Saturday, November 18, 2006

Business side of a business - preview of presentation due at BarCamp Manchester

Yeah, I hear it myself, the title sounds funny! But I've heard from two different startups, one from east and one from west coast, both with initial funding, asking for me to help build the business side of their business. Yeah, both calls came from their investors.

So, what is the business side of a business? Here is my summary, I plan to present this at BarCamp Manchester June 18th.

Lets sync up on fundamentals. A business is a set of people with a great product that solves the problem for some set of people or companies who are willing and able to pay for it.

Realistically, in the startup world, its simply a product being built by a team targeting customers who will pay for it. Since I operate in the world of tech startups, this means a tech idea thats funded to being built out for some customer.

I am writing this because I had two different experience with each startup. Both are technology companies with some tech software engine in different areas, with no real customer. The founder was a technologist or a creative content person and thought business side was marketing. One simplified marketing to PR and buzz. The investors each had a vision of a larger than life segment of customer who would pay, but no one had talked to the customer or knew how to get there. One of them dreams of a consumer play with lot of jargons, all sounding cool, unless your money is in it.

As perfect timing, I attended the Sales and Marketing breakfast meeting of Boston Startup Meetup organized by Ray Deck of Element 55 and met a bunch of grounded entreprenuers, with one thing in common - all are focused on their customers and cared to learn and share how to better reach their customers and scale their business.

I see three building blocks to building the business side of the business.

One: Business Operations

Legal, Development environment, Office setup, Accounting, payroll

Two: Marketing

Real marketing is all about communicating to different constituencies of your business in a measurable fashion and based on the metrics revise your communication.

The basic assumption is that you know your customer.
(more on this piece later)

Three: Sales Infrastructure

I've put together a spreadsheet (it keeps growing each day) online at google spreadsheets of all the business components.


Siva said...

A small suggestion on the spreadsheet instead of putting stage 1 and stage 2 if you can put the expected number of days it will take to finish a particular target then it will be more useful.


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