Strategy

Now that you have formed a team, it is time to move your venture into the strategy stage. There are four steps for venture strategy:

  1. Develop a vision and mission.
  2. Design a value proposition.
  3. Create a business plan.
  4. Test your assumptions.
Develop a vision and mission.

What will the world look like if your venture is successful? How will people’s lives change? Your team’s vision should reflect the change that you hope to create in the world. For example, the Entreprenavel team hopes to create a world where people apply entrepreneurial principles to all aspects of their lives. When Entreprenavel readers identify problems in society, they will take action to solve them.

After developing your vision, your team should distill the ideas down to a mission for your venture. The mission should convey your vision to customers, employees, investors, etc. Entreprenavel’s mission is to reinvent the entrepreneur education experience. Your mission can also be a set of values or principles that reflect your team’s vision. Get creative!

Design a value proposition.

Once you have developed your venture’s mission, you should not have trouble designing a value proposition. This is where you distill your mission. Your venture’s value proposition should explain what you do in one sentence.

“We sell (product) to (customer), which produces (type of value) for (customer).”

Create a business plan.

Next, your team should create a business plan. At this stage, the business plan does not need to be too fancy since it will primarily be used for internal purposes. If you are trying to enter accelerators or acquire investment, you may have to create a more detailed and presentable plan.

Your early business plan should at least cover the problem(s), value proposition, target markets, operational strategy, team roles, and competitive analysis. You can add more sections as you go, such as product development and financial projections, but it is best to just start with the basics.

Test your assumptions.

Now that you have created a business plan, prepare to tear it to shreds and re-write the whole thing. Your first business plan will be full of assumptions that you will need to test and validate. The best way to get started on testing is to go through your business plan and list all of the assumptions that you make.

Once you have a list, you should rank your assumptions based on how essential they are to the rest of your strategy. Test the most important assumptions first, and then refine your strategy according to the results.

The best way to test assumptions is The Lean Startup’s build, measure, learn framework:

  1. Build a prototype to test your assumption.
  2. Measure the results of your experiment.
  3. Learn from whether or not the test went according to plan, and refine your strategy.
  4. Repeat the process with the next assumption.

Although this process sounds simple, it can be rather difficult to execute. That is why Entreprenavel provides business model validation. We can help you identify and test your assumptions in an efficient manner so that you do not have to waste precious resources, such as time and money.

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