THE TOP THREE RESOURCES TO START BUILDING A SOLID BUSINESS MODEL.
🌪 The need
You've got an idea. Maybe a new project. You want/need to make it happen. What now?
What ingredients do you need to make it happen? How much money? What kind of resources?
Do you really understand what problem you are trying to solve? Who are the recipients of the solution?
How do you build the project in a way that won't crumble under its complexity in a few weeks from today? What challenges should you expect from a business, managerial, industrial or regulatory perspective?
THAT'S WHY YOU NEED TO WORK ON A BUSINESS MODEL. IT'S THE BEST PROCESS YOU CAN PICK TO ASK THE RIGHT QUESTIONS, INCLUDING THE CHALLENGING ONES, AND HELP YOU COLLECT DATA TO BRING CLARITY TO YOUR WORK.
Here below I gathered the best resources I know about the topic.
🍵 Useful resources
The most popular tool is the Business Model Canvas. It's probably also the most comprehensive to get the wheels moving. It asks the right questions, and it includes all the core components.
It's not intuitive in any way though. You do need guidance to understand how to work with it and what relationships are there between the different components on the table. You can start from here. There's also this other unofficial companion here.
It's much easier to start with another tool that Strategyzer offers, the Value Proposition Canvas. It's not nearly as comprehensive, but it's a much better start if you need to articulate what are you offering, who is your audience and why you think that your idea is viable.
My favorite framework is actually the V2MOM framework, developed by Salesforce's founder Marc Benioff. Here he explains it in his own words. This other article with a great title ("the ugly a** acronym your growth business really needs") explains also why is it so useful.
The framework focuses on articulating a Vision and the Values that will guide the project, and then asks you to drill down on the Methods, Obstacles and Measures you will have to consider in order to succeed.
This tool developed by SWOT helps you bring the model down to a structured process, by asking the right questions. This one, developed by Salesforce on Miro, is much more in-depth. It could be because Miro is a great tool to jot down this kind of content.
The best book I know about the topic is still the Lean Startup, by Eric Ries. I know that it focuses on entrepreneurship and specifically on technological entrepreneurship, but the core concepts are so useful and so clear that I use them also when I work with governmental offices or social initiatives. Here are some of the main ideas.
It probably won't provide you with what you need to build the financial side of your project, but if you really take the time to understand the ideas in the book, you will also learn to ask a lot of the right questions by yourself.
Also, this Harvard Business Review article includes at the bottom a table with some definitions of business models. It can be a good place to fuel your ideation stage.
The U.S Small Business Administration actually provide a not-so-bad guide to get started. You might want to take a look at it.
📌 More clever stuff
A few more people/accounts I recommend following:
John Cutler (The Beautiful Mess) is a senior product manager, and has great insights on work processes. It will focus much more on the operational sides of managing a process. Worth following it for the organizational methods geeks.
Scott Galloway is an authority in marketing, but he's got one of the sharpest business minds I know. "No Mercy / No Malice" is his newsletter, where he shares his insights on interesting data pieces.
Noah Kagan is the founder of Appsumo, and is one of the most upbeat, smart businessman in the public sphere. His Youtube videos are both fun and very informative.
By the way, if you decide to dive into the business models rabbit hole, you can take a look at this collection of canvases for any business need or read this article about what does the business model of an entrepreneur look like.
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