Starting a business can be daunting and at BOP we often get asked where we recommend starting. Whilst everyone has a unique journey and there are a myriad of tools out there, we thought we’d put together this article with a few of our favourites.
A SWOT Analysis is one of our favourite tools for validating ideas. A SWOT analysis is designed to break down the good and the bad of every idea. Once broken down, if you think there is more good then bad, then by all means give it a go. It also helps you to identify opportunities early so you can start capitalising on them, as well as seeing where your weaknesses may be so you can start preventing them. A SWOT analysis is also something you can do quickly and easily at any phase of the journey.
SWOT - Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats
Business Model Canvas
A business model canvas is a great way to flesh out your idea further to figure out how you can turn it into a viable business. First starting in the centre of the canvas and working your way out, it will give you a one page snapshot of your business and its inner workings. This is a great tool to keep updating as your business grows and develops as it saves you having to write out an extensive 30+ page business model. This canvas is quick and easy and a great place to start.
Customer personas are definitely your next step. These personas help you figure out the intricate details about your target customers and will help you design your products and marketing directly to them. For your customer persona, it’s important to dive deep to really figure out what your customer’s life looks like - how they go about their day, what is happening in their life and why do they need what you have to sell.
Detailed Design Brief
Once you’ve drilled down into your business model and your customer personas, it’s time to put together a detailed design brief of your product or service. This looks at what exactly it’s going to look like, exactly how it’s going to work and all the components necessary.
When it gets to building your brand and designing all of your materials, a mood board is super helpful. A mood board can take many different shapes - either as a Pinterest board, a physical board with magazine clippings, or even a well organised folder - for you to use as inspiration for your brand, your design and your aesthetic. It’s a great way to bring together all of your favourite things into one central place for you to start building your brand.
We hope some of these tools and frameworks help you along your journey. Whilst not everyone’s business journey is the same, we’ve found these are some essential tools across the board. We can’t wait to see what you create.