Starting a new business can be one of the most daunting, yet creatively satisfying experiences for an entrepreneur. Before launching your business it is important to have a clear understanding about your business model.
PHASE 1: BUILDING THE IDEA
When developing the idea for your business there are several key questions you need to ask:
1) What are the key values of your business
What values will best represent your business?
What is your brand identity?
2) What is your USP?
Develop a clear understanding about how your product/service will be different from the competition.
3) What problem are you solving?
Your product/service should be solving a specific problem for your target audience.
4) Who is your target customer?
In order to gain momentum when launching your new business, you should be able to answer the following questions about your target customer:
What age is your customer?
What interests does your customer have?
What other brands does your customer invest in?
What gender are you targeting?
What are the demographics of your customer?
TOOLKIT: MIND MAPPING
Mind-mapping is a free flowing process for thinking through the bigger picture of your business.
Build your mind-map by starting with your core business idea in the centre of a large piece of paper, and then add branches that explore and connect various ideas.
PHASE 2: CREATE A BUSINESS PLAN
Once you have developed a clear understanding about your business idea, then you must focus on building a solid business plan.
Here are the key points you must include in your business plan:
What is the key asset that your customers will pay you for?
What are the risks involved with creating the business?
What is the cost of setting up the business?
What is your advantage that will entice customers?
What market research suggests that your product/service is fulfilling a customer need?
How will you build relationships with your customers?
What are the behaviours and interests of your customers?
Who are your main competitors?
What are the key industry trends that could impact your business in both the short and long-term?
How could you evolve the business?
How will you market to your customers?
How will customers pay for your service?
What are the key skills you need in your team to help scale the business?
TOOLKIT: BUSINESS MODEL CANVAS
The business model canvas is a one-page business plan that summarises all of the key points above.
PHASE 3: MARKET RESEARCH
Step 1: Competitor analysis
Now that you are clear on the service that you are offering your customers, it is very important to develop an understanding about both your competition and the market.
Look at what others in the market are offering and what you think they could be doing better.
When researching the competition it is important to always consider the perspective of the consumer rather than your own.
The key points to consider when analysing your competition are:
What is there product/service?
What is their price point?
Where are they based?
Where do they sell their product?
What is their digital presence?
How long have they existed?
Do they have a strong brand?
Are they reliant on one product?
Arjun Sondhi is the director of digital & brand at BMC Global Services