This is Fort Collins Startup Week (#FCSW15 for those on social media), which means that entrepreneurship is in the air! Signs that you’ve caught the business bug include:
Having an insatiable idea that’s demanding your attention,
Feeling an unshakeable desire in your gut to do something entrepreneurial,
Gaining confidence that you can do it, even though you still don’t now how,
Getting the sense that you’ll regret it more if you don’t try, then to try and fail…
If you have one or more of theses symptoms I highly advise you DO something about it. Whether you are just dabbling or you are ready to go at it full tilt, I am here to encourage you to start by giving your idea some attention and intention!
Start With Fundamentals
We are in an exciting time where the game of business is changing. Despite that change some business fundamentals remain the same. For example, to have a viable business you still need to have a model for generating revenue. Seems obvious, I know but you wouldn’t believe how many people gloss over that…
But there’s more. Even if you think you’ve figured out how to generate revenue, until you’ve proven your idea will work it’s all just a crap shot. And this is one fundamental of business that has changed…it used to be you could simply market your way to success. You’re product/service development would be all hush hush! But now, you have to engage your customers in co-creating your business from the very beginning (if you’re already started, fear not, it’s not too late to go back to these fundamentals).
You can cover both the new and traditional fundamentals of business by engaging in Lean Startup and Customer Discovery!
Start with the Business Model Canvas
There’s a lot to both Lean Startup and Customer Discovery that I would love to share with you at some point. But for the sake of not overwhelming you, I will share just one tool to help you get started. It’s called the Business Model Canvas. Designed by Alexander Osterwalder, this one page business modeling tool helps you to document your business ideas so that you can start to see how the moving parts work together.
The business model canvas helps you identify areas of your business idea that need to be further developed. And,because all business ideas start by you making a series of assumptions, it helps you to document those guesses so that you can begin testing your idea. It’s a lot of work to go through the lean startup process (building a business generally is). But if you stick with it, you’re likely to find a viable business model before running out of resources!
The Anti-Business Plan Workshop
If you are sticking with me so far, you might be interested in this opportunity coming up. On Thursday June 4th, we will host the Anti-Business Plan Workshop. Participants in this hands-on, half day workshop will walk away with a completed business model canvas. We will also introduce you to lean startup and provide an overview of the customer discovery process. AND you will get to connect with fellow entrepreneurs that will provide support to you in ways you could never imagine (that’s just the way the EntrepreNerds community is)!
Workshop Participants’ Testimonials
“The Anti-Business Plan Workshop was exactly what I needed to kick my butt in gear. Ariana does a great job of inspiring and motivating each one of us. I left the workshop feeling confident in my business and its future.”
– Kristen Kunau, Founder Freida Farms
“This workshop exceeded my expectations! Not only was it conducted with expert advice, grace, and wit, but also I was able to walk away with a comprehensive and working business plan that manifests in a “business model map” topped with lots of sticky notes and brainstorming ideas. Ariana’s confidence is contagious!”
– Rachael Lynn Davis, Fort Collins Murals
We know what it’s like to be a cash poor startup founder, as do many fellow EntrepreNerds. That is why we are able to offer scholarships to our workshops!
Ideal scholarship candidates have limited means. They could have recently lost a source of income that they need to replace with a business venture. Despite that, they are determined to make a go at it. If that sounds like you or someone you know, a scholarship might be a great fit! Anyone can apply for a scholarship.
Scholarship applications for the upcoming workshop are due on May 31st. All applicants will be notified on June 1.