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Mullin’s Seven Domains Model Best Practices

The Seven Domains Model was developed by professor and entrepreneur John Mullins and outlined in his book The New Business Road Test. It was created for entrepreneurs interested in starting their own business as well as being a helpful guide for companies working to decide whether to pursue new products.

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Description of Mullin’s Seven Domains Model

Mullin’s Seven Domains Model divides the proposed new product or venture into seven “domains”, four that look at the small (micro) and large (macro) aspects of the market and industry, as well as three that focus on internal issues within a company. As one begins to analyze each of the domains and ask key questions, a clearer picture will emerge as to the viability of the business or product being considered. During this process, potential challenges will be uncovered which can be addressed while writing the business plan. The seven domains are described in detail below:

  1. Market Domain/Macro Level: Market Attractiveness: This first domain analyzes the market attractiveness from a macro level. It looks at the size in terms of the number of customers, the sales value and the quantity of units sold. It also looks at recent growth and whether previous growth is likely to continue. Basically, this analysis looks at whether the market is healthy enough to welcome new products or if it is declining in growth.
  2. Market Domain/Micro Level: Sector Market Benefits and Attractiveness: This domain looks at the market segment on a micro level and asks questions such as which segment is most likely to benefit from the new product, how is the product being considered different and better than the ones currently being offered, and is this segment currently growing? It is important to get different types of data when answering these questions, such as specific sales data and prospective customer insights.
  3. Industry Domain/Macro Level: Industry Attractiveness: This domain looks at the attractiveness of entering the industry on a macro level. Questions to ask revolve around how difficult is it to enter the industry and how inundated it is with competition. Also, look at how fierce the competition is currently and whether there is theft of ideas and strategies among the participants. Lastly, investigate the power of buyers and suppliers within the industry and their ability to set their own terms, and how this might affect the new product or service being considered.
  4. Industry Domain/Micro Level: Sustainable Advantage: The last industry domain to consider on a micro level regards Sustainable Advantage. Asking how easily the competition will be able to duplicate the product or service you are considering and how you can minimize this possibility are important questions. Look at possible advantages on either side, such as patents, technological processes, and financial backing.
  5. Team Domain: Mission, Aspirations, Propensity for Risk: At this point in the process the analysis turns inward, toward the team in place to start the venture. It is important to look at the level of commitment that both leadership and individuals have to the idea being considered. Whether the team is willing to work hard in order to see the idea succeed and is willing to live with the level of risk involved are also factors that need to be considered.
  6. Team Domain: Ability to Execute on Critical Success Factors: This domain considers the Critical Success Factors for the new product or service, and whether the internal team in place is able to deliver on them. The questions to ask about the internal team at this point center around which decisions can be made that have the potential to significantly harm or help the business succeed, and who is responsible for making these decisions. If there are gaps in talent or decision-making ability, think about what positions can be filled to minimize those gaps.
  7. Team Domain: Connectedness Up, Down, Across Value Chain: This last domain looks at relationships up and down the Value Chain, including suppliers, investors, customers, distributors, and the competition. Analyzing these connections and how they can potentially help or hurt the business being considered will help to head-off or prepare for potential conflicts in the future.

As the Seven Domains Model is conducted for a potential business opportunity, a theory will emerge on whether the it is a good idea or not to pursue it. It may be that there are factors that seem like large obstacles but can be managed in advance because they have been detected. If the consensus is that the new product or venture is a good idea, the next step will be to develop a comprehensive business plan for leadership and potential investors to analyze.

Praxie's Online Mullin’s Seven Domains Model Tools & Templates

Strategy teams working on a new venture or trying to launch a new product often need to find a fast and easy way to evaluate an idea in order to assess whether or not it has the best possible chance of success.  

The new online 7 Domains Model Template from Praxie helps strategy teams, business leaders and entrepreneurs decide whether a new business idea is viable and marketable. Various types of analysis, such as a PEST Analysis, Porter’s Five Forces Analysis, and USP Analysis can be used to provide insights, data and additional support when using the Mullin’s Seven Domains Model. It was created for entrepreneurs interested in starting their own business as well as being a helpful guide for companies working to decide whether to pursue new products. 

Get started with our 7 Domains Model Template. 

How to use it: 

  1. Review the template. 
  2. Answer the questions focused on defining and scoping opportunities related to new products, services, or businesses that you will create. 
  3. Create an action plan for creating your Seven Domains model. 

Unlike most traditional strategy techniques, Praxie’s online Seven Domains Model tools allow any team or organization to instantly begin working with our web templates and input forms. Our digital platform goes far beyond other software tools by including progress dashboards, data integration from existing documents or other SaaS software, elegant intuitive designs, and full access on any desktop or mobile device.