To build a successful company it is important to map its viability. Is the current product or service that you offer still interesting? Is there sufficient demand for that new product or service that you want to develop? Do you have to tap into a new market for this and do you have the required knowledge for that?

To get an answer to these types of questions you take a closer look at your company by mapping for yourself:

• what phase the company is in (mature phase, pioneering phase);
• to what extent your product/service has a chance of success;
• who your competitors are;
• how you are going to sell your product or service;
• who your first (potential) customers will be;
• what the revenue expectation of your product/service will be

You record an answer to these questions in your business plan. I use a handy step-by-step plan to help you with this.

Step 1: Map your customer segments
Describe in detail who your target group is. What is the gender, income, region and level of education? If you have properly visualized this, you know what your potential customer needs. You then tune your product or service to that.

Step 2: Describe your added value
Determine what distinguishes your product or service from the competition. Describe in detail what market you are targeting and what matters your customer values. For example, delivery time, personal service, response time.

Step 3: Think about the relationship with the customer
How do you enter into a relationship with your customer? Which channels do you use for this and what does your customer think is important? Make clear on paper how you ensure a stable customer relationship.

Step 4: Identify your sales channels
You can use various channels, both online and offline, to market your product or service. Make a clear description of which channels you will use and how you will do that.

Step 5: Describe your earnings model
Where do your income come from and how do you want to achieve that? Describe how many and which customers you need to achieve your desired turnover and profit. Also think about good pricing.

Step 6: Indicate which business resources are required
When it comes to company resources, you make a distinction between physical resources such as equipment, intellectual resources such as a patent or a brand and human resources such as personnel. Think about how you are going to finance these resources.

Step 7: Determine your core activities
What are the most important activities within your company to be of added value for your customer? That is what you earn your money with. Consider producing your product or conducting customer interviews.

Step 8. Identify your partners
Which partners can help you realize your plans? Map who they are, who you already know and which parties you are still looking for. Through this description, you know exactly which knowledge and expertise still need to be supplemented to achieve your objectives.

Step 9. Make your cost structure transparent
If you have mapped out the previous steps, it is easier to determine your cost structure. Your costs can be subdivided into fixed and variable costs. While making the description, think about possible savings.

There are various companies such as InventHelp that can help you go through the above steps.

Author's Bio: 

I use the business model canvas, the blue ocean strategy and the empathy map. Many more tools can be found online.