"It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the ones most responsive to change" Charles Darwin

Throw Out Your Business Plan and Create a Business Map

The pace of change has accelerated to the point where a business plan is no longer enough to plot the future of your business with any certainty. Disruptive technologies or unexpected competitors can come along and displace your business overnight. How do you position your business in this hyper-competitive environment?

D This is force #1 of the 7 Forces of Business Mastery: Know Where You Really Are and Create an Effective Business Map.

To create an effective business map, first ask yourself “What business am I in?

And then drill a little deeper. For instance, what business is Starbucks in? Most people would say the coffee business. But ask Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, and he will likely tell you about his trip to Italy, where he saw people eagerly meeting in cafes before and after work. He saw the promise of a transitional meeting place between home and work, and that was the seed that grew into Starbucks. He knew his business was about creating an experience, not just delivering coffee.

The next two questions are: “What business am I really in?” and “How is business?

How is this useful? Back in the early 1900s, if railroad companies in the U.S. realized that they were really in the transportation business, not the railroad business, they could have prevented the entire industry from going bankrupt as the trucking industry took over.

Having a business map really means framing your business in terms that enable you to see opportunities (and threats) that you might otherwise overlook. Knowing what business you’re really in means having a deep and thorough understanding of your customer and the value they gain from you.

Once you really understand how to consistently offer more value than anyone else in your market, you’re in a better position to identify where you are now, and what it will take to get to where you want to be.

You’ll have more certainty about what your business needs to grow now, and you’ll be better able to steer your organization in accordance with that vision. Most important, you’ll understand what business you need to be in to become the dominant force in your market.

A system of constant strategic innovations is the ultimate advantage.

Apple. Facebook. Tom’s Shoes. What do all of these groundbreaking companies have in common? Learn the secrets behind their effective business maps and the rest of the 7 Forces of Business Mastery.

5 Responses to “Throw Out Your Business Plan and Create a Business Map”

  1. Ron Miller says:

    Nice insight, the title threw me off a bit but I write business plans & grants for a living so that’s probably why. But great article.

  2. Interesting title. You used the term ‘map’ as if you adopt a sense of movement and direction, instead of the term ‘plan’ that seems to include a pure thinking approach with no action…

  3. Mary Ann says:

    Tony is brilliant, attended Business Mastery, amazing results.. Be on the edge, ahead of the curve; thats what I received at Business Mastery.. The map is one simple, creative idea to implement immediately.
    Thanks Tony for changing my life personally,Financially and professionally, Mary Ann

  4. Strange how we’re all so different in so many ways: where Ron stated that the title ‘threw him off a bit’ (which is just humanly fine; nothing wrong at all, just a different perspective) I couldn’t help but notice it instantaneously. I’ve always enjoyed using the analogy of two people who reside on the west coast: they both wish to cross the states & visit the east coast, specifically a unique, authentic Italian coffee house. Naturally this NY coffee house has its own, specific address. One of the two men has a map, (Okay, okay…GPS!) while the other is intent on “winging” it. Which of these-two men are more probable than not to arrive at the coffee house first? Both the analogy as well as the answer are elementary, consisting of the most basic common sense; but the ideals are a simplifying change rather than the assumed notion that only houses are to be planned & skyscrapers mapped. A plan is a plan, neither better nor worse, yet how many times have we heard said, ‘…they’re still in the planning phase’. Maps, for the most part, are a collection of plans post-phase, thoroughly thought out & ready to become what they may: maps are eloquent plans within plans, tried & true, fitting perfectly in their places like pieces to a puzzle. Tangible.
    By the time any man, woman or child has created their map to sweet completion (literally drawn out on paper in all its individual, original glory) then only death or simply giving up can kill one’s dreams.

  5. Paul Shakuri says:

    Tony my dream is to one day meet you. I too am a powerful speaker with my own podcast show. The business map is what I have taught my audience to implement because I agree ! We are changing and so is society so quick !! Thank you for your hard work and dedication !

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