One of the common mistakes of entrepreneurs starting businesses is skipping the FORM IT stage! Most get an idea, fall in love with it, plan it, spend on it, and try like hell to sell it!
Most businesses fail because of poor product-market fit. In other words, there was not a love connection between a customer's problem and the solution's value proposition. The FORM IT step validates the desirability, feasibility, and viability of your business idea long before you sow capital into it. Forming the business is developing the model of the essential core elements that validate the customer, solution. Do this well and you can ensure product-market fit, and a business worthy of your capital.
We learn this vital step for the original entrepreneur, Elohim, God the Creator.
Then the Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground and
breathed into his nostrils the breath of life,
and the man became a living creature.
Genesis 2:7 ESV
Elohim formed his creation before he breathed life into it. The proverbial Master Potter put His hands in the earth and formed man. I imagine it was in this moment that he shaped humanity into the structural form wherein He made us male and female from the same form. What's key, is that he formed it before he breathed life into it. The unwitting entrepreneur breathes life into her creation before it is formed. The life she breathes into her creation is her financial capital. It is the stored-up labor in the form of money that she has saved up or borrowed. We often sow it too early in the process. Like a balloon already has the shape of what it will become once it is filled with your air. Your business must first have the basic form of what it is to be before you blow capital into it. Else you will surely blow it!
Abusiness's quintessential form is a triad of fit with Customer-Problem-Solution. Too many entrepreneurs fixate on the solution and then fall in love with it. He blows past knowing the customer, intimately empathizing, and falling in love with her so much that he hates her problem and becomes impassioned to solve or eliminate it for her.
Ash Maurya helped us to stop falling in love with the solution by redirecting our love to the problem. He says, "start by recognizing that your true job is to create a customer, not your solution (MAURYA, 2016)." So don't love the solution, love the problem.” The problem with loving the problem is that I have never met a problem that I could love. Have you? While finding a big problem to solve is a good thing for business, The problem's owner is the real object of your affections. So, allow me to pile on Ash’s exhortation, don’t fall in love with your solution, love your customer, and hate their problem with a passion! After all, know the customer or no business!
In the FORM it stage you build and validate these assumptions and then breathe your precious capital into your business. This is business modeling. It involves creating a smaller replica of the business you've envisioned and testing the concept at its minimum viable product (MVP) or simplest core essence. The rest of the Form it process involves the marketing, revenue, and cost assumptions. Once you’ve created, tested, and refined the model through an interactive process you will have a technical right to confidently plan, invest and relaunch your business.
Form it! Is step 2 of 7 in the BIB LIFE Academy Business Growth System
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