The 24 Steps of Disciplined Entrepreneurship: A Comprehensive Guide
Entrepreneurship, by its very nature, is a risky business. The statistics for new ventures are not encouraging – only about 20% of all startups survive beyond their first five years. However, some entrepreneurs seem to overcome these hurdles and build successful businesses that change the world, one product or service at a time.
Most successful entrepreneurs will tell you that their success was not a result of sheer luck or talent, but rather the result of following a disciplined approach to entrepreneurship. This approach to entrepreneurship is outlined in the book “Disciplined Entrepreneurship” by Bill Aulet, a veteran entrepreneur and professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
In this article, we will explore the 24 steps of disciplined entrepreneurship that Aulet outlines in his book. These 24 steps are divided into six themes, each with a specific purpose. Together they form a comprehensive guide that any entrepreneur can use to build a successful venture.
Theme 1: Vision
The first theme of disciplined entrepreneurship is vision. This theme is all about defining your vision for your venture. It consists of four steps:
Step 1: Ideation
Ideation is the process of generating new and innovative ideas. Aulet suggests that entrepreneurs should aim to generate a large number of ideas and then evaluate them using specific criteria to determine their potential.
Step 2: Concept Development
Concept development involves refining your ideas and creating a clear concept for your venture. This step includes evaluating the market need and determining how your product or service will meet that need.
Step 3: Positioning
Positioning involves identifying your target market and creating a unique selling proposition (USP) that differentiates your venture from competitors in the market.
Step 4: Storytelling
Storytelling is about creating a compelling narrative for your venture that captures the attention of your target market. This narrative should communicate your vision and USP in a way that resonates with your audience.
Theme 2: People
The second theme of disciplined entrepreneurship is people. This theme is all about building the right team to execute your vision. It consists of four steps:
Step 5: Team Building
Team building involves identifying the talent and skills necessary to execute your vision and building a team that possesses those qualities.
Step 6: Leadership
Leadership involves developing a clear leadership style that aligns with your venture’s vision and culture. Effective leadership is essential to motivate and inspire your team to achieve success.
Step 7: Organizational Design
Organizational design involves creating a structure that facilitates communication and collaboration within your team. This step includes defining roles and responsibilities and developing processes to optimize workflow.
Step 8: Hiring
Hiring involves identifying the right talent to fill the roles in your organizational structure. This step includes establishing hiring criteria and developing a hiring process that identifies the best candidates for the position.
Theme 3: Process
The third theme of disciplined entrepreneurship is process. This theme is all about creating a structured approach to building your venture. It consists of four steps:
Step 9: Customer Understanding
Customer understanding involves identifying the unique needs and pain points of your target customers. This step includes conducting market research and analyzing customer data to gain insights into your target market.
Step 10: Competitive Analysis
Competitive analysis involves identifying your competitors and evaluating their strengths and weaknesses. This step includes developing a competitive profile for each competitor and using it to understand how your venture can differentiate itself.
Step 11: Value Proposition
Value proposition involves presenting your product or service in a way that clearly communicates its value to your customers. This step includes developing a positioning statement that clearly communicates your USP and the benefits of your product or service.
Step 12: Business Model
Business model involves developing a plan for how your venture will generate revenue and make a profit. This step includes identifying your key revenue streams and developing a pricing strategy that maximizes profitability.
Theme 4: System
The fourth theme of disciplined entrepreneurship is system. This theme is all about creating a scalable and sustainable business model. It consists of four steps:
Step 13: Market Segmentation
Market segmentation involves dividing your target market into smaller segments that share similar needs and pain points. This step includes developing a customer profile for each segment and using it to tailor your marketing messages.
Step 14: Customer Acquisition
Customer acquisition involves creating a system for attracting and retaining customers. This step includes developing a marketing plan that leverages multiple channels to reach your target audience.
Step 15: Channels
Channels involve developing a distribution strategy that gets your product or service to your customers. This step includes evaluating different distribution channels and selecting the most effective ones for your venture.
Step 16: Demand Creation
Demand creation involves creating a buzz around your product or service to generate interest and create demand. This step includes developing a public relations strategy and leveraging social media to create a viral campaign.
Theme 5: Metrics
The fifth theme of disciplined entrepreneurship is metrics. This theme is all about measuring and analyzing your venture’s success. It consists of four steps:
Step 17: Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
KPIs involve identifying the metrics that matter most to your venture’s success. This step includes developing a dashboard that tracks your KPIs and provides you with real-time insights into your venture’s performance.
Step 18: Financials
Financials involve developing a financial plan that outlines your venture’s revenue and expenses. This step includes developing financial projections and identifying the metrics that will help you track your progress.
Step 19: Decision Making
Decision making involves leveraging your venture’s metrics to make smart business decisions. This step includes developing a decision-making framework and using data to inform your decisions.
Step 20: Risk Management
Risk management involves identifying potential risks to your venture and developing strategies to mitigate those risks. This step includes developing a risk management plan and incorporating it into your overall business strategy.
Theme 6: Mindset
The sixth and final theme of disciplined entrepreneurship is mindset. This theme is all about developing the right attitude and mindset for success. It consists of four steps:
Step 21: Resourcefulness
Resourcefulness involves developing a mindset that is focused on finding solutions to problems and making the most of limited resources. This step includes developing a culture of innovation and encouraging your team to think creatively.
Step 22: Resilience
Resilience involves developing a mindset that is focused on bouncing back from setbacks and failures. This step includes developing a culture of learning and encouraging your team to embrace failure as a learning opportunity.
Step 23: Adaptability
Adaptability involves developing a mindset that is focused on adapting to changing market conditions and customer needs. This step includes developing a culture of flexibility and encouraging your team to be open to new ideas and opportunities.
Step 24: Passion
Passion involves developing a mindset that is focused on pursuing your venture with enthusiasm and dedication. This step includes developing a passion for your product or service and communicating that passion to your team and customers.
Disciplined entrepreneurship is a comprehensive guide to building a successful venture. By following the 24 steps outlined in this article, any entrepreneur can develop a disciplined approach to entrepreneurship that increases their chances of success. From defining your vision and building the right team to creating a scalable business model and developing the right mindset for success, disciplined entrepreneurship provides a roadmap to success for any aspiring entrepreneur.