If you have a talent you can capitalize on and a website, you can launch a startup in 10 days or fewer according to internet lore. Don’t believe it? Google “Launch a business in 10 days” and see what crops up.
Easy startups can camouflage future challenges
Through The Fabricant Way and online groups like Being Boss, I’ve been introduced to dozens of creative entrepreneurs who’ve established successful endeavors with nothing more tangible than an idea and a landing page. It’s an inspiring time to be a go-getter, but at times, the ease of starting a business camouflages the challenges that lie ahead.
Modern business is a lot like the college that’s easy to get into but hard to stay in. Markets are open to movers and shakers; we make it better through our disruptive innovations. But because there are so many of us, markets are quickly overrun. When that happens, businesses that started off as a means of gaining independence and security can become burdensome and anxiety-inducing.
Even the most successful business owners will eventually hit a wall if they haven’t set aside time to fortify the underpinnings of their business.
The business part of business often mystifies creative entrepreneurs
Unfortunately, it’s the business part of businesses that most often mystifies creative entrepreneurs. It’s not unusual for us to go for years without lifting back the veil of our enterprises to see how stable it is structurally – or to see if there’s even a structure under there at all. After all, if you didn’t put it there, where else would it come from?
There’s so much to learn, so much to undertake. And when things seem to be running along smoothly, why rock the boat?
That’s not actually a rhetorical question. There are many reasons a savvy entrepreneur might choose to rock the boat that’s carrying her. For one, sailing won’t always be smooth, and stormy seasons aren’t necessarily ideal for making repairs or changing course.
So now’s the perfect time to rock the boat.
Rock it to make sure there are no hidden leaks, to test its viability, to find out what might be rolling around in the bottom of it.
That’s what the discovery process is about
Whether you’re starting a new business or finally getting around to performing a health check on an established business, the discovery process helps you to identify the leaks that could sink your enterprise as well as any hidden opportunities to grow it.
If you’re just launching your startup, the discovery process will help you start stronger. If you’re trudging along in an established business with no plan, the discovery process will inject new purpose into the endeavor.
It doesn’t have to be time-consuming, but it definitely shouldn’t be based on guesswork. Any effective business design roadmap will be plotted out on a true-to-life map of the market, that reflects:
- Your business practices, goals, and objectives
- Your revenue model
- Your audience
- The market
- Competitors in the market
- Your existing marketing strategies and tactics
In the coming weeks, I’ll be offering a guided tour of the stops along a functional business design roadmap. By taking time to consider these stops, you’ll uncover the bridges that connect you with your market as well as the roadblocks that could prevent you from progressing as you’d like to.