Update: We recently launched an even more comprehensive business model builder. You will only find this builder in Aha! — here is how it works.
We started Aha! with a moral imperative to help teams create better products. That is still what drives us. And today we are proud to give you a totally new way to build the perfect strategy and connect it to everything you do. It might finally be time to get your business planning out of PowerPoint and allow it fully guide your product roadmap.
Business success is a lot like travel. Pick a destination, keep your eyes on it, and proceed towards it or wander off in any direction. Both approaches will get you somewhere, but the most successful organizations know where they are going and work hard to get there. They understand that activity does not equal achievement.
So, if a successful business has a purpose and goals it wants to achieve, where does it start? It starts with a clear vision of where it is headed and the value its products and services will deliver. This is called Strategy.
Strategy does not make the organization; the organization makes the Strategy.
And the best strategies answer: where do we want to go, what is it like there, and what do we need to do to get there. When these questions are answered and documented it often results in what is termed a business model. A business model describes the purpose of the business, customers, market, competitors, resources, and how it will operate in pursuit of its objectives.
Today we are excited to announce a breakthrough way to create and share your business strategy — the new Aha! Business Model Builder.
The Aha! Business Model Builder is fundamental to building products that matter. It makes the complex easy by giving you a canvas to work with to set your own strategy and describe the details of your unique business model. Aha! enables companies to create a red thread of strategy through the roadmapping process by linking strategic initiatives to releases and features.
Now you have a complete “system of record” to capture business plans across the whole company. This makes it easy to align strategy across a single product or an entire portfolio of products.
There are four key ways you can take advantage of this right now:
Set Your Vision
Everything starts with your product vision. Your vision represents the core essence of the product, and sets the direction for where it is going. With Aha! you have the ability to add and customize components of your vision on-the-fly.
There are multiple visualization options, and you can adjust the number of components shown in your vision. The alternate visualization is shown below.
The alternate view replaces circles with squares and allows you to visualize up to nine components. You can adjust titles, summary, the position and color of each component.
Create the Perfect Business Model
Once you have a vision, it makes sense to focus on the next critical aspect of your strategic planning. It’s time to create your business model. Your business model represents the foundational elements of your product. Now you can visually present your business model for your product or company and define how you will go-to-market.
The new Business Model Builder in Aha! allows you to clearly articulate, develop, innovate, and pivot your business model — on a single page. Use it to create your initial business model or perfect an existing one. It allows you to capture components like your challenge, solution, value proposition, competitive advantage, key metrics, operating costs, and revenue streams.
Define Buyer Personas
Understanding your customers and users is fundamental and that’s why we have devoted an entire section to allowing you to create personas. Breakout companies serve different types of buyers, users, and influencers. And personas help you put a face to all of those people.
Now in Aha! you can build detailed personas to capture descriptions, likes and dislikes, and metrics like income and education. We provide a template and even an example that you can customize. This allows your entire team to empathize with your customers and better understand their motivations and needs.
Note: Your newly created personas can be automatically tied to features by adding the “Persona” custom field. Now when you are working on a new feature, the target user for that feature is only a click away. You can also create reports to highlight which features are for which users.
Track Your Competitors
After you create the personas you need in Aha! — add your competitors. Until now, competitive analysis was done using spreadsheets or PowerPoint presentations — and they sure did get stale fast. Now you can track your competitors and capture key information such as employees, revenue, customers, pricing, and growth rate.
Defining your competitors in Aha! allows you to better prioritize your own product roadmap based on competitive movement. And most importantly you and the team can easily keep the information up-to-date and share it with everyone who needs to know.
You can share this competitive information with the team by using a PDF or web Notebook. Once your competitors are defined, you can visualize the competitive landscape by clicking the competitive matrix view button on the top right of the screen.
The competitive matrix allows Aha! users to visualize where different competitors stack up against their own products.
With the introduction of a business model framework and persona and competitor tracking — Aha! is the only tool you need for business and roadmap planning.
Having a vision, customer clarity, goals, initiatives, and an understanding of the market landscape are keystones of strategy and come together to form a company’s business model. And the more clearly they are defined and communicated within the organization, the more likely the company’s products and services will be aligned with the purpose of the business.
Signup for a free Aha! trial — be happy
If you are an Aha! customer, the Business Model Builder is available for use now. You can find it under the Strategy -> Overview section.
If you are not already an Aha! customer, you may want to sign up for a free 30 day trial of Aha! now to see why over 20,000 users trust Aha! to set product strategy, create visual roadmaps, and prioritize releases and features.