How we work
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PurposeDefining (listening to) the Purpose is one of the more important steps in the process. The Purpose serves as the lighthouse in the distance on which all decisions are calibrated. It’s also the gasoline that fuels the people working for the company. It’s what keeps people working for the company. The purpose is defined by answering the following question: What purpose does the company fulfill for the society?
Minimal Viable ProductTypically we start from the moment there is a MVP if we are working with external idea’s. For internal idea’s we also do the MVP using the lean start-up methodology. Most money is wasted in this step, far too many start-up’s & company’s go to the client for the first time with a nearly finished product, which has already a lot of sunken cost in it. We think that even an idea & some mock-ups is enough to test the potential.
1. Determine the success ratioWe look for an answer on the following question: What effort is needed to go from contact to sales?
The answer is a determinating factor in the potential success of the business. For instance a success ratio of 1 sale for every 10 visits is normal for most businesses, in our start-ups a minimum of 5 is required. Ten visits versus two for every sales is an enormous difference in cost and scale-up potential.
To determine the success ratio the following steps are required:P
A. contact list:
First order of business is to determine a list of contacts/ businesses who are possible clients. We make this as broad as possible by adding those addresses we have no idea they could be possible clients. Thus by contacting them we determine all the possible customer segments.
B. Cold calling:
The main purpose of the calls is to devise the narrative. What is the backbone of the story that allows you to set a meeting/ visit with 70% success ratio? (= 10calls gives you 7 appointments)
C. Demo or visit:
The main purpose of the visits is to devise a product proposition that lowers as much as possible the barrier of buying.
D. follow-up appointment:
The follow-up appointment is the moment of truth where a sale is made (or not).
This to determine the overall success ratio from first contact to follow-up appointment.
Based on the information we create a business model that can look very different based on overall success ratio. A success ratio of 1/10 (which is normal for most companies) will result in a very different cost structure than a success ratio of 7/10 (which is what we aim for). Both will tend to have different ways of optimisation.
At this point we explore different possible business models: sale, service, renting, consumables, intermediaries and their impact on success ratio and overall cost. Whatever gives you the biggest success ratio is the one we want to keep. We also take a look at the different client segmentations and consider if it is better for certain segments to expand the offering (f.i. renting)
We also take a look at cash flow optimisation: how do we make a sale cycle that needs the least amount of up front investment? Who pays who when?
When the members of the first team are launched on the business part, we start with the trainings needed for creating a teal organisation. These are what cements the organisation in a nimble and successful business ready to grow at a blistering pace. The organisation model we use is based on Holacracy and insights from the coaching experience of Erik. This model is proven in the different businesses Pebble incubates.
- tactical meetings
- define roles
- advice process
- governance meetings
For further information read the book “Holacracy” from Brian Robertson.