The Startup Business Strategy Frame

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The Startup Business Strategy Frame
Rahatullah, Effat University, Professor, Saudi Arabia, Member
Startup success is greatly attributed to pre-startup phase planning. Startups develop business plans to pitch their ideas to secure funding and or partners.
Perusing (Ed: ~reading) and relating the frameworks in the document could be long and cumbersome process. Similarly, there is no one page illustration that can sketch a startup’s strategy and plan that can be used universally.

Identifying this need of a one page clear, concise and attractive startup strategy model a ‘STARTUP FRAME’ is proposed:

It is constructed on learnings from considerations of the design thinking approach, the business (model) canvas and other modeling studies. The frame evolved over a period of 14 months in which two bootcamps were held. The bootcamps were attended by 266 potential startups. It has also been used by 28 students of senior entrepreneurship undergraduate course (Launching Entrepreneurial Ventures) over two semesters.
It provides a logical flow and connects value drivers on economic, operational and strategic levels of the startup. The frame provides a thorough look at startup from ideation to financial returns analysis in a sequential format. The frame enables identifying courses of action like:
  • Management of Customer Benefits (CBEN)
  • Management of Segmentation and the Customer Relationships (CREL)
  • Segmentation of Markets and Customers (SEGM)
  • Communication Management (COMM)
  • Strategic Goal Setting and Management (SGM)
  • Competitor Analysis (CA)
  • Developing Startup Frame (SF)
  • Designing the Business, Design Elements (DE)
  • Time Effectiveness at pre-startup stage.
  • One page illustration of the startup business strategy.
  • Ease in the pitching process for both the start-up and investor.
  • Triggers creativity in devising strategy.
  • Step by step approach to planning a startup from ideation to identifying the ROI.
  • Some information might require more space and extra blank sheets might have to be used by the user.
  • For some of the start-ups the whole frame may not be filled and some courses of actions may not be implemented.
  • Some start-ups may not have access to A3 papers for printing the frame.

Compare: The Entrepreneurial Strategy Compass.
See also: Startup Business Strategy Frame website.

Convincing the Client
srinivas, Lecturer, India, Member
Nice concise framework. However to me, even after having all of this, if one were to treat the ethical (read without any monetary manipulation or enticing by taking advantage of any negative emotion) path and convince the client becomes a different ball game I suppose. It requires to find a client that is value-oriented and also requires a person that the client trusts to vouch for the service provider I suppose.

Startup Business Strategy Framework
C.L. Kappagomtula, Professor, Malaysia, Member
A very nicely explained framework, in a single page. Kudos to the author for making the explanation very clear and concise. He has covered all the gamuts involved in starting up a new venture. More experimentation is needed to 'firm up' the model in the entrepreneurial domain.

Startup Business Analysis Framework
Sanjay Verma, Business, Kenya, Member
Very nicely presented. I am a great fan of one page reports!
It is simple and so it is effective.
There is no over-simplification nor any possibility of understating risks.
Excellent work!

Customer Segments and Strategic Segmentation
KOEHL Maryse, Professor, France, Member
The business plan can integrate different segments according to the project of activity of the start up.
It is possible to create subdivisions in the customer segments: consumer and business/professional customers. Such segments can be elaborated using strategic segmentation into several product/customer combinations. In this case, a product is only offered to a specific segment of customers. Such specialized offers can be a real strength compared with competitors that don't follow such strategy of specialization.

Please no Capitalisation
Derek Lark, CEO, Australia, SIG Leader
Please do not over-use capitalization in the forum. It is easy to use the normal text and better for everyone to read.

Interesting Proposal
Derek Lark, CEO, Australia, SIG Leader
Congratulations Rahatullah.
It is always good to see people testing the status quo and proposing new models. And also good to see it has actually been tested with 'users'. Please keep us informed as you iterate the model through further testing and usage.
Best Regards,

Story Board for a Business
S. Lago, Business Consultant, Canada, Member
Well done! By design you have captured the who, what, where, when, why, how, and how much of the business plan and shown the inter-relationships among them. When completed, the entrepreneurs should be able to confidently launch or pitch their business.

Add Major Processes to Startup Business Strategy Framework
Patrick Parsons
A great article. If I may add the following:
- A key component of any startup should be a "Process Landscape". Basically at a level 1 process level, look at the primary, secondary, management and support processes that are necessary to support the business strategy.
- Remember a strategy is driven by business processes, which are in turn enabled by technology and executed by people.

Startup Business Strategy Framework
AMRAOUI Abraim, Coach, Morocco, Member
Thank you very much for this framework. It will be useful for everyone needs to develop his business plan. I like it in one page.
Please keep us informed once the model is further validated.

How to Overcome Failure
Gavril, Management Consultant, Albania, Member
This is a good overview of start up process requirements. It would also be interesting to see a dynamic flow of the processes necessary for a start up venture, as a route of mitigating risks and failures.

Tested the Framework on Startups
Jamaldeen Faleel, Professor, Saudi Arabia, Member
I have tested it on some startups. I am mentoring while borrowing the frame from the owners. I and my startups found it an excellence source of developing and implementing a startup strategy.

Thanks Dr. Jamaldeen
Rahatullah, Effat University, Professor, Saudi Arabia, Member
@Jamaldeen Faleel: thanks for test and information, it was tested before as well with positive results and commendations.

Interesting Start-up Framework
Hesham Mugharbil, Lecturer, Saudi Arabia, Member
Good work Dr. Rahatullah. It is always helpful for start-ups to find concise information and at one place.
This framework should be utilized not only by start-ups, but also other entities such as funding organizations for startups.
Also, this should be presented in entrepreneurship workshops and trainings.

Much Needed Improvements
Hassan Syed, CEO, United States, Member
My company, has advocated lean practices for many years and I always felt that it was OK for a basic startup but inadequate in capturing the details for a more complex new venture.
I really like this model and hope to be able to promote it within our network.
Thank you Dr. Khan and Effat University for sharing this.

Helpful Framework for New Business Startup
Caleb Schweer, Student (University), Canada, Member
It's a very brief framework. I started a business in Canada and this frame has helped me model my startup. Great work!

Captured Most of the Critical Fields
Naguib Chowdhury, Business Consultant, Saudi Arabia, Member
I like the model as it captures some missing points from the original Business Model Canvas (which has only 9 building blocks). I guess, this one will give a comprehensive view on how to develop and run a start up.
Cool work Dr. Khan.

Start-up Model by Dr. Khan
Noor, Entrepreneur, Saudi Arabia, Member
In our entrepreneurial competitions, we used this model. This was a clear framework for us to describe to the judges what our project was about. We were directly mentored by Dr. Khan and I think it would be beneficial if he made some tutorial videos on how to apply it.

Complement with SMART or PRAMKU
Maurice Hogarth, Consultant, United Kingdom, Premium Member
I like the comprehensive one-page over-view. It could be complemented by SMART. Consider that even many SMART objectives are not achieved. That's why I prefer the PRAMKU test. In the PRAMKU test, objectives are written/tested to be:
P - PRECISE: unambiguous-cannot be misinterpreted accidentally or deliberately [=Specific]
M - MEASURABLE: [= Measurable] in NUMERIC terms of:
Quantity (how many/much)
+ Quality (how good)
+Time (by when/from when) [= Time Bounded]
+Cost (budget & effort/energy)
R - REALISTIC: in terms of CAN DO the ‘measurable’ as adequately Resourced & Capable/competent to do [Achievable/ Reachable]
K - KNOWN: i.e. adequately briefed / discussed so the reasons for and consequences of non-, achievement are
A - ACCEPTED: in that WILL DO.
Last 3 have been the greatest areas of weakness in all the ‘SMART’ objectives that I have seen ‘not achieved’.

Note: SMART (P. Meyer: Success Motivation Inst)
S - Stated positively (improve NOT reduce
M - Meaningful (valid / buy-in)
A - Attainable (capability)
R - Realistic (resourced)
T - Tangible (visible output).

Objectives and Their Development
Derek Lark, CEO, Australia, SIG Leader
Many objectives aren’t achieved, irrespective of the model used to develop them. There are many reasons why this occurs, driven from both the internal and external ecosystems and the execution maturity of the organisation.
In my experience both models are good for the purpose proposed by Dr Khan.

Achievement of Objectives
Maurice Hogarth, Consultant, United Kingdom, Premium Member
@Derek Lark: Agreed. Changes in a variety of factors (environmental, resourcing etc.) can prevent well written and actioned objectives from being achieved and no model can account for this.
Whether SMART, SMARTER, ISWEAR or PRAMKU are the tests, the objective statement is only as good as the data in it (GIGO: Garbage In Garbage Out).
SMART is 'good' but in my experience, only up to a point. Well written SMART objectives have not been achieved because those required to action them didn't really KNOW what they were or didn't UNDERSTAND the benefits or consequences of achieving / not achieving them or did but still didn't ACCEPT them; so were motivated to a minimum-get-by level of activity; i.e. the people factor was not taken into account. This is why the PRAMKU test has my preference.

SMART Goals / PRAMKU in Startup Business Strategy Frame
Rahatullah, Effat University, Professor, Saudi Arabia, Member
Agree and that's why SMART goals are included (at the bottom left of the framework).
I will check and see if the second verison of the frame could have some more features included.

The Startup Business Strategy Frame
Rahatullah, Effat University, Professor, Saudi Arabia, Member
I have now put the framework on a website: Users can work through it with the help of a work - guide book.
I am curious to know if you liked it...
Regards, Rahatullah.

Special Interest Group Leader
Derek Lark

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