Let's face it:
most of the Entrepreuners, Business Owners and CEOs have no idea why their products and services sell.
Better: they have no "strategic idea" why their products and services sell.
Yes, they know that if they bring certain products and services to certain clients, these clients will buy them. But they do not know "why" this happens.
This is not a problem if you are content of your results and your horizon is shorter then the average disruption period in your industry.(1) But it is a sure roadblock if you aim at a repeatible, profitable and scalable business.
This emerges with all its evidence when you are bringing a new product or service on the market, or the market is - as said - being disrupted by something or someone changing the fundamentals of the game.
If you don't have a "strategic idea" about why your business sells, it is very rare (2) that you can:
Without understanding "why" your customers buy from you all the above it's hard, and even if you are a lucky boy, your business will be much less than it could be.
You will miss opportunities, overlook severe risks, spend a lot of time without seeing a real growth, and wasting money in commercial activities that do not shift the needle of your business performance.
You see this happening everyday, even to giant organizations with more than a 100 years of experience (3)
Can you change this?
Let's start from "should you change this?".
If your horizon is shorter than the average disruption period: do nothing. Enjoy your benefit and be ready to move on. (4)
If instead you are the Business Owner or the Entrepreuner, you may be interested to know that there is a way to inject a bit of strategic understanding into your business model, that don't cost a fortune and can make you live better. (5)
I call it the "Roadmap to Market" and it is a coaching program that helps you dive into the real "Why's?" of your business and emerge with a clearer agenda on where to spend your time and money.
How it works, it's a bit different than classic marketing efforts and more close to a full time Lean Startup accelerator.
it is made of 4 key steps:
Model, Market, Brand and Funnel.
I use a modified version of Osterwalder's Business Model Canavas, that is better at visualizing the organizational elements and human factors of a business. you can find it explained in this Article: "the Bleu Canvas", that I wrote in 2015 and since then has been read by more than 3000 persons and adopted by Lean startups coachers as far as Australia.
I also use another tool that you can find into the Blue Ocean Strategy Methodology, that helps when you have to define the differentiating traits of your offer (whether it is an MVP - Minum Viable Product, an NPI - New Product Introduction program, or and old faithfull product you want to refresh ). It is the Product Profile, and here I send a caveat about using it: "to look at offer's results and not at offer's features".
I spent a life in General Electric creating market models, capable to predict demand on the medium term period ( "on the long run, we are all dead" - Keynes ) . I have assembled a few best-practices about top-down and bottom-up demand forecasting, that proved their effectivenes in various context.
Connecting the demand projections with the business model, helps a lot to define the target market share, after the competition is weighted in.
Most of these models are based on classic marketing theories. The value added here is about the experience in using them. I have used to help several industrial business owners, with some good result:
When you have a clearer visibility you can adress your effort better. The contrary also holds true.(6)
Here I issue a sign of warning:
In my coaching methodology, Branding is not about having a nice picture, capable to elicit emotions and push client's buying behavior. Here it is about grabbing a market share and hold it with two hands so nobody can steal it from you.
You can get a better understanding of what this means in terms of choosing the right image, color, message, unique selling proposition... in the classic books of Positioning from Trout, or you can tease your memory with this simplified refresher I wrote about it:
The sure thing is that your Communication Marketing team will, after this, have much better guidelines and material ( keywords, target's definition, data and information...) to build effective promotion and advertising campains... or at least to shot not its ads in the dark.
It can be on line or off-line. It may involve only you or orchestrate the actions of agents and third parties. But when it comes to selling technology, it cannot overlook Jeffry Moore model described in "Crossing the Chasm".
The only problem with this model is that the details are written on a 250 pages book, that could have used easily twice the pages to explain all its findings into detail.
It took me a few weeks to summarize it in a manageable tool, using my experience to select those pieces that make sense in the context of "Engineering to Order" kind of business.
Here a sample you may find "actionable", when dealing with internal communication.
For all others, and expecially those business that can rely on on-line sales funnels, I have since few years collected the lesson learned into a framework that I call " the sales Carousel", that mixes classic direct marketing and internet portals models. Here a brief description:
while if you want to go into the details of opening a new market, you may read this article I published some time ago:
The best part of this coaching program is that it does not take a lot of time to complete it.
In its basic format it's just 8 days. And it is face to face: me and you, the Entrepreneur.
Most of my Clients complete it in a couple of months, using 1 day per week.
If you want to know more about the building blocks of the Roadmap to Market you can get them on this page of my website, where you find also an idea about pricing and hints about how to get it financed.
Or you can contact me directly:
To talk about this, contact me at the numbers below.
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