"If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”
Sun Tzu, Art of War
Are you seriously thinking of starting a business? Why? Are you a master craftsperson, or do you offer a service where there is a significant portion of the market in need of your service? You started to "Get out of the building," and out of your head to ask THE relevant questions to prove or disprove your theory or to ensure the business idea will work?
This article will give a brief overview of the arch of developing a working business strategy from theory to application with the intent of spurring interest in the reader to pursue action towards their dream of owning their own business. The purpose of this article is to educate entrepreneurs in their pursuit of creating smart businesses and contribute positively to the economy. Future BAM articles take a deep dive into the various subjects and nuances of business strategy from theory to application.
Developing a business strategy from theory to application starts with generating and proving a testable hypothesis. In developing the steps to test your ideology, the process requires a business strategy and similar tactics that will give you, the entrepreneur, the best prospect of creating a smart, repeatable, and successful business model.
The hypothesis, if you remember from 8th-grade science, "is the cornerstone of the scientific method, an educated guess of how the world works that integrates knowledge with observation," says Charles Rock, Ph.D.
The first step towards owning your own business is developing a hypothesis to prove or disprove your business model theory, or your idea, which will become your business strategy. From this strategy, you will then define the steps required to prove the hypothesis, and this becomes your plan of action. This process begins with research and ends with a fundamental process that can be repeated.
A working and provable hypothesis becomes a theory from which informed decision-making becomes possible. Informed decision-making, in turn, is the pillar of smart business and the sole factor that determines whether a business is successful or doomed to become a statistic among the ranks of the many failed enterprises that came before.
There is no one specific way in which a hypothesis is developed. As with most things in this expansive universe, the answer is usually found somewhere in the middle, in the gray. It takes traveling on many paths to discover the most promising route. In the same regard, your business strategy will be found by the grinding of the gears and setting useful old fashioned action items to test and determine the best decision at the moment with the information available.
Business is as much of a science as it is a fully functional form of art. Leonardo DaVinci' was an engineer, yet he is one of the most celebrated and technical artists who has ever lived. His method of expressing creativity was a developed skill and vividly repeatable, both in his engineering practicality and beautiful artistry, the perfect use-ratio of the left and right brain.
Several methodologies are often used in conjunction to develop a repeatable business model. It all depends on your business, market conditions, planning, and timing, among many other more nuanced factors.
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