Key activities are what separate a business idea from a business plan. They are the activities (or actions) that must be taken in order to deliver your value proposition to your customers.
When designing your key activities, you should consider how you can offer the most unique value to your customers. Try to diversify your products and services from the competition. Examples of key activities for a coffee shop owner include creating the menu, experimenting with unique flavors, maintaining customer satisfaction, hiring the right employees, creating eye-catching social media pages, etc. This blog will detail five categories of key activities that every business needs.
First things first: you have to decide what your business is producing. We will continue to use the coffee shop as an example. Ponder questions such as: What kind of coffee are you going to make, and what are the ingredients? How are you going to design your space so that it has the right ambiance? Are you going to use paper cups or ceramic mugs to serve customers? Where are you going to get your coffee grounds from? Do you have the proper coffee grinders, espresso machines, and milk steamers? Mentally walk through every process in detail.
Let’s say your sales went down in the month of October in your coffee shop. Problem solving activities help you determine why that might be. It could be because you didn’t introduce a line of seasonal drinks when other shops did, or perhaps your Yelp reviews are all less than 3 stars. First, you have to figure out what the problem is, then you can work on trying to fix it. This is where studying analytics and metrics comes into play. There will always be room for improvement, so never stop growing or solving problems. Even if you are the #1 coffee shop in the world, there are still ways to make your customer experience even better.
Marketing is a vital aspect of business. There are thousands of coffee shops out there, so how are you going to get yours to stand out? A lot of this has to do with a good website and social media pages. Starbucks is a great reference for this, especially in our coffee shop example. They use user-generated content (content that others post about your product) all of the time! This strategy allows you to reach the people that follow you and leverage the audiences of other people as well. If you can, hire someone to help you create and maintain your platform.
Networks are primarily interpersonal relationships, but that can change in the digital world we live in today. Networks are similar to platforms, but they’re more about connection than influence. How are you networking with the people who come into your coffee shop? Are there community members that you could connect with to make the coffee shop even more successful? Never stop looking for ways to improve.
This is possibly the most obvious key activity! To continue with our coffee shop example, key activities in this area seek to answer questions such as: how would you take payments? What type of payments do you accept? Did you secure a merchant account? Who is going to manage your shop? Are you going to sell online or just in-person? Getting your finances in order is one of the first things you should do as a new business owner.