Business by Design

Tue April 6

The role of design in our culture has become increasingly important as our collective society deals with resource constraints. Every functional object in our lives is a product of design and a better designed product has more meaning to us. While a business is not seen in the same light as an object, it ultimately carries the same level of importance in our lives as the products we use on a day-to-day basis.

The path to becoming a business starts with the brilliant idea of an entrepreneur, in the same way that a product is brought to life by a designer. Products are designed to form solutions and entrepreneurs solve society’s pain points by creating businesses. In this light, it becomes apparent that there are many parallels between a designer and an entrepreneur.

Can we think of the building of a business from a design perspective?

A business has all of the properties of something designable. With inputs (people, capital, time and materials) being used to produce outputs (economic gain, change, new paradigms and emotions), is it a stretch to consider a business designable?

Typically, the design details for how a business should look are contained in a business plan. Nowadays, however, the business plan has essentially become the cliché document required to appease potential financiers into capitalizing the business. Business plans typically become gargantuan documents filled with every conceivable detail imaginable to answer every conceivable question. What this essentially spells is complexity.

What about a return to simplicity?

The beauty of well-designed objects lies in their simplicity and their pureness in form and function. Imagine if a business plan could return to its simplest form, reducing all of the fluff and clutter to become what it was meant to be, the blueprint of the business.

Thinking of a business plan in terms of art, architecture and design breathes life, energy and form into an idea. These are the exact type of qualities that can get you noticed and financed, which is exactly the point in the first place.

Entrepreneurs around the world are chomping at the bit with great ideas to alleviate society’s pain, and solve problems of every size. However, the global credit crisis has caused capital to dry up and those holding the money to keep their cash in the bank. With all that competition for capital, an outstanding business plan is what it takes to bring the investors to your kitchen table.

It takes time. It takes patience. But, it’s worth it. Does your business plan have what it takes?

Love, Lumos.

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