EFactor: a social network for entrepreneurs

This morning I attended a webinar by EFactor called Strategy for Starting Up.  EFactor, I recently found out about, is a social networking site for entrepreneurs, investors, and mentors.  I’m planning on using it in the future to cultivate relationships among peers and find (more) coaches as I work on Econexión.  The webinar certainly had parts that were over my head and discussed unique value propositions, value chains, and refreshing, new interpretations of strategy.

Here are some take-away points from what I learned this morning:

  • Meta thoughts:
    • Things like this inspire my thinking and action. I should do them more often.
    • EFactor is huge, has 1 million+ users in 185 countries. I should use this as a resource!
  • Strategy helps you communicate your expectations.  So this might sound obvious, but I hadn’t thought of it like this before.  Strategy is a standardized language to present long-term goals.  I’m committed to learning this language, chiseling out the details, and communicating the expectations of Econexión.
  • Our vision isn’t just about our image, rather it needs to be recognized by our organizational environment.  In other words – we must be able to clearly articulate and share it, as well as hope to have it acknowledged by other actors in our sphere: our peers and potential partners.
  • Remembering: creating strategy is dynamic. It’s not (and shouldn’t be) a final draft, but rather a basis for dialogue about future goals.
  • Being able to see day-to-day tasks in the context of a longer-term plan will help me see the larger picture and provide a way to ask, “does this contribute to our vision?”  It acts as a check and balance.
  • The presenter offered several methods for coming up with a good business strategy: SWOT analysis, value chain analysis, and a few others.  I’ll be thinking in the future about which will be most relevant.
My main action item is to create a full profile on EFactor to find a local coach to help me as I learn to apply these ideas.

Business Model Generation is a super-helpful book with a self-explanatory title

Also, since I’ve last posted, I was recommended a book, called Business Plan Generation.  I’m happy to admit this is the most interesting book on creating business models I’ve seen.  I’ve thumbed through, intended to finish, and set down a lot of other books with “business strategy,” “business plans,” and “business models” in the title.  It’s easy for me to feel overwhelmed with black and white text and terms I’m unfamiliar with in this field.  However, I found this new book very approachable; it was actually enjoyable to read.  There were real life examples of business plans dissected, activities to include dynamic brainstorming into the plan, and very clear explanations of the different aspects of business models.

My next goal is to take what I’ve learned from reading this book and create a business model for Econexión.  (Then get it reviewed, critiqued, and do it over again.)  Stay tuned!