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Successful Venture Scaling Learning 5: Business Model

Refine your business model for successful scaling with our guide. Learn to align strategies with market needs and streamline processes for growth.
May 23, 2024
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Chief Operating Officer

Successful Venture Scaling – the Learning Series

While the success of corporate venture building is undeniable, a significant gap remains in guiding founders through the critical scaling stage. Recognising this, we have crafted a unique framework for venture scaling, distilled into an accessible and comprehensive book. This resource encapsulates decades of expertise in both corporate and independent venture building, offering a straightforward approach to scaling ventures alongside insights into all relevant business dimensions for scaling success.In a bid to share this knowledge widely, we're launching a series of more than 50 mini-blogs, each spotlighting a specific sub-dimension of these business dimensions. Whether you're seeking the full breadth of our scaling framework or wish to engage our experts directly, this series—and the book it draws from—provides the guidance you need for successful venture scaling.

Introduction to the Strategy Dimension

The first scaling framework dimension is strategy. This dimension sums up everything that gives your venture a longer-term perspective. Starting from the vision and leading to investor relations, the subdimensions of strategy are often the venture founders’ responsibility. The topics in this chapter are unique; they are the only topics that must be known throughout your entire venture, from the beginning of the building phase to long after the scaling phase. They give direction and can unify your venture if prepared and communicated correctly. Make sure you plan for that communication part, maybe more than once. Your employees must understand the common goal everyone is working for.

The blogs in this dimension are:

  1. Vision and Mission
  2. Strategy
  3. Value Proposition
  4. Market and Competition
  5. Business Model
  6. Business Plan
  7. Investor Relations

Business Model

Your business model is the core of your venture. It describes what you do, how you do it, with whom you do it, and who you do it for. Many ventures use Osterwalder’s business model canvas18 for that. While this approach is an excellent way to define your business model in the beginning, in the scaling phase at the latest, it is no longer enough. This business model canvas is difficult to understand and therefore unsuitable for onboarding, vendors, and investor discussions.

In the scaling phase, you should switch to a simpler graphical version of business model visualization. Use something like a value stream map. In the center is your company; at one end, your customer; on the other, sources you use, e.g., vendors, suppliers, etc. Each of them is a simple box. Between these boxes, you draw arrows representing the value transferred from one box to the other. In the case of your company and the customer, it would be money and product that each has an arrow.

This approach of visualizing your business model is easier to understand and helps as a starting point for process automation, which is essential in venture scaling. Of course, detailing your value-generation processes is also critical.

Questions to Assess Your Business Model's Status Quo

  1. Have we clearly defined our business model?
  2. Is our business model aligned with our value proposition, vision, and mission?
  3. Do we need to update our business model after pivoting from the building phase?
  4. Have we created a graphical version of our business model that is easily understood by customers, vendors, investors, and new employees?
  5. Have we defined our business model’s inputs and outputs and drawn a value stream map?
  6. Do we have a process chart or value stream map for our internal value generation processes?

Next Steps

Your business model is the core of your venture, especially as you scale. It's crucial to ensure it remains aligned with your strategic objectives, market demands, and the evolving landscape of your industry. For ventures looking to refine their business model or seeking personalized guidance, our team of experts is here to assist. Reach out to explore how we can support your venture's strategic development and scaling efforts.

Stay tuned for our next piece in this series, where we will explore another critical dimension of venture scaling, equipping you with the knowledge and tools needed to navigate the complex landscape of corporate venture building successfully.

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