Choose your activities, resources and partners wisely

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Choose your activities, resources and partners wisely
While you focus on selling your product, it is wise to let someone else do the logistics and manufacturing so that you can focus on your core activity.

dubai - This will reduce your workload and channelise funds towards maximum results

By Chanda Lokendra Kundnaney

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Published: Sat 12 Jan 2019, 3:41 PM

Last updated: Sat 12 Jan 2019, 5:44 PM

Let's touch base a bit from the last three articles. We started off with a basic understanding of the 'Business Model Canvas'. Defining value proposition and understanding customer segmentation are two vital steps to initially engage an entrepreneur. The next three vital areas to focus are:

Key activities: What unique strategic things does the business do to deliver its proposition?
Key resources: What unique strategic assets must the business have to compete?
Key partners: What can the company avoid doing by partnering, so it can focus on its key activities?

A clear definition of the above three key areas is necessary. It will reduce your workload as well as channelise your funds towards maximum results.

Key activities
Key activities are the crucial things the business needs to do to deliver on its proposition and make the rest of the business work. For example, if you have an e-commerce business, then your key activities set can look like the following list:

> Continuous research for addition of product line
> Education and awareness
> Search engine optimisation
> Ensuring product availability
> Constant expert information update
> Analytics (regular)
> Ensure and maintain inventory
> Delivery management (specially subscriptions)
> Sales promotion
> Participate in exhibitions and events

Key resources
Key resources are the strategic assets you need in place to a greater or more targeted degree than your competitors. Key resources in product-driven businesses are typically key talent in critical areas of expertise and accumulated intellectual property related to their offering. For any e-business, the following key resources are important:
> Logistic partner
> Exclusive rights of products or services
> Marketing platforms - social media
> Network (celebrities and media influencers)

Key partners
What activities and resources are important but not aligned with your unique strategy? Could partners do some of those? Why can they do better than you?

I recommend mapping key partners to key activities. If an activity is key, it's still part of your business model. This is a way to denote which specific partners are handling various key activities for you. Referring to our same e-commerce business, following partners play a major role.

> Supplier/manufacturer
> Courier and logistic company
> Freight forwarding company
> Social media
> Popular online platforms in the region
> e-commerce platform managers (payment providers)
> Ambassadors
> Media influencers

It is not possible for a starting company to engage in all supporting activities. While you focus on selling your product, it is wise to let someone else do the logistics and manufacturing so that you can focus on your core activity. At initial stages, it may not be possible to invest in all activities. So, one has to engage fruitfully in the core business and make use of pre-existing business partners.

Key activities, key partners and key resources can be defined easily for a business, but choice of using the right mix is a bit tricky. For startups, since resources are limited, sometimes, one may have to make certain sacrifices. But, this should not dishearten you. As your startup grows, you will be able to use more resources of your choice. In this ever-changing world, the option list is long and sometimes unlimited. A wise and vigilant choice will help you win your own battle.

The writer is an entrepreneur and financial planning consultant. Views expressed are her own and do not reflect the newspaper's policy.

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