Business strategy always comes first, before the business plan, in my book at least. Marketing, Sales, Delivery and Finance strategies are all components of that business strategy, but follow on from it. The business plan consists of each of those strategies, to the extent we’ve developed them. It doesn’t have numbers in it until we can explain the how, who, why, what, how much, developed in the strategies.
Building that business strategy needs to be a process, just like most of the other stuff we do. The process helps us start from a place we haven’t figured out yet, and end up in another we haven’t decided yet. And my process begins with a road map. It starts where we are now and passes a number of milestones each of which points to the next. As we progress through the milestones we can adjust our course, changing the plan as the facts change.
The first milestone is the road map itself. Here’s what it looks like before we’ve done any work
Define a value proposition which sits in clear blue water. Which benefit will we offer to which end users and partners. In this way we’ll position our new business. We’ll have our elevator pitch, our keywords and a personality.
Define our resources – what do we have available to support the business.
Define our delivery model – processes and resources we’ll use to deliver value to the people who’ll be paying us money. With this we’ll be able to explain how we’ll deliver the value proposition.
Define our customers – who will we deliver to and how will the value reach which end user customers.
Define our marketing strategy – how will our customers know about our value proposition? What will be our process for attracting their attention, engaging their interest and establishing their adoption of our solution.
Define our sales process – prospecting, pitching, closing, contracts, customer service, account development.
Define our resource delta – what do we need that we don’t have.
Build our business model – here’s where the numbers start – market size, value and prices, volumes, costs, cash flow, investment required.
As of today we don’t have any of this detail, so, whilst we can explain the technology and what we think is our market, we don’t have a business strategy yet.
But we do have our road map.
Once we’ve filled in some detail of our own there’ll be a white paper covering this topic and we’ll publish it in our Downloads area. In the meantime you’ll find lots of interesting papers there about business planning and process – all free (for the moment).
Hopefully you’ll come back to find out the rest of our story as it develops – a living case study of building a business from scratch.
And even more hopefully you’ll take a few minutes to comment, or add your own thoughts. We can all use some additional perspective when working out our business strategy.
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June 24th, 2010 – Posted in Building our business Case Study | Edit | Add a Comment Building our business Case Study. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site. Edit this entry. –>