In the first three parts of our ‘Street Smart for a Scalable Business Model’ series, we talked about how to identify a big opportunity, develop a vision for that opportunity and then validate that vision in two steps. In the final part of this series, we will talk about putting all the pieces together and getting the business market-ready.

Let’s assume that you have gone through the process of identifying an opportunity, doing some sort of feasibility study and validating the idea with customers. Now it’s time to ensure that the resources are in place to properly execute the idea.

One commonality between most scalable business ideas is that they require a substantial amount of resources to execute properly. This is simply because to make it big you have to spend money. The first step to obtaining the necessary resources is to identify them and create a business plan.

Writing a business plan will help consolidate all of the ideas related to the business in one place, even if the plan is basic. It will also help build momentum for the entire idea, as most major investors and potential business partners will want to see a business plan before getting interested in the idea. In its most basic form, a business plan would contain:

  • Mission, Vision and Opportunity Analysis
  • Marketplace Analysis (Customers and Competition)
  • Marketing Strategy
  • Operational Strategy
  • Information about the team
  • Financial Projections (3-5 years)

Once the business plan is created, it will become apparent how much capital is required to get the business through phase one and what key employees and business partners need to be added to help execute the strategy.

Many times, people think that a business plan is something that gets written once and thrown into the bottom desk drawer. In reality, a business plan should be living and breathing with the business, and be constantly updated as circumstances change. The business plan provides the framework for decision-making as operations move forward, and instills a certain discipline into the business right from the beginning.

With a basic plan on the table, the next step is to develop objectives for the business in the first eighteen months of operations and align those with strategies. The initial business plan, which may be anywhere from a few pages to hundreds of pages, needs to become actionable, something that everyone can get involved in. Within the opportunity and marketplace analysis, objectives can be identified and encapsulated in one sentence. Then those objectives can be linked to strategies that are also one sentence.

For example:

Objective: Convert 25% of trial users to paid customers in the first year of operations

Strategy: Create an experienced business development team and a dedicated customer support team to ensure all trial users are able to maximize use of the software in the trial period.

With a business plan in place, a great team ready to go, the bank account full of money and a set of objectives ready to be realized, everything is aligned to fully realize the opportunity.

And that’s the end of our Street Smarts for a Scalable Business Model series. For more information or to get started on your own business model planning, check out the links below.

Part 4: Imagination and Creativity

+ Download a copy of the business model canvas (click here)

+ Building Blocks – PLAN – the Business Model
+ Strategy Sessions

Crowdfunding Strategy – Summary

Trends and Research – Summary

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