I read a very interesting post on one of the blogs of a fellow blogger I follow regularly, albeit she discusses the tech world as her main topic. On this particular post she spoke about the KNOWLEDGE OF THE WORLD, which fundamentally is actually available to all of us. You just really need to find a way to acquire it for yourself, with the most common way of doing so being that of paying for the services of someone who has some expertise in that particular field or market you seek some knowledge in.
Right, now because of this ability to essentially access the knowledge of the world, anyone who has some capital in their hands can pretty much start a business in any niche or market, so in an increasingly competitive business environment the old way just doesn’t cut it anymore if you’re looking for the kind of success which has some backers working with you. The business plan for example in its traditional form is widely known to be growing increasingly obsolete, simply because those of us who are in the know about how things happen at ground-level know that it’s usually just a formality.
The true business plan takes shape as you’re going along trying to make things happen with your venture, so the new way of doing things is with the use of a business model instead of a business plan. But how do you go about creating a business model though?
The Business Model Template
So in creating your business model you need to keep in mind that pretty much everything you’re going to fill it up with is temporary to a certain extent. It could very well be permanent, but it must be dynamic – you must be willing to change it as the need to do so arises.
Identifying the market gap
This is perhaps the most important factor of creating your business model, because filling the identified gap is what will bring in the money. You need to establish exactly who your customers are and be explicit about the need they have and how you’re going to provide for that need. Say, you live in a suburban area with a relatively large elderly population which lacks proper care facilities. It is here that elder care business opportunities could be very practical. The theory is similarly applicable to those businesses that deliver a means to an end in a given location or demographic region.
Route to market
Determine your route to market as a practical exercise to establish exactly how you’re going to deliver the solution to your identified customer. You need to be clear about it because sometimes the processes involved with the delivery process can eat into the bottom line and make for some hidden costs which may be too late to try and plan for once the operation is in full-flight. Are your buyers going to download something after they complete the purchase, for example, in which case there are very little if any additional costs? Will you need to pay for the physical delivery of some goods? Will you have to give up some of your time?
Building and testing your solution
In the case that you can get orders for your solution before you even build it, that’s exactly what you should do. Otherwise get cracking, keeping the customer in mind and what the customer needs or wants from you as the solution you’re going to be offering. Sure, it might be something new you’d be introducing to the market, but it still needs to be tested in the market with regards to who is actually willing to buy it based on their need or desire to have it.
Identifying key supplier relationships and raw materials sources
What exactly do you need to put together to make up the solution you’ll be offering to your customers? Identifying key supplier relationships and the required raw materials is as simple as completing some simulations in which you run through the whole process of producing the solution and then getting it to the customer, taking note of what you need and how much it all costs.
You can then look for ways to do everything more efficiently, but take note of what it would take on average, like how much it costs and how much time you’d perhaps need to invest as a standard. For instance, if you’re planning to start a restaurant business, you would need to build a relationship with reliable cash and carry wholesalers, Wanis (or a similar company), as you would need fresh produce and ingredients at affordable prices.
Pivoting or finalising your operational model
Finally, either the solution you’re presenting to the identified customer sells or it doesn’t. If it sells, congratulations, you can now turn your attention to reaching more buyers or turning your existing customers into repeat-buyers. If it doesn’t, then you need to pivot and make sure to refine the offering until it starts selling.