“If you don’t know where you’re going any road will take you there,” sang George Harrison. Too many ICT companies don’t ask where they are going let alone where they could be going, so they end up following a path that I call “business by accident.”
A more effective way to develop your business is to stop and really think about exactly how you want to develop your business. Talking to customers helps you understand the relative values they place on solving different problems, allowing you to adjust accordingly and grow your business with purpose.
This #HelpMe guide confirms the fundamental need for ICT companies to fully explore and understand their role in the marketplace and their value to the customer.
Chapters in this guide:
Defining your destination by Sue Tabbitt
What problem do you solve in the marketplace? by Dr. Lucy Green
Taking your product to market-development by Jocelyn Lomer
#HelpMe action plan by Dr. Lucy Green
Extract from “I want to develop my business” #HelpMe
When you decide it’s time to take your business to the next level, it’s important to have a clear plan of where you want to be. Similarly to when the business
first started out, you will need to do your research to scope the size of the perceived new opportunity, and determine what your niche should be and what the competition looks like.
Take a hard look at the core assets of your business and ask what value you could add for customers in this new market, region or skills area. What are you offering that no one else can, and will customers be prepared to pay for that? Are there gaps in your capacity, skills and knowledge. What will it take to fill them? Is a partnership option worth considering?
Scenario planning and early experimentation is advisable, so you can get more of a feel for what’s possible – before you start recruiting, borrowing or seeking investment. Be realistic about the profit potential – then play devil’s advocate and explore what could go wrong, where that would leave you, and what contingency plan you might need to have in place. Finally, practise pitching to investors (imagine facing the Dragon’s Den). Where might you trip up?