The HUB knows world changing initiatives need good business models. During May and June 25 social entrepreneurs boosted their business models, supported by Business Models Inc. and The HUB. When evaluating with each and everyone of them, we learned that the “60 day countdown to succes” is a succesful formula, that paves the path of your businesses forward.
The good news already is: We are running it again! Should you join? Make up your mind and read on. Participants David Beckett, Joel Monk , Chris Monaghan and Genevieve Quirk tell you about their motivation, key moments & take aways.
What motivated people to join the course?
Participants said it was the need for new ways to increase company revenue, the need for a solid business model after a career switch from working in contract to becoming an entrepreneur and an interest to learn a new way of thinking around setting up a business model.
David explains: “I’d read the book by the Business Models guys and was interested to get insight directly into how the facilitators saw the process working. I believe in visual planning, and their approach is all about taking your ideas out of your head and onto paper so that they can be shared and discussed simply. I had many ideas for my business and was looking for a way to solidify those ideas into a workable plan. I also liked the idea of the 60 Day time-plan, and working among a group of other Hub members, which I knew would be inspiring.”
What were real eye openers in the course?
Shifting perspective on their own business model has brought the participants very different new insights.
Chris: “It was interesting to realize how effective it could be to imitate the business models of established but unrelated industries. It forces you to rethink how you might do things.”
Joel: The biggest lesson I learnt was around customer validation. Never think you know exactly what your customer wants. Test your ideas with them and incorporate the feedback. If the customers like your product they’ll let you know. They’ll use it!
David: “What I learned is that you can apply this concept of the Business Model Canvas to almost any business – it’s not just for start-ups.
I have done a lot of work for free in the last two years, trying to gain a reputation and develop my network. Patrick pointed out that ‘somebody in the Business Model Canvas has to pay for that.’ I realised I had to look at free work as less of a sporadic activity and more as a strategy – when am I going to get that time/money back and from which customer group?
I also found that the core of Value Proposition was very important. I was amazed at how many of the group (me included!) found it so difficult to express exactly what value we were delivering to our customers and organisation. That made me talk it through with people outside the group and refine my message.
One exercise was about removing a key resource from your organisation and seeing how that would change things. The resource I had to remove was ME! And after the shock of thinking, ‘impossible, the business is only me’ I realised that I should think in terms of being a publisher instead of a writer. I could get other people to write, as long as I have a good brand and good marketing to promote the products. It changed my way of thinking about the business totally.”
From the feedback it also became clear that the group process was key to getting to these eye opening moments.
Genevieve: “The magic happened when participant Frederieke Maagdenberg dared me to follow where the “energy flows” in my business model. From there it became natural to start making choices and decisions on the most fulfilling, thrilling and inspiring parts of my plans.”
Joel: “A great learning was when people pitched their ideas to the rest of the group. As person after person spoke I started to get a real sense of what makes and idea inspiring and easily understood.”
How are these ideas applied after the course?
David: “The testing out part is crucial for me. I’ve just published the first book under the Three Minute Business brand, and I’m not promoting it at all yet – just testing with a few close friends/ex-colleagues/potential clients. I plan to follow up soon with at least three more titles in 2012. I’ll be doing that in parallel with a new family and a new job – but three-minute business is all about fitting stuff into a busy life! So I’ll be living my brand…”
Genevieve: “Based on a proposal I wrote after the course, I have access to a 120 ft yacht for two years for an outreach program. Right now, I am in consultation with a major donor to realise a program to support a regional vision for marine conservation developed by the large ocean states of the South Pacific. The course gave me the motivation to shoot for the stars!”