Entrepreneurship – from ideas to reality
Entrepreneurship – from ideas to reality

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Entrepreneurship – from ideas to reality

2 Your business model is unique

As you work through this course you will cover all aspects of the business model canvas. You will have more detail or ideas for some parts and for others, less. You should complete Activity 2 now to help you identify these areas.

Activity 2 Thinking of your own business model canvas

Timing: Allow about 10 minutes

Take a few minutes to think about your own business idea and what aspects of a business model you could clearly describe for it now. Which will you need to work on? Note your thoughts down in the text box below.

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Discussion

It is highly unlikely that you will have fully explored all the areas of your business model canvas unless you have developed beyond a concept or idea. As our entrepreneurs suggested in previous videos, ideas can change. This is something that you will explore in more detail as you continue with the course.

As your business model should be unique to your idea, you are the expert in it. While you may have similar component parts to other businesses, your business model differentiates you in some way. It is for you to find ways that you consider will confer a competitive advantage and therefore a compelling reason for customers to favour or buy from you. This can come from any part of the business model – including your pricing strategy and the elements of your value proposition.

In the following video our entrepreneurs talk about their business model and whether they planned it or if it emerged over time.

Download this video clip.Video player: Video 2
Skip transcript: Video 2 Plan or jump in?

Transcript: Video 2 Plan or jump in?

EMILY PRINCE
I really jumped in, if I'm honest. A lot of the interventions and the work that we offer is work that I've been doing for years. So I already had of all of my resources and all of the things I needed.
Where I sought support was through the business side of it. So I started talking to an accountant who's been with me since the beginning and took advice from just local business people, who through sites like LinkedIn made contact when I was asking for help on different issues. And just kind of used all of their expertise to just go for it. And probably not the most conventional thing to have done, but I felt there was an urgent need for what I had to offer. And so I wanted to get out there as soon as I could.
CLAUDIO MARTURANO
I definitely never jumped right in. Like I said before, the idea came five years ago. We've been working on it now for over a year. And it really took a year of planning and going to see customers, going to see the market, going to really see how it was developed. Why the competitors were doing what they were doing, why nobody was doing what I wanted to be done. And there was a lot of planning involved in coming up to this stage that it is now.
NICK ALLEN
Naomi is very creative and has a totally different personality to me. I'm much more of the finance and operations kind of person, much more conservative, in general. And so she was very keen to just throw ourselves out there and see what people thought of us. And I was much more keen to use my Open University knowledge and build plans.
ALEX BOND
When we initially started and we were going all over the place, we weren't really conforming to any of these standard business practices. But I think, if we look back now, we do everything that had been advised to us. It just took us an extra six months, because we were going around doing it without any rhyme or reason. And we didn't want to follow it. It seemed logical to us to do it in our own free way. But, I mean, the advice is there for a reason. It's ultimately a great way to build business.
End transcript: Video 2 Plan or jump in?
Video 2 Plan or jump in?
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Any part of your business model may provide a source of competitive advantage and indeed there are examples to be found in many sectors of companies who have done just that. For example, some companies have been extremely successful in targeting a very specific group of customers – SAGA being one British case in point that started by focusing on the over 50s. The business was founded by Sidney De Haan in 1959 who passed on to his son in 1984. They provide packaged holidays, related insurance products (travel, caravan, motor) and then, more recently, branched into financial services products (travel money, credit cards) and latterly health care.

As the changing demographics demonstrate, this is a growing market. You can see how the value proposition for older customers with particular needs and attributes is a good strategic fit. SAGA owns a direct mail and fulfilment service and publishes a subscription magazine which is widely subscribed to and reckoned to be read by around one million readers. As you are considering your own business model, it is worth thinking about how you will reach your customers. It is also worth spending a few minutes looking at the SAGA website [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] in a new window or tab, to see how they provide added value to their customers, whom they refer to as members.

Next you will look at some of the dilemmas you may face as an entrepreneur.

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