By Mark Wesley, publisher, business gardener, and marketing strategist
The Metamorphicx vision for your business is based on a model we like to call, The Tree of More Life. It’s a model that describes your business as a tree that ultimately bears fruit in the form of profits and, more importantly, the realization of your dream of a fulfilled life.
The birth of The Tree of More Life begins with a seed—your vision of how you want your business to change your life—nourished in rich soil—the core values that motivate you to achieve your dreams.
Given the foundation of a strong seed and nutrient-laden soil, your business can begin to send out roots, the first real manifestation of the structure that will become a successful business.
The Tap Root: A Strong Business Model
Every strong tree needs a sturdy tap root, a support that extends deep into the soil and keeps the tree steady through time and rough weather. So, too, does your business need a sturdy support in the form of strong, focused business model.
A business model is, in the simplest sense, a description of the way your business will run. It describes what you will do to make money. It identifies the resources you have access to, the product you will produce, and the way that the product will return money to you.
By itself, a business model is basic. It doesn’t concern itself with strategies for finding customers or refining products, with methods of distribution or marketing. It is concerned only with identifying your business’ key resources and its key activities as it works to build value from those resources and transfer that value to the customer.
It’s in the simplicity of the business model that its strength as a tap root for your Tree of More Life is apparent. By keeping the model simple, you’ll be better able to assess its strength; is the product your business produces, and the method for producing it, valuable and sustainable? A clear business model makes it easy to answer that question.
The clarity of the business model also fulfills the function of the tap root in keeping the tree steady. If you know with absolute certainty the basic function and goal of your business, you’re less likely to stray into areas where you may encounter trouble. You’ll be better able to stay where your business was always meant to be, and your Tree of More Life will stay stable and upright.
Branching Roots: Customers and Value Propositions
Now that your Tree of More Life has a primary support in a strong business model, it can begin to develop branching side roots that will feed the business and keep growing and healthy. This complex root structure is made up of the aspects of your business plan that focus on identifying your target customers, understanding those customers, and delivering value to them at an appropriate cost.
The Importance of a Value Proposition
This root system begins with a value proposition, a description of how your business will create something of value that your customers will need or want and will be willing to pay you to get. It describes how your product solves a customer’s problem, and it explains why your product is better for your customer than any other competing product or solution.
Your value proposition should be clear in the understanding of the problem that it intends to solve or the benefit it intends to bestow on customers, and it should explain what differentiates your product from any other solution that your customer might choose instead.
Identifying Your Customers and Their Needs
Of course, the only way that you can build a strong case for how your product satisfies your customers’ needs is if you know who your customers are and what they need. That’s why another crucial part of your root system is the identification of customer segments, precise and specific descriptions of your targeted customers based on characteristics such as age, gender, economic situation, geographic situation, or any other traits that are relevant for your intended market.
Customer segmentation allows you to build profiles of your target customers so that you can better understand what they want and need, and those profiles will, in turn, show you how to best deliver value to the customers.
Serving Your Customers: Channels, Costs, and Revenue
After you understand your customers’ needs and how you’re going to meet them, you can concentrate on the rest of the value chain: how you will deliver value to your customers, and how that delivery of value will result in revenue for your company.
This part of your Tree’s root system is focused on the marketing and distribution channels through which you’ll make customers aware of your product and get the product to them. It’s concerned, too, with the cost and pricing structures that will set prices for your product that are attractive to your customer and profit-generating for you, and it describes the various revenue streams that will feed your business.
The Root System: The Basis of a Successful Business
Now your Tree of More Life has a healthy root system that will both support and stabilize your business. It will keep your business on track as it grows, and it will also clearly identify those key sources of nutrients—value, customers, revenue—that will eventually lead your business to bear fruit.
Mark Wesley owns metamorphicx and me+mi publishing. He has spent the last 25 years developing products and providing services for businesses across the United States. As an EMyth-certified business coach and Duct Tape marketing consultant, Wesley helps clients improve their leadership, branding, finance, management, marketing, sales, and customer engagement skills. He is a current member of the IBPA board of directors.