arenfr

The business incubator

Hello !
I am pleased to be here with you !

 

  • ´S1 : The Incubator’s job : going further with an entrepreneur
  • ´S2 : Helping the entrepreneur knowing himself : the self-assessment
  • ´S3 : Working out the business idea : the value proposition
  • ´S4 : Mapping the future’s road : the business model & the business plan
  • ´S5 : Strengthening entrepreneurs’ skills, attitudes and opportunities

Session 1:
going further with an entrepreneur the incubator’s job

What do we do during the “incubation” phases ?

 

´Before the formal set up of a business = work out of a business idea

´Objectives :

  1. A product or a service ready to be offered to the market
  2. A solid business model and a coherent business plan
  3. A secured and sufficient financing
  4. A legally constituted activity or company

S1 – going further with an entrepreneur(2)
pre-incubation phase (2)

 

´Method : To follow structured steps to help the entrepreneur

  1. Assessing his/her entrepreneurial profile
  2. Designing his/her Value Proposition and his/her Business Model
  3. Understanding the market and the competition
  4. Working out the SWOT matrix (personal profile + activity profile and responses)
  5. Formulating and verifying hypothesis about spending and revenue
  6. Finding a financing
  7. Choosing a legal form of activity

S1 – going further with an entrepreneur(3)
pre-incubation phase (3)

 

TOOLS :

Example : entrepreneur’s profile assessment

Example : value proposition design and business model canvas

Example : model of a business plan

 

S1 – going further with an entrepreneur(4)
incubation phase (1)

After the formal set up of a business = close follow up during the first steps of the new business (depending on its nature, may last months or years)

´Objectives :

  1. Ensuring the business viability and its growth
  2. Helping the entrepreneur growing with his/her business
  3. Specific objectives depending on the nature of the business

S1 – going further with an entrepreneur(5)
incubation phase (2)

´Method 1 : to organize on a regular basis (e.g. each quarter)

  1. A business model follow up
  2. A business plan follow up
  3. A personal follow up

Method 2 : to be available “on request” (i.e. if a problem has to be solved or if an opportunity has to be seized)

Method 3 : to organize group support activities and/or business development activities

S1 – going further with an entrepreneur(6)
post incubation phase (1)

´Phases of a business creation process

  1. Pre incubation phase
  2. Incubation phase
  3. Post incubation phase

Session 2
the entrepreneurial profile

Helping an entrepreneur knowing himself : the self-assessment

S2 – self-assessment (1)

 

  • Are you a future entrepreneur ? :
    http://www.womensenterprise.ca/sites/default/files/files/self_assessmentweb.pdf
  • Entrepreneurial potential self-assessment :
    https://www.bdc.ca/en/articles-tools/entrepreneur-toolkit/business-assessments/pages/self-assessment-test-your-entrepreneurial-potential.aspx?page=Home
  • General Enterprising Tendency Test (GET2) :
    http://www.get2test.net/get2test.html

S2 – self-assessment (2)

´Form / What is a self-assessment tool ?

  1. Questions about the entrepreneur’s ways of living, thinking and doing
  2. Answers that usually goes from 1 = I strongly disagree to 5 = I strongly agree
  3. A total that is computed summing all the answers
  4. This total gives a general entrepreneurial profile
  5. Sometimes, a more qualitative profile can be sketched by assembling some answers

 

S2 – self-assessment (3)

´Method / How to use it ?

  1. submit a set of questions to the future entrepreneur
  2. Ask him/her to fulfil the questionnaire (why not : at different moments)
  3. (why not : asking relatives to also fulfil the questionnaire for the entrepreneur)
  4. let the entrepreneur analyse his/her results with you
  5. help the entrepreneur to think about how :
  • to reinforce his/her profile
  • to compensate for his/her weakness(es)

S2 – self-assessment (4)

 

´Please be cautious !

  1. Stay open minded : a candidate entrepreneur may not score well on the assessment and still succeed as an entrepreneur … and vice versa !
  2. Stay quiet : the assessment is interesting but indicative, it provide a “general picture” and allow to identify the “weakest characteristics” of the entrepreneur
  3. Stay strong : in front of a weak characteristic there is an alternative : or finding a way to improve … or finding a way to compensate
  4. Stay cool : … the entrepreneur has also some strengths !
  5. Stay careful : the assessment is useful to help us adjust our coaching to the entrepreneur’s needs

S2 – self-assessment (5)

´Let’s work on a self-assessment tool

  1. Each of us assess herself / himself
  2. Each of us assess someone else
  3. Let us compare …

S2 – self-assessment (6)
another tool (if necessary) : the personal SWOT Matrix


S2 – self-assessment (6)

another tool (if necessary) : the personal SWOT Matrix

Ask your candidate entrepreneur

  1. to choose a strong experience when he/she did achieve something positive and
  2. to remember when he/she did go through something negative

 

´Ask him/her to take a sheet of paper and to describe them (very) briefly

 Ask him to drawn 4 squares on the sheet and write down

  1. What were his/her strengths in these experiences ?
  2. What were his/her weaknesses in these experiences ?
  3. (What were the outside opportunities he/she enjoyed ?)
  4. (What were the outside threats he/she faced ?)

S2 – self-assessment (7)
synthesis

´Better for the entrepreneur to assess himself/herself

  • First knowing (and then trusting) oneself : the best way to succeed
  • Lessons learned from successes and failures & experiences build

´Better for us to know the entrepreneur’s profile

  • Help him/her to overcome his/her “defaults”
  • Help him/her with a “personalized” guidance

Session 3
working out the business idea

Helping to design the value proposition and the business model

S3 – working out the business idea (1)

´Let’s choose and describe a business project or an existing business

 

´Let’s take a sheet of paper and let’s write down

  1. the (planned) activity & how money is earned
  2. the entrepreneur’s profile

´Is it easy to do ? Is it operational ?

 

S3 – working out the business idea (2)

When we want to describe (or elaborate) a business idea

  • What are the most important points to begin with ?
  • Which “elements” do we basically need to explain the business idea ?
  • Can we use a structured approach, a method ? … (… YES !)

S3 – working out the business idea (3)

value proposition design

S3 – working out the business idea (4)

value proposition design

 

S3 – working out the business idea (5)

value proposition design

S3 – working out the business idea (6)

value proposition design

S3 – working out the business idea (7)

value proposition design

S3 – working out the business idea (8)

value proposition design

CUSTOMER JOBS

Here, we will describe what a specific customer segment is trying to get done : that is all about tasks they are trying to complete, problems they are trying to solve, needs they are trying to satisfy

  • Functional jobs ?   (perform a specific task or solve a specific problem)
  • Social jobs ?   (ex: gain power, gain status, …)
  • Emotional jobs ?   (ex: feel good, feel secure, …)
  • Basic needs ?   (ex: food, health, communication, …)

S3 – working out the business idea (13)

value proposition design

 

PAIN RELIEVERS

Here, we will describe how our P&S alleviate customer pains : how do they eliminate or reduce negative emotions, undesired costs and situations and risks our customer could experience or experiences before, during and after getting the job done ?

For example, how do our P&S :

  • put an end to difficulties our customer encounters or eliminate risks he/she fears ?
  • limit/eradicate common mistakes customers make ? fix underperforming solutions ?
  • produce savings ? Make or customer feel better ?
  • wipe out negative social consequences our customer encounters or fears ?

S3 – working out the business idea (14)

value proposition design

GAIN CREATORS

Here, we will describe how our P&S create customer gains : how do they create benefits our customer expects, desires or would be surprised by, including functional, utility, social gain, positive emotion and costs savings.

For example, how do our P&S :

  • fulfill something customers are looking for / are dreaming about ?
  • produce positive outcomes matching our customers success and failure criteria ?
  • create positive social consequences that our customer desires ?
  • create savings (money, time, effort) that make our customer happy ?

S3 – working out the business idea (15)
value proposition design – synthesis

Session 4
business model and business plan

Mapping the future’s road

 

S4 – business model & business plan (1)
business model

 

WHAT IS A BUSINESS MODEL ?

 

´”All it really means is how the business plans to make money”

  • “It is a set of assumptions. Assumptions about what a company gets paid for, assumptions about markets, about identifying customers and competitors, about technology and its dynamic, about a company’s strengths and weaknesses”
  • “It is at heart a story that explains how the enterprise works. A good business model answers questions such as who is the customer ? what does the customer value ? what is the underlying economic logic that explains how we can deliver value to customers at an appropriate cost ? how do we make money in this business ?”
  • “A business model describes the rationale of how an organization creates, delivers and captures value”

S4 – business model & business plan (2)
business model

 

S4 – business model & business plan (2)
business model

 

S4 – business model & business plan (4)
business model

The BUSINESS MODEL CANVAS

  • A strategic template for creating new business models or documenting existing ones
  • A visual chart describing the business’ (planned) activities via 9 connected “building blocks” : customer segments – value proposition – channels – customer relationships – revenue streams – key activities – key resources – key partners – cost structure
  • A single reference model that can easily describe a business model and be the starting point for a structured search of innovation

S4 – business model & business plan (5)
business model

CUSTOMER SEGMENTS

See Value Proposition Design – THE CUSTOMER PROFILE

  • For whom are we creating value ?
  • Who are our most important customers ?
  • Type : mass market / niche market / multi sided market / segmented / diversified

S4 – business model & business plan (6)
business model

VALUE PROPOSITION

See Value Proposition Design – THE VALUE MAP

  • What value do we deliver to the customer ?
  • Which one of our customer’s problem are we helping to solve ?
  • Which customer’s needs are we satisfying ?
  • What bundles of products and services are we offering to each segment ?

Characteristics ? Newness, Performance, Customization, « Getting the job done », Design, Brand, Status, Price, Cost reduction, Risk reduction, Acessibility, Convenience, Usability, …

 

S4 – business model & business plan (7)
business model

CHANNELS

  • Through which channels do our customer segments want to be reached ?
  • How are we reaching them now ?
  • How are our channels integrated ?
  • Which ones work best ? Which ones are most cost-efficient ?
  • How are we integrating them with customers routines ?

Phases : 1) awareness, 2) evaluation, 3) purchase, 4) delivery, 5) after sales

 

S4 – business model & business plan (8)
business model

CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIPS

  • What type of relationship does each of our customer segment expect us to establish and maintain with them ? Which ones have we established ?
  • How are they integrated with the rest of our business model ? How costly are they ?
  • Types : (Dedicated) Personal assistance, Self-service, Automated service, Communities, Co-creation, …

 

S4 – business model & business plan (8)
business model

CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIPS

  • What type of relationship does each of our customer segment expect us to establish and maintain with them ? Which ones have we established ?
  • How are they integrated with the rest of our business model ? How costly are they ?
  • Types : (Dedicated) Personal assistance, Self-service, Automated service, Communities, Co-creation, …

 

S4 – business model & business plan (9)
business model

REVENUE STREAMS

  • For what value are our customers really willing to pay ?
  •  For what do they currently pay ?
  •  How are they currently paying ? How would they prefer to pay ?
  •  How much does each revenue stream contribute to overall revenue ?
  • Types : asset sale, usage fee, subscription fee, brokerage fee, lending, renting, leasing, licensing, advertising, …

S4 – business model & business plan (10)
business model

KEY ACTIVITIES

  •  What key activities do our Value Propositions require ?
  • … our distribution channels ?
  •  … our customer relationships ?
  •  … our revenue streams ?

S4 – business model & business plan (11)
business model
KEY RESOURCES

 What key resources do our Value Propositions require ?
 … our distribution channels ?
 … our customer relationships ?
 … our revenue streams ?

 Types : Physical, Intellectual (e.g. copyrights, …), Human, Financial
S4 – business model & business plan (12)
business model
KEY PARTNERS

 Who are our key partners ?
 Who are our key suppliers ?
 Which key resources are we acquiring from our partners ?
 Which key activities do partners perform ?

 Motivations : optimization, economy, reduction of risk and uncertainty, acquisition of particular resources and activities, …
S4 – business model & business plan (13)
business model
COST STRUCTURE

 What are the most important costs inherent to our business model ?
 Which key resources are most expensive ?
 Which key activities are most expansive ?

 

S4 – business model & business plan (14)
business model
S4 – business model & business plan (15)
business model

BE CREATIVE, MORE CREATIVE, THE MOST CREATIVE … and, at the end, CHECK !

 Is every building block (and its items) in our canvas connected to one another ?
 Is every building block in our canvas precise enough ?
 Does our canvas distinguish between « as is » and « to be » ?
 Does it distinguish between « known/facts » and « unknown/assumptions » ?

 Then, ASSESS the business model !
S4 – business model & business plan (16)
7 questions to assess a business model
S4 – business model & business plan (17)
business plan

 Now, we do have our well designed and thoroughly assessed business model. It is the perfect basis for our next step: a business plan. What is a business plan and why do we need it ?

 “A business plan is a document that summarizes the operational and financial objectives of a business and contains the detailed plans and budgets showing how the objectives are to be realized. It is the road map to the success of a business”

 A business plan may be required by a third party e.g. venture capitalist, funding party, public authority, …
S4 – business model & business plan (18)
business plan
but first of all it is an essential tool for the entrepreneur (and for its coach) : the BP

 Provides a structured way of organizing his thoughts and clarifying his idea
 Helps him set out his goals and spot any potential problems in achieving these goals
 Gives him a clear strategy to follow when things get busy
 Allows him to measure his progress as he goes along
 Ensures all of his team are working towards the same vision
 Helps him plan for the future

 

S4 – business model & business plan (19)
business plan
Typical questions addressed by a business plan for a start up are :

 What problem does the company’s product or service solve? What niche will it fill?
 What is the company’s solution to the problem?
 Who are the company’s customers, how will the company market and sell its products to them?
 What is the size of the market for this solution?
 What is the business model for the business?
 Who are the competitors and how will the company maintain a competitive advantage?
 What are the risks and threats confronting the business, and what can be done to mitigate them?
 How does the company plan to manage its operations as it grows?
 Who will run the company and what makes them qualified to do so?
 What are the company’s capital and resource requirements?
 What are the company’s projected financial statements?

S4 – business model & business plan (19)
business plan
Some examples of business plan and guide to draft it

 UK : The Prince’s Trust : https://www.princes-trust.org.uk/help-for-young-people/tools-resources/business-tools/business-plans
 CANADA : The Women’s Enterprise Centre : http://womensenterprise.ca/resourcelibrary/Business%20Planning
 AUSTRALIA : Business.gov : https://www.business.gov.au/Info/Plan-and-Start/Templates-and-tools
 USA : Score & US Small Business Administration : https://www.score.org/resource/business-planning-financial-statements-template-gallery

Session 5
Strengthening entrepreneurs’ skills

… and their business opportunities
S5 – strengthening skills(1)
 Analysis of entrepreneurs shortcomings and needs : its importance

 Types of shortcomings and needs
• Personality / experience (see assessment)
• Project / project’s (and business) evolution (see business model & plan)
• Difficulty / opportunity

 Tailoring solutions = business development support activities
(Do not forget : use also local resources and local networks)

S5 – strengthening skills (2)
 Tools :
• Pre-incubation phase : assessment, SWOT matrix, business model …
• Incubation phase : business model, business plan, regular meetings, …
• Post incubation phase : meetings on request, specific activities, …

 Attitudes :
• Listening, analysing, clarifying, following
• Being available, careful, empathic,
• Being a coach

S5 – strengthening skills (3)

 Assess correctly the needs

 Design carefully a tailored support activity
• Objectives
• Activities / Methods
• Expected outcomes

 Organize the activity

 Assess the results … and improve the next activity !

 

S5 – strengthening skills (4)
to support an entrepreneur …

 

 Think about the profile of :
• A careful person
• A specialized advisor
• A member of a project team
• A true entrepreneur

 For each of these “persons”, write down his/her qualities

 Try to develop these qualities : they will be yours as a business coach !
We have finished …

I hope it was useful and interesting !

Thank you for your attention !

 

As a reminder : two key subjects

• The incubator as a business
• The incubator’s networks
Session 6
the incubator as a business
S6 – governance (1)
 The Board

 The Management

 The Advisory Committee
S6 – governance (2)
the board
 Responsibilities
• Developing, controlling, improving the incubator’s strategic plan
• Developing policies about how the team operates
• Supporting and controlling the business operations of the incubator
• Supporting the incubator’s development

 Composition
Representatives from each one of the organizations that participated in the incubator’s formation a/o aided in making it operational a/o provided support
S6 – governance (3)
the management
 Responsibilities
• Providing business creation and development services
• Managing the accounting and finances of the incubator
• Managing the facility and shared services
• Ensuring an adequate quality for the services provided

 Composition
The manager and his/her staff

S6 – governance (4)
the advisory committee
 Responsibilities
• Helping the Board and the Management to improve the incubator’s business support strategy and operations
• Helping the manager in his/her task of providing advices and guidance to future entrepreneurs and incubated businesses

 Composition
Professionals a/o specialized consultants a/o representatives of the member organizations of the incubator’s support networks a/o other incubator’s stakeholders
S6 – management (1)
tasks to be performed
 Advice

 Activity

 Administration
S6 – management (2)
advice
 Activities related to business creation and development

 Fundamental support activities / to be performed by the incubator’s staff :
• Initial assessment (business idea and entrepreneur’s profile assessment)
• Assistance to design a business model and write down a business plan
• Assistance to find financing and set up the new business
• Business model and business plan follow up
• Referrals to business specialists if necessary

 Specific support activities / to be performed by external specialists
S6 – management (3)
activity
 Activities related to improving the skills and business capacities of incubated entrepreneurs :
• Training programs ; specific seminars
• Peer groups ;
• Networking events ; business events

 Based on the needs of the incubated entrepreneurs, activities to be designed and organized by an incubator’s staff member in collaboration with the resources of the incubator’s networks

S6 – management (4)
administration

 Activities related to the management of the incubator (facility / business)
• Management of the private units, shared spaces and shared services
• Bookkeeping, administration of human resources
• Completing of the required formalities
• Reporting to the Board and when required to the Advisory Committee
• …

Session 7
the incubator’s networks

Linking energies and resources
S7 – the networks (1)
 Reasons to build networks

• To provide nascent and growing businesses with access to specialists
• To secure an adhesion to the business incubator’s project and a consensus on it
• To share experiences and create business development opportunities
S7 – the networks (2)
 Sustaining new businesses creation and growth

Maintaining a permanent board of specialists is often too expensive for an incubator since the knowledge fields required may be numerous and diverse

The best option is to establish a network of partnerships with professionals from different work areas. If well managed, this network can assure the entrepreneurs of high quality guidance at low costs for the incubator
S7 – the networks (3)
 Sustaining the business incubator’s project

The incubator’s network should also involve institutions and organizations such as public authorities, universities and high schools, business support organizations, companies, civil society’s organizations, …

The aim is to create and secure adhesion on the business incubator’s missions and activities as well as being able to mobilise resources, skills and funding
S7 – the networks (4)
 Sharing experiences and creating business development opportunities

Too often forgotten, the business incubator should also build a network composed by the former incubated companies, the actual incubated companies and other enterprises to share experiences and to stimulate business development opportunities