#StartUpSeason – Business Plan Basics

Einstein is often quoted as having said…

‘If I had an hour to solve a problem and my life depended on the solution, I would spend the first 55 minutes determining the proper question to ask, for once I know the proper question, I could solve the problem in less than five minutes.’

Well, what if somebody had done some of that thinking for you already?

Whether you’re an entrepreneur, intrapreneur – or simply going out on your own as a freelancer – here’s our quick guide on how to get started with a new venture:

  1. Lean Startup principles (helping you define the problem space so to speak)
  2. Take a step back and think through the who, what, when, where and why
  3. Get down to brass tacks with a handy Creative-Commons-based tool that can help you clarify your thinking (asking the key questions needed to define a business model)

In addition we’ve thrown in some next steps advice as the end. If you need help with any part of this process, do reach out.

Prefer a Prezi? Look no further: #BizPlanBasics

First, define the problem space

Lean Startup coverA lean read of the Lean Startup

Here are the five key paragraphs to focus your mind:

  1. ‘The goal of a startup is to figure out the right thing to build – the thing customers want and will pay for – as quickly as possible.’
  2. ‘Lean thinking defines value as providing benefit to the customer; anything else is waste.’
  3. ‘This is one of the most important lessons of the scientific method: if you cannot fail, you cannot learn.’
  4. ‘The two most important assumptions entrepreneurs make are what I call the value hypothesis and the growth hypothesis.’
  5. ‘What differentiates the success stories from the failures is that successful entrepreneurs had the foresight, the ability, and the tools to discover which parts of their plans were working brilliantly and which were misguided, and adapt their strategies accordingly.’

Read the rest – get it on Amazon.

Be clear about the who, what, when, where and why

Animated GIF - #flashtalk - 5 tips for creating programmes people really want

Then get to brass tacks: use the business model canvas

Here it is explained in two minutes:

Then test it out with others: does your grandmother (or nearest equivalent) understand it? Business models that work are simple…

If you need help figuring out how to use any of the above in practice. Get in touch.


Michael Ambjorn is founder of // Align Your Org – you can follow him @michaelambjorn