Starting and running a winning business requires the business owner to always be equipped with the correct business knowledge. The bombardment of advice for business owners boils down to having a solid business plan, get that first sale and while you are selling build your business systems to ensure an exit strategy. All good and well, but the life span generally of the business plan is very short lived and the complexity of creating business systems is just too much for most.
We have already determined on this blog that people buy WHY you do what you do and it is therefore imperative to ensure that your organisation’s WHY is correct. I have personally experienced the change in a business when this is achieved. Employees are inspired to truly give their “all” to the business and the impact this has on the customers are measurable. In addition to this the business owner has to continually align each offering with the target customers and ensure the value proposition still provides the business’s competitive edge. This is described through the business model canvas of Alex Osterwalder. One of the nine building blocks of the canvas is to identify the key business activities to deliver on the identified value proposition(s).
Once these key activities have been identified (client facing and non-client facing activities) the business owner must take the value add of each activity in consideration. With this instrument the business owner will be equipped to align the business strategically with the customer insight. The third and final element for the business owner to strategically run a winning business will be to structure the key activities in a manner that will ensure an effective information flow throughout the business as well as the knowledge to ensure a trustworthy relationship in hand-offs within the business. The True North Business Design names this the extended value chain which we consider to be the foundation for all further design efforts.