How to Develop a Business Plan
From Idea to Concept and Canvas — PHASE I of III
When you want to have a business of your own or start a project no matter how big or small — it always helps to clarify your goals and necessities for it. And most important of all — it creates a firm and unbendable belief in your vision for your business.
Additionally, having a solid business plan forms the trust for partners, bankers, investors almost instantly. Why? Because you have asked, researched, and answered already the most important questions for someone who wants to know what's in it for them. And the business model is the first big step.
I split this topic into three blog posts, for overview reasons. For the beginning, I added a little abstract of what you can learn in this blog post.
In the beginning, having an idea is very good — now refine it into One-Short-Sentence. Imagine that you are explaining the ideas to a 10-year-old.
Once you have your “OSS”, develop concepts of your idea. Who can use it why it should or also should not be developed or produced etc.
After having developed concepts and asked your own questions that needed answers — move on to filling the canvas of the business model.
In my years as an Entrepreneur, I have developed and helped develop countless business models.
And I must admit my first time ever concretizing the idea and the concept of my business, I felt discouraged and to a point, it was quite strange to find out that my business was not as ready as I thought it was. But at the same time, I felt also motivated because through the guiding questions I found solutions to my queries and had a stable structured business model.
And I am convinced that anybody that starts with this for the first time ever, will be in the beginning at least to a point baffled. Because it feels like a huge mountain in front of you — but step by step you get closer to that top!
Some of the pages where you can find information on how to develop a business model write weirdly formal — and that makes it out to be more complicated than it actually is- answering the question I mean. So, I decided to do my own approach based on my experiences. And that’s why, like earlier stated, I separated this topic, which most people finish in just one blog post into three phases!
This phase will contain information about the idea, the concept development, and for last filling out a canvas for business models.
Let’s begin with the first step of phase one:
Coming up with an idea is the first step of many for a business. But, understanding a problem and coming up with a solution, to people liking and wanting to use your product or service is a huge step. What do I mean by that? Well, it’s quite simple, really.
When we come up with an idea the first obstacle is to explain it to another person —but let’s say this person that you decide to explain it to is your best friend. Our friends don’t need many words to understand what we are trying to say — but not everybody is your best buddy and understands you blindly! So, for step one, try to concretize your idea in one short sentence.
Take a look at how other businesses explain their idea in One-Short-Sentence:
Airbnb: Book rooms with locals, rather than hotels!
Podozi: Beauty E-commerce for women of color
Uber: next-generation car service
You see what I am going at. It is a simple Frase that is simultaneously very accurate. So, try to refine your idea as clean, cold, and correct as possible.
For this stage, it helps to formulate as simple as possible — like you would explain it to a kid.
So go and steal* a 10-year-old from a friend or family member: Try to explain your business to them and see if they understand it completely. That is the best way to be sure — I am telling you!
*Please don’t — common sense, bro*
Developing the concept is the fastest and most concise step of the three in phase 1. If you are trying to create a new product or service, you need to think about how the exact workings are.
So, think and understand the problem that you are trying to fix. What kind of solutions do already exists? Now assess how your creation or service is making a difference and decide which version is the best.
And with these questions and steps, you have developed a concept.
Now in the next subphase — we are going to specify the important questions so you can focus on what you need to change or add
The business model canvas actually speaks for itself. But nevertheless, it can be really “scary” at first.
No, not scary in the literal sense but more the questions and wording. It can really induce some doubt and fear in one. But don’t worry — here I come with help. In the following you see a traditional business model canvas — but converted into a format of English that is easier understandable — with guiding questions — and supportive comments, yay!
Each one of the segments has its reason and explanation. You will also understand why it is important to ask these questions at the beginning of your business and rather not in the middle of already having built a brand and an audience.
Contact me to get help in developing your business model and business plan, or get access to my business canvas model, and handbook*.
*It’s a pdf, just clarifying.