The greatest businesses are based on the stronger elements than just your ‘Vision’. Bring all the below elements in your business and you’re well on your way.
1. Value Proposition: How do you empower your customer?
Value proposition is a clear statement that explains how your product solves customers’ problems or improves their situation. How you deliver specific benefits and tell the ideal customer why they should buy from you and not from your competition
2. Customer Segments: Do you a clear vision about who your customer is?
This segment needs to be watched carefully as this will drive your product. If you are not well versed with the customer segmentation then your product can fail miserably. One should take the time to decide on the customer segmentation and then target them with full throttle. Flipkart.com started with books, targeting a unique customer segment. That drove Flipkart initially and now its in full throttle making it one of the biggest e-commerce website in India.
3. Channels: How will you distribute and sell your product?
This is the next fundamental element, which is very useful for the early starters, as they have to use every possible channel to reach their potential customers. A unique example of channel utilization can be taken from mouthshut.com. They used the auto rickshaw as a channel for marketing and branding. They put up a small banner on the auto so that when people got stuck in traffic behind an auto rickshaw; there is no other place to see but the auto rickshaw’s rear end.
4. Customer Relationships: How will you maintain the customer relationship?
Customer relationship is of utmost importance as long-term association is based on the how well our customer relationship is in place. A great example is Dell India’s customer service.. Apart from providing onsite customer service, they also provide it on the go. So no matter wherever you are, Call Dell and you will find them at your doorstep in no time.
5. Cost Structure: Do a strong analysis of costs required to operate your business.
One needs to look in to the cost both fixed and variable that one spends on acquiring the customers; Detail analysis of the costing helps the company to take lot of decisions in terms of customer acquisition and management. We at WhereIsCheapest, wanted to hire people for marketing and data seeding purpose. Being a startup, we had a limited budget for our HRM activities. Hence instead of having our job postings on the heavily paid job portals we found out various (about a dozen) free classified websites where we could post our job description at absolutely no cost.
6. Key Activities: What does your startup do to be a super performer?
There are certain tasks that a firm must perform in order to succeed and work smoothly. Creating a work break down structure and mapping all activities with business goals enabling everyone to contribute and complete all the activities such that business targets can be achieved successfully and on time, is a good example.
7. Key Resources: Does your startup have a strong back bone?
Resources are the back bone of any startups and one needs to be very careful while hiring the resources as they are the key players who will help the company to grow in terms of product development, management and actually selling the product .One wrong move in hiring the right talent can put the startup in real trouble. We all know what happened when Yahoo CEO Scott Thompson faked a particular degree in his resume.
8. Key Partners: Does your startup have friends?
Collaboration and affiliation is utmost importance for the survival of any startup. Don’t hesitate to collaborate with the startups in your network as they can be of immense help and bring in intangible benefits. Just as in the Silicon Valley, at WiC we organized a startup huddle event where several startup Founder CEOs came in. Each startup evaluated the other startups product and provided feedbacks for improvements. This not only helped us find out the perspective of new users to our website but also build up a good collaborative network between other startups as well.
This is the most important element one has to look for as it deals directly how a startup can monetize and what value it brings to its share holders. One must be very careful and analytic while making the strategy for the revenue generation for the company.
In Sum, the finest businesses will continue to grow if they use above nine elements and keep them handy whenever they feel they are deviating from any business goals.
Symbiosis Centre for Information Technology
Management Intern (Simplibuy Technologies)