We are doing business in an ever-changing environment. Some entrepreneurs take the Darwinian route in building their business. They adapt to changing circumstances and evolve through difficult times. Their fittest and strongest products or services survive, take on new forms, and carry the business to the next escarpment. Making small changes, getting leaner, and giving customers what they want, can help entrepreneurs to survive in their local communities, but it would not be enough to take their business to the next, or even to a global level.
Nobody can expect from a business to grow sustainably and to succeed without a plan to make it happen. Darwinism may be a fine theory for survival, but to build a successful start-up, intelligent design works best (metaphor borrowed from Peter Thiel in his international best seller “Zero to One”).
Business design is an imperative. It is very true that every great entrepreneur is first and foremost a designer or an architect. A business is something that must be designed! Business design is a human-centred approach to innovation. As entrepreneur you decide where you want to take your business. Your starting blocks are your current position, the needs and wants of your customers, the input of stakeholders, the market, and your resources.
Step two is to start the creative process by having a vision or a dream for your future. This will motivate you to create value through research, brainstorming, consultation, reading, and studying. The result of this process will bring you to a concept business model that can position your business venture on a new road to growth. Business design thus applies the principles and practices of design or basic architecture to help organizations create new value and new forms of competitive advantage. At its core, business design is the integration of customer empathy, experience design and business strategy.
There is power in planning. Remember, a great idea that you come up with, is not a business yet! And once you have decided to explore the option, you do not arrive automatically at a business model. Not all business models work equally well, of course. Good ones share certain characteristics: They align with the company’s goals, are self-reinforcing, and are robust. The model must be tested, innovated, and provide a blueprint. Hand in hand with the business model comes the business plan, where you as “architect” design your business into the smallest detail. Some entrepreneurs think that the “traditional” business plan is outdated and a lot of unnecessary theoretical work, but as you go through the steps and the accompanied thought-processes, you plot a roadmap in your entrepreneurial DNA which will serve you for times to come. It is a step not to be skipped! Most of the time, it is also more of a learning curve if you involve a coach, business adviser, or external consultant to assist with the process, because as entrepreneur you are emotionally too involved in this new venture to be objective. It is like giving birth. From all the babies born in the world, yours are the most beautiful and has the most potential…😊
Your start-up is the largest endeavor over which you can have definite mastery. You get that mastery by rejecting the tyranny of chance. The growth of your business is not determined by a lottery ticket result. It depends on your design, planning and architectural skills. Take time and design a proper model and plan. The effort you put in, will serve you for years to come!