Apothen Corporation needs to adopt the Niche Marketing strategy and The Lean Start-up strategy We are writing to you to recommend a few startup strategies. We did thorough market research in the technology start-up sector and conclude that Apothen Corporation needs to adopt the Niche Marketing strategy and The Lean Start-up strategy; these strategies possibly enable Apothen to minimize losses, agilely learn about the market, and sustain itself from the very beginning. Self-sustainability is crucial to technology start-ups. There have been countless cases of companies who had brilliant business ideas and disruptive innovations, yet still failed because they ran out of funds. It is usual (even expected) for technology start-ups to incur losses in their early years, as there are unavoidable expenses in developing, producing, servicing, and marketing activities. However, if a start-up is not capable of keeping up finances in line with expenses, it will become bankrupt before launching its product. We recommend strategies stated above because we recognize the two business trends that are changing the way start-ups are structured and the momentum in which these new enterprises transform their business. The trends have almost the exact same name as our recommendation: the Niche Marketing trend and the Lean Startup trend.
To ensure great start-ups with lesser funds can also flourish, entrepreneurial professionals studied many technology start-ups and developed successful guides to understand the startup trends. We will further explain the step-by-step guide to take advantage of these new trends.
In his book, Crossing The Chasm, Geoffrey Moore coined the term “Technology Adoption Life Cycle” and explained five types of people who comprise this cycle.
Moore then defined the chasm as the difficulties in transitioning early adopters into early majority, meaning that a product sales amount can vary but may never enter the majority markets. In order to crossing the chasm, Moore suggests the start-up to be laser-focused about choosing the product target group, penetrating a niche market, then dominating it. By doing so, the start-up can:
In his book The Lean Startup, Eric Ries defined the whole Lean Start-up strategy as a series of steps:
In the Vision stage, achieving validated learning is crucial. Validated learning is the process to identifying and eliminating the functions a customer doesn’t need, and keeping those which are wanted. The identifying process then requires the firm to not only ask customers whether a function is desired, but to actually individually experiment the new function on the users and to record and analyze their usage behavior. In the Steer Stage, the firm first lists out the assumptions it has previously made for the consumers and tests each of the assumptions independently. If the customers’ behavior meets predictions, the assumption then is deemed to be true. You should keep testing assumptions in small batches, yet keep them independent: that is, design the assumptions tested and make sure only one variable exists in each test. If an assumption turns out wrong, then simply change it. Once changes have been made, the firm enters the Accelerate stage. In this phase, not only should you test assumption in small batches, the audiences being tested on should also be a small size in case the firm messes up. Facebook has done it with the Timeline feature in 2011: Only a small size of selected users were affected and examined by the new social network feature at first. Business growth is then measured to see if the firm successfully implemented the new function with desired growth rate. In the case of Facebook, as the social media giant saw Timeline helped its users to better organize the overwhelming social media content, Facebook then applied the feature to all users. All three steps to a growing lean start-up serve crucial purposes. The Vision stage emphasizes validated learning, the Steer stage provides you with tools to test assumptions, and the Accelerate stage allows you to achieve the needed growth rate without wasting excessive funds even if the implemented change fails.
As we get familiarized with the Niche Market and Lean-Startup strategies, we will discuss here the specifics for Apothen Corporation. Apothen Corporation intends to build a cloud-based point-of-sale (POS)software system for installation on Android tablets and usage in the restaurant industry. The software will gather valuable information (i.e. customer feedback, ratings, reviews) to convert into valuable products (i.e. restaurant promotions).Apothen specified the product functions to utilizing online to-go orders, creating a transaction-based rating/review system, implementing a customer loyalty program, inventing a customer-restaurant interacting feedback system, integrating social-media, alternate payment method other than credit cards, and developing an app. Although Apothen’s idea of this POS system is innovative and possesses the potential to revolutionize the restaurant business, we recommend you first find a niche market to penetrate and secure market share. We have analyzed the 2013 Restaurant Industry Forecast and the 2010 Restaurant Industry Operations Report and found that limited-service restaurants have the highest income before income taxes per dollar of 5.9 percent, compared to that of full-service restaurants, ranging from 1.8 percent to 3.5 percent, depending on the average check per person. Given the fact that Apothen’s product will position as a high-cost system and has finalized the license fee to customers as $500 USD a month or a small percentage of their monthly revenue, we recommend you target the limited services restaurants for their higher income margin. We specifically recommend you to focus on limited service restaurants with mainly made-to-order and high-priced beverages, such as high-end, modern coffee shops. We also believe that the initial product you are trying to create incurs high costs, which could possibly be avoided with the Lean Start-up strategy. We recommend implementing a maximum of three independent assumptions. While we also examined diners’ demands in consumption at restaurants in the 2013 Restaurant Industry Forecast, we have structured a two-step assumption testing procedure based on the available information.
We have tailor-made these recommendations and strategic advice for Apothen Corporation. We believe the Niche Marketing strategy and the Lean Startup strategy can jointly help your business to excel if used appropriately. While starting-up can be extremely challenging and competitive, to be agile, lean, laser-focused, and to continuously adopting validated learning are the four main aspects that we believe will flourish your start-up. We wish you the best of luck and look forward to the next time we cooperate and build a closer relationship. Works Cited Ries, Eric. The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses. New York: Crown, 2011. Moore, Geoffrey A. Crossing The Chasm: Marketing and Selling Disruptive Products to Mainstream Customers. New York: HarperCollins, 2006. National Restaurant Association. 2013 Restaurant Industry Forecast. National Restaurant Association Research and Knowledge Group, Washington, DC, 2013. Retrieved, January 30, 2014, from https://www.restaurant.org/News-Research/Research/Forecast-2013 National Restaurant Association. 2010 Restaurant Industry Operations Report. National Restaurant Association Research and Knowledge Group, and Deloitte. Washington, DC, 2010. Retrieved, January 30, 2014, from https://imis.restaurant.org/store/detail.aspx?id=OPSRPT2010 Harvard Business Review. Why the Lean Start-Up Changes Everything. Steve Blank. 2013. Retrieved from https://hbr.org/2013/05/why-the-lean-start-up-changes-everything Yim, Hyung Rok. “A Strategic Pathway to the Rapid-Growth of New Startups: Niche Marketing and Strategic Investment”. ProQuest. Web. 5 Feb. 2014.
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