Last week I introduced Step 1 of your Business Model: Core Strategy. This week I’ll be explaining Step 2 of your Business Model: Strategic Resources. I’ve created this series to introduce you to the basic components of starting a business and help you succeed at becoming your own boss. In this 2nd installment, I’ll describe the two key components that will help your marketplace flourish.
What unique value does your marketplace offer? Your core competencies should provide your customers with added benefit and be difficult or impossible for anyone to recreate. These competencies might include a streamlined process of manufacturing goods, a new piece of patented technology, or (in the case of marketplaces) an innovative way to connect people with a product or service.
Take Airbnb for example. The hospitality and hotel industries are nothing new; people have always needed a place to stay when they are travelling. Airbnb created a way for property owners to monetise their empty living spaces while empowering travellers to become immersed in their destination. Although other companies exist in the industry, Airbnb’s platform provides exceptional value to its users and is nearly impossible to recreate with the same success.
Continue to build on your core strategy from Step 1 to help keep in line what the ultimate goal of your business model is. Identify market trends and do your research! Find out what your competitor’s customers like and dislike about their experiences in the space, then create core competencies that will put you ahead of the curve.
Does your company own any rare or valuable assets: equipment, location, branding, highly-qualified staff, data, or even special partnerships? Working strategically to help find or create these assets is vital for the future success of your marketplace. Continue to do research and collect data to find what makes your company more valuable than its competition. Lacking unique assets might just keep you from getting the next big deal with a large corporation like Intel or Google.It’s so easy to get caught up in all the chaos when creating and designing that sometimes you can forget about the foundations of your model. Understanding your company’s value and assets are key in order to market effectively and drive sales. With these 2 components now in mind, start asking yourself or your business partner to identify your core competencies and strategic assets. If it’s not abundantly clear what they are, it might be time to regroup. Odds are, if you can’t identify them, neither can your customers. Now that we have covered Step 2, stay tuned for next Monday where I’ll introduce Step 3 to your Business Model: Partnership Network.