Start-Up

In the Beginning...

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The Value Economy

Starting a Business in the 21st Century

Welcome to the Age of Value Creation. If your business is not creating value for customers, you  If will struggle to gain traction in your endeavour.  If you are focused on wealth creation, if your objective is to profit off fomenting fear or instilling insecurities, or if your business model depends on spoon-feeding solutions, you may quickly become a statistic of nearly 90 per cent of start ups who fail to make it through the first year in business.

 

In the value creation economy, the customer has the power. The technological transformation we are witnessing provides both consumers and business buyers with vast amounts of knowledge about markets, products, features, capabilities, and reputation; myriad products and companies to choose from; and the power to more easily switch from one company to another. It is easier than ever for customers to curate, analyze, and share opinions and information. Product and company choice comes from globalization, the rise of entrepreneurs and freelancers, and market-expanding enterprises.

 

All this change has created new rules in the economy: The customer has the power, so you must be focused on creating value for and maximizing the experience of the customer. Further, we are arguably at the beginning of these trends. The breakthrough technologies of artificial intelligence, robotics, digital fabrication, and open-source hardware will continue to push power to the customer. Customers will increasingly be able to design customfit solutions for their individual pains and passions.

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Getting Started

  • Starting is all about agility. When you’re starting, you’re developing assets (your IP, your product, your brand, your retail relationships).

  • Starting requires lots of exploration and rapid iteration to get to your business model.

  • Starting is all about being ready to pivot when you need to—the whole team must be ready to rethink everything if things aren’t working.

  • Finally, starting is all about staying lean: moving very fast while doing the most with the least amount of resources. All startups start with constrained resources, so this is almost intuitive. 

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Business Trends

In a leaner and cleaner world

An idea isn’t an innovation until it is applied and turning a profit. The future belongs to small businesses that can turn innovations into profits.

  

 As our world accelerates in knowledge creation, information will continue to change.

Nimble small businesses have the opportunity to learn new ideas and immediately apply them to their trajectories. Successful companies will learn how to unlearn and constantly challenge procedures, skill sets, and ways of doing business.  Three key trends to tap into for better service compatibility include:

1. Going forward as the face of commerce changes for the benefit of Mother Earth, consumers will respond to your business' green efforts—the materials you use, the manufacturing process, and how you bring them to market.

2. Millennials, also known as Generation Y, are people born roughly between 1980 and 1996. 

 

 This cohort has lived the digital life, and, as a workforce, they are more adaptable, collaborative, and innovative than any previous generation. What is most intriguing about this generation is its diversity and the way in which millennials embrace community as well as all cultures and classes.

It's key for entrepreneurs to capture millennials' interest and business. According to the American Express Open Forum, businesses—particularly small ones—can best service some of these Millennial concerns for community, diversity, and doing good with care and forethought of products and services which best fit this target audience.

 

3. Information has never been so free and readily available as it is today. And while the price of knowledge has dropped, the supply of data has exploded, creating information inflation and a whole set of new problems for the future. This is often referred to as "Big Data."

Businesses can use data to increase revenue and reduce costs.

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GROWTH RATE

for Start-ups

A healthy growth rate from your launch of a startup is 5 to 7 percent a week, if you hit 10 percent a week, you’re doing exceptionally well, whereas 1 percent, it’s a sign you haven’t yet figured out what you’re doing.  This is according to the seed funding company founder of Y Combinator, Paul Graham.

Understand the difference between traction and growth at this stage.  First, focus on product or service market fit. Once you have people coming in the door and are retaining, it is then when you narrow down what are the key levers to put your energy, time and investment into more.  Once the processesses are established and smooth running, it is time to move into growth stage, with accessing the funding and team needed to support your journey.  Look for threads and themes of your top customers and your industry.  Dwelve deeper into this segment, rather than going wider at this stage.  Once your core segment is saturated, then is a preferred time to consider diversifying.  This mindset applies to each section of your business development.  

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