Don’t Do Your Strategic Plan Until You Do This

Don’t Do Your Strategic Plan Until You Do This

As-Is Strategy, Strategic Models, Strategic Planning
Strategic planning is a must. Most business owners know it. Most small business owners and sole proprietors don't do it well.  Don't do your strategic plan until you do this. What is "this"? Construction of a Blue Ocean Strategy As-Is Strategy Canvas. There is a significant argument to be made for going through the As-Is Strategy Canvas process as prescribed in Blue Ocean Strategy: How to Create Uncontested Market Space and Make the Competition Irrelevant. This strategic planning book and its later companion Blue Ocean Shift both describe Blue Ocean Strategy case studies and in Blue Ocean Shift, some high-level details on the implementation of blue ocean strategies. W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne, the authors are worthy follows on social media by the way. John P. Kotter states in…
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Blue Ocean for Solopreneurs. Reconstruct Your Boundaries.

Blue Ocean for Solopreneurs. Reconstruct Your Boundaries.

Blue Ocean Articles, Six Paths Framework
Blue ocean for solopreneurs? Reconstruct your boundaries. Candidly, the ability to recreate, modify, enhance, or redefine industries is my all-time favorite business topic. Redefining and recreating one's life is my favorite personal topic! Chapter three of Blue Ocean Strategy starts with "The first principle of blue ocean strategy is to reconstruct market boundaries to break from the competition and create blue oceans." The challenge is to identify and implement countless opportunities for blue ocean growth. The authors of Blue Ocean Strategy found clear patterns for creating blue oceans. Research of companies and industries led to the identification of six basic approaches. Over the years, validation of these six approaches has been codified as the six paths framework. In this post, blue ocean strategy for solopreneurs; reconstruct your boundaries, path one;…
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Blue Ocean Strategy for Solopreneurs

Blue Ocean Strategy for Solopreneurs

As-Is Strategy, Blue Ocean Articles
Finding strategic planning services for solopreneurs is a challenge. There is a need for Blue Ocean Strategy communities for solopreneurs. Let's be clear on a couple of definitions. Solopreneurship implies that all tasks, responsibilities, and results fall to the single business owner. [caption id="attachment_1667" align="alignnone" width="746"]                                                     From Merriam-Webster[/caption] I can't disagree with this definition but I will add to it. I've been a solopreneur for years. However, I've not worked alone. I have relationships with contractors all over the world. I have collaborators. I'm responsible for making all decisions but I don't do so in a vacuum. Savvy solopreneurs are able to generate significant…
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The days of building alcohol brands at restaurants, bars, and venues are over.

The days of building alcohol brands at restaurants, bars, and venues are over.

Blue Ocean Articles, ERRC Grid
It's time to disrupt and innovate the promotion and marketing model of spirits, wine, and beer. Sampling and tasting methods of marketing are broken and hundreds of millions of dollars have been wasted on what brands perceive to be tried and true models. In Blue Ocean Strategy parlance, there is a need for a new value proposition. One of the ways a new value proposition is developed is via the ERRC Grid in Blue Ocean Strategy. One goes through and exercise, generally with use of the As-Is Strategy Canvas to determine the current strategic key factors of competition. This helps define the current state of play.  It provides data and insight leading to the hard decisions around what may be eliminated, reduced, raised, and created. Hence, ERRC. The culmination of the…
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Reconstruct your industries boundaries to find new markets

Reconstruct your industries boundaries to find new markets

Blue Ocean Articles
In today's final red ocean trap, we learn that some believe that blue ocean strategy is synonymous with creative destruction or disruption. This is actually not the case. In the case of disruption or creative destruction, we see a displacement of a previous offering. The horse and its staff of caretakers was displaced by the automobile and its completely alternative supply chain. The traditional retailer has in great part been displaced by Amazon. While there are blue ocean elements to those industries they were destructive of the previous industries with their displacement characteristics. Blue ocean strategy is not predicated on displacement or destruction of markets. One classic example of success used in Blue Ocean Strategy, How to Create Uncontested Market Space and Make the Competition Irrelevant is Viagra. This "lifestyle"…
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Blue oceans of new market space aren’t all about innovation.

Blue oceans of new market space aren’t all about innovation.

Blue Ocean Articles
A common misconception or myth in this case is that Blue Ocean Strategy is the same as innovation. They are not the same. There are countless examples of great innovations that didn't lead to new markets or great value innovations. A blue ocean of new customers comes from value innovations that are significant enough to appeal to new customers. Case in point? Shared Spirits. A company I've been a founder and partner in for years. The company rolled out a terrific suite of innovative technologies around the sharing of spirits, wine, and beer in restaurants and bars. There is a robust back end that allows brands to spend money promoting their brands via spends for cocktails, wine, and beer through a network of influencers associated with the brand and the…
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New markets are closer than you realize

New markets are closer than you realize

Blue Ocean Articles
Often times a company owner or solopreneur believes that their core offerings or core business aren't sufficient to find new markets or new customers. They end up in the trap of price reductions, reduced margins, or moving to a premium offering that doesn't sell. They venture far away from their core expertise or the core expertise of their team. Red ocean trap two is a challenging one. I get it. Your customers have vanished, your service or product isn't selling and what to do? There are processes in place that allow you to take some control. Think about some tangible examples. Casella wines was in the wine business prior to their launch of Yellowtail wines. Yellowtail's blue ocean success didn't come from a company that was out of the wine…
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