Tags: business

Visual book review: The Art of Pricing: How to Find the Hidden Profits to Grow Your Business–Rafi Mohammed

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Setting a price for products and services seems like a black art. The Art of Pricing covers strategies that you can use to come up with differentiated prices, versioned products, or segment-based approaches.

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20121229 The Art of Pricing

The Art of Pricing has some tips for entrepreneurs who are trying to figure out the right price for their first product or service (see the value decoder on p99). It has more tips for business owners who have established a few profitable offerings and are trying to figure out how to tweak the levers for more profit or expanded markets.

Feel free to share this! You can credit it as (c) 2012 Sacha Chua under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 Canada licence.

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Visual book review: Blue Ocean Strategy–W. Chan Kim, Renée Mauborgne

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Most business books focus on beating the competition. Blue Ocean Strategy (Harvard Business School Press, 2005) focuses on breaking out of red oceans of competition, creating new markets instead. Here are some ways to find alternative markets: alternative industries, strategic groups, buyers, complementary product and service offerings, functional/emotional appeal, time.

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20121228 Book - Blue Ocean Strategy

Feel free to share this! You can credit it as (c) 2012 Sacha Chua under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 Canadalicence.

Blue Ocean Strategy is a good book for established companies that are finding it challenging to differentiate themselves, but it’s also a good read for companies that are starting out and who are looking for their unique selling propositions (USPs).

I’m going to go over different business ideas, sketch red ocean / blue ocean strategies for each, and see about talking to lots of people in order to help validate the sketches. Looking forward to it!

Check out my other sketchnotes and visual book notes. Want me to sketchnote your event? Know of any interesting tech / business talks coming up? I’d love to hear from you!

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Sketchnotes: ENT101 Business Plan and Other Communication Tools–Veronika Litinski

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This talk is part of the free MaRS Entrepreneurship 101 series (webcast and in-person session every Wednesday). Feel free to share this! You can credit it as (c) 2012 Sacha Chua under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 Canada licence. Click on the image for a larger version of sketchnotes.

20121205 ENT101 Business Plan and Other Communication Tools - Veronika Litinski

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Text:

MaRS ENTREPRENEURSHIP 101
Dec 5, 2012
#ENT101
Veronika Litinski
BUSINESS PLAN AND OTHER COMMUNICATION TOOLS

Announcements:
Dec 12 Meet the Entrepreneurs
Jan 9 Lived It Lecture
Dec 10 Substance of Silicon Valley

idea -> product
(with lots of help!)

Business
profitable
product ideas

idea -> (build) product -> (measure) data -> (learn)

You are building a PROFIT ENGINE
must be SCALABLE
must be PROFITABLE

Work with your customers
1. What do you do?
2. Who cares?
3. How do you make money?

customers ->
strategic partners ->
investors ->
employees ->

Executive summary
Presentation
Whitepaper
Business plan

What are your milestones?

Problem
domain knowledge

Path
investigate, compare, test purchase
Revenue model
Demo/prototype
Marketing equation

Proof
Key members
Scalable solution

CUSTOMER DISCOVERY
Problem -> Solution

What?
What is quality?
Don’t get stuck in jargon!
-> use customer words

Toolkit
presentation
executive summary
Business plan with projections
visual assets are powerful!

Develop the right METAPHOR to help people anchor an idea.

Business plan
You want investors to be EXCITED about YOU.
Be visible online, too.
meet in person!

PLANNING vs SELLING
-> good for dealing with distractions
Understand biases and work with them
availability ->
representative ->
escalation of commitment (handy!) ->
Pick info carefully

Know your audience (not just tech) and BUILD YOUR STORY.

Social media
Become an expert.
When you’re ready for thought-provoking

Value proposition
Discover with your customers

Business planning and communication
These people know their stuff

checklist (see slides)
video: problem and solution, short

CONTEXT
value proposition
brand
profiles
case studies

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Sketchnotes: Lean Startup Day

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Update: Watch the videos / view the slides!

Sketchnotes from all the talks at Lean Startup Day 2012 (MaRSDD local content in Toronto + livestreamed talks from San Francisco!)

You can view or copy these notes from Dropbox or browse through the gallery below. Feel free to share the images under the Creative Commons Attribution Licence!


What people said:

Interested in Lean Startup? Check out the Lean Startup Conference or my other sketchnotes too. Other notes from around the Web: community notes, Trevor Lohrbeer.

Visual learner? Check out my other sketchnotes and visual book notes!

Event organizer or conference organizer? I’d love to help you help your attendees remember and share key points. Talk to me about sketchnoting your next event!

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Sketchnotes: The 5 Key Elements of a Better B2B Content Marketing Strategy–Nolin LeChasseur

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Nolin LeChasseur of Brainrider shared these 5 key elements of a B2B content marketing strategy:

  1. Prioritize measurable objectives
  2. Articulate the business you’re in using customer terms
  3. Profile target customer segments
  4. Identify content that’s working now
  5. Develop content aligned with what your customer wants to know

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20121129 Brainrider - The 5 Key Elements of a Better B2B Content Marketing Strategy - Nolin LeChasseur

For more details, check out the slides and the video of a previous talk!

Like this? Check out my other sketchnotes for business- and technology-related visual summaries. Want me to draw for you? Get in touch!

Text:

The 5 Key Elements of a Better B2B Content Marketing Strategy

CUSTOMER-focused content that demonstrates ExPERTISE
– supports programs
– easy to share
– measurable performance

BETTER CONTENT IS NOT ABOUT YOU

Solve problems

Google – popular searches: Not branding, but problem solving

Key questions:

What’s my problem? Define, build consensus
– Trends
– Benchmarks
– Analysts
– 101, How-to

How do I fix it? Different approaches
– Comparisons
– Assessments
– Pitfalls

Are you right for me? Credentials, decisions
– How to buy
– Business case
– Expertise

Align it with your programs!

Acquire -> Nurture -> Determine sales readiness

1. PRIORITIZE MEASURABLE OBJECTIVES

Awareness: Find you
Acquiring prospects: Identify and give permission
Nurturing prospects: Active, Engaged; Segmented interest, profile info
Determining sales readiness: Qualified leads, readiness to buy
(Retain/cross-sell/upsell)

2. ARTICULATE THE BUSINESS YOU’RE IN USING CUSTOMER TERMS

I’m in the good times business.

3. PROFILE TARGET CUSTOMER SEGMENTS

What do your best customers have in common?
Ideal customer?
Events/initiatives that create a need?
Ex: acquisition, repositioning

4. IDENTIFY CONTENT THAT’S WORKING NOW

What? How organized? Most engaging? What do people like about it?
Repurpose: anything > 5 min, split it up and repurpose
Make sure this is aligned with your business

5. DEVELOP CONTENT ALIGNED WITH WHAT YOUR CUSTOMER WANTS TO KNOW

Use their words

How to… Should we… How do I… Comparing… Do I need… Choosing…

Post-it notes: Group based on key questions, topics: 3-6 works well

Measure! Categories: engaging?
Reorganize: Format -> Customer needs

Examples: Empathica, STR, Livingston, Hubwoo

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Sketchnotes from #ENT101: Business Model Canvas–Mark Zimmerman

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This talk is part of the free MaRS Entrepreneurship 101 series (webcast and in-person session every Wednesday). Feel free to share this! You can credit it as (c) 2012 Sacha Chua under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 Canada licence. Click on the image for a larger version of sketchnotes.

20121128 ENT101 Business Model Canvas - Mark Zimmerman

Check out my other ENT101 sketchnotes, or other sketchnotes and visual book notes!

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MaRS ENTREPRENEURSHIP 101. NOV 29, 2012 : # ENT101
BUSINESS MODEL CANVAS

Not a static business plan
Learn – Idea – Build – Code – Measure – Data

Business Model Canvas

1. Who do you serve <- specific, self-referencing

2. What problem do you solve? Value proposition

3. How do people find you? Channels

4. What types of relationships do you have w/customers?

5. How do you get paid ? Revenue streams

6. What things do you do? Key activities

7. What resources do you need? key resources

8. What else do you need? key partners

9. What does it cost to operate this model? –> key levers, not all costs; Cost structure

Nespresso
Single-serve coffee cups
1970 invented
1976 patented
1986 launched
1988 … flopped

1989
Separate
machine from coffee

Pivot
Was wildly successful

Made Sold Sales Training Coffee Sales
3rd parties Independent retail Nespresso Direct to consumer

30% compound annual growth rate! –> 20 billion capsules!

Business idea
Hypothesis

Read the Lean Startup: Innovation accounting

Great way to communicate with your team, too. Whiteboard!
Take pictures!
What did we do before? Colour-coded Post-its

Homework:
Draw this & test your assumptions,
box by box
falsifiable hypothesis

Nespresso

Coffee machine makers
Distribution
brand patents factories
Marketing production logistics (NEW)

Restaurant quality espresso at home

Retail Nespresso call centre boutiques
Member

High end households

Distribution and sales
marketing
manufacturing

Capsule sales
hardware sales

Fit your value proposition on a Post-It
Whiteboard + Post-Its = awesome

Great for talking to other people
(potential team members, cofounders, staff)

When you’ve got it mostly figured out, make it visual!
but don’t let pretty pictures
stop you from changing it!

Books to Read
Business Model Generation (& lean startup)
Running Lean

Q&A
Q: Business plan vs model?
A: Depending on investor. Concise summary / outline in business model canvas + spreadsheets, plan.
Q: Shortcomings?
A: Lean canvas may be better for some. Defensibility not particularly called out in the canvas
Q: Nespresso pivoting?
A: Customer research, etc.
Q: Very general?
A: Most startups aren’t killed by competition –> usually other reasons. Try making for competitors too?
Q: Evaluation tips?
A: Validate each of the boxes. Canvas can’t tell you if something is a good idea or not
Q: Updating?
A: Be objective about what you put on the business model canvas. change after experiments
Q: Reminder why you’re doing this value?
A: Yes, that’s part of it! Jolts you out of =(

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Sketchnotes: ENT101: Value Proposition–Joe Wilson

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This talk is part of the free MaRS Entrepreneurship 101 series (webcast and in-person session every Wednesday). Feel free to share this! You can credit it as (c) 2012 Sacha Chua under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 Canada licence. Click on the image for a larger version of sketchnotes.

20121031 ENT101 - Value Proposition - Joe Wilson

Check out my other ENT101 sketchnotes, or other sketchnotes and visual book notes!

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MaRS ENTREPRENEURSHIP 101 (#ENT101). OCT 31, 2012
VALUE PROPOSITION JOE WILSON
New tool: Value Proposition Generator
Workbook: Crafting your value proposition marsdd.com/toolkit

I have a great business idea
BLAHBLAHBLAHBLAHBLAH Chemical Polymers BLAHBLAHBLAHBLAHBLAH nanotube wrapping BLAHBLAHBLAHBLAHBLAH

Everyone will want one!

BLAHBLAHBLAHBLAHBLAH Chemical Polymers BLAHBLAHBLAHBLAHBLAH Carbon nanotubes BLAHBLAHBLAHBLAHBLAH

Don’t be that guy!

Sounds exciting! What is it? But what’s the business value? But why?

Value Proposition
WHAT you’ve got –> hypothesis to test
& for WHOM
& WHAT VALUE

Learn startup: tweak!

A value proposition is NOT A…
– Elevator pitch (hook)
– Marketing tagline
– Mission Statement

Q: Testing vs secondary market research?
A: Everyone needs to get out and talk to people. Learning opportunities.
Q: Uniqueness? Living Social / GroupOn
A: Copying is possible. Industry leaders / exponential growth usually need tobe unique. MaRS is interested in new products and new business models.
Q: Must be quantifiable?
A: Doesn’t have to be B2B good to have at least 1.
Q: Prototying?
A: Next week’s lecture, also, IDEO

UNIQUE Specific combination

DIMENSIONS: What, for whom, Values

WINNERS
“…off-priced… international sourcing…”
Department store that offers fashion-conscious consumers the latest brand names at up to 60% off.

economical & easy-to-use
chemical additive that allows — Now ! get it!
Paint manufacturing companies
To reduce the environmental impact of their products

Don’t try to sell to everyone at once

Value prop1, Value prop2, Value prop3

Google
“patented page-ranking algorithm”
Search engine that allows internet users to find (are they really Google’s customers?) relevant information Quickly & easily
Advertisers: Search engine that automatically provides advertisers with potential customers tailored to the ad content, increasing click through rates & conversion rates.

Value != Feature

Understand target customer
Rolls-Royce flying plane incentive

Overt, quantifiable business value
– lower risk
– save time
– save / make money
– enabling functions
– customizable
– convenience
– quality

latent, emotional values … and more
– newness
– status
– aesthetics
– health
– usability
– social inclusion
– ethical
– environmental
– self actualization

PROCESS

Steve Blank
State hypothesis -> Test hypothesis -> Test concept -> Verify
Verify: confirm minimum viable product, Iterate, Exit!
Whole product
Day in the life scenario: Before–> after

Get out of your office!
Talk to customers
Running Lean: Scripts! Analysis! Words!

Watch how people behave
Don’t forget market research: MaRS

Value proposition designer
products & services
gain creators
pain relievers

Customer empathy maps
Gain
Pains
Customer jobs

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