Writing a business case study about your products or services is an effective way to build credibility among potential customers. While the goal is to generate more interest in your offerings and make more sales, the approach is an indirect way to highlight the benefits you provide.
Writing a Business Case Study Using the Indirect Approach
When you use a case study to promote your product or service, it’s not a ‘hard sell’ that directly explains the benefits you offer. Instead you show the reader how you solved a problem or met the needs of a company or person. This will enable the prospect to imagine how your solution could work for them.
The Outline for Writing a Business Case Study
A simple yet effective outline for a case study includes the:
- Background and introduction of the problem
- Solution – how it was chosen and implemented
- Results – how the situation has improved.
Writing the Introduction
In the background to the case study, you explain the customer’s problem. It’s best to show how the issue was hurting their organisation. Emphasize the pain and frustration caused by the problem, but don’t exaggerate.
For example, we wrote a business case study for an automation equipment provider that helped a dairy products manufacturer reduce waste when packaging yogurt. At the beginning of the case study we explained how they were wasting 3,000 kilos of yogurt each year because their automation equipment couldn’t accurately fill the yogurt containers.
When writing your business case study, you might show how your client tried another product or service that didn’t help them. It’s all right to mention this but it’s best not to give the name of the competitor. Criticizing your competitors by name in your case study can be counterproductive. Also, it can result in legal problems if the competitor feels you haven’t covered the case accurately. Remember to quote management and staff from the company that you have helped . Direct quotes from clients show that your case study is genuine. It also helps the readers, who may be facing similar problems, relate to the situation.
Writing Your Case Study Solution Section
When writing your business case study solution section you want to show how your product or service solved the problem – you explain the rationale for choosing a particular solution, and then how the solution was implemented. This can start at the very beginning when your company first got involved. You can show how you took the time to fully understand the client’s challenge and the efforts made to complete the project successfully.
For example, when writing a business case study about an IT company that develops software for the telecommunications industry we used a story from their experience. When developing and testing the software in Australia, they had to communicate with partners around the globe. This meant they had to spend many late nights working to get the job done. We mentioned these extraordinary efforts in the case study to show the dedication of the company’s personnel.
When writing a business case study it’s good to include these human elements, especially if you’re selling a complex service. This will take time. You’ll need to research and interview the people who were involved in implementing the solution.
Writing Your Case Study Results Section
The results section of your case study is where you tell the readers what the company achieved. Try to be as specific as possible. When writing the yogurt manufacturing case study mentioned earlier, we included details on what the new automation equipment achieved. It reduced spillage by 97 per cent – from 3000 kilos per year to 90 kilos per year.
It’s not always easy to get this amount of detail when writing a business case study. Some companies won’t have that type of information to give. Others are reluctant to give away their trade secrets. In these situations you might want to write a business case study without specifying the company. For instance, in the case study mentioned we didn’t name the customer but referred to them as “a major Australian manufacturer of dairy products”. Although not as effective for creating credibility, it fulfilled the customer’s desire to remain anonymous.