Phases of businesses
Having spent much time studying, advising, managing, employed by and founding businesses we felt a need to write a book that documents the business phases and points to tools and techniques that can help an entrepreneur navigate there way to business success. This book articulates the business phases as we see them
- Business Opportunity: Entrepreneurs transform industries and markets. Through this, they create or allocate value for customers and society more generally and at large. Some entrepreneurs focus on solving people’s needs whilst others create new opportunities from unseen possibilities. From such observation we conclude that opportunities can be found or they can be made. These different kinds of entrepreneurial action, amongst the finders and the makers, characterise the study of entrepreneurship.
- Ideation and Testing: Ideas, Products and Customers: The fundamental activity of an entrepreneur is to turn ideas into products, to measure the customer response, and to learn from this loop. Steve Blank’s model of customer development and customer validation is a helpful and proven approach that allows entrepreneurs to quickly and effectively test their hypotheses. The concepts of “pivot” (major correction) and “minimum viable product” are fundamental facilitators of this kind of learning cycle.
- Business Model Generation: Startups need to search for repeatable and scalable business models. In so doing, entrepreneurs can map their business hypotheses through the Business Model Canvas that comprises nine building blocks: 1) Customer Segments, 2) Value propositions, 3) Channels, 4) Customer Relationships, 5) Revenue streams, 6) Key Resources, 7) Key Activities, 8) Key Partners, 9) Cost Structures.
- Resource Acquisition:Once the entrepreneur has defined his or her hypothesis and is ready for the execution of the journey, he faces one of the most critical challenges: the acquisition of the resources needed for the startup and early stages of this journey. Entrepreneurs need to plan different phases of business development and to align these with their startup funding. A failure to complete this process is common and a lack of money is widely given as an explanation as to why many would-be entrepreneurs have not already started planned or potential ventures. However common this situation is, the history of entrepreneurship also highlights a set of examples where experienced entrepreneurs started working within their means and allowed their goals to emerge over time (i.e. effectuation).
- Management and Execution:Once the entrepreneur finds a repeatable and scalable business model she goes onward to the execution phase: customer creation and company building. This execution phase is reasonably self-explanatory and comprises of creating end-user demand and building the organisation to meet that demand. This involves transitioning from a startup to a scalable business.
If you see your business in a similar way and can use the experiences and skills of the Bubble team then please do get in touch.