19 Jan Optimizing Business Models and Business Plans
Your business model and plan are centrally important to your success. They are not only your plan for delivering your solution and for making a profit, your business model can also be a key differentiator in ensuring your business growth.
For example, for many years while Google was building its business, it was successfully providing the search solution but was struggling to generate revenue. After it changed its business plan to include AdWords, its advertising business model, then the business became a financial success as well.
Leverage insights from your business model and plan as they help you to:
- Gain clarity on how your business will succeed. Your business model and plan clearly convey: your unique value proposition; how you will find, retain and grow your customers; how your business will solve your customer’s problem; and your revenue streams.
- Grow your customer engagement. By analyzing the value your business will be providing, and how you will be serving your customers, your business model helps ensure you overcome one of the greatest challenges for startups: the product/market fit.
- Reduce your business risk. By including a SWOT analysis, your business plan features your Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats, so you can build upon the positive attributes and proactively anticipate the risks and prepare to successfully overcome them.
- Gain your marketing roadmap. With your business plan providing your vision for your business, and the milestones along the way, you will always know the next step to grow successfully.
Key elements of a successful business model include:
Focus on serving your target persona
Knowing exactly who your business will serve, your target persona, helps to streamline your business model with a powerful focus on meeting their needs. The more specific you can be in addressing your ideal persona’s characteristics and challenges, the better your business will be in providing solutions to meet their needs. That way, when people experience your business, they will know and feel that everything is ideally suited for them, and that experience can grow engagement for your business.
Determine your business flow
Now that you’ve chosen your target persona, and how your business will solve their problems and challenges, the next step is to determine how your business will meet those needs. This can be a key part of your business success, as sometimes a vital distinction in a business is not only in what it provides, but in how it provides the solution. For example, taxis and Uber both provide rides, but their business model, how they provide their services, can be quite different and result in different levels of business success. Determining your business flow, how you deliver the solution within your business model, helps you to detail the business processes and activities needed for your business model to work, and the resources required to do so.
Develop your business model into a flywheel
Changing your business model from a classic business or sales funnel into a flywheel can be centrally important to the success of your business growth. You have likely heard of a business or sales funnel, in which you focus on reaching out to a large number of people at the top of the funnel and a subset of those become your customers at the bottom of the funnel. The problem with a funnel is that, while you are focusing on the top, what you gain just falls out the bottom. That explains why many businesses focus on gaining new customers, without fully appreciating their current customers. Rather than a vertical funnel, the flywheel model is a cycle, with a key focus on optimizing your current customers’ experience and how that also contributes to your business growth.
Grow your lead generation
Leads are contacts who are likely to become your future customers. In addition to detailing how your business will serve your target persona and solve their challenges, you will want to indicate how your ideal target personas discover your business, also known as lead generation and demand generation. How will your future customers find you? Fortunately, knowing your target persona helps you identify where they are (online and offline) and how you can best engage with them. Mapping your customer’s journey can be a key piece of your business model’s success.
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