Most business start out with a product or service focus,
It then gradually evolves to cover other processes and services.
The story of Amancio Ortega founder of Zara is a case and point
Zara for example made their own clothes, When Ortega went to sell his designs, retailers did not buy it and so he decided to sell them himself. In the end unlike other chains, Zara had an integrated production and retail process so he could tailor his clothes specifically to his customers needs and be more responsive to market trends unlike other chains,
A case of a problem becoming an opportunity and serendipity.
Often when it takes a functional approach to each functional stovepipe often with a either efficiency of cost as a “departmental” focus you end up with a system when the sum of the parts is less than the whole.
It is a natural to first start with product in mind.
Then things evolve as you encounter further problems but it is also useful to consider
who the customer is ? (and challenge your assumptions on who the buyer for your product really is)
what problem or opportunity you are really trying to solve.
We are firstly totally absorbed by our vision of the product and the rest we solve as we go along… Joy is a wonderful film that shows the entrepreneur’s dream and journey…
However it does not need to be a process of serendipity.
Once one has validated the product, customer and business model, one should take the process of business design the next step.
By taking a Business Design approach you consider your business model, your product features and your service design as an integrated goal or objective.
Ask yourself questions such as ?
How, where and from whom will my customer buy my product or service ?
How will they pay of it ? (purchase, rental, free – eg via advertising)
How will they use it ?
How will they replace or dispose of it ? (second hand buy-back or aftermarket – eg cars, shares)
What do I want them to experience in using my product or service ?
How will they hear of it ?
How will I make it ? (in-house vs outsource)
When will I make it ? (Just in time, preorder or for stock)
By mapping the customer/users journey end to end you can design your business better.
In this way you do the right thing the right way.
By taking a total end to end process in designing your business one can maximise value for the customer and minimise the costs (direct, indirect, deferred, latent) and they by maximise shareholder and brand value.
For example Ikea when they designed the flat pack furniture developed an entire business model.
DIY + Flat pack make it cheaper to make, transport etc
DIY made it “fun for customer” – you value something you choose and make.
However its process had tomake sure that the products were complete (no missing screws), easy to make – simple instructions.