The first step in developing a product development cycle in an equine service based business is to exactly identify your product, its feature and benefits. In E3A, we are dealing with programs and services (and perhaps derivative products like books, workbooks, assessments, etc.) we suggest you start by fully describing your primary product.
What is your primary product idea? Is it a new idea, or an improvement on an existing idea? Does it incorporate new knowledge? What about it is special? Describe it in a short statement.
After defining your initial product idea, broaden your definition into expanded product ideas. This is accomplished by providing a full service package that optimizes your primary product idea by describing different initial or follow-on programs, processes, services, and/or tangible products. But first, let’s focus upon your primary product.
Features are the specifications of the product, the what, i.e. how you describe it, what gives it shape, and the "accessories" that make it unique.
Benefits are the advantages your product will provide for your clients, why your client cares about the product, and how your product will make your client's life and/or business better. Benefits are the sizzle that inspires clients to purchase your product.
Write your ideas in a template such as the one illustrated below. Here we have an example of a developed product platform for a service/program based EAL business.
Corporate equine-based experiential learning seminars customized to meet client needs.
· ½ -3 day seminars
· Grounded in the dynamics of herd behavior and its parallel to organizational effectiveness
· Based on Assess, Experience, Act framework
· Incorporates individual assessments, connects individual strengths to organization’s culture, and optimize communication
· Experiential learning
· Executive summary including action plan and 30-60 day follow-up
· Use of customized course materials to highlight learning (team principles, leadership, couples communication, etc)
· Provides a quick learning cycle
· Optimizes individual and team strengths to transform overall performance
· Highly customized workshop targeted to client needs
· Ensures a shared vision, strengthens culture, and improves team engagement and retention
· Learning by doing increases skills and knowledge, and is much more likely to produce positive change
· Roadmap for change identified and support for integration
· Provides conceptual framework, deepens understanding, and reinforces learning
Your product platform underlies your subsequent research, planning and business activities including: identifying your client, how to market your product, researching the competition, and creating your strategic intention and goals. You can learn more about product development, the sales cycle, and online/traditional marketing by attending E3A’s Business Development 2 class on Thursday, March 6 at 7pm ET. For more information, see www.E3Assoc.org and look at “Upcoming Events.”
Look for future blogs on these subjects, or if you want it all in one shot, watch our website for the soon to be available book Everything you need to know to GET STARTED in an equine-based service business by PJ Stegen available March 1, 2014 at www.E3Assoc.org.