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An Experienced Approach to Venture Funding

Entrepreneurs, Expanding Beyond Your Core Competencies will Help You Define Success in the Market

Start-up companies and large companies alike have a set of core competencies that define the company, their product and service offerings, and their position in the market.  More often than not it is this set of core competencies that provide the company with their baseline competitive advantage in the market.  Often, for start-up companies, these core competencies although unique do not necessarily provide them with a complete product offering or the ability to offer a new and different go to market strategy.  Many times these same start-up companies must look beyond their own core competencies to complete their product offering and at the same time provide a unique end-user experience.  This article focuses on looking beyond your core competencies to differentiate your start-up company and its product offering to help define your success in the market.

Beyond Core Competencies

Every start-up company must have a core competency that uniquely defines the company and at the same time provides a long-term competitive advantage in the market.   For most start-up companies this core competency is based on a patented technology, process or service offering.  Many times, this core competency, although unique, is not enough to define a “complete” product offering in the market.  So, as a start-up company, you need to define what it takes to compete in the market and at the same time differentiate your product offering beyond its baseline core competency.  This requires you, as an entrepreneur, to take a holistic approach to the market and define what other capabilities, features, functions, and services are required to compete in the market. Many of these market driven requirements are well beyond the core competencies of your start-up company and will require you to partner with other companies to provide a complete product offering and at the same time differentiate your product offering in the market.  So, as an entrepreneur, you need to realize that your start-up company’s core competencies may not be enough to effectively compete in the market.  At the same time, because of the investment requirements, and time to market issues, it is often more expedient to partner with other companies to complete your product offering and compete with a differentiated product in the market.

Strategic Partners

Strategic partners can often be the key to expanding your start-up company’s product offering beyond its core competencies.  At the same time, strategic partners can provide your start-up company with the following:

  • Access to new markets,
  • Insight to the overall product development requirements,
  • Sources of new revenue streams,
  • Help to uniquely position your company in the market, and
  • Provide a new and differentiated go to market strategy. 

Therefore, by working the appropriate strategic partners you can develop a “complete” product offering that you would not be able to develop and offer on your own.  This will help to define your product offering and in the long run will more often than not help provide your start-up company with additional success in the market.

The User Experience

One other consideration, when looking to expand your product offering beyond your company’s core competency, is to focus on the end user experience.  Is your product easy to use?  Does your product address all of the needs of the customer?  Does your product provide the customer with a satisfying experience?  Many times these things cannot be only addressed with your start-up company’s core competencies. They often require additional capabilities, features, functions, and services to address the complete end user experience.  This will again require you to look beyond your own start-up company’s capabilities to address these needs.  So when you are considering bringing your start-up company’s technology product or service offering to market, consider the end user experience and expectations. To do so, will allow you to look beyond your own core competencies and address the broader needs of the market.

Looking beyond your start-up company’s core competencies is a key to being successful in the market.  All companies, large and start-up alike need to do this to ultimately define their product offering. This often requires start-up companies to realize that they do not have a complete product offering and need to work with one or more strategic partners to define their final product offering.  In addition, taking into consideration the end user’s experience and their expectations are required to bring a successful product to market.  So, as an entrepreneur, remember, it often takes many more capabilities, features, functions, and services, than your start-up company’s core competency offers to provide a “complete” product offering to the market. So when you look to define your product offering take this into consideration as it will ultimately your start-up company with more long term success in the market.

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December 14, 2009 - Posted by | venture finance, Venture Funding | , ,

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