Preview “Advantage”

Preview “Advantage”

“The Business Advantage Model™” for entrepreneurs

 

Prologue

 

People often ask me how I became an entrepreneur. The answer lies in the first 23 years of my career working for multinationals and their subsidiaries. An important role for a key employee in these types of organisations is to be continually adding value for the organisation as a whole, and for the specific business unit you work for. This means you have to be what is called an (An internal entrepreneur or Intrapreneur).

Twelve years ago, I jumped out of the corporate world to become an entrepreneur, to build businesses that I have an equity stake in. My motivations were both self-realization and monetary.

Over the last 12 years I have successfully created and been involved with a small number of technology companies as a founder and CEO which have had successful exits. I have also been involved as an added-value investor in several others, some of which have not succeeded as intended, many have made progress slower than expected and only a small number surprised me by their performance against expectations.  It has been a rewarding roller coaster of highs and lows, with great learning curves.

In my career I have been an advisor, coach, mentor, trainer, director etc. to many other organisations, start up, growth and turn around and have worked with private and state agencies that promote enterprise and economic development.

After my most recent exit and lock-in period, I decided to jump back into the entrepreneurial world and today I am actively involved in several technology companies and continue to be actively involved with promoting and supporting other new ventures, through several channels such as Enterprise Ireland, as one example, and IBM Smart-Camp as another. All this is by way of scene setting for introducing The Business Advantage Model™ (BAM™)”.

“The Business Advantage Model™ (BAM™)” was developed to provide both a framework and a roadmap for entrepreneurs who want to minimise the risks and maximise the returns associated with starting and growing a successful new business entity.

The framework is embedded in the model and provides terms of reference for the entrepreneur and a logical process that the entrepreneurial team can use.  It is there to inform the team what are the right things to do? And the right way to do them? The roadmap also embedded in the model is about aiding the entrepreneur make decisions on priorities at the right time.

So The BAM™ is a model to enable entrepreneurial teams plan and execute activities that deliver the maximum value creation in the business for its current stage of maturity and its unique business context. It is about:

Doing the right things, the right way, at the right time.

It has a simple model basis of “Advantage”; in particular, competitive advantage but not exclusively, because if we focus on creating advantage in every part of our business as part of the culture and process, aligned with the target market advantage then we maximise the value we create within the business and, equally as important if not more so, for our customers.

There are many models and frameworks available to you as an entrepreneur from both business and academia and all are excellent tools and sources of information. Some of these models focus on providing a comprehensive description of what needs to be done and guides you on how to do it, others point to the many choices and sources of information available for entrepreneurs.

However, entrepreneurs are usually resource-constrained and even if they are not, it is better to use a ‘just in time ‘approach to investing your resources in the development of a business, so that you optimise the learning and the creation of value, while minimising the risks. This is what the BAM™ was designed to do. In many ways, the BAM™ enables the entrepreneurs to choose from the other available models and use their strengths in a way that is well considered and minimises risk and maximises advantage.

This is not a book about competitive advantage, academic research, and neither is it a management handbook; what it does do is draw from each area. It uses the life cycle of creating, validating, building, maintaining and changing advantage as the basis for the model, because we all know that winning companies create real value through managing their advantage.

We know also that there are always resource constraints in a business and management’s role is about managing resources and converting available resources into value for the stakeholders, so that is what the book and the Model are about: Doing the right things, the right way, at the right time to create and extract value for the stakeholders.

I hope you enjoy the read, and get some value out of this book. I tell it as I see it and experience it, and do not proclaim that it’s the best solution for every case or that it’s the only approach, but one thing I have learned: if you adopt a strategy and plan and execute it well, while learning and adapting, you will reduce your risks and increase your potential for success.

The Formula

Source of Advantage, managed to create Market Advantage, enables uniqueness which can be converted to value experienced by the customer and value created for shareholders.

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