Business plans are for dreamers. You know how dreams are, right? Anything is possible, no need for logic, dots flying in space without any connections. Although I love dreaming about creating the next big thing I have realized that 'doing' and not 'dreaming' will get me there. No, you don't a business plan. Why? I'll tell you why. Because they take too long to prepare and are not integrated.
If you are like me who likes to start building companies from scratch, you know the value of time and money. To analyze any new idea I need tools that can quickly show me its potential without wasting too much time and money researching. I also have to be absolutely sure that I have covered all the bases and know exactly how each one will impact the other during my analysis stage. Yes, a bit of a control freak when it comes to business!
The lack of integration in a business plan doesn't allow me that. If I cannot make a wise decision to move forward or not, then a business plan is of no use. This is especially true if you are an IT entrepreneur. With technology changing and evolving at speed of light, you really don’t have months to decide if you should go ahead with a project or see someone else execute your idea. At the same time, the same technology is available to everyone and numerous business models can be created.
In my quest for a better tool, I came across the concept of 'Business Model Generation'. Holy Cow! It is what every entrepreneur should study religiously. No need to 'Google it' and spend hours researching because I have already done that. Remember what I said earlier, time is money and you need to take advantage of learning from the hours and hours of research that I have already put in.
Business model generation helps you to constantly think about how to create value and build new businesses, or how to improve or transform your organization. It helps to find innovative ways of doing business to replace old, outdated ones. If you want to position yourself within an intensely competitive marketplace or want to lead the redesign of your organization then you need to start practicing business model generation. This is even more important if your business is located in emerging cities of India like Nagpur. Your competition in metros already has a leg-up on you by having access to better manpower, infrastructure, networking events and capital. Feel the heat yet?
Unlike big corporations who set aside huge chunks of money for research, marketing and launch we are at the mercy of our brains to innovate. That's what I want to focus on here - disruptive innovation. I am talking about innovation that give your competitor the chills, makes them want to run and hide because they cannot handle what's coming towards them. The kind of innovation that shakes up the industry players and shows cracks all over their business plans.
Sure you can imitate others but show me one imitator who has lasted the test of time. See, when you imitate you are just imitating the tip of the iceberg and not the gigantic mountain that's beneath. Sooner or later you'll crash and come crumbling down. Innovation is harder, but lasts longer. You decide.
Who are you going to be? A dreamer or a doer?
In this series, I plan to go over 9 pillars on which your business should stand. In each section we will go over questions you need to answer and work on. The end result will be an integrated business model that you can stick on a wall in front of you or take it to your business partner or investors.
Here's the blueprint:
- Customer Segments
- Value Proposition
- Customer Relationships
- Revenue Streams
- Key Resources
- Key Activities
- Key Partnerships
- Cost Structure
Watch out for this space for upcoming articles on the 9 pillars. Download and print the business model template for your project here.
About The Author:
Akhil Dua is an IT entrepreneur in Nagpur working on launching MarriageWise; a safe online portal for people looking to remarry. Visit his blog.
He studied at Florida International University, Miami and worked as a Manager for Deloitte Consulting. He quit his consulting job to start a health food business before returning to India. He loves the Indian outdoors and is currently planning his annual white water rafting trip to Rishikesh. You can contact him at email@example.com
Akhil's Twitter ID: http://twitter.com/duaakhil
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