The digital upheaval is making more and more possible. That often generates Stress. Regardless of whether you are self-employed or within a Company working on business concepts: the overview is quickly lost. How can you take a look "from above" and thereby avoid getting into the details verlieren?

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4 tips: How entrepreneurs visualize their business models

We have been working with digital entrepreneurs for years and help them establish their business models. In this context, we had to repeatedly assess business concepts. Here are some tips that may help you elsewhere.

1. Take your time for strategy

An important finding: Those who do not invest in the overview (i.e. consciously take the time to do so) are driven by the events of the day and never come around Strategy.

2. Don't start with the technique

Contrary to many prophecies of doom, the time to work on the business model is NOT the hour of the technicians. It is not what is technically feasible that triggers a new process, but rather that for the customers Meaningful and really desired.

3. Go to a meta position

If you take your time for "the overview," that's how it is Ascent of a commander on a hill to keep an overview. But how do you do that in the day-to-day running of your own business?

4. Work with a visual model

Sketches are a good way to express your own thinking focus. But at some point that is no longer enough. In entrepreneurship, these sketches developed into mature systems. Today, solopreneurs and teampreneurs work almost exclusively with visual models.

2 visualization models that we recommend

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Two systems have proven themselves in practice. Teampreneurs work more with the canvas, solopreneurs with the Produkt-Stair®. However, the two systems can be perfectly combined. So it's not an either/ordecision.

1. The Business Model Canvas

The Business Model Canvas is particularly popular in the start-up scene. Rule of thumb: You use the canvas (a chamber model) when you work out the basic flow of value creation (what is achieved with which sources and for whom). For example, if you're designing large digital platforms, the canvas helps focus on one strand.

There is a second way to visualize your business concept:

2. The Product Staircase®

A weak point in the canvas led us to develop our own tool especially for smart entrepreneurs. The Canvas deliberately does not work with individual products. This is the case with platform designs Online-Startups an advantage, in portfolio business models (most Concept-Type with others) a disadvantage.

The Product Staircase® is a visualization model for smart digital portfolios. Rule of thumb: If you are not currently working on starting a new Google, it is usually faster to go directly to the design of your (digital) portfolio via the Product Steps®. You work in the strategic product groups and thus immediately take on the customer position.

2 tips: How to work with the product staircase

The Product Staircase® specifies a grid of 6 steps so that you force yourself to stay simple.

From the main offer to the strategic portfolio

Distribute your offer types on these 6 levels. Your main offer (your "workhorse") comes to the middle (level 3). You either know what has become established with you or this is a thesis that you will test later in the market.

Is your main product to plan Strategically build your portfolio around this by using reach products at the bottom, other base course products in the middle, and superuser products higher up.

Work visually and intuitively

Above all, the product staircase saves time. The Order Your products and offers succeed with sticky notes fast. You get a compact overview of the interaction of your products (and thus also of the required processes). The staircase helps you gain clarity about the next steps your business development. You come out of abstract thoughts and have to immediately take the customer position: How do they see your offer?

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Case study: Shooting Star from the Hanseatic city

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An Boy successful company that works with the Product Staircase® is STERNGLAS from Hamburg. The watch boutiqueBrand was founded in 2016 by Dustin Fontaine and managed to establish a highly acclaimed Bauhaus-style watch collection in just a few years.

The product staircase for the men's range

The example comes from the book “Business Model Product Staircase”. Nice to see: Level 3 is the quartz watch, the best seller at STERNGLAS. The more complex and expensive automatic watches are one step above on the 4th edition and collectibles close the stairs up (superuser), down the stairs are opened by the wristbands and a free "advice product", the offer of a phone consultation (range product) ,

Different types, different stairs

STERNGLAS is a manufacturer and dealer. Depending on the type of business model (manufacturer, retailer, expert, service, experience), specific productPattern. And that's what it's all about: yourself clear to become what happens on your stairs.

Conclusion: Digital upheaval creates stress, visualization offers the solution

Process-oriented companies and process-oriented self-employed (we call this smart self-employed) gain a lot if they visualize in their strategic work.

We recommend the visualization with the Product-Staircase®. But it doesn't matter which one System You benefit: A visual model not only helps to achieve better results, it also does more Fun.

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