The Business Strategy
The Business Strategy should provide a roadmap for the company, it should reveal the unifying theme, vision and story of the brand and should clearly position the company and product in the target market. Further to this it should also look towards the future and outline what the next milestones and goals of the company are.
Hey are the strategic steps your students will be asked to consider:
1) Defining business vision
Defining your vision is important. It will become the driving force of your business. You will need to consider things such as who your customers will be, the business you are in and the personality of your brand.
2) Defining the objectives
You will need to create a list of goals with a brief description of action items. If your product is an entirely new development, you will want to put more effort into your short-term goals.
3) Understand your customer and your product
It is not realistic to expect you can meet the needs of everyone, no business can, therefore choose your target market carefully. You will need to consider the needs, desires, problems and perceptions of your prospective customers.
4) Learn from your competition
You can learn a lot about your business and customers by looking at how your competitors do business. You will need to take into account what you know about your target market, what competitors you have and your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses.
5) Financial matters
How will you make money? What is your break-even point? How much profit potential does your business have? Take the time to invest in preparing financial projections. What are your financial objectives?
6) Create a marketing strategy for your business
Identify All Target Markets: define WHO your ideal customer or target market is. Qualify the Best Target Markets: the purpose of this step is to further qualify and determine which customer profile meets the best odds of success. Identify Tools, Strategies and Methods: a market you cannot access is a market you cannot serve. Test Marketing Strategy and Tools: the assumptions we do not verify are typically the ones that have the potential to create business problems.
The Business Plan
There is no single formula for developing a coherent and convincing business strategy, but some elements are consistent throughout all business plans and these are some of the areas that the judges will be looking at in their final evaluation of the Pitch.
Teams are advised to write a plan which should include an executive summary, a description of the business and the product, a plan for how you will market your product and manage your business as well as your financial and marketing objectives. This plan is not a judged part of the competition and will not be scrutinized by the dragons, however, we believe that in order to prepare a coherent and convincing pitch, teams will benefit from developing this working document and using it when preparing their pitch.
The plan brings together various elements which are usually required as part of the business planning process. It begins by reviewing your overall strategy, and the business context in which your product is going to be launched and continues to analyse how the product will be produced, financed and marketed to the public. The plan should also set clear objectives and explain how these will be achieved and there should be an action plan to ensure that it really could become reality.
The final module will help teams prepare for their presentation to the dragons
at the end of the course. Students will be asked to look at what questions their
- What problem does this solve?
- Whose problem is this? Is it important to them? Is there evidence they would pay to have it solved?
- What are the toughest challenges implied by the idea? How will you solve each one?
- Do you have a prototype, sample, or demonstration?
- Of the remaining work, what is hardest to do?
- Why is your team the right one to solve this?
- Why should the dragons back your team on this?
To analyse whether their product is:
- A modification to something already in existence?
- A new feature or enhancement to an existing product/website/ company?
- A major new area of an existing product/website/company?
- An entirely new but small and simple project?
- An entirely new but large and possibly complex project?
- An organizational, directional, or philosophical change to an existing organization?
- A new organization?
Students will learn strategies to convey their idea in the best possible way – using eye contact, tone of voice, and ability to convey with conviction, pauses for effect, body movement for emphasis so that they are fully practised and prepared before stepping in front of the dragons.