It is about figuring out what you are good at and in what area you can excel because it results from combining your skills, expertise, and passion. The overlapping of these three areas will show your unique “sweet” spot.
The third area is about what you are your passions. What you truly love doing. It could be that you are passionate about clothes design, looking after animals, or contributing to preserving the environment.
Once you’ve listed your skills, experiences and passions, think about where they overlap or complement. For example, you might discover that you are skilled in drawing, have worked in teaching, and are passionate about illustration. The combination of these three can be your sweet spot. And suppose you launch your business in the field of teaching illustration. In that case, you will have the odds in your favour.
The Specific feature calls for narrowing the scope of our goal. Try to answer questions like: What do I want to accomplish? Why is this goal important? Which resources or limits are involved? For example, compare:
Business idea: I want to teach illustration
Goal: I will launch a 3D illustration course (on and off-line) for people without any background in graphic design.
In this example, you should define the milestones to getting your course up and running. To do that, you might need to learn how to record and speak in front of a camera, develop the content, carry out marketing surveys, etc. All these become the milestones of your business journey.
Once you define your measurements and milestones, decide if your goal is realistic and Achievable. Then, knowing what it takes, ask yourself if you can accomplish this goal? What do you need to undertake to make it happen? How realistic are the goal and the actions based on other constraints, such as financial factors, for example?
And finally, every business goal has to be Time-bound; have a target date so that you have a deadline to focus on and something to work towards. This part helps prevent everyday tasks from taking priority over your longer-term goals. So, define when you want to accomplish your goal.
I will launch a 3D illustration course (on and off-line) for people without any background in graphic design. I will dedicate time to learn about video editing, and I am confident I have the time and can put in the effort needed to be up and running within 12 months.
BMC is probably the most concise, versatile and, at the same time, thorough template for business profiling. It englobes the most important pillars. And it brings all the clarity you need to get organised, get the resources required and start working on your business.
So, how do you get started? Armed with your business goal, fill in the Canvas Business Key Drivers following this sequence:
So, now you can go ahead and make it happen.
BMS does not have a dedicated section to market and competition. Instead, the analysis is indirectly included in several key drives of the Canvas, like your value offering or the channels.
So, depending on your business nature, you might consider that the BMS does not reflect all your market nuances and competition. In that case, go for SWOT analysis. It stands for identifying your Strengths, Weaknesses, and market Opportunities and Threats. It is a technique to understand better your market and competition concerning your future offering.
Getting organised might feel overwhelming and way too structured. But you want to find a balance between order and improvisation. Thus you can use resources optimally and get things done within a specific timeframe. Also, because when you are building a business, you are no longer a standalone, independent person to make decisions as you please. Even if you start as a freelancer or solopreneur, you depend on others’ availability to help you. So, all these efforts need to be coordinated. Therefore, once you have a clear picture of your business model, it is time to define a Roadmap.
A Roadmap is the sequence of the significant steps needed to take a business plan from the paper to reality. It is a high-level view of activities to focus on.
The steps in a Roadmap can also be named Phases, Stages, Epics or Milestones. The two essential rules you should follow when you draw it are high level (not too much detail – you will go into detail with other tools), and the steps should be sequential.
An action plan is one of the most down-to-earth tools to launch a business: you specify with plenty of detail what you will do to achieve your goal. And you are doing that with a solid basis, the business model you defined in the BMV and the high-level Roadmap. So, you can set actions realistically.
Use Gantt charts to represent your Action plan. And follow the path you’ve defined. You might deviate at times from the project because you run into setbacks. But with a good plan, you can reduce risk and quickly get back on track.
Many Business guides end here, as the rest of the journey represents more of running a business process than starting a business. However, I would like to give you two more tools and methods to make it a total success and sustain it for a long time.
Launching a business can deviate from a plan for two main reasons: lack of financing and resistance to change (including yours) are the most common. To counterbalance those, set up a few measures or indicators to help you assess your progress, see issues at the spot and react on time.
Both will reveal if you are on track and if you are moving closer to your final goal. Also, entering the business world is like entering the world of numbers; you need them to make decisions. Reserve the gut feeling as a second choice. So, having data will help you big time to make prompt and correct decisions.
The trick about measuring progress is to make it graphical and visual. So, display your charts so that you and your team or partner can see the current situation and the trend.
Successful business owners are always on the go, adapting to customer shifts in demand, market trends, and competitors. That does not mean that you have to lose sleep over it. That means that you have to be alert. As you measure your progress and spot customer needs, trends or changes, adapt. Launch an add on to your product or service, intensify marketing campaign, create a new service, search for new partnerships or distributors, work in increasing profitability, automate processes… Being a business owner is an exceptional experience. There is a lot at stake, but there is also a lot to win, and the journey is totally extraordinary.