At NaperLaunch and in the NaperLaunch Academy, we promote and teach the Lean Startup Process. As described on our blog, that process was developed by Steve Blank and Eric Ries to help would-be entrepreneurs start new enterprises and bring new products to market. Others, including Frank Robinson, Ash Maurya, and Alex Osterwalder, originated or helped define many of the lean concepts used today.
Early in the startup process, it is important for founders to consider the financial needs of the potential business and complete a break-even analysis. After determining a customer problem that will be solved by a new business enterprise and determining how to create and deliver that solution through a new product or a new service, a founder should make sure delivery of that solution will not only cover operating costs but also deliver a profit. If break-even and a profit cannot be achieved, then the enterprise, product or service should not be pursued.
As we have written in previous posts, a business’ unique value proposition (UVP) should clearly state why customers will want to buy from that business. It must identify the value promise being made for a service or product. That means that a strong UVP is relevant to a target customer group’s specific problem, promises certain benefits of quantifiable value, and states how a service or product is different from other offerings in the marketplace.
Unique Value Proposition, Part 1: 4 Steps to Creating a UVP
So you’ve identified a customer problem and built a product or service to solve it. How can you convince potential customers to buy from you rather than the competition? It’s time to define your unique value proposition (UVP).
A UVP is a single, clear, compelling message that states why you are different and worth a customer’s attention. In other words, it’s a promise of value to be delivered.
You have assessed the feasibility of your business idea and created a plan to get started. What comes next? How do you turn your idea into a legally recognized Illinois business? Here are the four things you should do first.
1. Choose an organization structure for your business.
There are several ways to organize businesses in Illinois, each with its own legal and tax implications. Your form of business determines which income tax return forms you must file.
The most common forms of business are:
Let us say you have had an idea rattling around in your head for a few years about how to improve a basic service or product that you have used in the past. You are pretty sure you have the knowledge and skill to deliver that enhanced service or product. Now you are wondering how to go about commercializing it.
A major part of the mission of NaperLaunch is to foster business success. Our intent is to help business founders find the information they need to be successful in launching and operating a business.
We believe in a process-driven approach to make certain that important steps and issues are at least thought through and considered, if not fully executed. Over the years we have adopted some basic concepts from the best thinkers in the world of entrepreneurship. Those concepts are at the core of the startup process we try to follow.
More than 100 entrepreneurs have attended NaperLaunch Academy to develop fundamental business knowledge and learn the “lean startup process.” To meet the needs of busy entrepreneurs, the Academy curriculum is now available in two formats: live workshops or self-guided virtual courses.
With the new year comes some exciting new developments at NaperLaunch. In March, we’ll debut some updates to the format, schedule, and content of our programs. These changes reflect the latest evolution of our continued efforts to serve the needs of Naperville-area entrepreneurs and small business owners. While some of our programs may look different, our commitment to meeting business owners where they are remains the same. Here’s a look at what’s new, and what won’t change, at NaperLaunch in 2020.
Have you resolved to start a business in 2020? The NaperLaunch Academy can help you achieve your goal!
The NaperLaunch Academy is a free, 17-week business curriculum designed to help entrepreneurs develop fundamental business knowledge, improve salesmanship and leadership skills and learn the “lean startup process.” Through courses on business ideation, planning, marketing and sales, support from SCORE Mentors and all of the resources available at the Naperville Public Library, we empower entrepreneurs with everything they need to be successful.