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Start Up Cookbook

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This book is for anyone who has had an idea and said, “I should start my own company.”
It does not matter what type of idea, the level of business experience you have, or your educational background. Anyone armed
with a dream and passion can turn his or her idea into a business. No more excuses, it is time to Stop Talking and Start Doing!
The StartUp Cookbook is for the dreamers and doers of our world: the people who choose to take on the entrepreneurial journey
and start a company. These entrepreneurs are the true heroes of our communities transforming their own lives, and the lives of
those who benefit from their creations.
The visual thinking tools found inside this book provide you with a step-by-step guide to test your ideas, develop a team, design
your business model, go to market, and accelerate generating revenue.

This book is for anyone who has had an idea and said, “I should start my own company.”
It does not matter what type of idea, the level of business experience you have, or your educational background. Anyone armed
with a dream and passion can turn his or her idea into a business. No more excuses, it is time to Stop Talking and Start Doing!
The StartUp Cookbook is for the dreamers and doers of our world: the people who choose to take on the entrepreneurial journey
and start a company. These entrepreneurs are the true heroes of our communities transforming their own lives, and the lives of
those who benefit from their creations.
The visual thinking tools found inside this book provide you with a step-by-step guide to test your ideas, develop a team, design
your business model, go to market, and accelerate generating revenue.

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Start Up Cookbook

  1. 1. Create Your Own Job . . . Start and Build a Company Today Using This Step-by-Step Guide This book is for anyone who has had an idea and said,“I should start my own company.” It does not matter what type of idea, the level of business experience you have, or your educational background. Anyone armed with a dream and passion can turn his or her idea into a business. No more excuses, it is time to Stop Talking and Start Doing! The StartUp Cookbook is for the dreamers and doers of our world: the people who choose to take on the entrepreneurial journey and start a company. These entrepreneurs are the true heroes of our communities transforming their own lives, and the lives of those who benefit from their creations. The visual thinking tools found inside this book provide you with a step-by-step guide to test your ideas, develop a team, design your business model, go to market, and accelerate generating revenue. Go To Market. Secure Customers. Generate Revenue. The way startups are being built is rapidly changing.Today, entrepreneurs are rewarded for going to market fast, securing custom- ers, and generating revenue as quickly as possible. The barriers holding back an entrepreneur from starting a new company have been broken down. What used to require hundreds of thousands of dollars to start can now be started with a few hundred dollars. At the heart of this book is the Business Model Scorecard™ (BMSC) a self-guided visual thinking tool tested and proven with hun- dreds of startups.The BMSC compresses the time it takes to walk through the universal steps required to design a business model, test assumptions, and start a company. The result is an improved likelihood of generating revenue and building a viable business in weeks, not months or years. • What’s your big idea? • The time to unleash it is now! • What are you waiting for?
  2. 2. Visualizing Your Way to a Better StartUp Your ability to draw images, even stick figures, representing your thoughts and visions has a powerful ability to accelerate their manifestation. Visual thinking helps you focus and think more clearly, boost your creative I.Q. and think bigger thoughts. Drawing Out Your Best When visual thinking, work to not think too much about what you are drawing, go with the flow in a kind of stream of consciousness. Focus your thinking, energy and drawing on what you want to create, a problem to be solved, or new idea in development. Some things to think about as you start the visual thinking journey: • What medium will you use to visualize your thoughts? • Sketchbook • iPad • Copy paper • Table cloth • Butcher paper • Draw images by using single lines, connecting each to create images • Let your hand and fingers take the lead as you visualize • Consider where you are going to place images on the page • Work toward creating a visual journal of your startup ideations • Practice drawing sample images on the following page • Becoming a Visual Thinker only takes a little practice, persistence and commitment Working With Your Brain’s Natural Ability to Organize Information Focus on letting go of the childhood programming that has stifled your creative tal- ents and instead embrace your ability to draw, no matter how you think it looks. Visual thinking will enable you to take hold of a key that has the potential to unlock and open the door to achieve a whole new level of performance and design a better startup. If you can think it, visualize it, and believe it, anything becomes possible. Some of the most famous thinkers in history, Albert Einstein, Winston Churchill, and John F. Kennedy, have been visual thinkers. Leonardo da Vinci, considered by many to be the greatest thinker of all time, started every meaningful brainstorm with a visual. You can create what you want in your life. Visual thinking will help you get to where you want to go even faster. unleash your big idea!
  3. 3. Focus
  4. 4. The Opportunity Filter™ You’ve got what you think is a great idea, now what? The Opportunity Filter is a self-guided visual thinking tool that supports validating new ideas and enhances critical thinking about the necessary steps required to move an idea forward. How It Works Post The Opportunity Filter on a wall or on a table so that brainstorming participants can walk up to the mural and post ideas as they are generated. Bring a variety of colored sticky notes and distribute to team members participating. (Note: This exercise can also be done solo.) Set the stage with participants by directing them to focus on possibility versus judging the ideas that emerge. You will want to come up with as many ideas as possible for each section. Stay focused on one area at a time as a team and post as many ideas as possible for each section. As a section is filled and ideas cease being generated move to the next section of the mural. We recommend working through The Opportunity Filter in the following order: What Value is the Idea Creating? What Problem Are We Solving? • Think critically about the value potentially created by the new idea. Think in terms of tangible and intangible value. Does the value sup- port a strategic direction or organizational goals and objectives? • Define what problem is being solved, if there is a problem. Who is the Target Audience? • Identify the target audience(s) for the new idea. Who is the primary audience? There can be more than one audience. What Strategic Partnerships Can be Leveraged? • Identify potential strategic partners who can help accelerate taking the idea forward. Focus on specific skills and availability. How Will the Idea be Promoted? • How you are going to reach the target audience(s)? • Who will be leading the marketing and promotions activities? • What are the key messages to grab the attention of the target audience(s)? 1 2 3 4 What Does it Cost to Move the Idea Forward? • Think about all the costs associated with moving the idea forward. • Think through internal / external resource requirements. • Are volunteers required to get started? How many? What time required? What is the Return on Investment (ROI)? • Does the idea meet strategic objectives and/or organizational goals? • Estimate how much revenue will be generated. • What kind of media exposure will the idea generate? What Are the Action Steps Required to Move from Idea to Reality? • Think in terms of overarching steps, 1 week,1 month, 6 month timeframes. Additional Questions? • Think through unanswered questions and if anything is missing. 5 6 7 8 Rate the Idea Once the entire Opportunity Filter is filled out, review each section and remove any ideas that on second pass do not make the final cut. Leave only the strongest ideas developed for each section. Now, with a cautiously optimistic frame of mind, rate the idea based upon a 1=weak to 5=strong rating system. 1. Poor 2. Weak 3. Re-Think 4. Possibility 5. Probability unleash your big idea!
  5. 5. nothing of greatness is ever achieved without a team
  6. 6. The Entrepreneurial Team Fina n cial Pr omoter Ideator Core Team Governm en t CEO Executives M ark eting Connectors Ad v isors RetiredExec En t repreneurs Ban ker PR Accou n tantLawyer SalesM ark eting Web Desi g n er TM
  7. 7. This is the person who understands the business prod- uct or service and how to maximize revenue generat- ing opportunities. Different from an accountant, this person is focused on how to creatively increase revenue and make money. This person is the PT Barnum of the world. Loves pro- moting an idea and can sell ice to an Eskimo. Sales come naturally to this person. This is the type of person who is always looking for the next deal. Should have a keen ability to pitch a compelling message. Team Development™ Nothing of greatness is ever created without a team! One of the essential elements in the success of any startup company is the ability to create, enroll, and motivate a team around a vision. It is not good enough to have a great idea, you also have to be good at team development and the generation of collective action. TheTeam DevelopmentVizTool will help you think through the talent you will require to start and build your new company. As you think through and write down the types of talent you will be targeting add names of specific people who can potentially fill these roles. Think about everyone you know because they know someone who knows someone and it might be that someone who is the perfect fit for your team. building Your Core StartUp Team There are three (3) critical Core Team members that make up the heart of any startup. And, here is the kicker, as a founder you are likely only“beautiful”at one of them. For the other two core team members you will want to find people as beautiful as you are at your core strength. What are the skill sets of these three core team members? This is the person who comes up with new ideas for how to grow the business, invents new services and products with ease, and understands what customers want.This is the type of person who has an endless sup- ply of ideas to turn into a business. Ideator / Inventor Financial Manager Promoter / Sales Which of these three are you most beautiful at? Build and Collect Your Team Become a collector of people. For the rest of your life you want to look at each new person you meet as a potential team member that can help move your vision forward. You never know when you will meet your next team member. Continue adding names to your Team Development VizTool, keeping your mind and eyes open for potential new team members at all times. unleash your big idea!
  8. 8. Marketing Team Development Legal TechnologyCreativeAdvisors Consultants Other S trateg icPartn ers Ideator Financial Manager Promoter / Sales Core Team
  9. 9. The Business Model Scorecard™ The Business Model Scorecard (BMSC) is a self-guided visual thinking tool designed specifically to support entrepreneurs, with any type of idea, to map out the universal steps required to design a viable business model and reduce the time it takes to design, test and build any type of business. duration: 2-3 hours How It Works The BMSC is designed to encompass five main business model design and development areas: Value Proposition, Customer Development, Revenue Development, Team Development, and Action/Experiment. Place a very large print of the BMSC, (can be printed up to 27.5”x 39”or 69.85cm x 99.06cm) on a wall or table so brainstorming participants can draw on it and post ideas using multi-color sticky notes. A good starting point is to identify the value your business create for customers. Focus on possibility rather than judging ideas as they emerge. Take your time with each section. Don’t rush things. Remain open. As each section is completed and ideas naturally ebb, move to the next section. Prioritize the most valuable ideas for each section after filling out the entire BMSC. Don’t be afraid to get messy. Work through the BMSC in the following order: Customer – Who is your target customer? Who is your sec- ondary target customer? Why will they buy your product/ser- vice? Remember, not everyone is your customer. Product – What product/services will you offer? Be specific about your product/service. How does your product/service connect with your value proposition? Market – How big is the market for your product/service? What is the growth potential of your market? Think local, re- gional and global. Vehicle – What method will be used to distribute and sell your product/service? How will you make your product/service available for use by your customer? Develop actionable steps to engage and learn from your cus- tomers. Test your assumptions by selling your product/service as quickly as possible. Learn from your customers and adjust your value proposition based upon lessons learned. Revenue – How will you generate revenue? How many rev- enue streams do you have? How much will you charge for your product/service? Expenses – What expenses will your business have? Phone, website, legal, salaries, design, contractors, rent? Resources – What connections and resources can you lever- age and engage into your new business endeavor? What can you do to reduce your need to spend cash? Develop actionable steps to further develop your cost struc- ture. Work towards generating revenue as quickly as possible. Think bootstrapping when it comes to leveraging resources. Pain Reliever –What pain are you relieving for your potential customers? How will you make their lives easier? Solution –What problem are you solving?What need are you filling in the marketplace? Differentiator – What makes your business unique? How are you different from your competition? Think through the value you will deliver and the type of ex- perience your customer will have with your product/service. What is your customer trying to get done? How can you in- crease return on their investment? 1STEP Value Proposition 2STEP Customer Development 3STEP Revenue Development
  10. 10. Business model design and development is more art than science. Teams and individuals will want to use their best judgment when rating a completed BMSC. A perfect score for the entire BMSC is 25 points. Use a 1 – 5 rating system for each of the five steps. Add up the total score for each of the five steps. RATE IT! Doing – What steps can you take to bootstrap your business? Who do you need to add to your team? What research will you conduct? Test – How will you engage with your customers? How quickly can you start selling your product/service? How will you gener- ate revenue quickly? What steps will you take to increase the value of your product/service? Focus is a key to success. Think in one week and one month timeframes. You can’t do it all at once. Prioritize action steps that will help accelerate advancement of your business mod- el and drive revenue as quickly as possible. Utilize the Action Plan VizTool to support designing an increased understanding of the steps required to accelerate the advancement of your business. Team – What skills do you require? Finance, promoter, sales, legal, Web development, etc? Promotion – Targeted word-of-mouth, public relations, mar- keting, social media? Sales – How are you going to turn your potential customers into revenue? Funding – How are you funding the endeavor? Friends, fam- ily, credit cards, etc. Who is missing from your team? Identify people in your own network with whom you can engage and enroll into your busi- ness vision. Utilize the Team Development VizTool. Identify real funding needs. Think about how little money you require to move the business model forward to prove your customer, market and start generating revenue. 4STEP Team Development 5STEP Action/Experiment Advance | 18-25 Rating: Your business model has real potential. As a team, or individually, you have developed an actionable business model from your Big Idea! You are set to move on and advance to the Action Plan Viz- Tool. Start building your business. Re-Think | 11-17 Rating: Take a break from the BMSC and return later to re-think your as- sumptions. Start looking for ways to increase viability of the idea. Focus on generating new and different way in which to increase value throughout the business model. Start Over | 1-10 Rating: The business model is weak. Identify ways to re-invent the idea into a completely different business model. Take a hard look and deter- mine if this is an idea you want to invest time and energy into. It might be time to think up a new Big Idea! Never ever give up on identifying an idea that can be turned into a viable business model. It is important to remember that the Business Model Scorecard is simply a tool to support entrepreneurs to think more meaningfully about the critical success factors necessary to build a viable busi- ness endeavor (or at least reduce the odds of failure). There is rare- ly an easy path to build a viable business. The entrepreneur with the business idea is best positioned to know and determine if the idea is worth the time, money, and resources required to achieve the desired goals and objectives. Generally, it takes three times as much money, time and resources to build a viable business than was originally projected. In the end few things in life are as reward- ing or as challenging as starting and building a company. Never ever give up! 3STEP unleash your big idea! 1STEP 2STEP 4STEP 5STEP 5STEP
  11. 11. Example Areas of Action for Startups Advancing Your Action Plan Using the Action PlanVizTool you will identify the major areas of focus for your startup, these focus areas are represented by the arrows. Each arrow has two specific areas to develop once the action area is identified. These include: The Action Plan™ The difference between those that achieve their visions and those that don’t comes down to those that ACT. You have to take action if you are to create that which you most desire in life. How It Works Think of your startup action plan in one week, one month and six month timeframes. Six months is a manageable period of time in which you can effectively measure results. This does not mean that you are not projecting out past six months. Your focus needs to be on creating results one step at a time. You must take small bites. Thinking in six month timeframes helps to focus and accelerate achieving goals and objectives. Focus is a key to success. Ideally, a startup will have three main areas of focus at any time, with a maximum of five areas. More than five areas of focus and you reduce your ability to successfully execute on your action plan.This is so important because entrepreneurs have a tendency to look at everything as an opportunity and get distracted easily. Focusing on as few action areas as possible increases the odds of success. unleash your big idea! Action What are the specific action steps that need to happen to advance the action area? Examples include: Setting the first meeting, developing a timeline of milestones, prioritizing targets, developing targets, identifying knowledge holes, and creating individual team member action plans. Team Who will be the champion of the action area? This person will be responsible for making sure the action steps outlined are advanced. Who will be on the team to support the champion? Work to identify team members who can support advanc- ing the action area. Team Development – What skill sets are missing for your startup? Who do you know that can fill these voids? Who in your network might know the type of talent you looking for? If you could have anyone on your team who would it be? Marketing & Sales – How are you going to reach your cus- tomer? What is the vehicle that will move your product/ser- vice into the marketplace? What type of person or team do you need to sell your product/service? What marketing tools are needed to market and sell your product/service? Process Development – What types of processes do you re- quire to advance your business? What processes are required to sell and track your product/service? How will you track cus- tomer satisfaction? Website & Technology Development – What is required to build and manage your website? What team members are needed to advance your technology team? How will you man- age social media and Website management? What is required to advance your technology requirements? Customer Development – Who is in charge of your cus- tomer relationship development? Who is focused on your cus- tomer and making sure they are satisfied? What do you require to make sure your customer needs are being met? Funding & Cash Flow – If you are raising money for your startup, who are your target funders? What do you need in or- der to pitch your business model?What are resources you have available to self-fund your startup? What can you do to gener- ate revenue and cash flow quickly?
  12. 12. Go To Market Faster

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