What Do Entrepreneurs Do All Day?: Crash Course Business Entrepreneurship #8

What Do Entrepreneurs Do All Day?: Crash Course Business Entrepreneurship #8


What do entrepreneurs do all day? I’m not joking. What are we actually supposed to do all day? When someone says they’re “studying business”
or they “work in business,” they could mean so many different things. They could be in marketing, sales, finance
or human resources. So much goes into keeping a company running
smoothly. As entrepreneurs, we probably stumbled into
business — we were passionate about an idea or saw a problem we wanted to solve that developed
into a business. Or maybe our side hustle got so big it turned
into our main hustle. So here’s a secret: as entrepreneurs, we
have to do all those business-y jobs. Yes marketing, yes sales, yes finance, yes
HR. You may be concocting the perfect blend of
spices for artisanal pickles, but you still have to complete payroll. You may love being outside planting flowers
and sculpting shrubs, but you still have to market your landscape business. You may draw a daily webcomic, but you still
have to make sure the tech is running smoothly and your website design is on point. There’s so much to do! But to help us prioritize, we need to figure
out what tasks we need to do to deliver value to our customers — called key activities
— and what stuff we need to get it all done — called key resources. Don’t worry, we’ve got this. I’m Anna Akana, and this is Crash Course
Business: Entrepreneurship. [Theme Music Plays] Our idea is the core of our business, but
so much more goes into operating a business day-to-day. In our value proposition, we wrote down why
customers should choose us over the competition — our competitive advantage, if you will. All of the tasks we absolutely need to do
to keep our business going and maintain that competitive advantage are what we call our
key activities. So yeah, if you teach ukulele lessons, playing
the ukulele is one of your key activities. But let’s not forget about all the less
sexy stuff that you — or your staff if you have one — are doing every day. Maybe it’s putting up flyers advertising
your fun music curriculum. Maybe it’s making and posting how-to videos
on YouTube. Maybe it’s offering free trial lessons at
the public library. Or maybe it’s just driving from client to
client. Or biking, scooting, unicycling… you do
you. For IKEA, they need to design new 1000-piece
puzzles — I mean… furniture — that people will want in their homes. But they also need to source materials that
are high quality but low cost to keep prices down, keep their stores stocked, manage any shipments,
maintain their website, and update social media to show off those meatballs and communicate
with customers. When we’re just getting started, figuring
out what’s essential to our business keeps us focused, helps us develop strategies to
make better decisions down the road, and potentially saves us a lot of time and money fixing a
big mistake. Planning minimizes surprises. And I don’t mean a “found 20 bucks in
your pants pocket” surprise, but “the website went down and customers can’t make
orders” surprise. Not to mention, I just feel wayyy more confident
when I’m well prepared. So what do I really do all day? For me, one of my key activities is writing. YouTube videos, TV pilots, songs, books — I
do a lot of writing! But when I put that down on my business plan
outline, like the Business Model Canvas in the Key Activities section, I’m not going
to spell out exactly how long I’m going to write each day or get into specific word
counts. Think big picture to start and keep it simple. You don’t need every logistical piece entirely
mapped out! And remember, we’re focusing on the activities
that are absolutely crucial to delivering our value proposition. If I listed out every single thing I do in
a day, we’d be here for a while. So I’m not going to put down “feed cats,”
even though they might be hungry, because that’s not directly helping me deliver value
to my audience. Or is it? To really make sure we’ve covered our bases
when making a list of key activities, we can ask some precise questions. One, if you have a product, what are the necessary
steps to produce it? Two, if you have a service, what are you offering
customers and what do you have to do in order to provide it? Three, how are you sharing updates and information
with customers, or how are they getting your offering? Four, what’s most important to creating
revenue? — Do you sell products in stores? Source materials to make your products? Create bundles of services to sell? And finally, what activities do you find yourself
doing every day? So we do amazing things that provide value
for our customers, but all that doing usually relies on having stuff. In business speak, the stuff we need to accomplish
our key activities are known as our key resources. If we don’t outline our key resources, we
might get caught unprepared or not be able to perform one of our key activities. Knowing /what/ is just as important as knowing
how! If you’re selling merch online, what online
store system are you going to use? Amazon? Shopify? Instagram? Etsy? Will you need software to record the sales
so you’re ready for tax season? Will you need storage for the merch in your
basement? Will you need shipping materials to send packages? Will you need employees to help you operate
all of this? There’s a lot to consider, so let’s break
key resources up into four loose categories. ***First, there are physical resources for
business activities like manufacturing equipment, buildings for employees, warehouses to make
and store products, vehicles, cash registers or credit card machines, and distribution
networks. For example, Amazon relies heavily on their
warehouses — both for data storage and product storage. They also need all the equipment to create
their original products, the buildings that their employees work in, as well as the locations
of the 11 physical Amazon Go stores that exist as of 2019. ***Next, Intellectual Property covers various
ideas that can be patented or copyrighted, which includes specific branding, proprietary
knowledge, partnerships, and customer databases. IP resources are tough to develop because
it takes creativity to come up with a completely unique idea or design. But then you have something no one else has,
or they have to pay you to use it — and if they don’t, it could be illegal and it’s
definitely unethical. So… don’t steal! Intellectual Property is an incredible competitive
advantage that helps us stand out. When I say the word Nike, what springs to
mind? [I’m just guessing, but probably not the
Greek goddess of victory…] The “swoosh” and “Just Do It” are
everywhere in the athletic world. Nike relies heavily on their brand, plus patented
technologies for things like textiles and shoes, to draw in customers. ***Now, both of these kinds of resources don’t
magically create or operate themselves. [This isn’t Fantasia. There aren’t any magic brooms.] Often we have tasks that only some people
can handle because they involve specialized knowledge. These human resources — or people with specific
skill sets — pop-up all over different industries. More people probably know how to swing a hammer
than weld. Laika Studios creates stop-motion films like
Coraline or the Corpse Bride, which are notoriously time-intensive and have thousands of moving
parts. The handmade puppets and character designs
depend on a bunch of humans: painters, sculptors, screenwriters, film editors and more to tell
these stories. ***And, lastly, key activities and resources
aren’t free, and might not even be cheap. So we need financial resources. ***For example, an aspiring photographer might
save up cash to purchase high-quality equipment and launch their independent photography business. ***A local retail company may opt for a line
of credit in order to manage the ebb and flow of their patrons. ***And a tech startup might tempt talented
programmers into working for them by offering them stock options as part of their contract,
kind of like a financial bonus. We can think about any business and do some
detective work to guess how they might put all these key activities and resources together. So let’s go to the Thought Bubble and take
a look at one example. Maybe you’ve heard of SquareSpace, the website
building and hosting company. So… besides what you’ve heard in ad reads…
what do they do exactly as a business? From the About section of the SquareSpace
website, we can find their value proposition: Basically, their main key activity is providing
the technology to help people make and host websites. And part of their competitive advantage is
that they offer customizable themes and templates that hopefully help people make websites that
look good. They also provide digital storage and backups
for all their sites, and they use marketing and advertising — like paying YouTubers — to
tell potential customers about their services. Now to accomplish these key activities, they
need key resources. Physically, they need buildings for their
employees and servers for data storage and website hosting. And part of their intellectual property is
all the website templates that they provide users. Human-wise they need programmers, graphic
designers, marketers, customer service reps, and people forging key partnerships [like
with exciting personalities like, ahem, me]. And all of this requires money or financial
resources. SquareSpace raised private cash to get started
and then got more funding from investors to grow rapidly in the easy-to-use web design
market. All these key activities and resources align
with their value proposition. So any business, including our own, should
take a similar approach and make sure to stay focused on what’s essential! Thanks, Thought Bubble! Focused businesses, where all key activities
and resources go into achieving the value proposition, have clearer pathways to success. Ultimately the bottom line is: What do you
do, and what do you need to do it? Next time, we’ll continue diving into the
Business Model Canvas sections by identifying all the people and businesses /outside/ your
company that can help you thrive. Thanks for watching Crash Course Business
which is sponsored by Google. And thanks to Thought Cafe for the beautiful
graphics. If you want to help keep Crash Course free
for everybody, forever, you can join our community on Patreon. And if you want to learn more about how to
organize your schedule so you can get your key activities done, check out the Crash Course
Business: Soft Skills episode about time management:

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About the Author: Oren Garnes

70 Comments

  1. Just focus on your core activity, don't focus on fancy features until you got evidence that your product will sell 😊
    Oh and websites like Fiver are great for finding some freelancers 😊

  2. 5 mins in you list off ways to sell things online, but you did not list WooCommerce. I know you can't list everything, but WooCommerce is running the most eCommerce sites out there.

    Not trolling and really want to know if you heard of it?

    Some of us have been talking about Automattic's approach to marketing their software.

  3. Entrepreneurs try to make an idea work, and how to make that work is different every time but what I would try to focus on is automation in that business

  4. We totally read this as “what do INTERPRETERS do all day?” Interpret?
    We enjoyed watching after we got it all straight! 😂

  5. This was the exact video I’ve been needing this past month, and then for Anna Akana to be the one talking about it… I couldn’t have asked for more

  6. It was good insight for starting the day as Entrepreneur, you basically shared everything and the tips are really helpful to implement in the business, so thank you and you Anna, you look so cute in cap. 👌🏻
    Namaste 🙏🏻

  7. To me, it sounds more like "What Do Executives Do All Day?"; as an entrepreneur, I would focus more on making sure my business is delivering and not developing issues, checking if directors are doing their job correctly and looking for new opportunities and challenges in the industry and/or different business opportunities to invest into.
    The entrepreneur puts money into businesses and expects a return. A director would develop a strategy and an executive would manage the implementation and delivery.
    Of course, though, some entrepreneurs are also directors, executives and sometimes even labourers (though that could be a reason why a business may grow slower than it could).

  8. I love the idea of this channel, but more times than not, it's a video version of a Wikipedia page. I get producing content on schedule is hard, but ….come on. Can we at least get the credentials of the presenter? Perhaps she has a lot of experience in the matter. Or none, and is reading a script. Can you let us know that from the get go? Just the tip. 🙂

  9. Well I'm basically working on my Hz Media whenever possible. I work my day job 8-4 5 days a week. Then I have my coffee shop that I own manage and run 7 days a week from 6ish to 2am.

  10. Hello Anna! Thank you very much for all this useful information, I’m an entrepreneur and I can truly relate to many of these daily tasks. At the same time, although it is indeed a lot of work, it is incredibly fun! I would encourage everyone to grow their own business on their free time, especially these days, when there is absolutely nothing to loose!

    I’ll definitely be following more of your videos.

    Raphael Robatto

  11. "Success seems to be connected with action. Successful people keep moving. They make mistakes, but they don't quit."– Conrad Hilton

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