Validating the technical feasibility of your business idea
If your business project has a strong technical aspect, you need to carefully validate each step before the launch. Hinde Boulbayem, founder and CEO of Sumy, shares her journey on the matter:
- The theory
- Practical application
- Making it all technically possible
- Being accompanied
Hinde Boulbayem has created Sumy, a global eco logistics solution delivering professionals worldwide and connecting businesses for a sustainable world.
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When the idea came, the first step was assessing its feasibility via the drafting of a business plan. A proposal describing the business model, target clientele, the technology I planned to use… So the first step was to formalize all that into a document I could send to key people, professionals and experts to submit my idea to them. When the original idea, the first brief had be positively received but had also been challenged, I moved onto the development phase to be able to move forward with my project. When development was complete, testing could begin.
Theoretically, we could achieve a 40% reduction of both carbon emissions and carcinogenic fine particles as well as increased delivery speed. So that theory, which had been formalized in the first brief, was tested to make sure it really worked, that a natural gas-fueled vehicle can have a 400 km range. To validate the technological reliability. Also, and especially, validate customer appreciation. Are customers happier now? Is their problem with late merchandise deliveries resolved? What costs for these first tests? Do they line up with the business model used for the financial plan? Does our pricing need to be reconsidered? During that 6-month test period following development, we were able to validate our first service offerings, and services with clear reasons based on tangible testing.
Making it all technically possible
I validated the technical aspects of my project in collaboration with several technical, research and development centers on different levels. So automotive technology, but also information sharing in IT, as well as energy technologies. And a number of structures and organizations were regularly called upon to validate, test and check certain adjustments. We devoted 20% of our time and revenue to technical development and innovation. It was an ongoing activity.
The reason for sharing and being accompanied was above all else a desire to improve my skills through exchanges of information, coaching or consulting-type assistance. But also to be able to share a project and benefit from a network. Being accompanied throughout a business project, whether from the beginning, so in the idea phase, which was very important for meeting with experts, but also in phases of development, and growth, being accompanied is crucial and was definitely a success factor.