The 9 Most Important Elements For Your Start-Up

Got vision? That isn’t enough if you’re a start-up business owner. So says serial entrepreneurs-turned-educators Steve Blank and Bob Dorf in their recently published book, The Startup Owner’s Manual.

It used to be that start-ups began with the ‘entrepreneur’s vision’, which was usually a highly product-centric idea for a company. Only much later – and after much agonizing – would the founder discover the idea didn’t amount to a complete business model.

According to Blank and Dorf, you can only validate your vision by getting buy-in from your potential customers. Completely logical right? In fact, what the entrepreneur should do is then apply that customer feedback to the business model in an iterative process as the business model is developed and “pivot over time based on that feedback.”

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Blank and Dorf’s 9 Elements:

1. Value Proposition
What does your company have to offer that the competition can’t measure up to? Is it unique, or simply just better? What is your MVP—the minimum viable product that you can get out in order to elicit customer feedback as early as possible.

2. Customer Segments
Who is your customer? That is, what are their demographic, psychographic and geographic feature?. What problem does your product or service solve for these people?

3. Channels
By what means will you distribute and sell your product?

4. Customer Relationships
How do you plan to forge bonds with customers and use these bonds to create demand for your product? (more…)