Most of the entrepreneurs I have worked with over the years are enthusiastic, hard-working individuals. The nuts and bolts required to bring a dream into reality can be difficult to identify for some, however, as they are more focused on the big picture and the overall vision.
Of course, this personality type is essential for the formation of a successful business. The cool thing is there a place for everyone inside the cloud of the organizational structure. Part of the reason I love what I do is that I get to help people identify their strengths and weaknesses, and then develop an action plan for personal/professional growth.
Having a dream is a requirement, but without a detailed plan in place it will be difficult if not impossible to gain access to the requisite funds. And, as I wrote in a previous article, there is nothing more emblematic of a strong business plan than a pyramid.
The idea was inspired by Alex Osterwalder of Strategyzer.com, who wrote entrepreneurs should think of a successful business model like a canvas, with three building blocks that include nine different components. Osterwalder has great ideas, however, a business model is not like a Monet or a Seurat; instead it should lean toward the architectural side of the artistic spectrum.
If Desirability and Viability are the foundations, Feasibility is like the roof or the capstone. It is one of the most important elements of a business plan—after all, what’s the point of a house if it won’t keep you dry in a rainstorm?
This essentially refers to intellectual property in the case of a service-oriented business, human capital and/or the cost of goods sold. As described on Strategyzer.com, this element of the business model canvas is what allows a company or individual to create a product or provide a service. In the absence of a strategy for tapping into the necessary resources, there is no way for a business or entrepreneur to deliver on the Value Proposition.
Though it is somewhat obvious, a marketing plan or focus on relationship-building is irrelevant without the resources that are necessary for the type of business you are building. This is contrary to what is written on Strategyzer.com. Just think of Amazon or Wayfair, where would they be without the manufacturers, UPS or FedEx?
Building something, of course, requires capital-intensive production facilities. A restaurant, brewery or surfboard shaper needs a place to make the product, along with the necessary equipment to do so, whether that equipment is purchased or leased. An attorney or accountant may only require intellectual capital, transportation and licenses.
As the name implies, these are the activities the owner, employees and/or entrepreneur need to perform to make a business model work. It varies by the industry and Value Proposition. A drug maker may need to protect essential patents. A chip designer may need to identify/retain top talent. A builder may need to continuously search for vacant land and obtain permits. A consultant may need to find new clients and help them evaluate their balance sheet.
A clothing manufacture may need to manufacture—you get the idea.
This is the network of suppliers and partners that make a business model work. Companies establish relationships with partners for a variety of reasons, whether the goal is optimizing the supply chain, streamlining the business model, reducing risk or tapping into necessary resources. There are four main types of partnerships:
· Strategic alliances between non-competitors
· Coopetition: working with a competitor for mutual benefit
· Joint ventures
· Relationships with essential suppliers
A brewery needs hops and grain to make its products. Similarly, builders need timber; many of us may remember how prices for this essential product skyrocketed during the pandemic. Along the same lines, the necessary microchips for auto production were difficult to obtain during the pandemic, causing the price of new and used cars to increase significantly.
Google is currently facing scrutiny for paying Apple to be the default search provider on its phones. Domino’s is working with Uber on deliveries. Product placements on TV and in movies are rampant; the number of additional examples is as unlimited as the points of color that Seurat used to create a cohesive image.
For assistance determining whether you have a feasible business idea or help climbing the pyramid of personal/professional growth, reach out to me at [email protected], or on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/hollysegur/.
Holly Segur is a 30-year veteran of the corporate world with experience navigating C-suite reporting. A retired senior executive from a Fortune 300 company, Holly positions her clients to attain the best possible work/life balance ‘sway' and understand the emotional choices required to ‘have it all.’ By helping her clients develop short- and long-term strategies for their personal and professional lives, Holly helps her clients achieve their goals with relationships, health and passions intact.
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