Schlagwort-Archive: Perseverance

Public Relations follows the finalized product

In the Anglo-American world, venturesome investors endow start-ups. These founders develop their preparatory building blocks as good as it gets: the biz idea, model, and plan. The earlier investors get involved, the greater their RoI. For receiving funding, the start-ups must convince the financiers of their offer – without practical proof. The founders anticipate the expected biz development for early support, even though they do not have a finished product yet.

The possible funders should be convinced as early as possible to improve the preparation of the company. However, a vague idea is not enough, as many imponderables lead to exaggerated promises and expectations. Offerors need a conservative estimate of what, how much, in which ways, and to whom they can sell. Marketing is done for stakeholders (funders, partners, suppliers, professionals, and the public) once the following basics are described.

  • Solvent customers
    There is no deal without customers who are willing and able to pay. On the one hand, depending on the price range of the offer, those, who cannot afford it, are excluded. Start-ups cannot pay for an elaborate consultancy without respective funding. On the other hand, those, who do not get enough exclusivity, are also excluded even with a high price. In the case of luxury goods, the additional benefit of the extraordinary is more critical to specific clientele than the practical usability that is presumed anyway.
    Ensure that you achieve the required turnover with your clientele.
  • Shippable deliverables
    The deliverables, such as goods and services or a mix of both, should be prepared with the customers in mind. This starts with the design of the offering (including usage, manufacturability, quality criteria), goes through the various manuals, and ends with packaging (including sales, outer, and transportation packaging).
    Ensure that your offerings are thoughtful enough to deliver what you promise to customers.
  • Resilient workflows
    The more extensive your offering, the more diverse the required workflows are. It doesn’t matter whether and who performs them – internally or externally. In any case, you need the necessary processes (i.e., development, manufacturing, sales, after-sales, and supporting ones, such as purchasing, logistics, HR, IT). Goods are more dependent on smooth procedures than attendances since they depend on the commitment of the employees. With training and a supporting back office, you standardize your offering and solve most aspects on the fly.
    Ensure that your procedures are described in a printable way so that everyone is working on the same basis.
  • Capable employees
    The “simple” jobs are disappearing or will be taken over by “intelligent” machines. This means that the modern times of Charlie Chaplin are over. In the future, people will represent your company at the junctures to internals (between different departments) and externals (to customers, partners, and suppliers). In doing so, you will make the decisions that were reserved for the obsolete, higher levels. This requires sufficient knowledge and capabilities and, above all, soft skills.
    Ensure that your employees AND YOU are trained so that they can master the internal and external interfaces.
  • An intact infrastructure
    The required infrastructure does not start at the borders of your site. The external network connections (i.e., traffic routes, energy supplies, and telecom networks) must match and already be considered when choosing a location. Today, a product developer cannot work with 3D programs if there is no available broadband connection. Within your company, you need appropriate routes, such as inbound/outbound logistics, and storage space. Not to mention the digitization of the tasks. Your entire IT is affected (including internal networks, cross-functional systems, barrier-free access, also for external partners, and your web presence). This is true for a corporation and the small bakery with its cash register, ordering system, etc.
    Ensure that you have tested the relevant building blocks before the launch, that everything is ready for action, and the employees know their roles.
  • An operant public image
    Only now is the right moment to supply the advertising machine with content. Offers are priced based on described customer groups. The flows are harmonized. Employees can represent the company to the outside world. Your infrastructure works. Now, you can make achievable promises.
    Ensure that you have a simple, unified public image, without over- or understatements.
  • Resilient perseverance
    The most important comes at the end. The new biz is not yet at flight altitude when it starts. Revenues are not yet as high as targeted. The employees have not yet been trained. Many things are not working as desired. At this moment, everyone must work hard to improve the flaws. This requires an appropriate team spirit, servant leadership, and a strong commitment from everyone.
    Ensure that the employees’ commitment is maintained despite the difficulties during the ramp-up, and that errors are readjusted promptly.

Bottom line: The view of the market crier shows us a person who has already left all the preparatory measures behind him. The products are ready for sale, and he knows what to do. His cash register consists of a purse full of change. The mobile sales table can be set up anywhere – as long as he has registered as a flying salesman. All the components are in place when his stand opens. Hopefully, bystanders will be able to pay his prices. From now on, he can entice his customers with his external presentation because public relations follows the finalized product.

Properties of a network

The boundaries of companies dissolve in favor of cross-border networks. Actors and relationships, interests and data, expectations and information, business models and knowledge find their way on the Internet. Joining an online community can make the difference for individuals and groups. Whether private or business – it is helpful to know the new realities, the properties of a network.

The effects of the net can be better exploited, if you know its characteristics.

  • Size
    The number of actors/nodes amount to the size of the network. The more participants, the greater the benefit of the network. Additional offers, which exceed the actual purpose, expand the scope of application. A historical example illustrates the importance of size: the more people with a telephone, the more people can be reached, the more people have a telephone and the more services (e.g. information, routing, wake-up calls, telephone counseling) can be marketed. Based on the Dunbar number, the natural limit of social relationships is 150 persons, between 100 and 250. Based on the average number of Facebook friends per user of over 300 (between 250 and 500) you can presume that in the social networks of the Internet the Dunbar number doubles.
  • Density
    The actors become interconnected with one another to a more or less close meshed network. The number of actual relationships between the actors/nodes together with the possible number of connections determine the density of meshing. If the resulting connectivity is very dense, the network has a great impact on each individual. Loose attachment appears in the lack of social relationships and subsequently with frustration as well as isolation. The density can be represented by the number of relationships in respect to the possible relationships – e.g. a network of 8 people has (8-1) * (8/2) = 28 possible relationships; in this example all people are centrally only linked to one person, but not to each other, resulting in 7 relationships; this corresponds to a density of 0.25.
  • Openness
    The relationships that get out of the network determine the degree of openness. Prerequisite is the definition of the network boundaries. In companies, they are today much more permeable due to partnerships, joint ventures and outsourcing. The project relationships lead to frequent changes of the network members. The openness results from the number of external relationships in respect to the possible relationships. They are double-edged. On the one hand, a network gains new ideas and members through openness. On the other hand, experiences and insights unintentionally flow out of the network, and people get the opportunity to exert undesirable influence through openness.
  • Perseverance
    Networks have a certain life of their own because of the large number of actors. Perseverance describes the degree of stability. It results from the increase of members and relationships, the changing degree of formal structure, and the general direction, i.e. growth, consolidation or shrinkage of the network Too much change endangers the perseverance and results in the formation of new networks or internal group building.
  • Speed
    The time it takes to bring insights to all nodes defines the speed. This information flows through the relationships. With respective channels, actors can communicate in different ways, such as email, intranet, or by exchanging ideas. The distribution can take place by pull or push principle. The pull principle is based on information needs – knowledge is obligation to search; trigger is the target audience; mostly bottom-up. The push principle is aligned to the needs for informing – knowledge is an obligation to deliver; triggers are the information sources; mostly top-down. Built-in feedback, such as receipt confirmation or collection of comments, allow assumptions about the speed.

Bottom line: The network is the most likely organizational format in times of VUCA. The membership benefits are determined primarily by the number of users. Other characteristics are the density, openness, perseverance and the speed of the information flow. Although the network properties allow a better control, it is still necessary to continuously observe and evaluate the network due to the self-organizing members.