Avoiding the Pitfalls: Common Missteps in Business Model Execution

business owners entrepreneurship Jun 20, 2024

Written by Sandra Benbow

Executing a business model is a hot topic for start-ups and SMEs. Many people start with a business model canvas and business plan, but the real work begins with the execution. 

Having guided numerous start-ups and senior executives through business model design and execution, I've seen the process both as a consultant and a business owner. Turning a business plan into a real-life operation is challenging. However, with the right preparation, you can avoid common pitfalls. In this week’s article, I have identified these common mistakes, helping you to avoid them and execute your business model confidently.

Here are the ones to watch out for:

  1. Poorly designed customer value proposition: This is central to your business model, and one of the biggest mistakes I have seen. Co-create with your customers to truly understand their pains and gains. Time spent walking in your customer's shoes is time well spent. Don’t execute your business model until you have confidence you can deliver real value. 
  2. Missing the revenue model: When you launch your new service or product it is natural to have some gaps. But don’t overlook value capture. You are in business to make money. Make it easy for customers to buy your products and services.
  3. Overlooking Cash Flow Management: A brilliant business model can fail if the cash flow is mismanaged. Ensure you have a solid understanding of your cost structure and revenue model. Cash is king, and many businesses fail simply because they run out of money. 
  4. Skimping on Marketing Efforts: A great product or service won’t succeed if no one knows about it. Invest in marketing channels to reach and engage your target audience. It doesn’t have to be expensive, just invest your time. You can get great exposure on LinkedIn or set up your own website and sell directly to customers.
  5. Failing to Adapt: The market is ever-evolving, and your business model should be flexible enough to adapt. Monitor customer feedback like a hawk and be prepared to pivot when necessary. Stubbornly sticking to an outdated plan can lead to missed opportunities at best and failure at worst.
  6. Underestimating the Importance of Organisational Change: People are the key resources you need to create and deliver value. As the business model evolves so must the organisation. Even the best business model can falter without a cohesive and motivated team. Keep your team updated and build support early on.
  7. Ignoring the Competition: Remember to look outwards. Keep a close eye on your competitors, understand their strengths and weaknesses, and continuously refine your strategy to stay ahead. 

Executing a business model can seem daunting, but avoiding these common missteps will help you execute more smoothly. I’m keen to connect with fellow entrepreneurs to discuss business model execution. 

What other challenges have you encountered? 

Book a 1:1 with me today and let’s discuss your Business Model. 


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