In the face of continuous technological changes and financial market volatility, it is becoming increasingly important to define business ideas and validate the concept before launching a high technology or eCommerce venture. The Integrated Approach provides the means to entrepreneurs in objectively analyzing their business ideas. It enables them to identify the underlying factors that are critical for the longer-term success of the venture and whether their concept is actually a viable business solution. Additionally, the framework evaluates the allocation of limited resources, especially of cash, and helps determine if the venture can deliver a sustainable competitive advantage.
If you can’t answer the following questions – using no more than the napkin your drink has been served on, the bartender’s pen and a conversation with the person on the stool next to you – then you might want to think again . . .
- Who is your customer?
- What is your revenue model?
- What is your cost structure?
- Who is your competition?
- What is your sustainable competitive advantage?
If you can actually answer the five questions above, then form a team and build a business plan around the answers you’ve scrawled on that drink-soaked napkin. To form a team you must – you guessed it – answer five more hard questions . . .
- Who should be on the team?
- What are the necessary roles and responsibilities?
- Who is missing from the team?
- What are the lines of communication?
- How will decisions be made?
Starting a business is not an easy process, however by following a diagnostic approach one can actually crystallize the strategic vision, and validate the concept before scarce resources are allocated to the venture. The integrated approach consists of three distinct phases namely due diligence, funding and execution.
Source: James M. Rasmussen, Manager- Global Deal Services at Accenture.