I am spending the next few weeks writing and publishing a sequence of posts titled Blue Ocean Solopreneurs – The Series.
Solopreneurs are a brave and inspiring group. They are thrown into business out of necessity. Occasionally, they launch businesses simply to supplement their W-2 incomes. Interesting economic times call for innovation and new ways of looking at things.
As mentioned in a previous post, the solopreneur community is now over 41,000,000. There are thousands of resources around marketing, sales, finance, and operations for solopreneurs.
There is a shortage of strong strategic planning and growth models for solopreneurs.
The Blue Ocean Strategy model developed by W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne has successfully led to value innovation and explosive growth of blue oceans of uncontested markets for countless businesses.
It is my company’s mission to provide cost-effective blue ocean strategic planning to solopreneurs in an online group coaching model.
Readers of this series will experience a consistent exposure to the entire expanded edition of Blue Ocean Strategy, How to Create Uncontested Market Space and Make the Competition Irrelevant.
I will be going through each chapter and section of the book. Posts will include thoughts, observations, examples, and resources through the lens of solopreneurs and their unique needs.
Today’s post features highlights from the introductory section that precedes the Preface. We are not leaving a stone unturned.
“Help! My Ocean is Turning Red”
You will be quick to notice as you read Blue Ocean Strategy, the solopreneur has to cull out her own lessons and analogies from the text. The book is pointed at corporate types and entrepreneurs with mid-size to large businesses.
As you make decisions about your business direction or what business to even enter, you’ve noticed that competition is more fierce than ever. Margins are being pinched, sales are suffering, and products and services are being commoditized at an alarming rate.
There are key points made in this introductory section of the book.
The big challenge for any business, especially solopreneurs, is how best to align systems and activities – including a network of external partners to create a sustainable blue ocean strategy.
These external partners will be key, if they are not already, to your success.
The primary aim of the text when it was written was to provide organizations a means to create blue oceans in an opportunity-maximizing, risk-balanced way. This is the reason I am spending the next few weeks writing and publishing a sequence of posts titled Blue Ocean Solopreneurs – The Series.
You will be called on to challenge long-held beliefs. Let’s cover five key distinctions.
1. Competition isn’t the main thing.
Say what? That’s right. You can’t let your competitor establish the baseline or assume that benchmarking them will help you improve. Your focus will be directed in this series on how to deliver a leap in value to the buyer.
Beating competitors isn’t the goal. Transcending the competition is.
2. Industry structure is not a given. It may be shaped.
By asking new questions, eliminating key components of your business, and introducing new higher value lower costs features, you may be able to shape new industries from the mold of your own. Forget about market boundaries. This line of thinking isn’t just for small to mid-size businesses or corporate divisions.
3. Strategic creativity may be unlocked systematically.
We have long been exposed to strategic planning models that force us to assess strategic threats to our business. This SWAT analysis approach has its time-proven strengths. However, it lacks the necessary tools that have proven to provide the value innovation necessary to unlock new markets. Blue Ocean Strategy frameworks and tools harness creativity from your mind, your customers, your vendors, your target markets, and exceptionally well from those who chose not to do business with you.
4. Execution can be built into strategy formulation.
It’s not too late. You should be leveraging a strategic framework for every key decision you make. Whether it’s opening that long-imagined business, expanding your offerings, pricing, or hiring someone, you can utilize blue ocean tools to make better decisions.
5. A step by step model for creating a business-building strategy exist.
With a blue ocean strategy canvas, you’re immediately learning the current state of play. You then begin to utilize all the other tools within the blue ocean arsenal and soon recognize the potential to think strategically in almost every stage of your business. Being a solopreneur makes this even more important. You don’t get second chances as a solopreneur. You have to eat what you kill.
Come along with me and others for the journey. We’ll cover every aspect of the book along with subtle nuances of what’s going on in each of our businesses.
This is the reason I am spending the next few weeks writing and publishing a sequence of posts titled Blue Ocean Solopreneurs – The Series.
Take part in the inaugural cohort of 5 business owners and follow along with me as I publish the series. Express your interest in the cohort by dropping me a line in the contact box.