How to model our business idea
We usually hear in business meetings that we must prepare the “business plan” for the quarter, semester or year. It is heard as something known and processed, but in practice and with the dynamics of current times, this guideline or north that should guide the work of sales is often forgotten because it is elaborated in a complex way.
The business plan must be simple to review and control and totally transversal not only to the sales people, but to the whole company so that there is an integral culture towards the customer.
What elements should be included in this plan?
The most important is the determination of the real added value that the final customer receives from our services or products, what is/are the critical variable(s) that differentiate me from the competition and make what I offer attractive to the consumer?
This aspect, together with eight additional parameters, makes it very simple and easy to explain to the entire company what makes us so special.
There is a methodology that we always suggest to address this issue called Canvas as a tool for planning, analysis, study and presentation of Business Model. It was developed in 2011 by Alexander Osterwalder and Yves Pigneur in the book Business Model Generation, where they analyze the different types of models and which one is best to use in each case. This philosophy simplifies the business into 4 major areas: customers, supply, infrastructure and economic viability in a box with 9 divisions.
The way to fill these tables is with an open participation of the direct members and sometimes with some indirect ones that bring balance to the answers. Each person responds to what he/she believes is consulted in each table in a personal way on a sheet that is then handed to the person who directs the process and that is added to everyone’s answers. Along with this comes a dialogue of argumentation as to why each answer is thought to have merit.
Team participation enriches the vision and the construction of the Business Plan.
It is precisely this dialogue that is most valuable of all, because there are pictures that are very simple, but others in which totally opposite positions can be determined that end up answering concerns as to why certain strategies have not worked in the past. This is because the arguments that sales people make may be unexpectedly different from anything that is promulgated as a company ideal.
The clearest example of this is in the added value that we think our services or products have, here we usually hear arguments related to higher or lower price, better service, quality, response time, etc. when in practice management has sent signals in another direction.
Model Review Period
By generating these charts from which you can get some very famous ones on the internet about netflix or airbnb for example, variables have appeared that indicate that we should have more than one canvas board because there are services or products that have different characteristics and it could have happened that we have only one message for the whole portfolio. For this reason, and according to the dynamics of market rotation in which we are, it is suggested to perform this vision at least once a year to see if our value to the customer still applies or if it should be improved or adapted in form and substance.
You must first ask yourself who are your customers? It seems simple but clearly it is not, you must segment. You need to be clear about the relationship and the channels you will use with them, what will be the added value to deliver, what activities and resources you will need to deliver this value, what alliances you should count on for this and of course how much it will cost and how you will have the income. All this is a single table or chart in a simple, self-explanatory and measurable way.