Success within the SMART competition is challenging, with only the best applications obtaining grant funding. As well as demonstrating the proposed solution is at the cutting-edge of innovation, applicants must be able to demonstrate high growth potential.

To score well for this criterion requires applicants to have a well-thought out business plan. If you haven’t completed a business plan then two tools can be of particular use when considering the business case for your proposed solution. These are the business model canvas and value proposition canvas.

The business model canvas is designed to help companies visualise their proposed business models, making sure all aspects are given due consideration. Sections include:

Key partners – what links within the supply chain will you need to secure? Are you already engaged with delivery partners? What value do they add to your business case? What motivated them to partner with you?

Key activities – what steps must be taken to reach commercialisation? What impact do these have on your distribution channels/ partners / revenue streams?

Key resources – what key resources do your value propositions/ distribution channels/ customer relationships/ revenue streams require? Are these physical, intellectual, human or financial?

Value proposition – what customer problem are you solving? What characteristics are needed to meet the customer need? What customer jobs will be impacted? What gains do customers want? And alternatively, what pains do they experience? How will your solution create these gains or relieve these pains?

Customer relationships – how will you interact with customers? Is this a new business model or a well-established one? What are the resource requirements and risks to this approach?

Customer segments – who is your target market? Do you target mass adoption or niche markets? How segmented or diversified is the market? Who are your most important customers?

Channels – how do your customer segments want to be reached? Is this different from how you currently reach them? How cost-effective are they? How will you raise awareness and help customers evaluate your technology? How will customers purchase your product or service? How will you ensure high-quality delivery and provide further support?

Cost Structure – what are the critical costs associated with the model? What will resources and activities cost? Do you target lean costs, or maximise value offered? What are the fixed and variable costs of delivery? Will you employ economies of scope or scale?

Revenue streams – what are customers willing to pay? How will you cost you offering?

TBAT Top Tip! – Make sure that every entry has connections. Each customer segment should have a value proposition and revenue stream. Make sure you differentiate between current practice and targeted future developments. Assess the documents to understand how well your proposed model meets company and customer needs. Finally, remember, this is a working document, to be updated as you learn more about you offering and customer requirements.

If you are reading this, thinking ‘I could really use some help making sure my application hits all of these points’ – give TBAT a call today! Our consultants write grant applications day-in and day-out; they understand exactly what the assessors are looking for and will maximise your chances of success in the Smart Grant competitions.

Smart Grants: April 2019

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