A Blueprint for Purposeful Value Delivery
In Jetpack for Changemakers Step 6, the goal is to clarify what the end-to-end lifecycle and the interactions between customers and other key people who receive value from your solution look like. This is where you really get into the nitty-gritty of what’s needed behind the scenes to deliver that value. Armed with that, you’ll then develop a prioritised roadmap to set out the scope and steps of designing and ultimately building your solution.
Back when you worked up your solution concept, you would have considered:
- How people find out about your offering?
- How they take up your offer – whether they ‘try before they buy’ or just jump straight in?
- Who they interact with or what – a website, app or a robot – all of those things?
- What happens if things don’t go to plan, how do you troubleshoot?
- Do you have an ongoing relationship with these people – where do they go next and how?
- If you want them to come back to you for more of whatever value you provide, how will that happen?
Walk in Your Customer’s Shoes
This is when you map the journey those people take through the ‘before, during, and after’ of dealing with your startup. What touchpoints (people and things) will they interact with and what must those interactions do to keep them moving happily on their journey? Once you map this out, you need to think about the capabilities you need in place to deliver those interactions. These are often things that your customers never see: people, machinery and so on. The service blueprint is a marvellous tool for visually capturing that journey.
Look for the Bare Necessities
Isolate the interactions that are truly crucial to your successful launch and entry into the market. Then, carefully decide on the capabilities needed for that to happen. Focus on the bare minimum. Don’t waste time and money building capability that isn’t needed right now. There is little point in designing a moonbase if you can’t get out of orbit.
Keep removing and reducing features, functions, and capabilities until your end to end vision will crash if you remove one more thing. It’s much easier to get a kite off the ground and it’s much cheaper if it crashes than a supersonic jet. It’s also much cheaper to run. They’re obviously not comparable in many other respects but you get the idea. Focus your resources where they are needed the most for now.
Manage Your Downside
Identify the critical risks and the conditions that will give rise to them. Think about the risks as you look at your service blueprint and its interaction with your business and financial models. Ask yourself and your team:
- What could go wrong?
- How likely is that to happen?
- What is the consequence – does it matter?
- What indicators or signals will you monitor?
- For your top 3-5 risks, what can you do now to either avoid those scenarios or to reduce the damage they could have to your impact?
Iterate, Iterate, Iterate
When you think you’re finished with your service blueprint, revisit your financial model. Factor your risk mitigation scenarios into your financial model and tidy up your pitch deck, adding any new information (including your risk mitigation – this will give you peace of mind AND it will build credibility with your supporters).
Take your clarity of vision and your plan for your startup forward with confidence. Don’t underestimate the power of that clarity. It’s infectious. You’ll be well positioned to take action to move things forward, whether you’re still going it alone or with your team (which by now, should be forming). The work that you’ve done to date will set you up to take advantage of an opportunity when it presents itself. Now that you’re in motion, it will.
Surely There’s More?
Yes. There is a lot more, but you’re an early phase startup and where you go next is a decision that only you and your team can make. Your next step might be to join an accelerator or get funding, or you might just launch and focus on acquiring customers, building cash flow and establishing your business.
Unless you’re working on a once-off project, such as an event, you’re never really finished. It’s possible, although unlikely that your startup will be sustainable at this time. There’s still a lot to be done to get core operations bedded down to a point where you’re ready for your next phase of growth.
Should I Stay or Should I Go?
You might decide to call it a day and if that’s the right thing, do it with a clear conscience. Startups are hard work and if you’re not convinced, you’ll have a tough time leading others.
If you decide to continue with your startup, remember our three guiding principles.
- Temper ambition with reality
- Follow a method
- Get a coach
They’ll save you a lot of wasted time and energy.
Pay it Forward
Share your experience and insights with other founders. Whether your startup continues to the market and gets established or not, any experience you gain and anything you learn from it is valid and valuable. Continue to connect with your community of startup founders and purpose-driven supporters.
Success does not consist in never making mistakes but in never making the same one a second time.
– George Bernard Shaw
These articles are written to capture the essence of the six steps of the Jetpack for Changemakers program. We’re sharing them to provide a guide of what we have found to be most effective for purpose-driven startups. If you are interested in gaining a more in-depth understanding, along with the accountability and personalised guidance from experienced coaches to complete each step, please get in touch with us. We would love to chat about your options.