Running a business

Running a Business: Strategic thinking

There are many tools and techniques for strategic thinking about a business: Porter's 5 forces, 7 S, etc. Just Google them.


But the best strategic thinking methods are simple:


- Who are your best customers? Why do they buy from you? Have you ever met them personally?

- Who are the best competitors? What are they doing that you aren’t? What do they have that you don't?

- What is the state of the industry? Has it reached a plateau or is more growth possible? Where? How?

- When was the last time you used your product/service? How do you thing they stack up against the competition? What could be better? Can you save on production without compromising on quality?

- How is the work around in office? Have you walked around and talked to people? How often do you do this?

- What do see see when you look at the key performance measures on the wall, on a chart? Scope for improvement? Job well done?

- And, when was the last time you looked at your business plan? How does it stack up against reality?


The 80:20 rule of the entrepreneur says that you should spend most of your time on the 20% of your activities/customers/products that carry 80% of your opportunity.


Business Model Canvas: How to think about your business on one page only

Initially proposed by Alexander Osterwalder, the Business Model Canvas It is a visual chart with elements describing a firm's or product's value proposition, infrastructure, customers, and finances.


1. Infrastructure: Key activities, key resources, partner network

2. Value proposition: Tangible, intangible

3. Customers: Customer segments, mass market/niche market, diversification, Multi-sided platform / market, channels, customer relationships (dedicated, self-service, etc), customer communities, customer co-creation

4. Finances: Cost structure (fixed cost, variable cost), type of business structure (cost driven, value driven), economy of scale and scope, revenue streams (asset sale, usage fee, subscription fees, lending/leasing/renting, licensing, brokerage fees, advertising, etc).


Thank you for reading.
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