordingly, the leek of a product must be precisely planned. Not only because of competition and potential new competition, but also because of completion. Nothing is worse than a big start announced by the media and as soon as the day is reached, thousands of people visit your website, you have to apologize that you are still in development. Fatal. At the same time you have to make sure that your product is not finished and that you need three or four months until you can go to market, e.g. because your online shop is not finished, the logo, the brochures and the product packaging. Of course, you must also mention the most important parameters in the business plan, because bankers and investors will ask exactly these questions.

Mark protection and evaluation

When do you have to protect a trademark or an idea? Ideally from the first, public minute. A classic example here is the zipper. Market entry without patent. To this day, anyone can make zippers without the inventor ever having received a cent. Another very example is the term “Ballermann”. More and more Germans travelled with the economic miracle of the 70s. The first big holiday waves began and the Germans discovered Mallorca for themselves. Few flying hours, fantastic weather and fantastic beaches. In the middle of the idyll lies the “Ballermann”. No one had ever had the name “Ballermann” protected. Until André Engelhardt and his wife Annette came up with the idea. They took advantage of the lack of trademark protection and applied for a patent on the name. Since then, the couple have been earning money with every single release that bears their name, whether it’s a CD or a T-shirt. Brilliant. That shouldn’t happen to you, but with your badge. Therefore five more central questions for you about patenting and trademark protection:

  1. What development steps are still necessary for your product?
  2. Who is performing the test?
  3. When will the possible patenting procedure be completed?
  4. Which technical / dermatological / … Approvals are required?
  5. Rights: Which patent or utility model protection rights

Guideline: Setting up your own business & business plan

You want to start your own business as a real estate agent or with another business idea? We support you with tips on your business plan and concept. Whether self-employed full-time or part-time self-employed: If you want to set up your own company, you have to think about a lot, in advance and in the operative business. From the right idea to health insurance – what needs to be considered if you want to become self-employed?

There is no training or further education for entrepreneurs. Managing director is you or not. Your own ambition is always important, because this is the only way to improve, every day.

The topics at a glance: