How to navigate the waves when you are an entrepreneur

BARBARA FERNANDES (Senior Executive Manager)

The first question that Adriana do Ó and Barbara Fernandes addressed when they began their training at the New Ventures Lab was, how many people here know about the Business  Canvas? Less than half of the participants answered yes.

How does journalism fit into the definition of a startup?

During the New Ventures Lab, these two mentors talked about one of the most important things to learn about surfing the waves of the world of entrepreneurship: the elements of a Canvas business model for for-profit or non-profit organizations. The CANVAS business model is composed of nine basic parts that show how an organization wants to generate value.

Adriana do O

“The concept of a startup is to learn to fail until you can model your business, and place it on the street to validate it with your audience. ” said Adriana. And that is precisely the great advantage of going through this process in the New Ventures Lab, to be able to make mistakes and not drown in the attempt. It would be difficult to conceive the creation of a company without the initial venture.

Barbara Fernandes mentoring a team on their business canvas development

Here are the seven tips that cannot be missed when undertaking a project:

One: Do you know what it means to generate value?

What does your client want? The value proposition means benefits for the client you choose. These are the products and services that generate value for a specific customer segment. When you generate value, you are giving a benefit to someone. The value proposition is the most important part of the Canvas process.

It is advisable to think about for whom we are generating value. What kind of client consumes our product and who are our most important consumers? With these four questions, you can put the FOCUS on your project. When you create your value proposition, do it boldly and ask yourself:

What value do we deliver to the customer?

What problem are we helping to solve?

What needs are we satisfying?

What sets of products and services are we offering to follow up?

Two: It is extremely important to look for allies. One swallow does not make a summer.

Your partners have to live for the business as much as you do. Alliances must be analyzed to make our business viable. That means it is necessary to ask the question, does the partner meet all the requirements to make the value proposal reach your goals?

There is a financial and physical exchange, depending on the interest. The point is, always think about the win-win. What do they earn? What do I win? When the project is embryonic, you must be open and flexible with the partnerships.

Three: For what audience do you want to create profit? It is important to maintain focus because, as our dear mentors said, “the person who wants everything, does not do anything”.

You have to be very insightful to reach the right audience. The big mistake is that we do our business for us based on what we think is right. But have you considered if what you propose is really what your audience expects? You have to look at your audience and target that expectation.

That is why the Canvas model requires changing your mindset. The starting point to succeed with the Canvas is not to think about how we can sell. Normally, startups believe they are creating a business model, but they are really just thinking about themselves.

Four: Repeat ”step by step” as your new mantra. Your project does not have to respond to everything. It is better to offer a product that is well-modeled.

For Adriana and Barbara, the famous phrase that “the person who sells for the whole world does not sell to anyone” is true. For that reason, a business must be developed from the perspective of the client. The most important thing is to have coherence, no anxiety.

Five: If you manage to work on your client’s empathy with your business, you already have a lot of territory conquered.

Defining good relationship strategies with your client is difficult, but fundamental for the retention of your clients and to attract people to get involved and see themselves as part of your business. That relationship must be alive because the experience of your client is fundamental.

The whole business-client experience is purely energetic. It is an experience that envelops, that magnetizes. It is magic.

Work on engagement!

Six: It is essential to understand the need for flexibility.

When we are starting out, sometimes we protect ourselves a lot. We must take pride in our project, but also be flexible when we start alliances – as long as our ally is not usurping our rights.

Ask yourself: Do you want to be right or do you want to be happy? When you choose happiness, it could throw something away, but that something is a benefit you could recover later.

Often, our EGO gets in the way. Focus on your happiness and leave your certainty aside. Your goal is to be happy, right? When your happiness is at stake, you should let people have their certainties, even if they are wrong, and focus on your goal, which is to be HAPPY!

Seven: You have to reach the client in a way that best delivers the necessary information.

On the one hand, it is very important to consider how your client wants to be contacted.

This interaction is direct and priceless. It shows you are dedicated to delivering content to the client.

On the other hand, we must consider through which channels our customer segment wants to be contacted and informed. A Website? Instagram? Social media?

Adriana do O and Barbara Fernandez with the first cohort of the #nvlchicas


Last but not least, we want to share with you a recent article about the New Ventures Lab, published by the Thomson Reuters Foundation:

“The non-profit Chicas Poderosas has trained about 5,000 women from Mexico to Argentina in interactive storytelling, investigative reporting and leadership skills, to help bolster their positions in the media where females are starkly absent from senior roles.

Now 30 journalists, designers, photographers and developers on the group’s four-month accelerator scheme, New Ventures Lab, are working out how to develop, run and eventually monetise their own media businesses, most with a strong social slant.”

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