In today’s business, you have to be flexible in order to cope with the demands of your clients and your business. In addition to that, you usually need a different kind of mentality, in order to face the challenges presented by the development of new business. In these situations, there is an uncharted area, which the most of the time, it may cost you a lot, in resources, time, money, effort and manpower.

Business Development As A Sudoku Puzzle

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This procedure, seems like the Sudoku puzzle, where you were given only a few numbers, and you were expected to solve the puzzle, by the given numbers (in the classical version of the game) and the support of the standard rules[!!!]. Easy, isn’t it?

A lot like the business development, you would say? Yes, but not exactly !!! Sudoku may have some similarities with business development. But just that. Only some similarities. Usually, the development of a new business, requires a detailed analysis and balanced of various factors, with a huge range of uncertainty (unlike Sudoku, where you have only a limited set of numbers or letters).

In Sudoku, you usually need to:

  • Analyze the existing numbers
  • Brainstorm or figure out how to find the remain ones
  • Select a strategy of solving which, in correlation with the game’s rules, would give you, in a valid manner, the missing numbers
  • Preparation (design) of your way of solving (i.e. you try to solve by missing numbers your are certain of, you would make some educated guesses or something in between [!!!])
  • Actually, fill in the numbers, starting by the ones that are easily found out (by the rules, the strategy your follow, the surrounding numbers, etc) and proceeding to the more “difficult” ones!
  • Error correction (if it is needed one)
  • Fill in the puzzle!!!

In business development (as in Sudoku) you usually have or you were given some or a lot of data and information (perhaps some market analysis data, customer’s trends data, etc), some rules (yes, off course there are rules in business development !!! – Check and reference section) and you were expected to build a very successful (and profitable, needless to say) new business [!!!]. Simple as that! Or not?

Since there are a lot of “error variables” in this equation and a lot of design or other potential flaws to be considered, when you developing a new business scheme, you usually need to pay a close attention to the:

  1. Analysis of the hard-core data of the new area(s) you want to exploit
  2. Brainstorming of the ways a new business can be made in the area, based on the market and the possible clients
  3. Select a strategy of implementation of the new business or service
  4. Design & preparation of the business or services you want to develop (with specific timetables, milestones, and deliverable)
  5. Small scale implementation and piloting of you new business, service, software, etc
  6. Communication, dissemination of the new business to the potential clients, and feedback by all interested parties
  7. Error and flaws correction
  8. Effort versus gaining invested or ROI (Return of investment) analysis, in order to see the profitability, validity and viability of the business, (it is a business, after all [!!!]), and finally
  9. (if ROI proved successful), Roll-out of the new business in full-scale.

It is a little much more lengthy procedure, than the one you could use for solving a Sudoku puzzle. Or is it not?

What do you think? New business development looks like a Sudoku puzzle or not? Do you find useful this analogy? Can you use this approach for developing a new business? Please comment.