Blue Ocean Frameworks for Solopreneurs Part Two

Previously, we shared some highlights of blue ocean strategy tools and frameworks from Chapter Two of Blue Ocean Strategy, How to Create Uncontested Market Space and Make the Competition Irrelevant. Today we cover blue ocean frameworks for solopreneurs, part two. This is also from chapter two of the book.

As solopreneurs, we should still want to build unique blue ocean-influenced companies. We should seek to move from being a competitor to an alternative. We should strive to serve non-customers over customers. When companies of any size begin to serve non-customers with an alternative to the competition, growth becomes explosive and fast.

There are two significant tools shared in chapter two.

They are two of our favorites. They are the Four Actions Framework and the ERRC Grid. Let’s start with the Four Actions Framework.

Four actions framework

As a solopreneur making decisions around business models, offerings, products, and even personnel, you have to ask the tough questions. If you’re committed to value-innovation you’re going to ask these four great questions.

Which factors in your industry should be eliminated? Example? Making people call you on the phone for pricing when obtaining it online may be preferred?

Which factors should be raised above the industry standard? Example? How might people get their oil changed while at home or while their car is parked at work?

Which factors should be created that the industry has never offered? Example? Legal services that allow for the opening of cases completely virtually?

Which factors should be reduced below the industry standard? Example? A General Practitioner running a medical practice that launches telemedicine initiatives as a priority over in-office visits.

When you pursue the answers to these questions in the right combination, you find ways to reduce costs while simultaneously increasing value to your customers.

Keeping your solopreneur hat on, let’s look at the second tool. The ERRC or Eliminate, Reduce, Raise, Create Grid.

Find below one of the grids modeled for the spirits and wine industry. The rules for small operations, even solopreneurs are the same.


The grid is a supplementary tool that puts into action the necessary elements of the Four Actions Framework. When you ask the questions, the grid is where you put your answers. The answers may then become measurable action items.

As you are able to see in the grid, each of the items now becomes actionable. You can literally assign a time frame and a method of execution to the elimination, the reduction, the raising, and the creation.

As a solopreneur or small business, you really can implement enterprise-level strategic initiatives like blue ocean strategy.

If you’d like to learn more about this work and would like to apply to be part of the first cohort of Blue Ocean Strategy for Solopreneurs, click here for more information.