Thursday, April 3, 2014

Consider This When You Want to Start A Business

When it comes to starting a business, the path for many people involves carefully charting a course by following the traditional steps of creating a business plan. In the blog, "So you want to start a screen or graphics printing business", the steps outlined include doing market research; defining financial management, sales strategies, organization and management; how to apply for a loan and more.
Yet, for a large majority of small and not-so-small business owners, similar to RhinoTech, the "fast track to launch"
was the norm. These are the people that some of wish we were or had been; those that let business plans flutter in the wind and dive head first into building their dream. Which are you? 

In "Launching Lean" by Daniel Bortz (Money Magazine, page 40, March 2014), the author outlines what this "lean means". Here it is in its entirely.
LAUNCHING "LEAN". Some entrepreneurs are trading in the traditional business plan for trial and error. This methodology, popularized by Eric Ries's 2011 book, the Lean Startup, is not "rapidly going around the world, " says Alex DeNoble, head of San Diego State University's Lavin Entrepreneurship Center.

     What Lean Means. It's a fast-track to launch. Instead of painstakingly researching the market first, you dive into product testing, using consumer feedback to develop a "minimum viable product."
So, if you're making a game for tweens, have kids play with it, pivot based on their reactions, then test again.

     When to Skip It. This strategy isn't for businesses that need to come out of the gate with a fully formed product, says Jeffrey Bernel of the University of Notre Dame's Gigot Center for Entrepreneurship. A restaurant, for example, might struggle to establish a customer base if it keeps changing its menu.

     How to Do It Right. "The output is only as good as the input, " says Daniel Cohen, director of the eLab accelerator at Cornell Unviersity. so, clearly ID your target customer before convening focus groups. And, set an end date for testing so you don't exhaust resources before you launch.   

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