As a new entrepreneur, overwhelm can quickly become very real. There are many choices we face and many moving parts to manage. In the Harvard Business Review article, “Do Entrepreneurs Need A Strategy”, there are four different strategies an entrepreneur must consider when entering a new venture.
- An Intellectual Property strategy allows you to maintain control of your innovation while finding a way to create value in an existing marketplace.
- An Architectural strategy focuses on creating and controlling a new value chain.
- A Value Chain strategy primarily focuses on creating value for other partners within a value chain that already exists.
- A Disruption strategy builds a venture that directly competes with other incumbents, focusing on fast execution and the element of surprise.
No matter your industry, entrepreneurs need a strategy and should identify their unique approach early on. Having a distinct strategy and approach to how your venture will be positioned in the market, will help alleviate unneeded overwhelm.
A new business will need to flesh out their strategy regarding several other factors as well. Some critical questions you’ll need to identify before going into business are: Who are my ideal customers? What are their needs? What technology will we need? What will we stand for? Who are our competitors?
When we look at the e-commerce power-house, Amazon, we see that they’ve thoroughly answered each of the questions above. You should too.
Referring back to the Harvard Business Review article, “Do Entrepreneurs Need A Strategy”, I thoroughly enjoyed the reflection on entrepreneurial education. “What many business schools teach has little to do with entrepreneurial success”, said Carl Schramm. I had one business teacher at the University of Washington tell us that “most students who major in business never start an actual venture because they’re too smart, they know how much work it is”. I’ve always marveled at how school squelches entrepreneurship and encourages the 9-5 workforce. The economy has to have people ready and willing for the workforce, but through school, there is never any talk of paving your own path. We learn to fit into the norm.
On the subject of business education, I have found that experience is the best teacher. Looking at the phenomenology concept, we find that people actually learn best about the world through their experiences of it. Rather than analyzing past data, entrepreneurs create data of their own through trial and error which will uncover new discoveries of their own, helping build their understanding as they progress.
Entrepreneur Michael Levin concluded that “making a successful company requires an intimate tango with customers, not a tight grip on a business plan.” We have to take into consideration when developing our business strategy that it is just a starting point. Customers will leave feedback that will resultantly end up influencing the initial strategy. The customer is always right.
Anybody looking toward starting an entrepreneurial venture needs to consider their strategy before starting. If you’ve already started a business venture, you should take a look at getting feedback from your current customers and developing your product or service to their wants and needs.
Customers will leave feedback that will resultantly end up influencing the initial strategy. The customer is always right.Devyn Grillo