Elaborating the business model for scout2pro – a web-based service that matches artisan businesses with clients in the region. By applying lean startup and business model design, as well as knowledge on engines of growth in web/mobile business models with network effect. 

The startup idea: Matching artisans with clients in the region via a web platform

The idea of scout2pro was pitched by Felice, Ciro and Claudio on the Startup Weekend Milano 2014. The business idea is a web-based service to match craft businesses with clients in the region. It is designed as a multi-sided platform, serving both artisans and their clients. Felice, Ciro and Claudio arrived at the Startup Weekend Milano 2014 with a developed website with basic functionality (MVP) and were looking for help to plan the launch.

The teamwork: Developing a business model and a launch plan for the platform

Felice, Ciro and Claudio were joined by Massimo, Claudia, Alfonso, Maurizio, Marco and me. Together, we were working on the launch as well as putting the business model on more solid ground. As the multi-sided platform is intended to make use of the network effect, that is a critical mass of people using the service and promoting it by way of their use, we were running the numbers: what could the founders charge and what would it take to build a profitable business? What competitors do they have to face?

Nicole’s contribution: Before launching, take a step back and see if it points to a business worth doing

While Felice, Ciro and Claudio were eager to launch, I advised the founders to take a step back and examine, structure and detail their business model and to be prepared to iterate. Applying lean startup and the business model canvas, and considering knowledge on engines of growth in web/mobile business models with network effects helped forming a solid business model.

The result: A structured business model and a launch plan for the artisan business platform

In addition to their MVP, Felice, Ciro and Claudio have now a structured business model to start from and to work with as they move forward with market launch and iterations.

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