Understanding your business – what you need and why you need it

Over the years Great Ideaz has developed a wide array of tools and processes to help organisations produce an effective strategy for any aspect of business or technology innovation. This section outlines how Great Ideaz can help a business to understand itself and what it needs to achieve for success. A deep understanding of what the business needs and, more importantly, why it needs it helps to develop the widest possible range of solution options and drive decision-making.

Business Context

The business context is the environment that the business operates in. It includes all things that influence the value of the company and how the company works. The business context includes products, customers, competitors, replacements, regulators, partners, suppliers, and improvements.

The products section should list any products that the business creates. It should have a description of the product, how the product adds value, how much value it adds, how much it costs to create, and how it could add more value. This section is important because it looks at what the business produces and how efficiently it produces it.

The customers section should list the different types of customers that interact with the business. It should describe the persona of the customer, and how the type of customer interacts with and adds value to the business. This section should include things such the customer ordering products online. The customers section is important because it considers who buys products from the business, and how they do so.

The competitors section should describe major competitors of the business. It should include perceived strengths and weaknesses, threats, opportunities, and strategies. This section is important because it considers who could take value away from the business, and what can be done to stop them.

The replacements section should list and describe things that can substitute for the product to fulfil the same need. This section should not include things that directly compete with the product, only alternatives that provide similar functionality. If the product was a calculator, competitors would be other calculators, and replacements would be applications that work as calculators. However, it should be structured in the same way as the competitor’s section, to take into account the indirect competition between the products. This section is important because it takes into account that other products may compete with the business's product, without having the same value as the product.

The regulators section should mention any rules or regulations that the business or the product must comply with. This section should name and explain regulations, when they came into effect, and how the company complies with them. The regulators section is important because it keeps track of mandatory steps.

The partners section should name any business partners and explain the partnership. It should include the reason for beginning the partnership, the quality of the relationship, how the partnership adds value, and what the partnership costs or requires. This section is important because it considers the value of partnerships, and if the partnership is still beneficial to the business.

The suppliers section should list who supplies what materials to the business. Materials could include raw materials, such as wood, or services, such as internet. This section should include the name of the supplier, what materials they supply, what value this adds, how much it costs, and the quality of the relationship with the suppliers. The suppliers section is important because it records how much value the supplier adds to the business.

The improvements section should mention any improvements that can be made to the business context. It should include anywhere that relationships can be improved, or more value can be added to the business. This section is important because it notices changes that should be made, or need to be made, and implements them.

Reviewing a business's context can help it improve its relationships, comply with regulations, and develop better strategies against its competitors and replacements. Frequent reviews will keep strategies and regulations current and give a complete context for business operations.