In my last post, we examined how value creation improves the well-being of your customers directly and indirectly. In today’s networked economy, value creation is spread among many collaborating entities to collectively create value for your customer and impact you and your business or work. This web of relationships is known as a business ecosystem. Your work or business fills a niche within a broader ecosystem.
Your participation in the business ecosystem allows you to focus on what you do best within the value creation process. Your business, along with other participants in the business ecosystem, each contribute to and benefit from its well-being and growth.
How do you characterize your business ecosystem?
First, define carefully your core business. Your core business includes core value creation, business administration, and marketing. For instance, if your business is conducting training workshops and publishing related materials such as workbooks or ebooks, your primary responsibilities are trainer and writer. You provide knowledge, insights and experience through events or written or recorded materials. However, since you are running a business, you also serve as business manager/owner and chief marketer, even though as discussed below, you may delegate work or expertise to others. The business must be set up and run to comply with federal and state regulations, pay taxes and expenses, bill customers and turn a profit. Marketing ensures that a steady flow of customers recognizes the value you create and become convinced that it is worth their while to buy your products or services. Finally, even if you are employed by an organization, these three functions still have meaning, even though much of the last two are often delegated to others within your organization. Still, even employees have some administrative and marketing duties.
Second, look outside your core business or work to identify who impacts you or is impacted by your career or business. As a writer, you are dependent on writing and publishing software (e.g. Adobe Acrobat) and will likely use someone for editing or graphical design. Your primary concern is content and delivery. If your workshops are held in person, you need a place or venue to hold them (a restaurant or church building, for instance). For marketing your business, you need to have a web site and use social media to connect with potential customers. This means you need a domain registration (e.g., Go Daddy) and web hosting service (e. g., Site Ground) , web development software (e.g., Word Press). Your business ecosystem includes your customers as well as other stakeholders such as your suppliers, your community, the environment, employees, the government, competitors, yourself and your family.
Who comprises your business ecosystem? Answer this question as honestly and completely as you can, then ask:
How does my work or business contribute value to each stakeholder?
How does each stakeholder contribute value to my work or business?
Create a table like this Stakeholder Table that was developed for the Prettyboy Resource Collaborative that lists each stakeholder, how each benefits from the PRC, and how each contributes value to the PRC.
Contact me today if you need help characterizing your business ecosystem.