The lack of a good business design process is the number one reason why most businesses fail today. Almost everything else, like poor market, running out of capital, unexpected risks and poor sales, is just a symptom of this root problem.
Designing a business is more art than science because it is something that takes lots and lots of real-world experience. Personally, I do not think you can learn it at any university, or by any amount of study, until after you have spent many years working in management to understand people and business well. It would be like someone reading for ten years about painting, without ever picking up a brush, and then when they finally pick up a paintbrush to paint their first person or landscape; and expect to paint a masterpiece. Pretty unlikely, huh? We may be able to teach strategy in school, but even that is just a small part of overall business design.
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I suspect most people do not even consider business design a process because few people get to the point in their career where they can understand all the skills or disciplines needed to actually do it. Business design is NOT just a flash of inspiration, or how you will charge and make money. It is the complete strategy for sales, marketing, finance, operations, and product development, which are tightly interconnected, and must all work together, smoothly to create any real value for customers and stakeholders. As Edison once said, Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration. Nothing could be truer about the business design process.
We spend at least the entire first day at our, CEO and Entrepreneur Boot Camp - The Art and Science of Business DesignTM teaching these first four steps of the Rapid Growth By DesignTM process, so I don-t want to pretend you can get it all from reading the few pages here. This is at least an entire large book by itself; however, what I can do here is summarize the first four steps at a very high level. My hope is that reading this can open people's eyes to the fact that business design is its own process, art, and science and must be done very early when founding any new business. Doing anything else first, except market research, is almost always a complete waste of time and money.
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Bob Norton is a long-time Serial Entrepreneur and CEO with four exits that returned over $1 billion to investors. He has trained, coached and advised over 1,000 CEOs since 2002. And is Founder of The CEO Boot Camp™ and Entrepreneurship University™. Mr. Norton works with companies to triple their chances of success in launching new companies and products. And helps established companies scale faster using the six AirTight Management™ systems. And helps companies successfully raise capital.
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