Computer Repair Business Plan Template
Written by Dave Lavinsky
Computer Repair Business Plan
Over the past 20+ years, we have helped over 1,000 entrepreneurs and business owners create business plans to start and grow their computer repair businesses. On this page, we will first give you some background information with regards to the importance of business planning. We will then go through a computer repair business plan template step-by-step so you can create your plan today.
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What Is a Business Plan?
A business plan provides a snapshot of your computer repair business as it stands today, and lays out your growth plan for the next five years. It explains your business goals and your strategy for reaching them. It also includes market research to support your plans.
Why You Need a Business Plan
If you’re looking to start a computer repair business, or grow your existing computer repair business, you need a business plan. A business plan will help you raise funding, if needed, and plan out the growth of your computer repair business in order to improve your chances of success. Your business plan is a living document that should be updated annually as your company grows and changes.
Sources of Funding for Computer Repair Businesses
With regards to funding, the main sources of funding for a computer repair business are personal savings, credit cards, bank loans and angel investors. With regards to bank loans, banks will want to review your business plan and gain confidence that you will be able to repay your loan and interest. To acquire this confidence, the lender will not only want to confirm that your financials are reasonable, but they will also want to see a professional plan. Such a plan will give them the confidence that you can successfully and professionally operate a business. Personal savings and bank loans are the most common funding paths for computer repair businesses.
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How to write a business plan for a computer repair & maintenance company.
If you want to start a computer repair business or expand your current one, you need a business plan. Below we detail what should be included in each section of your own business plan:
Your executive summary provides an introduction to your business plan, but it is normally the last section you write because it provides a summary of each key section of your plan.
The goal of your Executive Summary is to quickly engage the reader. Explain to them the type of computer repair business you are operating and its status. For example, are you a startup, do you have a computer repair business that you would like to grow, or are you operating computer repair businesses in multiple markets?
Next, provide an overview of each of the subsequent sections of your plan. For example, give a brief overview of the computer repair industry. Discuss the type of computer repair business you are operating. Detail your direct competitors. Give an overview of your target customers. Provide a snapshot of your marketing plan. Identify the key members of your team. And offer an overview of your financial plan.
In your company analysis, you will detail the type of computer repair business you are operating.
For example, you might operate one of the following types of computer repair businesses:
- Hardware repair : this type of business provides repairs to physical units such as PCs and motherboards, game systems, accessories, etc.
- Software repair: this type of business involves troubleshooting, operating system updates, and virus removal.
- IT services: this type of business provides a range of services for IT products and components, including upgrades, installation and maintenance, security testing, technical support, and both hardware and software repairs.
In addition to explaining the type of computer repair business you will operate, the Company Analysis section of your business plan needs to provide background on the business.
Include answers to question such as:
- When and why did you start the business?
- What milestones have you achieved to date? Milestones could include the number of repairs completed, maintenance contracts signed, etc.
- Your legal structure. Are you incorporated as an S-Corp? An LLC? A sole proprietorship? Explain your legal structure here.
In your industry analysis, you need to provide an overview of the computer repair industry.
While this may seem unnecessary, it serves multiple purposes.
First, researching the computer repair industry educates you. It helps you understand the market in which you are operating.
Secondly, market research can improve your strategy, particularly if your research identifies market trends.
The third reason for market research is to prove to readers that you are an expert in your industry. By conducting the market research and presenting it in your plan, you achieve just that.
The following questions should be answered in the industry analysis section:
- How big is the PC repair industry (in dollars)?
- Is the market declining or increasing?
- Who are the key competitors in the market?
- Who are the key suppliers in the market?
- What trends are affecting the industry?
- What is the industry’s growth forecast over the next 5 – 10 years?
- What is the relevant market size? That is, how big is the potential market for your computer repair business? You can extrapolate such a figure by assessing the size of the market in the entire country and then applying that figure to your local population.
The customer analysis section must detail the computer service customers you serve and/or expect to serve.
The following are examples of customer segments: small businesses, nonprofits, government entities, and individuals.
As you can imagine, the customer segment(s) you choose will have a great impact on the type of PC repair business you operate. Clearly, government entities would respond to different marketing promotions than nonprofits, for example.
Try to break out your target customers in terms of their demographic and psychographic profiles. With regards to demographics, include a discussion of the ages, genders, locations and income levels of the customers you seek to serve. Because most computer repair businesses primarily serve customers living in the same city or town, such demographic information is easy to find on government websites.
Psychographic profiles explain the wants and needs of your computer service customers. The more you can understand and define these needs, the better you will do in attracting and retaining your customers.
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Your competitive analysis should identify the indirect and direct competitors your business faces and then focus on the latter.
Direct competitors are other computer repair businesses.
Indirect competitors are other options that customers have to purchase from that aren’t direct competitors. This includes warranty repair options, or from dedicated in-house IT teams.
With regards to direct competition, you want to describe the other PC repair businesses with which you compete. Most likely, your direct competitors will be computer repair businesses located very close to your location.
For each such competitor, provide an overview of their businesses and document their strengths and weaknesses. Unless you once worked at your competitors’ businesses, it will be impossible to know everything about them. But you should be able to find out key things about them such as:
- What types of customers do they serve?
- Do they specialize in specific services (i.e. PC repair, Apple product repair, software services, etc.)?
- What is their pricing (premium, low, etc.)?
- What are they good at?
- What are their weaknesses?
With regards to the last two questions, think about your answers from the customers’ perspective. And don’t be afraid to ask your competitors’ customers what they like most and least about them.
The final part of your competitive analysis section is to document your areas of competitive advantage. For example:
- Will you provide either a wider range or more specialized range of services?
- Will you offer features such as mobile repair?
- Will you provide superior customer service?
- Will you offer better pricing?
Think about ways you will outperform your competition and document them in this section of your plan.
Traditionally, a marketing plan includes the four P’s: Product, Price, Place, and Promotion. For a computer maintenance and repair company, your marketing plan should include the following:
Product : In the product section, you should reiterate the type of computer repair company that you documented in your Company Analysis. Then, detail the specific products you will be offering. For example, in addition to PC hardware repair, will your PC repair business provide software upgrade services?
Price : Document the prices you will offer and how they compare to your competitors. Essentially in the product and price sub-sections of your marketing plan, you are presenting the services you offer and their prices.
Place : Place refers to the location of your computer repair company. Document your location and mention how the location will impact your success. For example, will you operate from a physical office, or will you primarily interact with clients at their home or place of business? In this section, discuss how your location will affect demand for your services.
Promotions : The final part of your marketing plan is the promotions section. Here you will document how you will drive customers to your location(s). The following are some promotional methods you might consider:
- Advertising in local papers and magazines
- Reaching out to local websites
- Signs and billboards
- Social media marketing
- Local radio advertising
While the earlier sections of your computer support business plan explained your goals, your operations plan describes how you will meet them. Your operations plan should have two distinct sections as follows.
Everyday short-term processes include all of the tasks involved in running your PC repair business, including marketing, providing consultations, troubleshooting, providing the actual repairs, keeping abreast of new technology, etc.
Long-term goals are the milestones you hope to achieve. These could include the dates when you expect to repair your 100th PC, or when you hope to reach $X in revenue. It could also be when you expect to open a computer repair business in a new location.
To demonstrate your computer repair business’ ability to succeed, a strong management team is essential. Highlight your key players’ backgrounds, emphasizing those skills and experiences that prove their ability to grow a company.
Ideally you and/or your team members have direct experience in managing PC repair businesses. If so, highlight this experience and expertise. But also highlight any experience that you think will help your business succeed.
If your team is lacking, consider assembling an advisory board. An advisory board would include 2 to 8 individuals who would act like mentors to your business. They would help answer questions and provide strategic guidance. If needed, look for advisory board members with experience in repairing electronics, or successfully running IT businesses.
Your financial plan should include your 5-year financial statement broken out both monthly or quarterly for the first year and then annually. Your financial statements include your income statement, balance sheet and cash flow statements.
Income Statement : an income statement is more commonly called a Profit and Loss statement or P&L. It shows your revenues and then subtracts your costs to show whether you turned a profit or not.
In developing your income statement, you need to devise assumptions. For example, will you provide hardware repairs exclusively, or will you also offer help desk services and software upgrades? And will sales grow by 2% or 10% per year? As you can imagine, your choice of assumptions will greatly impact the financial forecasts for your business. As much as possible, conduct research to try to root your assumptions in reality.
Balance Sheets : Balance sheets show your assets and liabilities. While balance sheets can include much information, try to simplify them to the key items you need to know about. For instance, if you spend $50,000 on building out your computer repair business, this will not give you immediate profits. Rather it is an asset that will hopefully help you generate profits for years to come. Likewise, if a bank writes you a check for $50,000, you don’t need to pay it back immediately. Rather, that is a liability you will pay back over time.
Cash Flow Statement : Your cash flow statement will help determine how much money you need to start or grow your business, and make sure you never run out of money. What most entrepreneurs and business owners don’t realize is that you can turn a profit but run out of money and go bankrupt.
In developing your Income Statement and Balance Sheets be sure to include several of the key costs needed in starting or growing a PC repair business:
- Office build-out
- Cost of buying or leasing a company vehicle
- Cost of office supplies such as computers and software
- Payroll or salaries paid to staff
- Business insurance
- Taxes and permits
- Legal expenses
Attach your full financial projections in the appendix of your plan along with any supporting documents that make your plan more compelling. For example, you might include your office lease, or an overview of the services you offer.
Putting together a business plan for your computer repair business is a worthwhile endeavor. If you follow the template above, by the time you are done, you will truly be an expert. You will really understand the computer repair industry, your competition, and your customers. You will have developed a marketing plan and will really understand what it takes to launch and grow a successful computer repair business.
Computer Repair Business Plan FAQs
What is the easiest way to complete my computer repair business plan.
Growthink's Ultimate Business Plan Template allows you to quickly and easily complete your Computer Repair Business Plan.
What is the Goal of a Business Plan's Executive Summary?
The goal of your Executive Summary is to quickly engage the reader. Explain to them the type of computer repair business you are operating and the status; for example, are you a startup, do you have a computer repair business that you would like to grow, or are you operating a chain of computer repair businesses?
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Computer Repair Business Plan
Starting a computer repair business can be a lucrative and rewarding business venture for any tech enthusiast.
However, entering the marketplace without proper planning can put your business at risk. That’s where a business plan can help.
Need help writing a business plan for your computer repair business? You’re at the right place. Our computer repair business plan template will help you get started
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Download our Free Business Plan Template now and pave the way to success. Let’s turn your vision into an actionable strategy!
- Fill in the blanks – Outline
- Financial Tables
How to Write a Computer Repair Business Plan?
Writing a computer repair business plan is a crucial step toward the success of your business. Here are the key steps to consider when writing a business plan:
1. Executive Summary
An executive summary is the first section planned to offer an overview of the entire business plan. However, it is written after the entire business plan is ready and summarizes each section of your plan.
Here are a few key components to include in your executive summary:
Introduce your Business:
- This section may include the name of your computer repair business, its location, when it was founded, the type of computer repair business (E.g., general computer repair, mobile device repair, gaming console repair.), etc.
Products and services:.
- For instance, your computer repair services may include diagnostic and troubleshooting, hardware repair, software installation, data backup solutions, and network and connectivity solutions.
Marketing & Sales Strategies:
Financial highlights:, call to action:.
Ensure your executive summary is clear, concise, easy to understand, and jargon-free.
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2. Business Overview
The business overview section of your business plan offers detailed information about your company. The details you add will depend on how important they are to your business. Yet, business name, location, business history, and future goals are some of the foundational elements you must consider adding to this section:
Describe your business in this section by providing all the basic information:
- General computer repair
- Laptop repair
- Mobile device repair
- Remote support services
- Gaming console repair
- On-site repair services
- Describe the legal structure of your computer repair company, whether it is a sole proprietorship, LLC, partnership, or others.
- Explain where your business is located and why you selected the place.
- Additionally, If you have received any awards or recognition for excellent work, describe them.
This section should provide a thorough understanding of your business, its history, and its future plans. Keep this section engaging, precise, and to the point.
3. Market Analysis
The market analysis section of your business plan should offer a thorough understanding of the industry with the target market, competitors, and growth opportunities. You should include the following components in this section.
- For instance, computer educational institutes and IT offices can be an ideal target market for a computer repair business.
Market size and growth potential:
Competitive analysis:, market trends:.
- For instance, there is a growing demand for mobile device repair services; explain how you plan to deal with this growing market trend.
Here are a few tips for writing the market analysis section of your computer repair business plan:
- Conduct market research, industry reports, and surveys to gather data.
- Provide specific and detailed information whenever possible.
- Illustrate your points with charts and graphs.
- Write your business plan keeping your target audience in mind.
4. Products And Services
The product and services section should describe the specific services and products that will be offered to customers. To write this section should include the following:
Describe your services:
Mention the computer repair services your business will offer. This list may include services like
- Diagnosis and troubleshooting
- Hardware repair and replacement
- Virus and malware removal
- Networking and connectivity solutions
- Software installation and configuration
- You might mention how customers request computer repair services, how you diagnose or troubleshoot issues, and when you deliver services.
- This may include standardized procedures, timely quality audits, monitoring and testing equipment, and continuous improvement.
In short, this section of your computer repair plan must be informative, precise, and client-focused. By providing a clear and compelling description of your offerings, you can help potential investors and readers understand the value of your business.
5. Sales And Marketing Strategies
Writing the sales and marketing strategies section means a list of strategies you will use to attract and retain your clients. Here are some key elements to include in your sales & marketing plan:
Unique Selling Proposition (USP):
- For example, fast turnaround times, on-site repairs, specialized expertise, and environment-friendly practices could be some of the great USPs for a computer repair company.
Marketing strategies:, sales strategies:, customer retention:.
- For instance, your customer retention strategies may include providing excellent customer service, customer feedback and surveys, and follow-up calls.
Overall, this section of your computer repair business plan should focus on customer acquisition and retention.
Have a specific, realistic, and data-driven approach while planning sales and marketing strategies for your computer repair business, and be prepared to adapt or make strategic changes in your strategies based on feedback and results.
6. Operations Plan
The operations plan section of your business plan should outline the processes and procedures involved in your business operations, such as staffing requirements and operational processes. Here are a few components to add to your operations plan:
Staffing & Training:
Operational process:, equipment & machinery:.
- Explain how these technologies help you maintain quality standards and improve the efficiency of your business operations.
Adding these components to your operations plan will help you lay out your business operations, which will eventually help you manage your business effectively.
7. Management Team
The management team section provides an overview of your computer repair business’s management team. This section should provide a detailed description of each manager’s experience and qualifications, as well as their responsibilities and roles.
- It should include senior management and other key people involved in the computer repair business operations, including their education, professional background, and any relevant experience in the industry.
Compensation plan:, advisors/consultants:.
- So, if you have any advisors or consultants, include them with their names and brief information consisting of roles and years of experience.
This section should describe the key personnel for your computer repair services, highlighting how you have the perfect team to succeed.
8. Financial Plan
Your financial plan section should provide a summary of your business’s financial projections for the first few years. Here are some key elements to include in your financial plan:
Profit & loss statement:
Cash flow statement:, balance sheet:, break-even point:.
- This exercise will help you understand how much revenue you need to generate to sustain or be profitable.
Be realistic with your financial projections, and make sure you offer relevant information and evidence to support your estimates.
The appendix section of your plan should include any additional information supporting your business plan’s main content, such as market research, legal documentation, financial statements, and other relevant information.
- Add a table of contents for the appendix section to help readers easily find specific information or sections.
- In addition to your financial statements, provide additional financial documents like tax returns, a list of assets within the business, credit history, and more. These statements must be the latest and offer financial projections for at least the first three or five years of business operations.
- Provide data derived from market research, including stats about the computer repair industry, user demographics, and industry trends.
- Include any legal documents such as permits, licenses, and contracts.
- Include any additional documentation related to your business plan, such as product brochures, marketing materials, operational procedures, etc.
Use clear headings and labels for each section of the appendix so that readers can easily find the necessary information.
Remember, the appendix section of your computer repair business plan should only include relevant and important information supporting your plan’s main content.
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This sample computer repair business plan will provide an idea for writing a successful computer repair plan, including all the essential components of your business.
After this, if you still need clarification about writing an investment-ready business plan to impress your audience, download our computer repair business plan pdf .
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Frequently asked questions, why do you need a computer repair business plan.
A business plan is an essential tool for anyone looking to start or run a successful computer repair business. It helps to get clarity in your business, secures funding, and identifies potential challenges while starting and growing your business.
Overall, a well-written plan can help you make informed decisions, which can contribute to the long-term success of your computer repair company.
How to get funding for your computer repair business?
There are several ways to get funding for your computer repair business, but self-funding is one of the most efficient and speedy funding options. Other options for funding are:
- Bank loan – You may apply for a loan in government or private banks.
- Small Business Administration (SBA) loan – SBA loans and schemes are available at affordable interest rates, so check the eligibility criteria before applying for it.
- Crowdfunding – The process of supporting a project or business by getting a lot of people to invest in your business, usually online.
- Angel investors – Getting funds from angel investors is one of the most sought-after startup options.
Apart from all these options, there are small business grants available, Check for the same in your location and you can apply for it.
Where to find business plan writers for your computer repair business?
There are many business plan writers available, but no one knows your business and ideas better than you, so we recommend you write your computer repair business plan and outline your vision as you have in mind.
What is the easiest way to write your computer repair business plan?
A lot of research is necessary for writing a business plan, but you can write your plan most efficiently with the help of any computer repair business plan example and edit it as per your need. You can also quickly finish your plan in just a few hours or less with the help of our business plan software .
About the Author
Upmetrics is the #1 business planning software that helps entrepreneurs and business owners create investment-ready business plans using AI. We regularly share business planning insights on our blog. Check out the Upmetrics blog for such interesting reads. Read more
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How to write a business plan for a computer repair shop?
Putting together a business plan for a computer repair shop can be daunting - especially if you're creating a business for the first time - but with this comprehensive guide, you'll have the necessary tools to do it confidently.
We will explore why writing one is so important in both starting up and growing an existing computer repair shop, as well as what should go into making an effective plan - from its structure to content - and what tools can be used to streamline the process and avoid errors.
Without further ado, let us begin!
In this guide:
Why write a business plan for a computer repair shop?
What information is needed to create a business plan for a computer repair shop.
- How do I build a financial forecast for a computer repair shop?
The written part of a computer repair shop business plan
- What tool should I use to write my computer repair shop business plan?
Having a clear understanding of why you want to write a business plan for your computer repair shop will make it simpler for you to grasp the rationale behind its structure and content. So before delving into the plan's actual details, let's take a moment to remind ourselves of the primary reasons why you'd want to create a computer repair shop business plan.
To have a clear roadmap to grow the business
Running a small business is tough! Economic cycles bring growth and recessions, while the business landscape is ever-changing with new technologies, regulations, competitors, and consumer behaviours emerging constantly.
In such a dynamic context, operating a business without a clear roadmap is akin to driving blindfolded: it's risky, to say the least. That's why crafting a business plan for your computer repair shop is vital to establish a successful and sustainable venture.
To create an effective business plan, you'll need to assess your current position (if you're already in business) and define where you want the business to be in the next three to five years.
Once you have a clear destination for your computer repair shop, you'll have to:
- Identify the necessary resources (human, equipment, and capital) needed to reach your goals,
- Determine the pace at which the business needs to progress to meet its objectives as scheduled,
- Recognize and address the potential risks you may encounter along the way.
Engaging in this process regularly proves advantageous for both startups and established companies. It empowers you to make informed decisions about resource allocation, ensuring the long-term success of your business.
To get visibility on future cash flows
If your small computer repair shop runs out of cash: it's game over. That's why we often say "cash is king", and it's crucial to have a clear view of your computer repair shop's future cash flows.
So, how can you achieve this? It's simple - you need to have an up-to-date financial forecast.
The good news is that your computer repair shop business plan already includes a financial forecast (which we'll discuss further in this guide). Your task is to ensure it stays current.
To accomplish this, it's essential to regularly compare your actual financial performance with what was planned in your financial forecast. Based on your business's current trajectory, you can make adjustments to the forecast.
By diligently monitoring your computer repair shop's financial health, you'll be able to spot potential financial issues, like unexpected cash shortfalls, early on and take corrective actions. Moreover, this practice will enable you to recognize and capitalize on growth opportunities, such as excess cash flow enabling you to expand to new locations.
To secure financing
Whether you are a startup or an existing business, writing a detailed computer repair shop business plan is essential when seeking financing from banks or investors.
This makes sense given what we've just seen: financiers want to ensure you have a clear roadmap and visibility on your future cash flows.
Banks will use the information included in the plan to assess your borrowing capacity (how much debt your business can support) and your ability to repay the loan before deciding whether they will extend credit to your business and on what terms.
Similarly, investors will review your plan carefully to assess if their investment can generate an attractive return on investment.
To do so, they will be looking for evidence that your computer repair shop has the potential for healthy growth, profitability, and cash flow generation over time.
Now that you understand why it is important to create a business plan for a computer repair shop, let's take a look at what information is needed to create one.
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Writing a computer repair shop business plan requires research so that you can project sales, investments and cost accurately in your financial forecast.
In this section, we cover three key pieces of information you should gather before drafting your business plan!
Carrying out market research for a computer repair shop
Before you begin writing your business plan for a computer repair shop, conducting market research is a critical step in ensuring precise and realistic financial projections.
Market research grants you valuable insights into your target customer base, competitors, pricing strategies, and other crucial factors that can impact the success of your business.
In the course of this research, you may stumble upon trends that could impact your computer repair shop.
Your market research could reveal that customers may prefer same-day services for their computer repairs. Additionally, it could indicate that customers might be looking for more comprehensive services, such as data recovery or malware removal.
Such market trends play a pivotal role in revenue forecasting, as they provide essential data regarding potential customers' spending habits and preferences.
By integrating these findings into your financial projections, you can provide investors with more accurate information, enabling them to make well-informed decisions about investing in your computer repair shop.
Developing the sales and marketing plan for a computer repair shop
As you embark on creating your computer repair shop business plan, it is crucial to budget sales and marketing expenses beforehand.
A well-defined sales and marketing plan should include precise projections of the actions required to acquire and retain customers. It will also outline the necessary workforce to execute these initiatives and the budget required for promotions, advertising, and other marketing efforts.
This approach ensures that the appropriate amount of resources is allocated to these activities, aligning with the sales and growth objectives outlined in your business plan.
The staffing and equipment needs of a computer repair shop
As you embark on starting or expanding your computer repair shop, having a clear plan for recruitment and capital expenditures (investment in equipment and real estate) is essential for ensuring your business's success.
Both the recruitment and investment plans must align with the timing and level of growth projected in your forecast, and they require appropriate funding.
A computer repair shop might incur staffing costs such as salaries for technicians, computer repair specialists, and administrative staff. Equipment costs might include tools such as screwdrivers, soldering irons, and multimeters, as well as parts such as motherboards, power supplies, and hard drives. They might also need to purchase diagnostic software, laptop and desktop computers, and network hardware.
To create a realistic financial forecast, you also need to consider other operating expenses associated with the day-to-day running of your business, such as insurance and bookkeeping.
With all the necessary information at hand, you are ready to begin crafting your business plan and developing your financial forecast.
What goes into your computer repair shop's financial forecast?
The financial forecast of your computer repair shop's business plan will enable you to assess the growth, profitability, funding requirements, and cash generation potential of your business in the coming years.
The four key outputs of a financial forecast for a computer repair shop are:
- The profit and loss (P&L) statement ,
- The projected balance sheet ,
- The cash flow forecast ,
- And the sources and uses table .
Let's look at each of these in a bit more detail.
The projected P&L statement
Your computer repair shop forecasted P&L statement enables the reader of your business plan to get an idea of how much revenue and profits your business is expected to make in the near future.
Ideally, your reader will want to see:
- Growth above the inflation level
- Expanding profit margins
- Positive net profit throughout the plan
Expectations for an established computer repair shop will of course be different than for a startup. Existing businesses which have reached their cruising altitude might have slower growth and higher margins than ventures just being started.
The forecasted balance sheet of your computer repair shop
The projected balance sheet of your computer repair shop will enable the reader of your business plan to assess the overall financial health of your business.
It shows three elements: assets, liabilities and equity:
- Assets: are productive resources owned by the business, such as equipment, cash, and accounts receivable (money owed by clients).
- Liabilities: are debts owed to creditors, lenders, and other entities, such as accounts payable (money owed to suppliers).
- Equity: includes the sums invested by the shareholders or business owners and the profits and losses accumulated by the business to date (which are called retained earnings). It is a proxy for the value of the owner's stake in the business.
Analysing your computer repair shop projected balance sheet provides an understanding of your computer repair shop's working capital structure, investment and financing policies.
In particular, the readers of your plan can compare the level of financial debt on the balance sheet to the equity value to measure the level of financial risk (equity doesn't need to be reimbursed, while financial debt must be repaid, making it riskier).
They can also use your balance sheet to assess your computer repair shop's liquidity and solvency:
- A liquidity analysis: focuses on whether or not your business has sufficient cash and short-term assets to cover its liabilities due in the next 12 months.
- A solvency analysis: takes and longer view to assess whether or not your business has the capacity to repay its debts over the medium-term.
The cash flow forecast
A projected cash flow statement for a computer repair shop is used to show how much cash the business is generating or consuming.
The cash flow forecast is usually organized by nature to show three key metrics:
- The operating cash flow: do the core business activities generate or consume cash?
- The investing cash flow: how much is the business investing in long-term assets (this is usually compared to the level of fixed assets on the balance sheet to assess whether the business is regularly maintaining and renewing its equipment)?
- The financing cash flow: is the business raising new financing or repaying financiers (debt repayment, dividends)?
As we discussed earlier, cash is king and keeping an eye on future cash flows an imperative for running a successful business. Therefore, you can expect the reader of your computer repair shop business plan to pay close attention to your cash flow forecast.
Also, note that it is customary to provide both yearly and monthly cash flow forecasts in a business plan - so that the reader can analyze seasonal variation and ensure the computer repair shop is appropriately funded.
The initial financing plan
The initial financing plan, also known as a sources and uses table, is a valuable resource to have in your business plan when starting your computer repair shop as it reveals the origins of the money needed to establish the business (sources) and how it will be allocated (uses).
Having this table helps show what costs are involved in setting up your computer repair shop, how risks are shared between founders, investors and lenders, and what the starting cash position will be. This cash position needs to be sufficient to sustain operations until the business reaches a break-even point.
Now that you have a clear understanding of what goes into the financial forecast of your computer repair shop business plan, let's shift our focus to the written part of the plan.
Don't start from scratch!
With dozens of business plan templates available, get a clear idea of what a complete business plan looks like
The written part of the business plan is where you will explain what your business does and how it operates, what your target market is, whom you compete against, and what strategy you will put in place to seize the commercial opportunity you've identified.
Having this context is key for the reader to form a view on whether or not they believe that your plan is achievable and the numbers in your forecast realistic.
The written part of a computer repair shop business plan is composed of 7 main sections:
- The executive summary
- The presentation of the company
- The products and services
- The market analysis
- The strategy
- The operations
- The financial plan
Let's go through the content of each section in more detail!
1. The executive summary
The executive summary, the first section of your computer repair shop's business plan, serves as an inviting snapshot of your entire plan, leaving readers eager to know more about your business.
To compose an effective executive summary, start with a concise introduction of your business, covering its name, concept, location, history, and unique aspects. Share insights about the services or products you intend to offer and your target customer base.
Subsequently, provide an overview of your computer repair shop's addressable market, highlighting current trends and potential growth opportunities.
Then, present a summary of critical financial figures, such as projected revenues, profits, and cash flows.
You should then include a summary of your key financial figures such as projected revenues, profits, and cash flows.
Lastly, address any funding needs in the "ask" section of your executive summary.
2. The presentation of the company
In your computer repair shop business plan, the second section should focus on the structure and ownership, location, and management team of your company.
In the structure and ownership part, you'll provide an overview of the business's legal structure, details about the owners, and their respective investments and ownership shares. This clarity is crucial, especially if you're seeking financing, as it helps the reader understand which legal entity will receive the funds and who controls the business.
Moving on to the location part, you'll offer an overview of the company's premises and their surroundings. Explain why this particular location is of interest, highlighting factors like catchment area, accessibility, and nearby amenities.
When describing the location of your computer repair shop, you could emphasize the potential for growth in the area. Mention the increasing population size and the expansive access to transportation and communication networks in the area. Point out the close proximity to other businesses, universities, and attractions that could attract new customers. Show the financier how the area may be a desirable destination for a computer repair shop, and how it could be a great investment opportunity.
Finally, you should introduce your management team. Describe each member's role, background, and experience.
Don't forget to emphasize any past successes achieved by the management team and how long they've been working together. Demonstrating their track record and teamwork will help potential lenders or investors gain confidence in their leadership and ability to execute the business plan.
3. The products and services section
The products and services section of your business plan should include a detailed description of the offerings that your company provides to its customers.
For example, your computer repair shop might offer computer diagnostics, software installation, and hardware repairs to its customers. Diagnostics are necessary to identify any existing or potential issues with a customer's computer, and software installation ensures customers can access the programs they need. Hardware repairs are essential to maintain the hardware of the customer's computer and keeping it in working condition.
When drafting this section, you should be precise about the categories of products or services you sell, the types of customers you are targeting and how customers can buy them.
4. The market analysis
When outlining your market analysis in the computer repair shop business plan, it's essential to include comprehensive details about customers' demographics and segmentation, target market, competition, barriers to entry, and relevant regulations.
The primary aim of this section is to give the reader an understanding of the market size and appeal while demonstrating your expertise in the industry.
To begin, delve into the demographics and segmentation subsection, providing an overview of the addressable market for your computer repair shop, key marketplace trends, and introducing various customer segments and their preferences in terms of purchasing habits and budgets.
Next, shift your focus to the target market subsection, where you can zoom in on the specific customer segments your computer repair shop targets. Explain how your products and services are tailored to meet the unique needs of these customers.
For example, your target market might include tech savvy individuals who need help with their current computers or laptops. These customers are looking for a cost effective solution and are willing to pay for professional service in order to get their computers up and running again. They are often willing to invest in preventative maintenance and repairs in order to keep their computer running optimally.
In the competition subsection, introduce your main competitors and explain what sets your computer repair shop apart from them.
Finally, round off your market analysis by providing an overview of the main regulations that apply to your computer repair shop.
5. The strategy section
When crafting the strategy section of your business plan for your computer repair shop, it's important to cover several key aspects, including your competitive edge, pricing strategy, sales & marketing plan, milestones, and risks and mitigants.
In the competitive edge subsection, clearly explain what sets your company apart from competitors. This is particularly critical if you're a startup, as you'll be trying to establish your presence in the marketplace among entrenched players.
The pricing strategy subsection should demonstrate how you aim to maintain profitability while offering competitive prices to your customers.
For the sales & marketing plan, outline how you plan to reach and acquire new customers, as well as retain existing ones through loyalty programs or special offers.
In the milestones subsection, detail what your company has achieved thus far and outline your primary objectives for the coming years by including specific dates for expected progress. This ensures everyone involved has clear expectations.
Lastly, in the risks and mitigants subsection, list the main risks that could potentially impact the execution of your plan. Explain the measures you've taken to minimize these risks. This is vital for investors or lenders to feel confident in supporting your venture - try to proactively address any objection they might have.
Your computer repair shop could face the risk of losing customers if they are not satisfied with the quality of your services. This could be due to a lack of knowledge or skill in repairing computers, or simply a lack of customer service. Additionally, your business could face the risk of theft and vandalism as it deals with expensive electronic equipment. If not properly secured, the shop may be vulnerable to potential thieves who may be able to get away with valuable items. These risks may be difficult to prevent but it is important to take the necessary precautions to protect your business.
6. The operations section
The operations of your computer repair shop must be presented in detail in your business plan.
The first thing you should cover in this section is your staffing team, the main roles, and the overall recruitment plan to support the growth expected in your business plan. You should also outline the qualifications and experience necessary to fulfil each role, and how you intend to recruit (using job boards, referrals, or headhunters).
You should then state the operating hours of your computer repair shop - so that the reader can check the adequacy of your staffing levels - and any plans for varying opening times during peak season. Additionally, the plan should include details on how you will handle customer queries outside of normal operating hours.
The next part of this section should focus on the key assets and IP required to operate your business. If you depend on any licenses or trademarks, physical structures (equipment or property) or lease agreements, these should all go in there.
You may have key assets such as computer repair equipment and tools. These could include items like screwdrivers, pliers, and other items that might be necessary to make repairs to computers. Additionally, you may have intellectual property such as repair manuals and software programs that could help you troubleshoot various problems. These may provide helpful information and guidance in order to ensure that your repairs are completed correctly.
Finally, you should include a list of suppliers that you plan to work with and a breakdown of their services and main commercial terms (price, payment terms, contract duration, etc.). Investors are always keen to know if there is a particular reason why you have chosen to work with a specific supplier (higher-quality products or past relationships for example).
7. The presentation of the financial plan
The financial plan section is where we will include the financial forecast we discussed earlier in this guide.
Now that you have a clear idea of what goes into a computer repair shop business plan, let's look at some of the tools you can use to create yours efficiently.
What tool should I use to write my computer repair shop's business plan?
In this section, we will be reviewing the two main solutions for creating a computer repair shop business plan:
- Using specialized online business plan software,
- Outsourcing the plan to the business plan writer.
Using an online business plan software for your computer repair shop's business plan
The modern and most efficient way to write a computer repair shop business plan is to use business plan software .
There are several advantages to using specialized software:
- You can easily create your financial forecast by letting the software take care of the financial calculations for you without errors
- You are guided through the writing process by detailed instructions and examples for each part of the plan
- You can access a library of dozens of complete business plan samples and templates for inspiration
- You get a professional business plan, formatted and ready to be sent to your bank or investors
- You can easily track your actual financial performance against your financial forecast
- You can create scenarios to stress test your forecast's main assumptions
- You can easily update your forecast as time goes by to maintain visibility on future cash flows
- You have a friendly support team on standby to assist you when you are stuck
If you're interested in using this type of solution, you can try The Business Plan Shop for free by signing up here .
Hiring a business plan writer to write your computer repair shop's business plan
Outsourcing your computer repair shop business plan to a business plan writer can also be a viable option.
Business plan writers are skilled in creating error-free business plans and accurate financial forecasts. Moreover, hiring a consultant can save you valuable time, allowing you to focus on day-to-day business operations.
However, it's essential to be aware that hiring business plan writers will be expensive, as you're not only paying for their time but also the software they use and their profit margin.
Based on experience, you should budget at least £1.5k ($2.0k) excluding tax for a comprehensive business plan, and more if you require changes after initial discussions with lenders or investors.
Also, exercise caution when seeking investment. Investors prefer their funds to be directed towards business growth rather than spent on consulting fees. Therefore, the amount you spend on business plan writing services and other consulting services should be insignificant compared to the amount raised.
Keep in mind that one drawback is that you usually don't own the business plan itself; you only receive the output, while the actual document is saved in the consultant's business planning software. This can make it challenging to update the document without retaining the consultant's services.
For these reasons, carefully consider outsourcing your computer repair shop business plan to a business plan writer, weighing the advantages and disadvantages of seeking outside assistance.
Why not create your computer repair shop's business plan using Word or Excel?
Using Microsoft Excel and Word (or their Google, Apple, or open-source equivalents) to write a computer repair shop business plan is a terrible idea.
For starters, creating an accurate and error-free financial forecast on Excel (or any spreadsheet) is very technical and requires both a strong grasp of accounting principles and solid skills in financial modelling.
As a result, it is unlikely anyone will trust your numbers unless - like us at The Business Plan Shop - you hold a degree in finance and accounting and have significant financial modelling experience in your past.
The second reason is that it is inefficient. Building forecasts on spreadsheets was the only option in the 1990s and early 2000s, nowadays technology has advanced and software can do it much faster and much more accurately.
And with the rise of AI, software is also becoming smarter at helping us detect mistakes in our forecasts and helping us analyse the numbers to make better decisions.
Also, using software makes it easy to compare actuals vs. forecasts and maintain our forecasts up to date to maintain visibility on future cash flows - as we discussed earlier in this guide - whereas this is a pain to do with a spreadsheet.
That's for the forecast, but what about the written part of my computer repair shop business plan?
This part is less error-prone, but here also software brings tremendous gains in productivity:
- Word processors don't include instructions and examples for each part of your business plan
- Word processors don't update your numbers automatically when they change in your forecast
- Word processors don't handle the formatting for you
Overall, while Word or Excel may be viable options for creating a computer repair shop business plan for some entrepreneurs, it is by far not the best or most efficient solution.
- Having an up-to-date business plan is key to maintaining visibility on your future cash flows.
- A business plan has 2 parts: a financial forecast highlighting the expected growth, profitability and cash generation of the business; and a written part which provides the context needed to interpret and assess the quality of the forecast.
- Using business plan software is the modern way of writing and maintaining business plans.
We hope that this guide helped you to better understand how to write the business plan for a computer repair shop. If you still have questions, do not hesitate to contact us.
Also on The Business Plan Shop
- How to write a 5 years business plan
- Business plan myths
Know someone who owns or wants to start a computer repair shop? Share this article with them!
Founder & CEO at The Business Plan Shop Ltd
Guillaume Le Brouster is a seasoned entrepreneur and financier.
Guillaume has been an entrepreneur for more than a decade and has first-hand experience of starting, running, and growing a successful business.
Prior to being a business owner, Guillaume worked in investment banking and private equity, where he spent most of his time creating complex financial forecasts, writing business plans, and analysing financial statements to make financing and investment decisions.
Guillaume holds a Master's Degree in Finance from ESCP Business School and a Bachelor of Science in Business & Management from Paris Dauphine University.
Published on 29 Sep 2023 , last update on 30 Sep 2023 , as per our editorial standards .
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How to Write Winning Business Proposals: Examples & Free Templates (2023)
By Aditya Sheth , May 25, 2023
The great Mark Cuban once said, “Sales cure all.” If a business doesn’t sell, it doesn’t make money and by extension the business fails. That’s why you need to write business proposals .
A well-written business proposal can often mean the difference between winning or losing a prospective client.
In this in-depth guide to creating business proposals, we show you how to close more deals, make more sales and crush your business goals — all by using easy-to-edit professional business proposal templates .
Here’s what this guide will cover (click to jump ahead):
What is a business proposal.
- How to write a business proposal step by step
What should you include in a business proposal?
Business proposal format, what are the types of business proposals, more business proposal examples + writing and design tips.
- FAQs about business proposals
Looking for a shortcut? Watch this quick video for an overview of everything to include in your business proposal:
An effective business proposal is a document used by a B2B or business-facing company (this may not always be the case) where a seller aims to persuade a prospective buyer into buying their goods or services.
A business proposal outlines what your business does and what you can do for your client . It can be general like this business proposal example:
Or it can be more specific, like this business proposal template which focuses on proposing a project for the Newton Center Rail:
Or this business proposal sample, which presents a plan for a social media strategy and campaign:
To design a business proposal that holds the client’s attention, identify their pain points . Then provide your buyer with the right solution to alleviate those frustrations.
Return to Table of Contents
How to write a business proposal step by step
Before you start creating your business proposal template, you need to know what it comprises. At a high level, your effective business proposal should include the following:
- Table of contents
- Executive summary
- The problem statement
- The proposed solution
- The timeline
Pricing, billing, and legal
- Terms and conditions
- The acceptance
Below, you can see business proposal examples that demonstrate how to include these 10 sections.
Business proposal title
A compelling title could mean the difference between someone reading your proposal or ignoring it in favor of a competitor’s.
What makes a good title page? Here are the essential elements to include:
- Your name along with your company’s name
- The name of the prospect (or their business)
- The date you’re submitting the proposal
The gray business consulting proposal template above contains all the details a prospect would want to know. The title also offers a strong tangible benefit to the prospective buyer. Honestly, “Who doesn’t want to grow their business?”
Return to business proposal content sections
The table of contents is a fundamental part of every winning business proposal template. It makes your proposal scannable and easy to read.
The people you will be pitching to are usually C-level executives. These are busy people who don’t have time to read your entire proposal in one go.
That’s why most of the business proposal examples in this list include a table of contents.
Adding a table of contents to your document makes it easy for them to go through it at their own pace. They can also skim through parts of the proposal that they deem more important. You can see how this abstract business proposal template uses the table of contents:
You can also make your business proposal template easier to navigate by adding hyperlinks to the document, particularly in the table of contents. This way your clients can jump to specific sections without having to scroll through the entire document.
It’s easy to add hyperlinks in the Venngage editor. Select the text you’d like to turn into a link, then click the link icon in the top bar. From there, select the page you want to link to! Then download your completed design as an Interactive PDF .
The executive summary is a staple in all kinds of annual reports , leadership development plan , project plans and even marketing plans . It is a concise summary of the entire contents of your document. In other words, write a business proposal outline that is easy to glance over and that highlights your value proposition.
The goals of your executive summary are:
- Introduce your company to your buyer
- Provide an overview of your company goals
- Showcase your company’s milestones, overall vision and future plans
- Include any other relevant details
This gray business proposal example has a detailed yet short executive summary including some social proof in the form of clients they’ve worked with:
Take note of how precise this business proposal example is. You want to keep your executive summary concise and clear from the get-go. This sets the right tone for the rest of your proposal. It also gives your buyer a reason to continue reading your proposal.
Pro Tip: Try to write an executive summary such that, even if your prospective client doesn’t read the entire proposal (with a good executive summary, they most likely will), they should have a clear idea about what your company does and how you can help them.
The point of writing a business proposal is to solve a buyer’s problem. Your goal is to outline the problem statement as clearly as possible. This develops a sense of urgency in your prospect. They will want to find a solution to the problem. And you have that solution.
A well-defined problem statement does two things:
- It shows the prospect you have done your homework instead of sending a generic pitch
- It creates an opportunity for you to point out a problem your prospect might not be aware they had in the first place.
This bold business proposal template above clearly outlines the problem at hand and also offers a ray of hope i.e. how you can solve your prospect’s problem. This brings me to…
The good stuff. In the proposed solution section, you show how you can alleviate your prospective buyer’s pain points. This can fit onto the problem statement section but if you have a comprehensive solution or prefer to elaborate on the details, a separate section is a good idea.
Spare no details regarding the solution you will provide. When you write a business proposal, explain how you plan to deliver the solution. Include an estimated timeline of when they can expect your solution and other relevant details.
For inspiration, look at how this business proposal template quickly and succinctly outlines the project plan, deliverables and metrics :
At this point, the prospect you’re pitching your solution to likes what they’re reading. But they may not trust you to deliver on your promises. Why is this?
It’s because they don’t know you. Your job is to convince them that you can fix their problem. This section is important because it acts as social proof. You can highlight what your company does best and how qualified your team is when you write a business proposal for a potential client.
This free business proposal template showcases the company’s accolades, client testimonials, relevant case studies, and industry awards. You can also include other forms of social proof to establish yourself as a credible business. This makes it that much more likely that they will say yes!
Pro Tip: Attaching in-depth case studies of your work is a great way to build trust with a potential client by showcasing how you’ve solved similar problems for other clients in the past. Our case study examples post can show you how to do just that.
To further demonstrate just how prepared you are, it’s important to outline the next steps you will take should your buyer decide to work with you.
Provide a timeline of how and when you will complete all your deliverables. You can do this by designing a flow chart . Or add a roadmap with deadlines. Pitching a long-term project? A timeline infographic would be a better fit.
If you look at this abstract business proposal template below, even something as simple as a table can do the trick.
The timeline is not always set in stone, rather it’s an estimation. The goal is to clarify any questions your potential client might have about how you will deliver for the underlying B2B sales process.
On this page, you can outline your fees, payment schedule, invoice payment terms , as well as legal aspects involved in this deal.
The key to good pricing is to provide your buyer with options. A pricing comparison table can help with this. You want to give your client some room to work with. Make sure you’re not scaring off your client with a high price, nor undervaluing yourself.
Breaking up your pricing in stages is another great way to make sure your potential client knows what he’s paying for. Look at how this simple business proposal template does this:
The legal aspects can slot right into the terms and conditions section. Alternatively, you can add them to the signature section of the proposal to keep things simple.
Summarize everything you have promised to deliver so far. Include what you expect from your prospective buyer in return. Add the overall project timeline from start to end, as well as payment methods and payment schedule. This way, both of you will be clear on what is being agreed on.
This step is very important as it outlines all the legal aspects of the deal. That is why the terms and conditions section of your proposal needs to be as clear as possible.
I recommend consulting a lawyer or your legal team when working on this section of the business proposal. If you’re a business veteran and understand the legalities of your business, you can use the same terms and conditions across all your proposals.
The final step of this whole process. Your client has read your business proposal and they want to buy what you have to offer.
Add a small section at the end of your proposal to get the necessary signatures. This way, you and your client can sign the proposal and the partnership becomes official.
Be sure to also include your contact information in your business proposal template. It acts as a gentle prompt to your client to contact you in case they have any questions. A professional way of doig that would be to include an e-business card with your contact details, email i.d and any other social links you want to share. You can go through this article for the best digital business cards .
A business proposal usually aims to answer the following questions:
- Who you are and what your company does
- The problem your buyer is facing
- The solution your company offers to alleviate the problem
- How your company will implement this solution effectively
- An estimate of resources (time, money, etc) required to implement the solution
You can see how this sample business proposal template covers the above points.
Notice how this proposal template addresses the same project like in one of the previous templates, but uses a completely different design style (more retro, while the previous business proposal template is more modern and minimalistic).
You can remove or add more sections depending on the goal of your business proposal. Essential, your business proposal can follow this format:
- Pricing, billing and legal
We go into detail on how you can write a business proposal (plus different business proposal templates you can apply the tips to) in the next section . But you can also click on the format items above to learn how you can best write them!
If you aim to create a holistic business proposal, feel free to just edit from the two templates right above. You can also add your brand colors and logo to your design, using My Brand Kit :
Here’s another example of a business proposal template that you can edit:
Generally, there are three types of business proposals:
1. Formally solicited
A formally solicited business proposal is made when you respond to an official request to write a business proposal.
In this scenario, you know all the requirements and have more (if not all) information about a prospective buyer. You simply need to write the business proposal for your buyer to evaluate so you can begin the sales process .
2. Informally solicited
Informally solicited business proposals are written when there isn’t an official request for a proposal. A prospective buyer is interested in your services and asks for a proposal so they can evaluate it.
An informally solicited proposal requires a lot more research from your end. These types of proposals are usually created out of informal conversations. They are not based on official requests which often contain more detail.
Think of this as a marketing brochure or a cold email . Unsolicited business proposals will often take a generic, one-size-fits-all approach to business proposals. Unsolicited proposals lack any understanding of the buyer or their requirements.
But with additional market research , personalization and identifying customer pain points , you can propose a customized solution based on your buyer’s needs. This can be a very persuasive approach, such as in this business proposal example:
Now that you know how to write a business proposal, let’s look at how you can optimize your proposal to deliver results!
Below you’ll find some winning business proposal templates and examples to get you started. I’ve also included some design tips to keep in mind when you’re creating your next business proposal:
1. Know your audience
If you have some clarity on who your ideal buyer is — their pain points, their budget, deadlines, among other things — you’ve already won half the battle.
If you are a business that helps clients with everything from running giveaways or helping grow their blog , identify which customers to pitch. This is a sure-shot way to close the deal.
Mapping user personas for your ideal buyer can help bring some clarity. It will also help you position your business proposal correctly. This improves the chance of your buyer moving your business proposal to the “Yes!” pile.
2. Put your brand front and center
If your company follows certain brand guidelines, incorporate them in your business proposal templates. Consider how business proposal examples like the one below highlight brand identity :
From the color palettes to the company logos , everything follows their brand guidelines. The result: a business proposal that’s consistent across the board.
Pro Tip: Switching this template to match your brand assets is actually pretty easy. Venngage’s My Brand Kit feature allows you to import your color palettes, logos as well as font choices. Any Venngage template can now be your template.
You can also consider this sample business proposal template:
Design companies sure do know their design. They did a phenomenal job keeping their brand colors consistent while opting for a black design. This unique color scheme also makes their white logo prominent throughout the proposal.
3. Try less text, more visuals
Have you ever read a proposal and thought to yourself, “Wow, this is all text and has no images, I love it!”? Yeah, me neither.
The free business proposal template below is a perfect example of the “less is more” principle. It does a phenomenal job of communicating what it needs to. By substituting some of the text with icons and visuals, you get a clean business proposal that’s much more scannable.
Want to keep things strictly professional? Instead of icons, you can always add your team’s headshots. This shows your buyer exactly who they’ll be working with.
Check out this formal business proposal format for some inspiration:
4. Switch up your business proposal designs
It doesn’t hurt to go above and beyond once in a while. Jazz up your business proposal template with some extra colors. This helps make your business proposal more engaging. It also helps your buyers retain information faster.
The business proposal example alternates between black, white and grey backgrounds. It still manages to maintain consistency in its branding . Just switching up your backgrounds once in a while can also bring in some variety to an otherwise standard business proposal.
This SEO business proposal sample proves that it’s possible to switch up the colors in every other page. But it still maintains the same color scheme across the entire proposal just like a professionally designed website :
Pro Tip: Not a color expert? Our guide on picking colors can help you pick the right color scheme for your proposals.
FAQ about business proposals
What is the purpose of a business proposal.
A business proposal aims to streamline the B2B sales process (which is often complex ) between you as a seller and a buyer.
It does this by serving the dual purpose of acting as a source of information. The proposal also acts as a sales pitch aimed at convincing your buyer why they should buy what you have to offer.
What are the best practices for business proposal design?
- Do a thorough spell-check. The goal of your business proposal is to convince your buyer why you’re the perfect person for the job. A proposal with typos or grammatical errors communicates the opposite. A thorough spell-check before you send your proposal is a must.
- Keep things clear and readable: Clarity is an important aspect that you have to ensure in your business proposal. If you want your proposal to hit home and make an impact on the buyer, you have to write it in an understandable way. To keep things clear and readable, there are a couple of things that you can do. You can, for one, take care to use easy wording and segmented sentences from the get-go. You can also try paraphrasing the hard parts of your proposal once you are done writing it.
- Let your brand shine. As discussed before, writing a business proposal is all about knowing your ideal buyer and focusing on their pain points. But that doesn’t mean your business proposal template has to be boring. Demonstrate how different you are compared to other companies. You can do this through your brand guidelines , by using more visuals, switching up your proposal design or showing off your personality in your writing .
- Create a business proposal PDF. Downloading your business proposal in PDF format allows you to attach other collaterals with your business proposal. These can include a company explainer video or case studies showcasing the work done with past clients. Also, who doesn’t love saving paper?
How long should your business proposal be?
The length depends on the scope of the work as well as the complexity of the project. Here is a one-page business proposal template:
Can your business proposal template really be one page? Yes, as long as you understand who your buyer is and their pain points. You should also have the ability to communicate everything your ideal buyer needs to know about your business in a succinct manner.
Or if you’re feeling adventurous how about just two pages? Often, clients prefer if you go straight to the point and avoid all the fluff.
For example, this green modern marketing proposal template wastes no time in getting down to brass tacks:
Need more inspiration? Check out this blog on the 5 marketing proposal examples that’ll help elevate your business.
There is no one size fits all approach when it comes to deciding how many pages you should include in your business proposal template. And at the end of the day, “the only rules are the ones you set for yourself”.
At the end of the day, writing winning business proposals that sell is all about you understanding your buyer, their potential pain points and positioning yourself as someone who can alleviate those pain points.
Now that you know how to write compelling business proposals, what are you waiting for?
Take action and start creating your own business proposals to close more deals and grow your business today!
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How to Write a Business Proposal [Examples + Template]
Published: August 09, 2023
Free Business Proposal Template
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It's finally happened. You've started a new business, and your customer base is starting to expand. But even though you're making progress, you still feel like you could be doing better.
There's a whole world of untapped potential around you — prospects you know would benefit from your product or service. And the issues you're running into are less about your solution's soundness and more about how you can reach your potential base.
That's where business proposals come in. They can bridge the gap between you and potential clients. A solid proposal can outline your value proposition and persuade a company or organization to do business with you.
Here, we'll take a look at the various kinds of business proposals and go over how to write one. We’ll also see some ideas and examples to help guide yours.
Know exactly what you need? Jump to one of the following sections:
What is a business proposal?
Types of business proposals, how to write a business proposal, business proposal templates, business proposal example, tips for writing a business proposal, business proposal ideas.
A business proposal is a formal document that’s created by a company and given to a prospect to secure a business agreement.
It's a common misconception that business proposals and business plans are the same. The proposal helps you sell your product or service rather than your business itself.
Instead of assisting your search for investors to fund your business, a proposal helps you seek new customers.
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There are two types of business proposals: unsolicited and solicited.
- Unsolicited Business Proposals : With unsolicited business proposals, you approach a potential customer with a proposal, even if they don't request one, to gain their business.
- Solicited Business Proposals : Solicited business proposals are requested by prospective clients so that they can decide whether to do business with your company.
In a solicited business proposal, the other organization asks for a request for proposal (RFP). When a company needs a problem solved, they invite other businesses to submit a proposal that details how they'd solve it.
Propose your business as the ideal solution using our Free Business Proposal Templates
- Problem summary
- Proposed solution
- Pricing information
- Project timeline
You're all set!
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Whether the proposal is solicited or unsolicited, the steps to create your proposal are similar. Make sure it includes three main points:
- A statement of the organization's problem
- Begin with a title page.
- Explain your why with an executive summary.
- State the problem or need.
- Propose a solution.
- Share your qualifications.
- Include pricing options.
- Summarize with a conclusion.
Before writing your business proposal, it's crucial you understand the company. If they've sent you an RFP, make sure you read it carefully, so you know exactly what they want. It can also be helpful to have an initial call or meeting with the new client to ensure you fully understand the problem they're trying to solve and their objectives.
Once you've done your research, it's time to begin writing your business proposal. There's no one-size-fits-all approach to writing a business proposal, but let's take a look at some elements proposals often include. (I designed this example business proposal using Canva .)
1. Begin with a title page.
You have to convey some basic information here. Introduce yourself and your business. Be sure to include:
- Your company's name
- The date you submitted the proposal
- The name of the client or individual you're submitting the proposal to
Your title page should reconcile engagement with professionalism. It's a tone-setter, so you need to make sure yours is sleek, aesthetically appealing, and not too "out there."
Here's an example of what a business proposal template looks like when done right:
The executive summary details exactly why you're sending the proposal and why your solution is the best for the prospective client.
Specificity is key here. Why are you the best choice for them?
Like a value proposition, your executive summary outlines the benefits of your company's products or services and how they can solve your potential client's problem.
After reading your executive summary, the prospect should offer a clear idea of how you can help them, even if they don't read the entire proposal. Here's what one should look like:
3. State the problem or need.
This is where you share a summary of the issue impacting the potential client. This is your opportunity to show them you understand their needs and the problem they need help solving.
This section should show your authority in your industry. With this in mind, be sure to include:
- Case studies
- Client testimonials
- Relevant awards
- Industry accreditations
6. Include pricing options.
Pricing is where things can get a bit tricky, as you don't want to under or over-price your product.
The pricing section of your proposal could include:
- A detailed pricing breakdown, including packages, tiers, and add-ons or optional services
- How product features and benefits align with pricing choices
- Pricing for different needs and budgets
- How your pricing compares with competitors
- An FAQ section to respond to anticipated objections and explain your pricing strategy
7. Summarize with a conclusion.
After sharing the above information, simplify it all into one final section.
- First, briefly summarize the proposal. Be sure to share your qualifications and why you’d serve as the best choice.
- Then, to prompt further conversation, confirm your availability to go over the next steps.
- At the end of the proposal, the goal is to have the client ready to work with you. So, be sure to offer your contact information for easy follow-up.
In need of some inspiration before you begin writing? Here are example business proposal templates from popular business proposal software companies you can use to help create your proposal.
1. HubSpot's Free Business Plan Templates
Download these Templates
We know how crucial a great business proposal is to your and your client’s success. That's why we've compiled 2 Free Business Proposal Templates for you to use and customize for any of your projects.
You'll gain access to a concise, one-page template (pictured above), as well as a longer template for you to refine your plan and proposal.
Download the templates now to get started on building your proposal.
2. Web Design Proposal
Companies, big and small, dedicate resources to establishing a noticeable social media presence. With advertising on social networks projected to reach $82.23 billion dollars in 2025 , it's in your business's best interest to have a plan for growing your client's social media presence.
To help you in that effort, the information in this social media marketing proposal includes an executive summary to help introduce your high-level ideas, an assessment of the client’s company to show your diligence, and a breakdown of billing to show how your company charges for posting, content creation, and analytics.
8. Content Marketing Proposal
When pitching your content marketing services to clients, this template can help you organize your ideas. While it walks you through initial objectives and how to communicate your prospected results, one of the most helpful parts of this template is the pricing ideas it gives you when charging for your services.
Business proposal templates are helpful places to get started, but what should your business proposal look like when it's complete? Below, we share an example of a business proposal template that will inspire you.
In the business template example below, Social Portal Consulting (SPC) pitches a marketing proposal to Graphic Bean. At first sight, this proposal appeals to the creative. A nice touch would include designing the layout in your or your client’s brand colors.
Besides the design, the social media icons quickly tell the prospect what platforms Social Portal is pitching. Because we see Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest icons, the client instantly knows that this proposal doesn’t include LinkedIn, YouTube, or other platforms.
While maintaining its design, this example outlines Social Portal Consulting’s plans efficiently. It begins by providing insight into Graphic Bean and its goals before elaborating on how SPC can leverage its expertise to help them achieve them.
This business proposal template includes an easy-to-follow timeframe for goals and objectives while keeping the client abreast of how payment will happen across the project.
Overall, this is an excellent example of how to combine the elements of social media marketing into a creative and concise business proposal. Finally, we'll leave you with some business proposal ideas to get you started on your own.
- Start with an outline.
- Keep it simple.
- Stay on brand.
- Quality control.
- Include data and visuals.
- Add social proof.
- Use a call-to-action.
- Create a sense of urgency.
- Make the decision for them.
- Incorporate video into your proposal.
- Include up-sell and add-on opportunities.
- Clarify your terms and conditions.
- Include a space for signatures to document agreement.
- Create a table of contents.
1. Start with an outline.
If you want to produce a thoughtful, effective business proposal, you need to have some idea of what you're hoping to achieve with it.
So before you dive into writing, outline the major sections of your business proposal and the pertinent information you want to include. This will help you stay focused and make sure your message stays intact as you write.
Use these free business proposal templates to make sure that your outline includes everything you need.
2. Keep it simple.
There's no definitive blueprint for how long a business proposal has to be. Yours should be however long it takes to convey the information you want to get across.
That said, you're best off focusing on quality over quantity. Keep your sentences short and simple, and avoid including too much business jargon.
You want anyone who picks up your proposal to make sense of it. So, be straightforward and don't get too fancy. Aim for substance over flash.
3. Stay on brand.
Don't be afraid to let your company's personality shine through in your proposal. Stay true to your brand and show the client what sets you apart from your competitors.
4. Quality control.
A quick spelling and grammar check before you hit send isn't enough for a business proposal.
Your proposal needs to be clean and airtight. So, as you draft your proposal, and after checking for the basics, keep scanning this document until it's just right.
Check to make sure your proposal:
- Meets client needs and expectations
- Highlights your value proposition
- Is well-structured and easy to read or skim
- Complies with legal, ethical, and regulatory requirements
- Looks professional and engaging
5. Include data and visuals.
You want your business proposal to capture your prospect's attention and help set you apart from any other ones they might have received. One of the best ways to do that is to include hard, quantitative data that helps stress the value of your business.
Use relevant, compelling figures that highlight what you have to offer. This can establish authority and make your proposal more convincing. It also helps to include visuals such as charts and graphs to enhance your proposal.
6. Add social proof.
You can only be so convincing when you're personally talking up how great your business is. Adding social proof lends your proposal another degree of credibility.
Prospects are skeptical. They may not take you at your word. But they'll likely trust peers and fellow customers. That's why including elements like customer quotes and testimonials can go a long way.
7. Use a call-to-action.
Prospects need direction. The best proposal in the world can only take you so far if you don't clearly define the next steps. That's why you have to make sure the reader knows what to do after reading your proposal.
A clear call-to-action is the best way to get there.
Define and highlight exactly what they should do to act on the interest your proposal has generated. Without that guidance, you might leave your reader in limbo.
HubSpot customers : Use this CTA builder to create powerful customized CTAs.
8. Create a sense of urgency.
No one wants to feel as if they missed out on a great opportunity. Without urgency, your prospect might drag their feet and put off making a decision.
So, as you create your business proposal, your goal should be to create a sense of urgency.
When prospective clients read your business proposal they should feel that the best time to sign up for your service is now.
One way you can accomplish this is by stating your short and long-term goals for their business. They'll have to wait for the long-term goals, but you can make the short-term goals so enticing that they'll be ready to begin a collaboration.
9. Make the decision for them.
Craft your copy in a way that seems like saying "no" to the proposal would be stepping over dollars to pick up pennies. Your offer should go above and beyond their expectations. Do everything in your power to remove friction and objections along the way.
10. Incorporate video into your proposal.
If you're creating an online proposal using document file formats like PDF, add multimedia elements. This will enhance the proposal experience, make your document richer, and keep them engaged.
Try adding a video at the beginning as an intro to your proposal. Or, put a video in the project breakdown to verbally discuss some of the more confusing parts.
Extras like this can make an impression. This tip works especially well with prospects who are visual or auditory communicators.
Pro tip : HubSpot Video makes it easy to record and embed video into a website or email for a big proposal boost.
11. Include up-sell and add-on opportunities.
They say you won't receive unless you ask. And readers won't explore the upper tiers of your solutions if you don't give them the opportunity.
So, share some upsells and add-ons about your business that they can act on. Call out a specific pain point and how this extra can add value.
With this step, balance is important. Show them everything your business has to offer without overwhelming your recipient.
12. Clarify your terms and conditions.
Your business proposal should include details on your project timeline and payment schedule. This summary is basically what you and the client agree to if they accept your proposal.
7. Try direct mail.
Your readers probably see a lot of digital communication. To set yourself apart, try adding a thoughtful and personalized direct mail element .
Write a handwritten note, send a small gift, or pull together a beautiful mailer. This tangible approach will make your business proposal a memorable and unique experience. This idea will express your attention to detail and commitment to personalized communication.
8. Ask an influencer to present or vouch for your proposal.
If you're already working with influencers, you know that an influencer can boost credibility and trust for your proposal.
Their endorsement can validate your ideas and show that respected figures in the industry support your proposal. This idea can add authority and appeal to your business proposal, increasing your chances of success.
Learn more about brand influencers and check out our free guide to influencer marketing here.
9. Hide one or more Easter Eggs.
Surprise and delight your audience by adding hidden Easter eggs throughout your business proposal. Whether it's a hidden message, a playful animation, or a secret section, these little surprises add a touch of fun and intrigue.
Easter eggs encourage exploration. This idea can get your readers to spend more time getting into the details of your proposal — all the while having an incredible and unique experience.
Let your business proposal do the talking.
Depending on the type of business you're in, your business proposal elements will vary based on the prospect's needs. After reading through your plan, prospective clients should have very few questions about your company and what it can do for them. With the tips and examples in this article, you have all the tools to guide you through the process. With a professional, customized business proposal, you're sure to delight your client and potentially gain their business.
Editor's note: This post was originally published in February 2020 and has been updated for comprehensiveness. This article was written by a human, but our team uses AI in our editorial process. Check out our full disclosure to learn more about how we use AI.
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How to Write a Business Proposal — 2022 Guide and Template
A business proposal can make or break your chances of securing a new client. Write a great one, and you’ll likely snag their business.
Write a poor one, and you might lose out—even if you’re offering the best service out there. So, how do you write a business proposal? What is the proper format? What do you need to include?
While it all depends on your industry, and whether or not you’re offering a product or service, writing a business proposal is pretty straightforward. We’ll answer all those questions and more throughout the course of this guide.
What to expect with this business proposal guide
Whether you’re starting fresh or need to look at a specific section, here’s what we’ll be covering in this guide.
- What a business proposal is
- The differences between a business proposal and a business plan
- The format of a business proposal
- How long to make your business proposal
How to write a business proposal
You can download a free business proposal template here to start writing up your own proposal as you work through this article. By the end, you’ll be prepared to develop a well-written business proposal that can explain your business clearly and win more clients. Let’s get started.
What is a business proposal ?
A business proposal is a document you’d send to a prospective client, outlining the service you’re offering, and explaining why you’re the best person for the job.
It’s a pitch by a business or individual to complete a specific job or project, to supply a service, or, in some instances, to be the vendor of a certain product.
What are the different types of business proposals?
A business proposal can be either solicited or unsolicited. With a solicited proposal, the prospective client will put out a request for proposals; with an unsolicited business proposal, you are approaching a client in hopes of attracting their business, even though they did not explicitly request a proposal.
While both are commonplace, a solicited proposal is an easier sell, as your prospective client has already decided that they want to make a purchase or use a service, and they’re evaluating possible vendors or businesses.
With a solicited proposal, your prospective client might have issued an RFP, or “request for proposal.” This is exactly what it sounds like—they want you to send over a business proposal so they can take a look at it.
Differences between a business proposal and a business plan
A business proposal is not the same as a business plan . This is the most common misconception, but while there are areas of overlap (like your executive summary ) the two are different.
That being said, you can certainly pull information from your business plan while writing your business proposal—in fact, that’s a great way to start.
But don’t confuse the two; they are distinct and separate. In short, a business plan represents the cohesive strategy of how your business operates and makes money. A business proposal is an official pitch to clients selling your products or services.
A business proposal outlines a particular product or service offered by an established business to a prospective client.
You’re trying to sell your prospective client on your product or service, not on your business itself. You’re not after funding, as you are with a business plan, you’re trying to make a sale.
A business proposal is also not an estimate; although you’ll likely touch on costs and pricing in your business proposal, an estimate is much more informal and just a quick look at the costs, not the whole picture.
What goes into a business proposal?
Your business proposal should address the three Ps:
- Problem statement: What your customer’s current problem is
- Proposed solution: How your business solves that problem better than other solutions
- Pricing: How much that solution costs compared to alternatives
If you’re stuck on how to start, maybe try brainstorming first; start with these three points, and you’ll have a rough, bare-bones version of your business proposal.
Once you’ve done that if you’re ready to go more in-depth, here is a step-by-step look at how to format your business proposal.
Your business proposal should start with a title page, which should include your name, the name of your company, the name of the person to whom you’re submitting your proposal, and the date submitted.
Table of contents
Depending on how long your business proposal is, a table of contents is a nice touch. Include it after your title page, and before you launch into any details. If you’re delivering it as a PDF, including anchor links down to each section, so it’s easy to get to specific areas.
Introduce your proposal with a great executive summary, one that really sells your business and the products or services you provide—it’s about why you’re the right company for the job. You can draw from your business plan’s executive summary here, too.
Statement of problem, issue, or job at hand
Following your executive summary, go on to discuss the problem that the client is currently facing. Think of “problem” or “issue” loosely; after all, their main problem may just be finding the right person to complete their project. But be sure you understand why they want the product or service they’re seeking. If the proposal is for developing a brand new website, make sure you understand what they want to get out of the site—better sales, more content management flexibility.
This is the place to show your new client that you understand their needs , and fully grasp the issue they are trying to solve. Take this opportunity to restate the issue they are facing in your own words so that they know you understand what they are looking for.
Approach and methodology
This section shows how you plan to tackle your potential client’s problem, and the steps you’ll take to carry out your plan.
This is where you’ll get into the nitty-gritty of how you actually plan to fulfill your client’s needs. While earlier sections might have been a bit surface-level, this section of the business proposal is where you’ll go into detail about what steps you’ll take to solve their problem.
Be careful of going into too much detail, though—keep the jargon to a minimum. Your client should be able to follow along and get a clear sense of your plan, but you don’t want to drown them in minutiae.
Go ahead, brag a little—this is the section of your business proposal where you get to convince your potential client why you are the most qualified person to take on the job.
You can mention any relevant education, industry-specific training, or certifications you have, your past successful projects of a similar nature, years of experience, and so on.
Schedule and benchmarks
Be clear with your potential client: How long will your proposed project take?
Making sure you and your prospective client are on the same page from the outset will help make sure that the relationship stays positive for both of you, and that you don’t set your client up with unrealistic expectations.
While you might be tempted to underestimate how long it will take you to complete the project, don’t. Don’t promise what you can’t deliver!
If you’re offering a product, this section might not be applicable to you, so feel free to omit it. The business proposal format is flexible, so tailor it to suit your business and industry.
Cost, payment, and any legal matters
Here is where you get down to brass tacks and state the cost, and payment schedule if necessary.
How you structure this section will largely depend on the particular project or service you are offering. A section entitled “Fee Summary” may be sufficient if one-time payment is required; otherwise, a “Fee Schedule” list or pricing table might be more appropriate. Always refer back to the client’s RFP whenever possible, to make sure you’re supplying them with all the information they need to help make their decision.
If there are any legal issues to attend to, such as permits or licensing, include this information here. Feel free to add a section entirely devoted to handling the legal side of the project if need be.
This is your final sell—don’t be afraid to detail for your prospective client all they have to gain by choosing you to complete the project.
Impress upon your clients why you are the best choice, and all the ways in which their business will benefit from choosing you and your business as their solution.
How long should a business proposal be?
When it comes to the format of a business proposal, this is the million-dollar question without an answer. Remember in school, when you’d ask your teacher how long an essay should be, and they’d reply, “as long as it takes to answer the question.”
The same applies to your business proposal. It ultimately depends on your industry, the scope of the project, and the client’s specifications in terms of detail and elements included.
That being said, the tighter your initial proposal can be and the more directly you can make your point, the easier it will be to pitch it to clients. Start by following the business proposal format above as a guide, and you’ll be well on your way to creating a winning business proposal—and securing new clients.
Editor’s note: This article was originally written in 2018 and updated for 2021.
Briana is a content and digital marketing specialist, editor, and writer. She enjoys discussing business, marketing, and social media, and is a big fan of the Oxford comma. Bri is a resident of Portland, Oregon, and she can be found, infrequently, on Twitter.
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How to Train Your Sales Team
Ultimately, the value of any employee is measured by the employee's productivity. How many sales dollars did he or she produce? Did they stick? Or did they lead to an extraordinarily high percentage of returns, credit losses, or dissatisfied customers?
Productivity can vary widely from one employee to another. A top producer will often generate two or three times the sales of the average producer. The top producer will develop a loyal following of customers. People who always buy their suits from Sal because he knows what looks good on them. People who always buy wallpaper from Mildred because her recommendations have always been proven current. Best of all, this loyal following sends their friends!
Developing Top Producers
To become a top producer, a person must get to know every aspect of the job thoroughly. This can only be done through development of skills.
The New Employee
The time to begin an employee's skills development process is immediately upon hiring. Beginning training immediately has the following advantages:
Achieves a reasonable level of employee productivity in the shortest possible time.
Avoids unnecessary expenses and lost sales.
Takes advantage of the new employee's natural interest in the job and willingness to learn about it.
Training vs. Education
Training is often confused with education. Therefore, it is often rejected by people whose background includes unsatisfactory educational experiences. In training, the traditional academic atmosphere of teacher, classroom, library, laboratory, and homework have little application because the objectives of education and training are totally different.
The objective of education is to expand the person's knowledge. The objective of training is to make the person able to perform specific tasks. Knowledge may provide a background for training, but the ability to apply that knowledge is the goal of training.
An educator would be satisfied with the student who understands and can explain the motivations of a consumer. The trainer wants the person to be able to use that knowledge in a selling situation, not just on a written examination.
In retailing, training generally involves development of the following:
Knowledge of store policies and procedures including cash register operation, credit approvals, and customer returns.
Knowledge of the product that the person is expected to sell.
Selling skills to build sales and profit.
Most training in small retail operations involves "one-to-one" training. You, as the owner, training a single employee. Ordinarily, people are hired one at a time so that there is little opportunity for training in a classroom setting. To some extent, individual training can be supplemented by books and publications that are available for retail sales training. In other cases, courses sponsored by local community colleges or distributive education associations can be helpful in the development of selling skills.
Criteria for Successful Training
Regardless of the training method that you use for your personnel, there are two key elements for success. These are as follows:
Trainee participation. The training process should directly involve the trainee. Asking the trainee to read a book or listen to you talk has little or no value. Few can absorb it. The passive role of reader or listener is seldom helpful in understanding and remembering. Reading a book or hearing a speech is fine for entertainment or intellectual stimulation, but these activities are seldom effective in a training environment.
People learn by doing things. When you teach new sales personnel how to prepare an invoice or credit memo, it is not enough to tell them how or show them how. It is far more important to have them do it.
Feedback. Feedback is what you learn by testing the employee's understanding of the facts that you are teaching. It permits you to measure the employee's progress at each step. Through feedback, you can recognize problems when they arise. Through early recognition of misunderstandings, you can correct them as soon as possible so that training can progress.
Feedback helps you direct your training efforts since you know those things that give the employee particular difficulty, such as arithmetic or trade terminology. In the remainder of your training effort, you can then be particularly careful and painstaking in teaching anything that involves trade terminology or arithmetic skills.
Teaching selling skills consists of the three following steps:
Customer communications. Developing a courteous approach to greeting customers and discussing their buying needs. This permits the salesperson to assist customers in their product selection and describe products in terms that show how they fulfill the customers' buying needs.
Feature-benefit relationship. Understanding the reasons why your customers buy, relating your products or services to those reasons, and describing your products or services to your customers accordingly.
This article offers managing your business tips and manage business advice. However, you aren't ready to start your own business until you have given any thought to managing it. A company is an ongoing activity that doesn't run itself. As the manager you will have to set goals, decide how to reach those goals and make all the necessary decisions. You'll need to purchase or make your product, cost it, advertise it and market it. You'll need to keep documents, and determine prices. You'll Have to Control stock, make the ideal buying decisions and keep prices down. You'll need to employ, train and motivate employees today or as you develop. Setting Business Management Goals. Great small business management Is the secret to success and great management starts with setting goals. Establish goals for yourself for the accomplishment of the many tasks necessary in starting and managing your company successfully. Be specific. Write down the goals in measurable terms of functionality. Break big targets down to sub-goals, demonstrating what you expect to attain in the next two to three months, the subsequent six months, the next year, and the next five decades. Beside each target and sub-goal set a specific date showing as it is to be achieved. Plan the action you must take to attain the goals. While the attempt Required to reach each sub-goal should be great enough to challenge one, it should not be so great or unreasonable as to dissuade you. Do not plan to achieve too many targets all at one time. Establish priorities. Plan in advance how to measure results so you can know exactly how Well you are doing. This is what is meant by"measurable" goals. If you can't keep score as you move along you are likely to eliminate motivation. Re-work your plan of action to permit for obstacles that might stand on your way. Attempt to foresee obstacles and plan ways to stop or minimize them. Buying. Skillful purchasing is an important essential of profitably Managing a business. This is true whether you're a wholesaler or retailer of product, a manufacturer or a service business operator. Some retailers say it is the most important single factor. Merchandise that's carefully purchased is not difficult to market. Determining what to purchase means finding out the Kind, type, quality, Brand, size, colour, style -whatever applies to your specific inventory - which will sell the very best. This requires close attention to salespeople, trade journals, catalogs, and notably the preferences of your regular clients. Analyze your earnings records. The manufacturer should view the problem through the eyes of customers before determining what materials, components, and materials to buy. Know your regular customers, and also make a Fantastic evaluation of this People you expect will become your clients. Just what socioeconomic category are they? Are they homeowners or renters? Are you currently searching for price, style or quality? What's the predominant age group? The age of your clients can be a prime consideration in Establishing a purchasing pattern. Young men and women buy more often than most older people. They need more, have fewer responsibilities, and spend more on themselves. They are more conscious of fashion trends whether in wearing apparel, cars or electronics. If you choose to appeal to the young trade because they appear dominate in your area, your purchasing pattern will probably be wholly different than when the more conservative middle-aged customers seem to be in the majority. Study trade journals, newspaper advertising, catalogs, window Displays of businesses like yours. Ask advice of salespeople supplying you product, but buy sparingly from several suppliers instead of one, testing the water, so to speak, until you know exactly what your best lines will be. Finding suitable merchandise sources is not easy. You will buy Directly from producers or producers, from wholesalers, distributors or jobbers. Select the providers who sell exactly what you want and can provide it when you want it. (Distributors and jobbers are utilized by most business people for quick fill-ins between mill shipments.) You may spread purchases among many providers to gain more Favorable prices and promotional material. Or you might focus your purchases one of a few providers to reevaluate your credit issues. This may also allow you to become known as the seller of a particular brand or line of merchandise, and to maintain a fixed benchmark in your goods, if you're shopping for stuff for manufacturing functions. When to purchase is essential if your company will have seasonal Variations in sales volume. More stock will be needed prior to the seasonal upturn in sales quantity. As earnings decline, less product is needed. This means purchases of goods for resale and materials for processing must vary accordingly. At the start, how much to buy is speculative. The best policy is To be frugal until you've had sufficient expertise to judge your needs. On the flip side, you cannot sell product in case you do not have it. To help solve buying issues, you should Start to maintain stock Control records simultaneously. This will allow you to maintain the inventory in balance - neither too big nor too small - with a suitable proportion and decent range of merchandise, sizes, colours, styles and qualities. Fundamentallythere are two Kinds of inventory control - control in Dollars and control in physical components. Dollar controllers show the sum of money spent in each merchandise category. Unit controllers indicate the amount of individual items when and from whom bought by class. A fantastic stock control system is able to help you determine everything, from whom, when, and how much to purchase. Pricing. A lot of your success in manage a business will depend on How you price your services. If your prices are too low, you will not cover Costs; too high and you will lose sales volume. In both cases, you won't Earn a profit.
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Computer Sales and Service Business Plan [Sample Template]
By: Author Tony Martins Ajaero
Home » Business Plans » Technology Sector
Are you about starting a computer sales & services business? If YES, here is a complete sample computer sales & services business plan template & feasibility report you can use for FREE .
According to a recent report, computer sales and related services are expected to exceed $47 billion this year in the U.S. alone, with computer servicing leading the way. This goes to show that any entrepreneur who properly positions himself or herself in computer sales and servicing industry would definitely enjoy good business turnover.
As a matter of fact, almost all businesses and homes have computers, and these people may not have the skills, time or the desire to do their own computer servicing, repairs and upgrades, and that puts a computer physician right in the middle of one of the fastest-growing industries in the world.
A Sample Computer Sales & Services Business Plan Template
1. industry overview.
The computer sales and servicing industry includes operators that mainly sell and service all forms of computers such as desktops, laptops, notebooks, palmtops and software, as well as accessories like printers, scanners and keyboards. These goods are generally purchased from domestic and international manufacturers and wholesalers and then sold to end consumers, including households and businesses.
Computers have exploded throughout America and the world over the past 30 years – from 2,000 units shipped in 1960 to 900,000 in 1980 to 7 million in 1990 to over 15 million per year by 2003 to over 65 million per quarter in 2015. With this rapid growth, there has been a corresponding increase in the need for computer services.
If you are conversant with happenings in the Computer Sales and Services industry, you will notice that computers are rapidly becoming indispensable household and personal products. In spite of the growing ubiquity of these products, retailers of computers, peripherals and consumer electronics have experienced some time-consuming challenges over the past five years.
Swift technological change, increased production efficiency and a highly globalized supply chain have lowered computer retail prices, hampering the industry’s revenue potential.
In addition, the increasing adoption of e-commerce has reduced customer traffic in computer stores, further limiting revenue. More consumers are now taking advantage of online shopping, which facilitates product and price comparisons. Going forward, industry revenue is expected to decrease.
The Computer Sales and Services industry is indeed a large industry and pretty much active in most countries of the world.
Statistics has it that in the united states of America alone, there are about 18,173 registered and licensed (big, medium scale and small) computer manufacturing companies scattered all across the United States responsible for employing about 94,791 people and the industry rakes in a whopping sum of $29 billion annually.
The industry is projected to enjoy -0.4 percent annual growth within 2012 and 2017. It is important to state that Apple Inc., Best Buy Co. Inc. and Fry’s have lion shares of the available market in this industry.
Computer sales account for an estimated 44.0 percent of industry revenue in 2017. Products in this segment include desktops and laptops, with laptop sales outpacing that of desktops. While desktops were historically the most commonly purchased computer product, the falling price of computers and computer components over the past five years reduced the premium that laptops once commanded over desktops.
A majority of consumers’ favor laptops for their portability, augmented by the increasingly wireless data infrastructure. However, desktops still maintain advantages in niche market, particularly with gaming enthusiasts and computer power users who prefer a desktop computer’s superior upgrade potential, ease of repair and customizability.
No doubt everybody will quite agree that the computer sales and services industry has come to stay and of course it is one industry that plays key roles not only in the business world, but also in almost all aspects of what goes around in our world today as long as computers are involved.
Over and above, the Computer Sales and Services industry is an open industry hence a low level of market share concentration. Even though large multi-service agencies operate in the industry, revenue is also spread among thousands of small computer stores and repair centers.
2. Executive Summary
Harry & Barry® Computer Sales & Services Center, LLC is a U.S based computer sales and services company. We have been able to secure a standard store facility in a central business district in Phillips Avenue, Sioux Falls – South Dakota. We are set to compete in the highly competitive computer sales and services industry not only in Sioux Falls – South Dakota, but also throughout the United States market.
Harry & Barry® Computer Sales & Services Center, LLC will engage in the sales and servicing of all forms of computers such as desktops, laptops, palmtops and software, as well as accessories like printers, scanners and keyboards. Our business goal is to become one of the top brands in the computer sales and services industry in the United States and we will make sure that we do all we can to compete favorably with leaders in the industry.
Our workers are going to be selected from a pool of certified and highly experienced computer sales and services engineers in and around Sioux Falls – South Dakota and also from any part of the United States of America as the business grows.
We will make sure that we take all the members of our workforce through the required training that will position them to meet the expectations of the company.
At Harry & Barry® Computer Sales & Services Center, LLC, our client’s best interest will always come first, and everything we do will be guided by our values and professional ethics. We will ensure that we hold ourselves accountable to the highest standards by meeting our client’s needs precisely and completely.
Harry & Barry® Computer Sales & Services Center, LLC is a joint partnership business that is owned by Engr. Harry Jordan a computer engineer par excellence who graduated with from Illinois Institute of Technology (B.Engr. Computer Engineering), and his friend and business partner Barry Martins (B.Sc. Business Management).
They have a combined experience that can help them build Harry & Barry® Computer Sales & Services Center, LLC to favorably compete with other leading computer sales and services businesses in the United States of America.
3. Our Products and Services
Harry & Barry® Computer Sales & Services Center, LLC is established with the aim of maximizing profits in the computer sales and services industry. We want to compete favorably with companies in the United States which is why we have put in place a competent quality assurance team that will ensure that every service rendered meets and even surpasses our customers’ expectations.
We will work hard to ensure that Harry & Barry® Computer Sales & Services Center, LLC is not just accepted in Sioux Falls – South Dakota but also in other cities in the United States of America. Our products and services are listed below;
- Sales and servicing of all sort of computers
- Sales and servicing of computer peripherals (e.g. printers, monitors, keyboards, mouse and speakers)
- Sale of computer software
- Computer installation
- Computer Cloning/upgrade
- Offering other computer repair and installation related services
4. Our Mission and Vision Statement
- Our vision is to establish a one stop computer sales and service center whose services and brand will not only be accepted in Sioux Falls – South Dakota but also in other cities in the United States of America.
- Our mission is to retail computers and related products and also to provide professional computer services that will assist businesses and individuals in ensuring that their computers are always in good shape to help them carry out their business.
- We want to build a computer sales and services company that can favorably compete with other leading brands in the computer sales and services industry.
Our Business Structure
Harry & Barry® Computer Sales & Services Center, LLC, is a computer sales and services company that intend starting small in Phillips Avenue, Sioux Falls, but hopes to grow big in order to compete with leading computer sales and services companies in the United States.
We are aware of the importance of building a solid business structure that can support the picture of the kind of world class business we want to own. This is why we are committed to only hire the best hands within our area of operations.
At Harry & Barry® Computer Sales & Services Center, LLC, we will ensure that we hire people that are qualified, hardworking, creative, customer centric and are ready to work to help us build a prosperous business that will benefit all the stakeholders.
As a matter of fact, profit-sharing arrangement will be made available to all our senior management staff and it will be based on their performance for a period of five years or more as agreed by the board of trustees of the company. In view of the above, we have decided to hire qualified and competent hands to occupy the following positions;
- Chief Executive Officer
- Store Manager
- Head, Technical Services
- Human Resources and Admin Manager
- Sales and Marketing Executive
- Computer Repair and Maintenance Engineers and Technicians (10)
- Client Service Executive
5. Job Roles and Responsibilities
Chief Executive Officer – CEO:
- Increases management’s effectiveness by employing, choosing, orientating, training, coaching, counseling, and disciplining managers; communicating values, strategies, and objectives; assigning accountabilities; planning, monitoring, and appraising job results; developing incentives; developing a climate for offering information and opinions; providing educational opportunities.
- Accountable for fixing prices and signing business deals
- Responsible for providing direction for the business
- Creates, communicates, and implements the organization’s vision, mission, and overall direction – i.e. leading the development and implementation of the overall organization’s strategy.
- Responsible for signing checks and documents on behalf of the company
- Evaluates the success of the organization
- Reports to the board
Admin and HR Manager
- Responsible for overseeing the smooth running of HR and administrative tasks for the organization
- Maintains office supplies by checking stocks; placing and expediting orders; evaluating new products.
- Ensures operation of equipment by completing preventive maintenance requirements; calling for repairs.
- Defines job positions for recruitment and managing interviewing process
- Carries out induction for new team members
- Responsible for training, evaluation and assessment of employees
- Responsible for arranging travel, meetings and appointments
- Oversees the smooth running of the daily office activities.
- Responsible for managing the daily activities in the store
- Ensures that proper records of computers and computer parts are kept and warehouse does not run out of products
- Ensures that the store facility is in tip top shape and goods are properly arranged and easy to locate
- Controls distribution and supply chain inventory
- Supervises the workforce in the sales floor
- Helps to ensure consistent quality of computers and computer parts are purchased and retailed in good price that will ensure we make good profit
Head, Technical Services:
- Serves as project manager of the organization; works directly with employees
- Maintains quality service by establishing and enforcing organization standards.
- Makes certain that the technical department performs efficiently, coordinates employee efforts, facilitates communication between management and computer repairs and maintenance engineers and technicians
- Ensures that the organization work in line with international best practices.
Sales and Marketing Manager
- Manages external research and coordinate all the internal sources of information to retain the organizations’ best customers and attract new ones
- Models demographic information and analyze the volumes of transactional data generated by customer
- Identifies development opportunities; follows up on development leads and contacts; participates in the structuring and financing of projects; assures the completion of development projects.
- Writing winning proposal documents, negotiate fees and rates in line with organizations’ policy
- Responsible for handling business research, market surveys and feasibility studies for clients
- Responsible for supervising implementation, advocate for the customer’s needs, and communicate with clients
- Develops executes and evaluate new plans for expanding sales
- Creates new markets cum businesses for the organization
- Empower and motivates the sales team to meet and surpass agreed targets
- Responsible for preparing financial reports, budgets, and financial statements for the organization
- Provides managements with financial analyses, development budgets, and accounting reports; analyzes financial feasibility for the most complex proposed projects; conducts market research to forecast trends and business conditions.
- Responsible for financial forecasting and risks analysis.
- Performs cash management, general ledger accounting, and financial reporting for one or more properties.
- Responsible for developing and managing financial systems and policies
- Responsible for administering payrolls
- Ensuring compliance with taxation legislation
- Handles all financial transactions for the organization
- Serves as internal auditor for the organization.
Computer Repair and Maintenance Engineers (2) and Technicians (8)
- Responsible for general computer repairs and maintenance services
- Carry out computer installation services for clients
- Responsible for carrying out computer cloning and upgrade
- Responsible for handling Networking of computer system
- Responsible for handling virus removal Data recovery
- Handles computer and accessories sales and supply for the organization
Help Desk Officers
- Welcomes clients and potential clients by greeting them in person or on the telephone; answering or directing inquiries.
- Ensures that all contacts with clients (e-mail, walk-In center, SMS or phone) provides the client with a personalized customer service experience of the highest level.
- Through interaction with clients on the phone, uses every opportunity to build client’s interest in the company’s products and services.
- Manages administrative duties assigned by the creative director in an effective and timely manner.
- Consistently stays abreast of any new information on the organizations’ products, promotional campaigns etc. to ensure accurate and helpful information are supplied to clients when they make enquiries.
- Find out the customer’s needs, recommend, select and help locate the right merchandise, describe a product’s features and benefits.
- Bag, package or gift-wrap merchandise as requested by customers.
6. SWOT Analysis
Because of our quest for excellence, Harry & Barry® Computer Sales & Services Center, LLC engaged the services of a core professional in the area of business consulting and structuring to assist our organization in building a well – structured computer sales and services business that can favorably compete in the industry in the United States.
Part of what the business consultant did was to work with the management of our organization in conducting a comprehensive SWOT analysis for Harry & Barry® Computer Sales & Services Center, LLC. Here is a summary from the result of the SWOT analysis that was conducted on behalf of Harry & Barry® Computer Sales & Services Center, LLC;
Our core strength lies in the power of our workforce. We have a team of trained and certified computer repair engineers and technicians, a team with excellent qualifications and experience in various niche areas in the industry. Aside from the synergy that exists in our carefully selected workforce, our services will be guided by best practices in the industry and we will ensure that we have all brands and types of computers in our store per time.
As a new computer sales and services center in Sioux Falls – South Dakota, it might take some time for our organization to break into the market and gain acceptance especially from top profile clients in the already highly competitive computer sales and services industry; that is perhaps our major weakness. Another weakness is that we may not have the required cash to pump into promoting our business the way we would want to.
No doubt, the opportunities in the computer sales and services industry is massive considering the number of individuals and businesses that own computers. So also, the launch of new tablets will likely drive consumers into stores to test and compare products.
As a computer sales and services company, we are ready to take advantage of any opportunity that is available in the industry.
The increasing adoption of e-commerce has reduced customer traffic in computer stores, further limiting revenue and also, the domestic PC market has shrunk due to market saturation and greater competition from tablets, are some of the threats that will confront us.
So also, one major threat that we are likely going to face is economic downturn. Another threat that may likely confront us is the arrival of a new computer sales and services center in same location where our target market exists and who may want to adopt same Business model like us.
7. MARKET ANALYSIS
- Market Trends
The extent at which the internet and computer has taken over our world is a pure sign that every computer literate needs the services of a computer repairer when his/her computer malfunctions – be it hardware or software. The very nature of the Computer Sales and Services industry, with its extraordinary rate of technological development, creates a constant need for businesses skilled in updating and advising customers on computer-related issues.
With every individual armed with a computer and with almost all valuable information in our daily lives being stored in the computer, the computer selling business is booming and with this booming comes a need for repair.
Everybody with a computer knows that moment of panic when the hard drive crashes–and for business people, it usually happens when they are staring into the eye of a deadline. The need for computer physicians is growing every day and more people are venturing into this field, making it a competitive and goal oriented industry.
Lastly, the computer sales and services industry will continue to evolve due to the advancement of computer technology and software designs et al.
8. Our Target Market
Before starting our computer sales and services business in Sioux Falls – South Dakota, we conducted a market survey and feasibility studies and we are certain that there is a wide range of both corporate and individual clients who cannot successfully run their businesses without computers.
In view of that, we have created strategies that will enable us reach out to various corporate organizations and individual who we know can’t afford to do without our products and services. Below is a list of people we will specifically market our products and services to;
- Banks, Insurance Companies and other related Financial Institutions
- Blue Chips Companies
- Corporate Organizations
- Real Estate Owners, Developers, and Contractors
- Research and Development Companies
- The Government (Public Sector)
- Schools (High Schools, Colleges and Universities)
- Celebrities, Politicians, Public Figures and Public Speakers
- Sport Organizations
- Religious Organizations
- Television Stations
- Printing Press (Publishing Houses) and Authors
- Branding and Advertising agencies
- Individuals and households who own computers
Our Competitive Advantage
Surviving in the business world as a computer sales and services company requires more than your expertise, knowing how to deliver standard repairs and maintenance but also how to network with key people that matter.
We are quite aware that to be highly competitive in the computer sales and services industry means that you are not only expected to deliver reliable computer supply, installation, repair, networking and maintenance jobs, but you must be able to meet set targets.
No one would want to continue to hire your services if don’t always meet up with the target date of completion of projects. Our competitive advantage lies in our ability to control stock at hand, our experienced work force and proximity to key markets.
We equally have a team of certified, highly trained and experienced computer repair engineers and technicians, a team with excellent qualifications and experience in various niche areas in the computer sales and service industry. Aside from the synergy that exists in our carefully selected workforce, our services will be guided by best practices in the industry.
Lastly, all our employees will be well taken care of, and their welfare package will be among the best within our category in the industry. It will enable them to be more than willing to build the business with us and help deliver our set goals and achieve all our business aims and objectives.
9. SALES AND MARKETING STRATEGY
- Sources of Income
Harry & Barry® Computer Sales & Services Center, LLC is established with the aim of maximizing profits in the computer sales and services industry and we are going to go all the way to ensure that we do all it takes to meet and surpass the expectations of all our clients.
Harry & Barry® Computer Sales & Services Center, LLC will generate income by;
- Computer Cloning and upgrade
10. Sales Forecast
One thing is certain, there would always be corporate organizations and individuals who would need to purchase computers and accessories. We are well positioned to take on the available market in Sioux Falls – South Dakota and we are quite optimistic that we will meet our set target of generating enough profits from our first six months of operation.
We have been able to critically examine the computer sales and services market, we have analyzed our chances in the industry and we have been able to come up with the following sales forecast. The sales projections are based on information gathered on the field and some assumptions that are peculiar to similar startups in Sioux Falls – South Dakota.
- First Year: $350,000
- Second Year: $750,000
- Third Year: $1.2 million
N.B : This projection is done based on what is obtainable in the industry and with the assumption that there won’t be any major economic meltdown and there won’t be any major competitor offering same products and services as we do within the same location. Please note that the above projection might be lower and at the same time it might be higher.
- Marketing Strategy and Sales Strategy
We are mindful of the fact that there are stiff competitions in the computer sales and services industry, hence we have been able to hire some of the best marketing experts to handle our sales and marketing.
Our sales and marketing team will be recruited based on their vast experience in the industry and they will be trained on a regular basis so as to be well equipped to meet their targets and the overall business goal of Harry & Barry® Computer Sales & Services Center, LLC.
Our corporate goal is to grow Harry & Barry® Computer Sales & Services Center, LLC to become one of the top 10 computer sales and services brands in the United States of America which is why we have mapped out strategies that will help us take advantage of the available market and grow to become a major force to reckon with not only in Sioux Falls – South Dakota but also in other cities in the United States of America.
Harry & Barry® Computer Sales & Services Center, LLC is set to make use of the following marketing and sales strategies to attract clients;
- Introduce our computer sales and services center by sending introductory letters alongside our brochure to individuals, corporate organizations and key stakeholders in and around Sioux Falls – South Dakota.
- Promptness in bidding for computer supply, installation, repair, networking and maintenance contract from the government and other corporate organizations
- Advertise our business in relevant business magazines, newspapers, TV and radio stations.
- List our business in yellow pages’ ads (local directories)
- Attend relevant international and local expos, seminars and business fairs et al
- Create different packages for different category of clients in order to work with their budgets and still deliver excellent services
- Leverage on the internet to promote our business
- Engage direct marketing approach
- Encourage word of mouth marketing from loyal and satisfied clients
11. Publicity and Advertising Strategy
We have been able to work with our in-house brand and publicity consultant to help us map out publicity and advertising strategies that will help us walk our way into the heart of our target market.
We are set to become the number one choice for both corporate and individual clients in the whole of the Sioux Falls and beyond which is why we have made provisions for effective publicity and advertisement of our computer sales and services company.
Below are the platforms we intend to leverage on to promote and advertise Harry & Barry® Computer Sales & Services Center, LLC;
- Place adverts on both print (newspapers and magazines) and electronic media platforms
- Sponsor relevant community based events/programs
- Leverage on the internet and social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, twitter, YouTube, Google + et al to promote our services.
- Install our billboards in strategic locations all around Sioux Falls – South Dakota.
- Engage in roadshows from time to time in targeted neighborhoods.
- Distribute our fliers and handbills in target areas.
- List our computer sales and services company in local directories/yellow pages
- Advertise our computer sales and services company in our official website and employ strategies that will help us pull traffic to the site.
- Ensure that all our staff members wear our branded shirts and all our vehicles are well branded with our company logo.
12. Our Pricing Strategy
At Harry & Barry® Computer Sales & Services Center, LLC we will keep the prices of our products and services below the average market rate by keeping our overhead low and by collecting payment in advance from corporate organizations who would purchase our products or hire our services. In addition, we will also offer special discounted rates to all our customers at regular intervals.
We are aware that there are some one – off jobs or government contracts like computer supply, installation, repair, networking and maintenance which are always lucrative, we will ensure that we abide by the pricing model that is expected from contractors or organizations that bid for such contracts.
- Payment Options
The payment policy adopted by Harry & Barry® Computer Sales & Services Center, LLC is all inclusive because we are quite aware that different customers prefer different payment options as it suits them but at the same time, we will ensure that we abide by the financial rules and regulation of the United States of America.
Here are the payment options that Harry & Barry® Computer Sales & Services Center, LLC will make available to her clients;
- Payment via bank transfer
- Payment with cash
- Payment via credit cards/Point of Sale Machines (POS Machines)
- Payment via online bank transfer
- Payment via check
- Payment via mobile money transfer
- Payment via bank draft
In view of the above, we have chosen banking platforms that will enable our clients make payments for the purchase of our products or our services without any stress on their part. Our bank account numbers will be made available on our website and promotional materials for this purpose.
13. Startup Expenditure (Budget)
From our market survey and feasibility studies, we have been able to come up with a detailed budget on achieving our aim of establishing a standard and highly competitive computer sales and services company in Sioux Falls – South Dakota and here are the key areas where we will spend our startup capital;
- The total fee for registering the business in the United States of America – $750 .
- Legal expenses for obtaining licenses and permits as well as the accounting services (software, P.O.S machines and other software) – $3,300.
- Marketing promotion expenses for the grand opening of Harry & Barry® Computer Sales & Services Center, LLC in the amount of $3,500 and as well as flyer printing (2,000 flyers at $0.04 per copy) for the total amount of $3,580.
- The cost for hiring business consultant – $2,500.
- Insurance (general liability, workers’ compensation and property casualty) coverage at a total premium – $2,400.
- The cost for payment of rent for 12 months at $1.76 per square feet in the total amount of $105,600.
- The cost for shop remodeling (construction of racks and shelves) – $20,000.
- Other start-up expenses including stationery ( $500 ) and phone and utility deposits ( $2,500 ).
- Operational cost for the first 3 months (salaries of employees, payments of bills et al) – $60,000.
- The cost for start-up inventory (stocking with a wide range of computers such as desktops, notebook computers and software, as well as accessories like printers, scanners and keyboards. et al from different manufacturing brands) – $200,000
- The cost for counter area equipment – $9,500.
- The cost for store equipment (cash register, security, ventilation, signage) – $13,750
- The cost of purchase and installation of CCTVs: $10,000 .
- The cost for the purchase of office furniture and gadgets (Computers, Printers, Telephone, TVs, Sound System, tables and chairs et al): $4,000.
- The cost of launching a website: $600 .
- The cost for our opening party: $7,000 .
- Miscellaneous: $10,000.
We would need an estimate of three hundred and fifty thousand dollars ( $350,000 ) to successfully set up our computer sales and services store in Sioux Falls – South Dakota.
Generating Startup Capital for Harry & Barry® Computer Sales & Services Center, LLC
Harry & Barry® Computer Sales & Services Center, LLC is a business that will be owned and managed by Engr. Harry Jordan and his friend and business partner Barry Martins. They are the financiers of the business which is why they decided to restrict the sourcing of the startup capital for the business to just three major sources.
These are the areas we intend generating our startup capital;
- Generate part of the startup capital from personal savings and sale of his stocks.
- Generate part of the startup capital from friends and other extended family members.
- Generate a larger chunk of the startup capital from the bank.
N.B: We have been able to generate about $150,000 ( Personal savings $120,000 and soft loan from family members $30,000 ) and we are at the final stages of obtaining a loan facility of $200,000 from our bank. All papers and documents have been duly signed and submitted, the loan has been approved and any moment from now our account will be credited.
14. Sustainability and Expansion Strategy
The future of a business lies in the number of loyal customers that they have, the capacity and competence of their employees, their investment strategy and business structure. If all of these factors are missing from a business, then it won’t be too long before the business close shop.
One of our major goals of starting Harry & Barry® Computer Sales & Services Center, LLC is to build a business that will survive off its own cash flow without injecting finance from external sources once the business is officially running.
We know that one of the ways of gaining approval and winning customers over is to sell or computers and accessories and offer our computer repair and maintenance services a little bit cheaper than what is obtainable in the market and we are well prepared to survive on lower profit margin for a while.
Harry & Barry® Computer Sales & Services Center, LLC will make sure that the right foundation, structures and processes are put in place to ensure that our staff welfare are well taken of. Our company’s corporate culture is designed to drive our business to greater heights and training and retraining of our workforce is at the top burner.
As a matter of fact, profit-sharing arrangement will be made available to all our management staff and it will be based on their performance for a period of three years or more. We know that if that is put in place, we will be able to successfully hire and retain the best hands we can get in the industry; they will be more committed to help us build the business of our dreams.
- Business Name Availability Check: Completed
- Business Incorporation: Completed
- Opening of Corporate Bank Accounts: Completed
- Opening Online Payment Platforms: Completed
- Application and Obtaining Tax Payer’s ID: In Progress
- Securing a standard office facility for our studio: Completed
- Application for business license and permit: Completed
- Purchase of Insurance for the Business: Completed
- Conducting Feasibility Studies: Completed
- Generating part of the startup capital from the founders: Completed
- Writing of Business Plan: Completed
- Drafting of Employee’s Handbook: Completed
- Drafting of Contract Documents: In Progress
- Design of Logo for the business: Completed
- Secure trademark for our products: In Progress
- Printing of Promotional Materials: Completed
- Recruitment of employees: In Progress
- Purchase of the needed furniture, office equipment, software applications, electronic appliances and facility facelift: In progress
- Creating official website for the business: In Progress
- Creating Awareness for the business: In Progress
- Health and Safety and Fire Safety Arrangement: In Progress
- Opening party planning: In Progress
- Compilation of the list of products that will be available in our store: Completed
- Establishing business relationship with vendors – manufacturers and suppliers of computers, computer parts and accessories: In Progress
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Computer Repair Business Plan Sample
Computer Repair business plan for starting your own shop
Starting a computer repair business is undoubtedly a profitable venture. In this era, computers have become an integral part of offices, industries, organizations, institutes, and even homes. Any enterprise that uses computers to manage its operations also needs some authentic computer repair services to timely maintain, repair, and upgrade the computers.
Thus, if you are thinking about starting this business, you don’t need to worry about the scope and opportunities. Just focus on how to open a computer repair business. For that, you will need to make a business plan for computer repairs, as the first step. In case, you don’t know how to create a comprehensive computer repair business plan pdf , we are providing here the business plan for a startup, PC Fix.
2.1 the business.
PC Fix will be a licensed and registered computer repair business startup. The business will be based in Boston. The business will provide computer repair, maintenance, and upgradation services to individual customers, and small and large business setups.
2.2 Management of Computer Repair Shop
Computers can get software and hardware problems anytime. Therefore, if you want to start a computer repair business you must have adequate staff. So that you can provide your customers with instant support.
While you decide your strategy about how to set up a computer repair business, you should start gathering a skillful workforce. To manage your business, you will also be needing experienced supervisors to monitor all aspects.
2.3 Customers of Computer Repair Shop
Before researching how to start a computer repair business you should explore who will be your customers. Knowing your customers will help you in amassing the equipment and staff that could meet their demands.
PC Fix identified its customers as individuals who possess their personal computers, small and large businesses, educational institutes, and government organizations.
2.4 Business Target
Our aim is to become the most renowned computer repair business within a year of our launch. Our financial targets to be achieved over the next 3 years are demonstrated in this table.
3.1 company owner.
Steve Wayne will be the owner of PC Fix. Steve has an Associate Degree in Computer Science. He has worked as a computer support specialist for three years at Boston Finance Commission.
3.2 Why the computer repair shop is being started
Steve gained extensive experience in his field during his job. After three years he realized that he can earn multiple folds by becoming an entrepreneur. Considering his knowledge area he decided to start computer repair business plan pdf .
3.3 How the computer repair shop will be started
Step1: Plan your business
As a first step, you should plan everything about your computer repair business plan pdf and write it in your computer repair business description. If you don’t know what to include in a computer repair business plan pdf you can take help from this computer repairs business plan example. In this computer repair business plan sample we have listed everything about PC Fix including market analysis, sales business strategy , personnel plan, and financial plan.
Step2: Define your brand
After creating your computer repair business plan pdf , it’s now time to acquire the required licenses and setting up your physical presence. Meanwhile, you should also define your business values and aims to make people feel associated with your goals.
Step3: Start the recruitment
The next step is to initiate your hiring process to find the most competent employees.
Step4: Get ready to promote & market
After you’ve concluded all the above-mentioned steps, you should go for promoting your services.
Step5: Establish a web presence
These days, whenever people need any type of service, they search for it on Google. Therefore, it is very important to establish a strong web presence. It will enable you to come in top searches. And it will also allow you to attract more people by showing them others’ feedback.
Before owning a computer repair business you should decide your services. Through this, you will be able to purchase the right equipment and hire the right staff. In this computer repair business plan template we are listing the services of PC Fix.
- Hardware Repairs/ Maintenance/ Upgradation
We’ll also provide computer hardware repairs. Hardware issues are very common in computers. People often complain about screen freezes, blue-screen, file corruption errors, and abnormal shutdowns. They are all in actual hardware issues.
Along with it, we will provide regular maintenance and upgradation services on an instant basis as well as on monthly and yearly contracts.
- Software Repairs/ Maintenance/ Upgradation
We will troubleshoot and resolve software problems and faults. When hired on a monthly or yearly contract, we’ll ensure regular maintenance and upgradation of software.
- Computer, Laptop and Mobile Accessories
We will also offer computer and cellphone accessories such as network interface cards, batteries, speakers, headsets, USB flash drives, etc.
- Database Management System Development
Our last service will be for businesses, institutes, and organizations. In this, we will develop a cost-effective database management system for them to manage large and irregular datasets.
Marketing Analysis of Computer Repair Shop
Before starting computer repair business it is essential to carry out a detailed marketing analysis. Marketing analysis allows you to identify ongoing and forthcoming market trends. That will eventually enable you to recognize
- The customers that may be directly or indirectly interested in your services.
- The unoccupied opportunities to serve your target customers.
- The ways that can best capture the attention of your target customers.
- The product prices that can help you draw customers as well as earn profit.
Marketing analysis should be done systematically. If you don’t know what to include in a marketing plan, you can take help from here. In this blog on how to write a business plan for computer repairs, we’re providing the marketing analysis done for PC Fix.
5.1 Market Trends
In the United States, almost everyone possesses a personal computer, laptop, or cellphone. Along with it, to manage large data sets and to work on research areas, government organizations, educational institutes, and businesses use computer-based labs and systems. With these electronic gadgets, come their hardware and software issues. Therefore, a computer repair business is needed more than ever.
Currently, more than 41k computer repair businesses are running in the U.S. according to IBISWorld. The market size until 2020 is reported to be $18 billion. Moreover, the industry has also acted as a source of employment for more than 124k people.
5.2 Marketing Segmentation
Before opening a computer repair business, you should identify the groups of your target customers. Doing this will enable you to recognize their expectations, needs, and purchasing capabilities.
As computers are used in nearly every field now, the customers of the computer repair business belong to various walks of life. The major groups of customers as identified by PC Fix are given below.
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The first group of our target customers comprises people and students who have their personal computers and laptops. This category gets really worried on encountering any faults/ problems with their devices. Therefore, we expect them to visit our shop frequently for hardware/ software repairs and also for purchasing electronic accessories.
5.2.2 Small & Large Businesses
The second group of our target customers will be businesses. Nowadays companies use computers to monitor their business, cash flows, and to perform their work. Thus, they are expected to avail of our services on a contract basis as they need regular maintenance and upgradation.
5.2.3 Educational Institutes
Our third category comprises educational institutes that have established computer labs for study, research, and management purposes.
5.2.4 Government Organizations
Last we also expect government organizations based in our city to be our customers for their computer repairs and upgradation.
5.3 Business Target
In your computer repair business model you should clearly define your computer repair business plan pdf targets to be achieved over a specified time. This can help you in directing your workforce and your resources towards a common goal.
PC Fix aims at
- Earning a net profit margin of $28k per month by the end of the third year
- Earning an average rating above 4.65 by the end of the first year
- Maintaining a CSAT score above 90%
- Achieving a customer retention rate of 90% by the end of the first year
5.4 Product Pricing
Our prices are slightly lower than that of our competitors. This is because we want to get introduced to a large number of people as soon as we get launched.
To capture the attention of your target customers amid huge competition, it is necessary to have an efficient sales strategy. In this computer repair business proposal we are providing computer repair business marketing plan of PC Fix. So that you can learn what can be done to stay competitive and successful.
6.1 Competitive Analysis
- We have extremely skilled and collaborative staff.
- We are highly client-oriented and are willing to go the extra mile to satisfy our customers.
- Customers can book our services through our website.
- Only we in our vicinity are providing computer and cellphone accessories. And that is something that will help us draw more customers.
6.2 Sales Strategy
To attract our target customers, we will:
- Establish a strong web presence by making it SEO
- Advertise our services through Google Local ads service
- Provide a 40% discount on all of our services except PC accessories for the first 3 months of the launch
- Provide a 30% discount to organizations, businesses, and institutes on a 6-month maintenance contract.
6.3 Sales Monthly
6.4 Sales Yearly
6.5 Sales Forecast
When you write a business plan computer repair shop, you should also include a list of required employees in it. Through this, you’ll be able to define a criterion to select the most competent employees. Moreover, make sure that you also throw light on their average salaries for at least 3 years in your personnel plan.
7.1 Company Staff
Steve will be the CEO himself. However, to run his business he will hire the following people.
- 1 Co-Manager/ Supervisor to procure equipment & see overall operations
- 8 Computer Repair Technicians
- 1 Software Developer to develop management software & company’s website
- 1 Accountant to maintain financial records
- 2 Sales Executives to promote the company and negotiate contracts
- 1 Store Manager (to manage accessories display and sales)
- 1 Receptionist
7.2 Average Salary of Employees
A considerable amount is needed to build a computer repair business. If you want to make sure that your investment group to business plan doesn’t go waste, you must do accurate financial planning before you actually start your business. An accurate financial plan includes cash flow tables and diagrams, projected profit and loss, gross margins, and balance sheets. Combined, all these segments provide you with the idea of how to cover any unexpected financial loss. Or how much to keep in reserve etc.
Here, we are providing the financial plan made for PC Fix, so that you can take a general idea of computer repair finances.
8.1 Important Assumptions
8.2 brake-even analysis.
8.3 Projected Profit and Loss
8.3.1 profit monthly.
8.3.2 Profit Yearly
8.3.3 Gross Margin Monthly
8.3.4 Gross Margin Yearly
8.4 Projected Cash Flow
8.5 Projected Balance Sheet
8.6 business ratios.
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Computer Software Retailer Business Plan
Start your own computer software retailer business plan
Strategy and implementation summary.
Our target market consists of consumers, small businesses and home offices (less than 10 employees), and tourists. Our sales and marketing strategy will consist of offering a wide selection of quality products and services, a friendly pleasant atmosphere, and a convenient location in the center of Kailua-Kona with accessibility to locals and tourists alike. We will establish ourselves in the community through word-of-mouth referrals from our satisfied clients, and various forms of advertising.
5.1 Competitive Edge
Our competitive edge is a combination of our wide range of products and services, outstanding location, and our interaction with our clients. By building a business based on long-standing relationships with satisfied clients, we simultaneously build defenses against competition. The longer the relationship stands, the more we help our clients understand what we offer them and why they should both stay with Eagle Computers, and refer us to others in the community. In close-knit communities like the Big Island of Hawaii, reputation is extremely important, and word-of-mouth advertising is invaluable.
5.2 Marketing Strategy
Our marketing strategy is a simple one: satisfied customers are our best marketing tool. The first time a customer comes to Eagle Computers, they will know that they have found a one-stop shop for all of their computer needs, including a friendly personal atmosphere with exceptional customer service. We have talked with many friends and associates who are excited about our plans and are anxious to shop with us and use our services. Word of mouth and a good reputation are the best marketing tools in a close-knit community such as ours.
In addition, we will have a website, do radio and newspaper advertising, distribute flyers to local businesses, and advertise in the Yellow Pages. These venues will help us become known as we establish our business.
5.3 Sales Strategy
Our umbrella sales strategy is to sell Eagle Computers to the West Hawaii community as the best resource for their computer needs, enhancing their lives with our quality, latest-technology products, the convenience of our one-stop shop, affordable pricing and the reliable professional service we offer.
We will sell Eagle Computers through each employee’s expertise, courtesy, and warmth, creating a trusting impression on all customers, and establishing loyalty and return visits. We will ensure each visit to Eagle Computers is a professional and pleasant experience, so that customers can always depend on our brand of service when they arrive.
We expect to have a customer return rate of 90% at the end of the first year and for sales to increase to over a quarter-million dollars by end of second year.
5.3.1 Sales Forecast
The important elements of the Sales Forecasts are shown in the chart and table below. Initial sales forecast indicate a healthy first year revenue increasing modestly but steadily in the second and third year. These figures are based on revenue from three main areas:
- Computer Sales – this includes sales of all hardware components. We estimate a 5% annual increase in this revenue area from new customer acquisition. The sales costs for computer hardware averages 70% of the final sales prices when the hardware is sold. Costs for wholesale computer hardware is expected to have a 2% annual increase.
- Computer Service – revenue generated strictly from labor fees, so except for payroll, there is no sales cost. We estimate a 10% annual increase in this revenue area from repeat business as a result of customer loyalty.
- Computer Rental Stations – revenue generated from customers renting the computer stations by the hour. We estimate a 3% annual increase to reflect the projected increase in tourism to Kona. This revenue is all profit since it requires no cost for inventory and it is basically self-service, so requires no labor hours.
The following table lists important program milestones, with dates and managers in charge, and budgets for each. The milestone schedule indicates our emphasis on planning for implementation.
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ChatGPT Cheat Sheet: Complete Guide for 2023
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Get up and running with ChatGPT with this comprehensive cheat sheet. Learn everything from how to sign up for free to enterprise use cases, and start using ChatGPT quickly and effectively.
ChatGPT reached 100 million monthly users in January, according to a UBS report , making it the fastest-growing consumer app in history. The business world is interested in ChatGPT too, trying to find uses for the writing AI throughout many different industries. This cheat sheet includes answers to the most common questions about ChatGPT and its competitors.
What is ChatGPT?
Who made chatgpt, how much does chatgpt cost, how to use chatgpt, chatgpt updates and openai api news, criticisms and security issues.
- What are ChatGPT’s competitors?
The future of AI in business
- What’s next for OpenAI?
ChatGPT is an AI chatbot product developed by OpenAI. ChatGPT is built on the structure of GPT-4 . GPT stands for generative pre-trained transformer; this indicates it is a large language model that checks for the probability of what words might come next in sequence. A large language model is a deep learning algorithm — a type of transformer model in which a neural network learns context about any language pattern. That might be a spoken language or a computer programming language.
The model doesn’t “know” what it’s saying, but it does know what symbols (words) are likely to come after one another based on the data set it was trained on. The current generation of artificial intelligence chatbots, such as ChatGPT, its Google rival Bard and others, don’t really make intelligently informed decisions; instead, they’re the internet’s parrots, repeating words that are likely to be found next to one another in the course of natural speech. The underlying math is all about probability. The companies that make and use them pitch them as productivity genies, creating text in a matter of seconds that would take a person hours or days to produce.
In ChatGPT’s case, that data set is a large portion of the internet. From there, humans give feedback on the AI’s output to confirm whether the words it uses sound natural.
The public version of ChatGPT can call on current events information as recent as January 2022. ChatGPT Plus can call on current events information as recent as April.
In August OpenAI launched a GPTBot, a web crawler meant to expand ChatGPT’s knowledge. Technical details and ways to keep GPTBot from crawling a website you run can both be found here .
SEE: OpenAI’s probability assessments were trained on Microsoft’s Azure AI supercomputer. (TechRepublic)
Several organizations have built this ability to answer questions into some of their software features too. Microsoft, which provides funding for OpenAI, rolled out ChatGPT in Bing search and in Microsoft 365 . Salesforce has added ChatGPT to some of its CRM platforms in the form of the Einstein digital assistant.
ChatGPT was built by OpenAI, a research laboratory with both nonprofit and for-profit branches. At the time of its founding in 2015, OpenAI received funding from Amazon Web Services, InfoSys and YC Research and investors including Elon Musk and Peter Thiel. Musk has since cut ties with the company, while Microsoft provided $10 billion in funding for OpenAI in 2023.
The base version of ChatGPT can strike up a conversation with you for free. For $20 per month, ChatGPT Plus gives subscribers priority access in individual instances, faster response times and the chance to use new features and improvements first. For example, right now ChatGPT Plus subscribers will be running GPT-4, while anyone on the free tier will talk to GPT-3.5.
For developers and organizations who don’t already have a specific contract with OpenAI, there is a waitlist for access to the ChatGPT API.
In August, OpenAI launched ChatGPT Enterprise , a subscription plan for business with more security enhancements and admin controls compared to the basic version. Organizations interested in pricing for ChatGPT Enterprise can contact OpenAI’s sales team.
It’s easy to use the free version of ChatGPT. You need to sign up for an account with OpenAI , which involves fetching a confirmation code from your email; from there, click through and provide your name and phone number. OpenAI will warn you that the free version of ChatGPT is “a free research preview.” For the Plus version, you’ll see an “upgrade to Plus” button on the left side of the home page.
New signups or account upgrades for ChatGPT Plus were paused on Nov. 14. “The surge in usage post devday has exceeded our capacity and we want to make sure everyone has a great experience,” OpenAI CEO Sam Altman wrote on X (the social media site formerly known as Twitter). To be notified when signups and account upgrades are available again, sign up to be alerted on the ChatGPT mobile app.
For businesses, ChatGPT can write and debug code, as well as create reports, presentations, emails and websites. In general, ChatGPT can draft the kind of prose you’d likely use for work (“Write an email accepting an invitation to speak at a cybersecurity conference.”). ChatGPT can answer questions (“What are similar books to [xyz]?”) as well. Microsoft showed off these features in its announcement that OpenAI is coming to Word and some other parts of the 365 business suite .
ChatGPT has historically not ‘remembered’ information from one conversation to another. However, starting on July 20, ChatGPT Plus members can use a feature called custom instructions to make sure the AI remembers certain things about them. For example, it can remember a specific user tends to want content for a business audience, or, conversely, for third graders. It is not available in the UK and EU.
ChatGPT app for iOS
On May 18, OpenAI announced the launch of the free ChatGPT app for iOS . The company stated the app syncs your history across devices, and that it integrates with its open-source speech-recognition system Whisper. On the iOS app, OpenAI said ChatGPT Plus subscribers get exclusive access to GPT-4’s capabilities, early access to features and faster response times.
OpenAI started this rollout in the U.S. As of May 24 it expanded to 11 more countries — Albania, Croatia, France, Germany, Ireland, Jamaica, Korea, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Nigeria, and the UK, with more expected to follow.
ChatGPT app for Android
ChatGPT for Android dropped on July 25 for users in the US, India, Bangladesh, and Brazil. Android users in those countries can download the app through the Google Play Store now. Additional countries gained access over the following week, OpenAI said .
Browse with Bing
ChatGPT Plus and Enterprise subscribers can use ChatGPT to answer questions using the Bing search engine. Browsing was brought out of beta on October 17.
To access Bing in ChatGPT, subscribing customers can choose Browse with Bing in the selector under GPT-4. OpenAI expects to expand internet browsing to all users at a later date.
Browse with Bing was disabled on July 3 out of “an abundance of caution,” OpenAI wrote, and reinstated in beta on Sept. 27. OpenAI has since added “updates include following robots.txt and identifying user agents so sites can control how ChatGPT interacts with them.”
Voice and image capabilities
On Nov. 21, ChatGPT Voice was released for all users. This feature allows users to ask questions out loud and for ChatGPT to reply in the same way.
Subscribers to ChatGPT Plus and Enterprise first reported new voice and image capabilities rolling out in late October.
The ability to use Tools without switching is an important step toward multimodality, in which GPT-4 can automatically access DALL-E 3 to analyze or create images without a manual switch. Text-based queries will be able to result in images and vice versa. OpenAI expects to expand these capabilities to developers and other groups of users “soon after” the October release for Plus and Enterprise users.
OpenAI continues to update ChatGPT and its other services with developer-focused changes.
OpenAI’s bug bounty program
OpenAI started a bug bounty program on April 12, offering between $200 and $20,000 to ethical hackers who find vulnerabilities in the code. More critical vulnerabilities net larger bounties.
OpenAI isn’t looking for solutions to problems with ChatGPT’s content (e.g., the known “hallucinations”); instead, the organization wants hackers to report authentication issues, data exposure, payments issues, security issues with the plugin creation system and more. Details about the bug bounty program can be found on Bugcrowd .
Web browsing and plugins
GPTPlus users gained access to a beta version of web browsing and Plugins on the week of May 12. The beta includes web browsing mode, in which ChatGPT will sometimes access the internet to pull in information about current events.
Secondly, the beta version of ChatGPT will call on third-party plugins at the appropriate times if the user enables them. Third-party plugins can be accessed in the Plugin Store under Plugins in the model switcher. This opens ChatGPT up to more than 70 third-party plugins.
June 2023 API and pricing updates
On June 13, OpenAI added function calling to the Chat Completions API; reduced the price of their embeddings model (which helps the model interpret tokens); and reduced the price of input tokens for GPT-3.5 -turbo, one of the subscription models for the GPT 3.5 model.
With function calling, developers can describe functions to GPT-4 or GPT-3.5 turbo and the AI will return a JSON object which can call those functions. This could be used to create chatbot tools that call external plugins, convert natural language into database queries or API calls, or extract structured data from text.
Other announcements from OpenAI’s June 13 blog post include:
- updated and more steerable versions of GPT-4 and GPT-3.5-turbo
- new 16K context version of GPT-3.5-turbo (compared to the standard 4Kversion)
- Applications using GPT-3.5-turbo, GPT-4, and GPT-4-32K will automatically be upgraded to new models on June 27th.
On July 6, OpenAI made ChatGPT’s code interpreter function available to all ChatGPT Plus users. The Code interpreter is an in-house plug-in with which ChatGPT can run code to analyze data, solve math problems, create charts, edit files, and similar tasks. It functions using a Python interpreter in a sandboxed, firewalled execution environment in a persistent session the length of the chat conversation, OpenAI said in their blog post .
Code interpreter is available in beta by taking the following steps in a ChatGPT Plus account:
Click on your name
Select beta features from your settings
- Toggle on the beta features you’d like to try.
On Nov. 6, OpenAI released GPT-4 Turbo and GPTs, custom versions of ChatGPT that can be built for specific tasks, for ChatGPT Plus and Enterprise users. GPTs do not require any knowledge of coding to create; instead, users can have a natural language conversation with generative AI to create them. Developers can define custom actions for GPTs by making one or more APIs available to the GPT. Enterprise customers can share GPTs within their organizations.
Later in November, creators will be able to promote and sell GPTs on the GPT Store.
With more and more organizations adopting generative AI, many questions arise. Will AI be able to fill jobs currently held by humans? What privacy and ethical concerns does it raise? These questions apply to both ChatGPT and its competitors, since any generative AI can perform similar tasks.
Will ChatGPT result in people losing jobs?
Whether ChatGPT will take jobs away from humans is impossible to predict. Goldman Sachs says in an April report that a quarter to a half of humans’ workloads could be automated with generative AI. The financial institution notes that doesn’t necessarily mean those jobs will disappear – instead, most will be “only partially exposed to automation” – and it may lead to up to a 7% increase in global GDP.
Roles that are repetitive or based on very specific rules are most likely to be able to be performed by AI, Steven Miller, professor emeritus of information systems at Singapore Management University, told CNBC .
ChatGPT could lead to new job roles being created, too. At the very least, people will be needed to prompt, train and audit AI like ChatGPT. Most likely, we’ll see the kind of shuffle that comes with any major technological shift as some jobs change and others do not.
Some experts refer to the current wave of AI as similar to the early days of the internet . Technological limitations still exist, and some estimations about how many jobs would be lost through automation have proven exaggerated in the past . The IEEE points out that the AI industry will need to be aware of hardware limitations and costs. Companies may not find it practical to spend enough money on AI services in order to replace a large percentage of their workforce. Paying users of ChatGPT can make a maximum of 25 GPT-4 queries every three hours, IEEE points out.
In some jobs, the AI may remove the need for a first draft, MIT labor economics professor David Autor said in an interview with CBS MoneyWatch . A human will need to tweak the output and give in a unique angle or more varied wording, but ChatGPT could write the bare bones version of a speech or a blog post.
SEE: How ChatGPT could enhance jobs instead of replacing them. (TechRepublic)
Ethical and privacy concerns about ChatGPT
Perhaps inspired by science fiction about AI taking over the earth, some high-profile players in tech urge caution about giving AI too much free rein. On March 22, a petition and open letter signed by Elon Musk and many others urged companies to pause large AI development until more safeguards can be built in.
Ethics questions to ask when using generative AI
ChatGPT opens up questions about the ethics of using written content created by the algorithm. Posts created by AI should be clearly marked as such, but what about more casual communication such as emails? Business leaders should establish guidelines for when to be transparent about the use of ChatGPT or other AI at work.
OpenAI cautions that its products are not to be used for decisions in law enforcement or global politics . Privacy, which is perhaps a more pressing concern than global domination, led Italy to ban ChatGPT . OpenAI has since stated it wants to find a way to let ChatGPT work within the European Union’s strict privacy rules.
OpenAI’s new privacy update allows users to exclude themselves from training data
On April 25, OpenAI announced it has added a Chat History & Training setting that lets users turn off their ChatGPT chat history, preventing future versions of OpenAI’s large language models from training on those conversations. To find this option, click on your account name, which will display as your email address. Select Settings > Data Controls > Chat History & Training.
As of now, if this setting is not selected, user data will be fed back into the AI to train it on producing more naturalistic and useful responses.
OpenAI filters out personally identifiable information from the training data, OpenAI told Bloomberg . As of April 2023, users can download a copy of their ChatGPT chats and see what training data they have produced. In ChatGPT Enterprise, users’ data is used to train other OpenAI products.
On Nov. 6, OpenAI announced Copyright Shield. Copyright Shield is a guarantee that if someone files legal claims around copyright infringement against content created by users of ChatGPT Enterprise or OpenAI’s developer platform, OpenAI will costs incurred.
Malicious uses of generative AI
Another potential problem comes from people using generative AI like ChatGPT to draft business email compromise messages or other attacks. Threat actors have created WormGPT , an application specifically for drafting malicious emails and customizing them to the prospective victims. Email security company SlashNext discovered WormGPT being used on black hat forums. WormGPT doesn’t actually share any genes with OpenAI’s ChatGPT; instead, the threat-oriented AI is based on GPT-J, a large language model from EleutherAI .
Training data extracted with ‘poem’ exploit
On Nov. 28, security researchers from Google DeepMind found that adversarial actors could extract training data, including personal information, from ChatGPT using a flaw based on extractable memorization. The paper, published as a PDF on arXiv , shows that the researchers could trick the chatbot into revealing its raw training data. One way to do so was to ask ChatGPT to repeat the word ‘poem’ forever. This would result in the chatbot eventually diverging from the task and generating random content, or, in some cases, generating the exact data the generative AI was trained on.
“The actual attack is kind of silly,” the researchers wrote, referring to the endless poem prompt. However, they warn that the consequences could be quite serious, with the attack circumventing ChatGPT’s privacy safeguards.
What are ChatGPT’s competitors?
ChatGPT’s primary competitors are or could be Google’s Bard , Baidu’s Ernie, DeepMind’s Sparrow and Meta’s BlenderBot .
ChatGPT’s main competitor is Bard, Google’s AI generative AI chatbot. People who would like to try Bard’s chat function need to join a waitlist .
Now Google plans to add Bard into search. In comparison to ChatGPT , Bard focuses more on creating prose that sounds like a human could have spoken it naturally and less on being able to answer any question. Bard is built on Google’s Language Model for Dialogue Applications.
While Microsoft is ahead of the pack right now (as of summer 2023) in terms of providing chat functions to productivity software, the company lags behind in terms of its search engine Bing. Google decision-makers allegedly pivoted to urgently roll out a competitor for Microsoft’s decision to add generative AI to Bing search. (Meanwhile, ChatGPT helped Bing reach 100 million daily users. )
The Chinese search engine Baidu plans to add a chatbot called Ernie. Baidu announced the upcoming change on March 16, at which point the initial showing disappointed investors .
OpenAI competes with DeepMind, an artificial intelligence research laboratory owned by Alphabet. The two organizations are significantly different in terms of their aims. DeepMind focuses more on research and has not yet come out with a public-facing chatbot. DeepMind does have Sparrow, a chatbot designed specifically to help AI communicate in a way that is “ helpful, correct and harmless .” DeepMind founder Demis Hassabis told The Independent in January that DeepMind may release a private beta version of Sparrow later in 2023.
Meta’s Llama 2 and BlenderBot
Meta released BlenderBot in August 2022. The prototype BlenderBot from the company behind Facebook focuses on being able to chat, providing short, conversational replies rather than full paragraphs.
Meta also has Llama 2 , a foundational model competitive with the GPT-4 engine behind ChatGPT.
Anthropic’s Claude 2
Claude 2 is a generative AI assistant released in July. Anthropic describes it as “a friendly, enthusiastic colleague or personal assistant who can be instructed in natural language.”
Elon Musk’s AI company X.ai , which includes developers with prior experience at OpenAI and DeepMind among other AI companies, released a chatbot called Grok in November. Grok was trained on the X social media platform (formerly Twitter) and “is designed to answer questions with a bit of wit and has a rebellious streak,” X.ai wrote on Nov. 4.
What about Apple?
According to The New York Times , Apple is working on leveraging the tech it has, especially Siri, to create a ChatGPT rival. More information about what the final product might look like is thin on the ground for now.
Will ChatGPT be common in online products in the future or is it a technological innovation forever in search of a greater use case? Today its “intelligence” is clearly still in the beginning stages, with OpenAI including disclaimers about inappropriate content or incorrect “hallucinations.” ChatGPT may put the words in a coherent order, but it won’t necessarily keep the facts straight.
GPT-3.5 and GPT-4 may also be getting worse at math . An August report from Stanford University and the University of California, Berkeley noted this “drift,” or gradual erosion of the ability to perform tasks like identifying prime numbers. Their theories as to why it’s happening include reduced ability to follow chain-of-thought (or, roughly, step-by-step) instructions.
In July, two MIT economics graduate students conducted a study of 453 professionals. They found that people who used ChatGPT for writing tasks – such as producing press releases, short reports, or analysis plans – took 40% less time to finish their tasks than a control group that was not encouraged to use the generative AI. These professionals were then scored by their peers. On average, they received grades 18% higher than those in the control group (who did not use AI). This provides some qualitative data on the effect ChatGPT could have on white-collar work.
“Participants with weaker skills benefited the most from ChatGPT, which carries policy implications for efforts to reduce productivity inequality through AI,” wrote the authors of the study, Shakked Noy and Whitney Zhang.
Overall, Noy and Zhang maintained that widespread use of ChatGPT for writing tasks could have both positive and negative impacts in the workplace and the labor market.
Meanwhile, AI announcements that go viral can be good or bad news for investors. Microsoft’s stock price rose after the announcement of GPT-4, while Google’s stock dropped when Bard performed badly in a demonstration.
OpenAI saw visitor numbers to the ChatGPT website drop for the first time since its release in November 2022 this June. According to Similarweb , worldwide unique visitors dropped 5.7% from May to June. Global desktop and mobile web traffic dropped 9.7%. ChatGPT still receives more worldwide visitors than Microsoft’s in-house AI at Bing.com. The shine may have worn off chat AI, although it’s too early to tell whether the business world will also start to cool on this trendy technology.
What’s next for OpenAI?
For now, OpenAI says it isn’t training GPT-5, the likely successor to today’s model. In a talk at MIT reported on by The Verge , OpenAI CEO Sam Altman pushed back against the open letter – an earlier draft of which had stated that a 5th generation was on the way; primarily, he criticized the letter’s lack of technical specificity.
“We are doing other things on top of GPT-4 that I think have all sorts of safety issues that are important to address and were totally left out of the letter,” Altman said.
He said no one should expect to see a GPT-5 rollout “for some time.”
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