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Development Status

Adapted from content excerpted from the American Express® OPEN Small Business Network


Bella perfected her biscotti recipe during her time at the Culinary Institute and in Rome. She must tell readers of her business plan, her development status and then outline a schedule for what else needs to be done. Which paragraph do you think would be best for Bella to use as her opening to an outline-style schedule?

Choose one of the following:

Choice A:

The recipe for Bella's multi-flavor biscotti is currently in home-recipe form. This sort of recipe is appropriate for small batches of biscotti and must be modified for commercial use before production can begin. City Center Confections (CCC) has the capacity to modify Bella's recipe and create a commercial-scale recipe as soon as financing is secured. This modification for a product such as biscotti will take several weeks. Bella will apply for a patent once the recipe is developed. A detailed schedule of the recipe's modification is listed below (schedule not shown).

Choice B:

The biscotti for Bella's Biscotti will be made into a commercial recipe before the company launches its products. Look for details in production process.

Choice C:

The recipe for Bella's multi-flavor biscotti is currently in home-recipe form. This sort of recipe is appropriate for small batches of biscotti and must be modified for commercial use before production can begin. City Center Confections (CCC) has the capacity to modify the recipe and will create a recipe as soon as financing is secured. CCC uses a process called commercialization, created by the company's founder, Amy Saba. The process takes approximately two weeks, and is based on a gradual increase of ingredients to determine the point at which the recipe can no longer be expanded. After the upper limit of the recipe's expansion capacity has been determined, it is tested in the CCC kitchens against the home recipe. Each commercial recipe is tried numerous times before it is submitted to the client for testing. After two weeks of testing at CCC, Bella Lettini will be brought in to test the product. Her changes will then be incorporated into the recipe and a second commercial recipe will be created. Two more series of tests are planned before Ms. Lettini signs off on the product. Bella will apply for a patent once the commercial recipe is developed. A detailed schedule of the recipe's modification is listed below (schedule not shown).

You Chose A

This introductory paragraph is a good choice because it lets the reader know where the product currently stands and what needs to be done to make it ready for market. Details of how the modification will take place are not essential. A timeline does not need to be discussed in the introductory paragraph because a detailed outline will follow.

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You Chose B

This description is not enough. Readers of your plan want to have the status of your product or service spelled out to see evidence that you have a plan for completing production. It is also important to talk about patents, trademarks and other paperwork crucial to the successful production of your product or service. If this was your choice for Bella, try using the Development Outline Worksheet. It will prompt you for information about the status of your product or service.

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You Chose C

This description is too detailed. Some of the information about the process should be moved to the production outline that will follow most introductory paragraphs. Readers want to know generally what still needs to be done on your product or service. The details of how it will be completed are better saved for your outline where readers who want details can seek them out. If you chose this sample, look at the example in this section and use the worksheet to determine what should be contained in your introductory paragraph.

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