Everything! Joking aside, consider your business model.
A business model describes the way you ‘do business’. Sometimes, business models are simplified and known by the way they produce revenue. However, ‘doing business’ is not only about the revenue model. It is much broader than this.
You have to keep a focus on all areas, but importantly you do not have to do them all. At start up or the early stages, you will wear most of the hats albeit, sales, marketing, operations, finance, leader, HR etc, but look to identify what you don’t have to do yourself, what you dislike doing and what you are not really good at. These will be the first things to delegate or outsource.
A really good place to start is a one page plan. I use a few such one page planning templates with my clients, but I do recommend the Business Model Canvas.
As a snapshot, the Business Model Canvas enables you to consider your value proposition and how other areas of your business impact this. The right hand side encourages you to consider your customer segments, your channels to market and your customer relationships. Then there is consideration of the finances, looking at your revenue streams and cost structure. Then on the left hand side is all those ‘key’ matters, such as your key partners, key resources and key activities.
Another good one page document is a SWOT analysis, looking at your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. This is a good tool for involving others and taking a team or an external view of your business.
- What advantages do you have or what do you do better than anyone else?
- What do people in your market see as your strengths?
- What factors mean that you “get the sale”?
- What could you improve?
- Are there areas you should avoid?
- What are people in your market likely to see as weaknesses?
- What factors lose you sales?
- Where are good opportunities for you?
- What are the interesting trends you can maximise?
- What obstacles do you face?
- What is your competition doing that you should be worried about?
- Is changing technology threatening your position?
- Are political or environmental decisions likely to impact your business
- Could any of your weaknesses seriously threaten your business?
Once you have completed the SWOT analysis, then you should consider how this knowledge can be USED:
- How can we Use each Strength?
- How can we Stop each Weakness?
- How can we Exploit each Opportunity?
- How can we Defend against each Threat?
Related to my initial point, a consideration is having a good team around you to ensure you don’t have to do everything or even worry about it too much. Trust, delegate, manage others to do your business better than you.
Surround yourself with a good team, made up of those you employ, those you subcontract and those that support your supply chain.
For some further thoughts, read my Blog 12 considerations when building your successful business by clicking here