- Awards Season
- Big Stories
- Pop Culture
- Video Games
From Blank Page to Masterpiece: Unleash Your Writing Potential
Have you ever stared at a blank page, unsure of where to begin? As a writer, it’s a common struggle to overcome the daunting task of starting from scratch. However, with the right mindset and strategies, you can transform that empty canvas into a literary masterpiece. In this article, we will explore some effective techniques to help you go from a blank page to writing with confidence and creativity.
Embrace the Power of Brainstorming
The first step in conquering the blank page syndrome is brainstorming. This technique allows you to generate ideas and organize your thoughts before diving into writing. Start by jotting down any ideas or concepts related to your topic. Consider using mind maps or lists to visualize your ideas and connect them together.
Once you have a collection of ideas, evaluate each one’s potential for development. Think about which ones resonate with you the most or have the potential for unique insights. By filtering through your brainstorming session, you can narrow down your focus and find the best starting point for your piece.
Create an Outline for Structure
After completing your brainstorming session, it’s time to create an outline for your writing piece. An outline serves as a roadmap that guides you through the structure of your article or story. It helps ensure that your thoughts flow logically and coherently.
Start by identifying the main sections or key points you want to cover in your writing piece. Then, under each section, list supporting details or subtopics that contribute to the overall message or narrative. This hierarchical structure will provide clarity and direction as you begin filling in content within each section.
Remember, an outline is not set in stone; it can evolve as you progress with your writing. It serves as a flexible framework that allows room for creativity while maintaining organization.
Overcome Writer’s Block with Freewriting
Writer’s block is a common hurdle that writers face, especially when starting from a blank page. To overcome this obstacle, try freewriting. Freewriting involves writing continuously without worrying about grammar, punctuation, or structure. The goal is to let your thoughts flow freely onto the page.
Set a timer for 10-15 minutes and write whatever comes to mind about your topic. Don’t censor yourself or judge the quality of your writing at this stage. The purpose is to generate momentum and break through any mental blocks.
Once the timer goes off, review what you’ve written. You might be surprised by some hidden gems among the chaos. Extract those ideas and incorporate them into your structured outline. Freewriting helps you tap into your subconscious mind and sparks creativity that can lead to exceptional writing.
Revise and Polish Your Work
Writing is a process that involves multiple iterations of revision and refinement. After completing your initial draft, take some time away from it before diving into the revising phase. This break will allow you to approach your work with fresh eyes and a more critical perspective.
During the revision process, focus on improving clarity, coherence, and overall effectiveness of your piece. Pay attention to sentence structure, grammar, punctuation, as well as the flow of ideas between paragraphs.
Consider seeking feedback from trusted peers or mentors who can provide valuable insights on areas for improvement. Embrace constructive criticism as an opportunity for growth and refinement.
In conclusion, starting from a blank page doesn’t have to be intimidating; it can be an exciting opportunity for creative expression. By embracing brainstorming techniques, creating an outline for structure, overcoming writer’s block with freewriting, and revising diligently, you can transform that empty canvas into a masterpiece of writing excellence. So go ahead – unleash your writing potential.
This text was generated using a large language model, and select text has been reviewed and moderated for purposes such as readability.
MORE FROM ASK.COM
Hi, I'm Isaac.
I'm a consultant and advisor for social enterprises - using business to change the world.
You can sign up for my newsletter, or contact me via [email protected]
Sep 8 How To Fill In A Business Model Canvas
(Thanks for reading, I’ve recently made an even better version of this article here )
The Business Model Canvas is a great way of mapping out an idea, allowing it to be understood, tested and improved.
The tool is a single page with nine connected boxes, which show how all parts of your business work together for success. It can be sketched anywhere – on a whiteboard, napkin or notepad. Filling one in can take between 15 and 30 minutes, and this guide will make the process clear and straightforward.
We’ll look at some entrepreneurs as they fill in their own canvases – it’s much easier if you get to watch somebody else.
They are: Josh – creating a bamboo toothbrush that’s both stylish and environmentally beneficial. Kylie and Dan – running Indigenous cultural experience programs for schools and families. Anna – selling a range of chilli sauces that are made in Fiji.
Business Model Canvas, strategyzer.com
Step 1: Naming the purpose of the business Without a clear purpose, how will we know if a model is good or not? This can be whatever you like, such as: To earn a passive income from home To prevent the destruction of Indonesian rainforests To improve the financial stability of our parent organisation To provide stable livelihoods for young people at risk of being homeless To improve the job hunting process
The great thing about this is that we now have a criteria for assessing our ideas, and have some inspiration for creative ways to reach this purpose.
Josh – “To reduce the amount of plastic that goes to landfill” Kylie and Dan – “To preserve and celebrate Indigenous culture, and explain its relevance in our daily lives” Anna – “To create meaningful employment in Fiji”
Step 2: Customers and Value Propositions There’s no particular order you have to follow on a canvas, although I’ve found this to be the best place to start. Your business is centred around your customers, the people who you believe will be motivated enough to try your new product/service in order to receive some sort of compelling benefit.
This is a real person, someone who is walking around right now. They’re looking for solutions to their current problems, and like finding ways to make their lives easier. Our job is to get a good understanding of this person: What are their jobs, tasks and obligations? What are their hopes, dreams and aspirations? What are their core beliefs and worldviews? Do they have a good understanding of how they might get what they want? This is what we list in the Customer Segments box .
Firstly, we group our customers into clusters, describing each of them by their common characteristics, i.e. small business owners, students, parents, etc. Secondly we write helpful descriptors of each customer segment. These might be Demographics like age, race, gender, height, income or postcode. These might be Psychographics like their political views, altruism, biases or preferences.
Keep in mind that our customers are the people who make decisions and pay for our products/services (not to be confused with the End User or the Beneficiary).
In the Value Propositions box, we describe what the customer is really looking for. This isn’t about what we sell them, but rather why it matters . These might be Gain Creators like increased social status, wellness, professional credibility or indulging our guilty pleasures. These might be Pain Relievers like fear of exclusion, social shame, regaining wasted time, or reduced anxiety.
We want to understand how our products/services make their lives better, to the point that customers will happily pay us for this Value Proposition.
Josh – We have two customers: 1. Young professionals who want to buy cool, environmentally friendly gifts for themselves and their friends. They love the aesthetics of the brushes and the story of the movement. It’s a simple way of doing something cool. 2. Mothers with young children, who want to create a mindset of environmental responsibility in their daily decisions. They like the personalised colours of each brush, and by making teeth brushing fun they get fewer objections from their kids twice a day.
Kylie and Dan – We have two customers: 1. Schools who want workshops and incursions for their primary students. They love how engaged the students are, and that it’s a great way to incorporate NAIDOC week each year.
2. Couples and families who want to learn more about Indigenous culture. They love learning about the rituals, connecting with nature and with the land, and the feeling they get from having a weekend away from hollow distractions.
Anna – We have three customers: 1. Supermarkets who stock our sauce. They love interesting products with good margins and high turnover.
2. Cafes and burger shops. They love having interesting brands of sauce that engage their customers, and hot sauces that are spicy without sacrificing flavour.
3. Home cooks, people who like chilli sauce. They love the brand and its cheeky packaging, and the unique heat/flavour of the sauce.
Step 3: Channels and Customer Relationships Now that we have a clear picture of who we’re serving and how we’ll delight them, we get to design three things: how we acquire them, how we keep them, and how we interact with them.
The Channels box is our chance to explain how we first encounter our customers, as well as how we deliver our Value Proposition. For example, your business might find customers through Google Ads or Facebook, then serve customers through face-to-face workshops or drop-shipped packages. We list both of these methods here.
The Customer Relationships box outlines how our interactions will unfold. Are we hoping for a long term relationship, or a short term relationship? Does each customer need to speak to a person, or use technology? If so, does it need to be a particular person, or the same one each time they come back? Will we need to work harder to acquire our customers or to retain our customers? Does one tend to happen more naturally than the other?
These two boxes tend to pair neatly together. By understanding our customer, their desires and their preferences, we can identify the best methods for recruiting and keeping them for years to come.
Josh – Our acquisition channels are Instagram and word of mouth, whereas our main delivery channel is through mail orders. Our customers are tough to acquire but are then quite loyal, and our transactions are highly automated. Once we find a way to tell the story and show them how great the product looks, it’s easy to get an order.
Kylie and Dan – Personal referrals are our best acquisition channel, but we’re keen to find new ways of reaching decision makers within primary schools, who usually make decisions six months in advance. Our online presence will need to improve, and we’re about to start testing keywords. Most of our customers come back each year, so our focus is on acquiring new customers, especially in off-peak times.
Anna – Supermarkets and cafes need an in-person pitch meeting, to hear the story and see the product for themselves. We have a hard time with retention, so there needs to be a long term personal relationship with each manager. Our direct customers come through our online channels, but tend to only order once.
Step 4: Key Resources, Key Activities and Key Partners These three boxes describe how the business will work “behind the scenes” – all of the operational components that make the Value Propositions a reality. We want to list all of the vital ingredients, important processes and invaluable allies that enable our business to exist. Key Resources are the people, places, machines, patents and intangible assets that are used every week. This is not a complete inventory, but a list of the resources that, if lost, would prevent the business from functioning.
Key Activities are the processes and tasks that must be completed in order for our customers to be served. e.g. If you were to go on Holiday, what would your replacement need to do in order for things to continue to run smoothly? These might include sales calls, workshop delivery, meal preparation or writing reports. In particular, these are the activities that you do particularly well. Since every business does a little bookkeeping, that’s probably not your Key Activity…unless you’re an accounting firm.
Key Partners are the people and organisations that take some of the responsibility off your shoulders. They might supply raw materials or finished goods, send customers your way, or act as a sponsor/enabler. Which external supporters are essential to the model? Who could make life difficult if they were to leave?
There’s some flexibility in these three boxes, it’s worth thinking about how you could outsource the tasks that aren’t your core skills to a partner, or how you could take things in-house to either save money or improve quality.
Josh – Most resources and activities have been better performed by partners, who grow the bamboo and manufacture the brushes. The essential resources are the brand, website, sales channels and the founder. The essential activities are advertising, fulfilling orders and meeting with stockists.
Kylie and Dan – The most essential resources are Kylie and Dan, as their knowledge and credibility are what make the entire operation possible. The essential activities are the promotion and sales of their events. They are currently looking for partners who can take the administration functions away from the founders, and who can introduce them to new schools.
Anna – Chilli farming and sauce manufacturing are performed by partners. The essential resources are the brand, the recipe/intellectual property, and the sales team. The essential activities are pitching to new supermarkets and cafes, maintaining existing relationships, and fulfilling the orders that come through the website.
Step 5: Cost Structure and Revenue Streams The bottom line of the canvas represents the bottom line of your business: Money in, money out, hopefully some money left over. We want to understand the ways in which money moves through the business. That means understanding the quantities (how our costs/prices are set) and frequencies (how often we get repeat customers/bills).
Cost Structures are the 7-8 biggest expenses – how much we spend, how frequently we spend it, and whether it changes as sales go up and down. These might include rent, wages, raw materials, advertising, fitting out the store, or paying commissions to other parties.
Revenue Streams are the prices each type of customer typically pays, as well as how frequently they come back. This helps us differentiate the big spenders from the one time shoppers, and highlights which offerings are purchased upfront versus those that are purchased over the following months and years.
Whilst these boxes aren’t a replacement for a proper financial model, they at least give us the ability to make basic forecasts, such as contribution margins and breakeven points. It also gives us a chance to think about our pricing strategy – clever pricing can massively increase the profitability of your new business.
Josh – The main costs within the business are the purchase of brushes (recurring costs that will decrease as the orders get larger), the cost of acquiring customers (ads and content creation) and the costs of fulfilling orders (packaging, postage and staff time). Revenue comes through one main product; 4-packs of brushes. This will need to be diversified, either through complementary offerings like floss or mouthwash, selling larger orders to different customers, or selling individual brushes.
Kylie and Dan – Kylie and Dan themselves are the main costs, with administration, travel and cost of sales (ticketing, materials, etc) the next largest.
Revenues are varied; schools pay a per-student rate of $15 that will increase in the future. Weekend camps are capped at 18 places at $375 each, so the amount of revenue comes down to the number of camps run each year.
Anna – There are a long list of costs, from the bottles to the sauce to the shipping and labelling, as well as the administration and sales staff wages.
Revenues all stem from the same product – 450ml bottles of sauce, but in different quantities and prices points. Supermarkets pay $6 per bottle, whereas cafes pay $8 and consumers pay the RRP of $12.95. That said, one supermarket buy more sauce than ten cafes.
Step 6: Linking The Boxes +Tidying Up Our boxes aren’t nine independent checklists, that wouldn’t help your idea. Instead the canvas keeps our ideas accountable; if we make a promise somewhere on the right, it will also need to be listed in one of the boxes on the left.
If we make claims about our happy customers, that should shine through in our Revenue Streams. If we expect to keep personal relationships with each customer, that will become a part of our Key Activities and Cost Structure.
This does two things: highlights the potentially overlooked activities and resources that are crucial for success, and makes us reconsider the expenses that don’t directly contribute to the Value Proposition. Long story short, you stop making big sweeping assumptions and waste less money.
We want the canvas to be as clear as possible, both for our benefit and for explaining the idea to other people. One way of making sense of the right hand side is to colour code each customer segment; this highlights which value proposition best delights each customer, and which revenue streams they each provide.
Step 7: Telling The Story Presenting a full canvas to a new person is not a good idea – there’s too much to take in. Instead, it’s best to fill in each box as you explain the idea. This makes the business much easier to understand, and creates a much richer appreciation of the model at the end. Even if you just list a few words in each box, this will take about 6-8 minutes to explain the full concept, and will remove a lot of misconceptions.
Step 8: Assumptions Testing Just because you wrote something clever on a canvas doesn’t make it a reality. For this reason, we start by assuming that all of the words on the page are assumptions, and our next job is to verify them – starting with the most crucial.
I find this is made easier with a simple Test Card, which asks you to name the big assumptions, pick a way of measuring the truth, and setting pass/fail criteria.
Research should be conducted with real people, and they need to be people who are in your customer segments. Just because your friends think it’s a cool idea doesn’t mean that the market will too. When you talk with your customers, don’t show them the canvas – it’s better to ask natural questions that help you fill in each box, rather than using all of the same terminology.
Step 9: Designing New Versions Good ideas survive competition, so it’s important that we don’t fall in love with the first idea. After your testing, you’ll start thinking up new adjustments that are worth exploring. Here are some suggestions to spark your creativity:
· New Customer Segments · New Value Propositions (for the same Customer Segments) · New Products/Services (for the same or new Customer Segments) · Turning Services into Products · Turning Products into Services · New Partnerships · Franchise models (that aren’t reliant on a rare resource) · New delivery formats
Josh wants to test some new products with his current customers, whilst also looking at business class airlines and high end hotels, as they both want to provide toothbrushes to their customers whilst appearing environmentally responsible.
Kylie and Dan are going to test new styles of workshop that appeal to their school groups at different times of the year. They also want to bring on some trainees to learn how to run camps and workshops, so that the model is not as dependent on the two of them (which is a risk to their finances and their cultural intent).
Anna has heard that her supermarket customers want to see a wider range of products, so she’s going to test feasibility with her manufacturing partners and desirability with her customers.
What’s Next? Now that you have 3-4 interesting Business Model Canvases, some additional tools will make the future even clearer.
Customer Journey Mapping will give you insights into how you can better attract/serve/retain your customers.
Financial Models will reveal what makes the business financially viable, and highlight the sensitivities that will make or break the idea.
Value Proposition Canvases will dive deeper into your customers and their hidden motivations, creating more persuasive messages that will lure them in.
Sep 13 Social Enterprise University Assignments
Aug 30 Agreement vs Buy-In
Mar 3 BMC Part One: How To Use The Business Model Canvas
Feb 27 How To Fill In A Value Proposition Canvas
May 7 How To Make Good Decisions With The Business Model Canvas
The 9-Step Business Model Canvas Explained (2023 Update)
Written by Raquel Alberdi
Business | entrepreneurship, 13 comments(s).
Blog » The 9-Step Business Model Canvas Explained (2023 Update)
“A major mistake made by many start-ups around the world is focusing on the technology, the software, the product, and the design, but neglecting to ever figure out the business . And by “business” we simply mean how the company makes money by acquiring and serving its customers”.
After meeting with hundreds of entrepreneurs and business owners over the years I believe the LinkedIn co-founder and Blitzscaling author Reid Hoffman’s got it spot on.
People tend to focus on specific parts of their business, such as which software packages are being used, which is the cheapest supplier, how to optimize internal processes…?
They get so bogged down in the details of the day-to-day running that they lose the overall vision of their business.
Without this vision they are unable to scale, they make marginal profits, miss opportunities, struggle to innovate, and end up running “just another” business.
Another handy metaphor in understanding this common mistake is the soldier in the trenches .
Every meter of ground gained comes at a heavy cost, mistakes are made, and progress is hard-fought and slow…a day-to-day experience for 99% of entrepreneurs and businessmen.
But when you do have that 360 vision you see the entire battlefield. Decisions are much clearer, fewer mistakes are made, and progress is fast and methodical.
Fortunately, a business model framework exists that gives you both vision and clarity .
The Business Model Canvas provides entrepreneurs, business owners, and strategists with a tool to analyze, structure, and evolve a business while always keeping the bigger picture front of mind.
So let’s take a closer look at how it works.
Table of Content
What is the Business Model Canvas?
Created by Swiss entrepreneur and Strategyzer co-founder, Alexander Osterwalder, the Business Model Canvas is a visual representation of the 9 key building blocks that form the foundations of every successful business. It’s a blueprint to help entrepreneurs invent, design, and build models with a more systematic approach.
Why is it so popular within the business community?
Its simplicity. The business model canvas allows us to carry out a high-level analysis without drilling down and getting lost in the details. You just draw out the 9 building blocks on a blank canvas, fill them in as each concept relates to your business, and hang it somewhere everybody can see.
It’s a visual overview of your entire business on a single canvas.
While the Business Model Canvas is an extremely fluid concept and hyper-specific to individual companies, each canvas is still broken down into these 9 key building blocks:
Value propositions, customer relationships, revenue streams, key resources, key activities, key partners.
When laid out on the canvas the model will look something like this:
While you’ve probably come across each of the 9 building blocks before, the attractiveness of the Business Model Canvas is that it confines them to a single page , not a traditional 42-page document.
This makes it a lot easier to digest, as well as assess existing business models or map out new ideas.
How do I fill out the Business Model Canvas?
To start your Business Model Canvas you will need to breakdown and analyze each of the 9 building blocks.
A good way to approach this is to gather the heads from marketing, sales, operations, finance, and manufacturing (if product-based) and pencil-in a morning where you can all meet together.
Then, after drawing a mock canvas onto a whiteboard, proceed to dissect and discuss each of the 9 building blocks as they relate to your business. You can use sticky notes to better organize your thoughts around the canvas.
If you are an entrepreneur or new business owner working alone and don’t have a team to bounce your ideas off, not to worry. You can still carry out your analysis before sharing it with a like-minded entrepreneurial community or forum, like those found on ThePowerMBA , to get useful, insightful feedback.
Whichever way you decide to approach it, I recommend you complete each block in the following order:
- Cost structure
For continuity, I’m going to use the fashion retail giant Zara when analyzing each of the 9 key building blocks.
If you’d like to skip to another case study similar to your own business, navigate to the table of contents at the top of the page and select one of the other business model canvas examples.
The first block of the Business Canvas Model is about understanding who is the most important customer(s) you’re delivering value to. Or, in other words, who are they? What do they do? And why would they buy your product or service?
Not a single company exists without its clients, making customer segments the best block to start with while drawing out your business model canvas.
A great exercise to define your customer segments is to brainstorm and create your company’s buyer persona (s) .
Buyer personas are fictional depictions of an ideal or hypothetical client. Typically when brainstorming a buyer persona you’d want to define certain characteristics (age, demographic, gender, income, industry, pain points, goals, etc.)
However, remember at this stage we want a snapshot of our customer segment. There’s no need to jump into great detail just yet.
In the case of Zara, there are three distinct customer segments to whom they offer different products.
The products created for each of these customer segments (clothing, shoes, and accessories) are not trans-consumable. That is to say, a woman’s dress is highly unlikely to be worn by a 7-year-old child.
Once we know exactly who it is we are targeting, it’s time to look at what we as a company have to offer.
The second phase is about figuring out your company’s value propositions , and importantly, your UVP (unique value proposition). The “what” that makes customers turn to you, over your competitors? Which of their problems are you best at solving?
Each value proposition consists of a bundle of products or services that fulfill the needs of a buyer persona from your customer segment. It’s the intersection between what your company offers, and the reason or impulse customers have for purchasing.
Some popular questions to ask while determining your UVP are:
- Which specific customer pain point are you trying to solve?
- What job are you helping customers get done?
- How does your UVP eliminate customer pain points?
- What products or services do you provide that answer this specific pain point?
So let’s try and apply this to Zara. Why do people choose to purchase from them, over their competitors?
Zara’s principal value propositions are fairly clear. They offer various ranges of stylish men’s, women’s, and children’s clothing and accessories at an affordable price.
But there’s more to it than that.
If we dive a little deeper we see Zara’s value propositions are more complex, which are behind the success of the brand:
Zara adds new clothes and designs to its collections every 2-3 weeks, both in its stores and online. It keeps the brand updated, fresh, and modern while maintaining its all-important medium price point
Great eCommerce experience
Once you enter Zara’s online store you’re presented with a clean, easy-to-navigate, and high-end feel. The customer segments are visible on the left navigation bar with a search tab to further aid customers with their online experience.
You can find a store in nearly all major retail locations (shopping malls, retail outlets, airports, etc.) meaning accessibility is not an issue for the majority of consumers.
Zara demonstrates its aesthetic evolution to customers through its flagship stores. The recent opening of their Hudson Yards , New York City flagship is a great example of this. Customers shop around its vivid, minimalist layout offering them an experience aligned with the brand’s deeper, eco-friendly values.
Zara Hudson Yards, New York
The next step is to ask yourself how you are reaching your customers, and through which channels ?
This includes both the channels that customers want to communicate with you as well as how they’ll receive your products or services.
Is it going to be a physical channel? (store, field sales representatives, etc.) Or is it a digital channel? (mobile, web, cloud, etc.).
Zara has 3 primary channels in which they communicate and deliver products to its customers:
- Direct sales through their stores
- Online (both app and website)
- Social media
Customers can go to a traditional “bricks and mortar” store to browse, model, and purchase different items of clothing at one of their retail stores.
Alternatively, they can shop online or through their mobile application and have the product delivered straight to their door or nearest store. The choice is completely up to them!
So that covers Zara’s commercial channels, but what about how they communicate with customers?
While they do communicate through their mobile app, their predominant channel is social media.
What’s more, they’re really, really good at it.
For example, did you know that Zara invests less than 0.3% of its sales revenue into advertising?
This is only possible due to an A-rated social media presence . Customer queries are not only dealt with quickly, but recommended re-works are sent back to HQ, forwarded onto in-house designers who then apply the feedback to future collections.
This customer-first approach through fluid communication channels has saved them thousands of dollars in marketing, strengthened their brand, and created a loyal customer base.
You should only step away from this building block once you’ve decided how each of your customer segments want to be reached.
Once you have acquired customers, you will need to think about how you can build , nurture, and grow those relationships.
Now, this can be automated and transactional like large eCommerce brands Amazon or Alibaba. Or, it could be at the complete opposite end of the scale and require a more personal relationship you’d typically have with a bank or your local bike shop.
Zara’s relationship with its customers is threefold, and lies somewhere in the middle of transactional and personal:
- Salesperson at store
- Brand through social media
- Sentimental attachment to a product
Yes, you have the initial transactional touchpoint at the store or online, something relatively impersonal and for many the only interaction they’ll have with the brand.
However, customers (especially in the fashion industry) are encouraged to continue to interact with a brand through social media platforms.
As we mentioned before when discussing channels, Zara has a very effective communication system in place. Not only can people instantly get in touch with the brand, but also engage with new posts, images, and collections uploaded to social media.
This personal approach to customer relationship building can, in some cases, lead to the natural growth of brand ambassadors and communities .
An attachment can also develop between customers and particular garments or accessories from one of their collections. The sentimental attachment to these products also creates another potential form of brand loyalty.
Now that you’ve described how you are going to create real value for your customers, it’s time to look at how you plan to capture that value.
What are your revenue streams? Is it going to be a transactional, direct sales strategy ? Are you going to consider a freemium mode l, where you give a portion of your product or service away for free with the idea of converting later on down the line?
If you’re a SaaS company such as SalesForce or Strava , then it’s likely that a licensing or subscription revenue model will be more appropriate.
At Zara, it’s extremely simple. They make their money by selling clothes and accessories either at a store or online.
As you can see, we’ve filled in the entire right-hand side of our business model canvas. We touched upon:
- Value propositions
- Revenue streams
- Distribution channels
Now it’s time to move over to the left side of the business canvas model and look at what we need, internally , to deliver our value propositions.
To start with, let’s take a look at key resources.
The key resources are all things you need to have, or the assets required to create that value for customers.
This could be anything from intellectual property (patents, trademarks, copyrights, etc.) to physical holdings (factories, offices, delivery vans, etc.) right down to finances (the initial cash flow perhaps needed to start your brand).
Another key resource every company needs to consider is its human capital . Are you going to need highly specialized software engineers? Or field-based sales teams?
They are relatively capital-heavy resources that need to be factored into your business model.
In the case of Zara, they are going to need a number of key resources if they hope to deliver their propositions:
- Stock management
- A large, interconnected network of physical stores
- A strong brand
- Logistics and supply chain infrastructure
Stock is vital for both online and offline customers.
If they are unable to supply their range of products and meet customer demands, satisfaction levels fall and they have a serious problem on their hands.
A large distribution network of brick and mortar stores combined with a strong brand name help mitigate these factors, as well as reinforce any ongoing marketing activities and communication efforts.
Finally, an efficient logistics process within Zara is critical, especially when you consider the complexities involved with such a large-scale operation.
They will require the necessary technology to analyze data on inventory, storage, materials, production, and packaging, with the staff to execute each of these stages and manage the delivery of the final products.
The next step is to define the key activities – the areas you need to be good at to create value for your customers.
To mix it up a little let’s take a look at a slightly different business in Uber .
Their key activities can be broken down into:
- Web and mobile app development
- Driver recruitment
- Marketing: customer acquisition
- Customer service activities : drivers’ ratings, incidents, etc.
They need a fast, clean UX for their customers using the app, drivers to carry out their service, and the ability to both market the product and deal with any customer queries.
Zara’s key activities will differ to those of Uber. Some of the things they need to consider would be:
- Retail process (point of sale and 3rd party management)
- Distribution channel / logistics
Design is a key activity as Zara’s value proposition is to provide stylish garments at an affordable price. Their collections need to be constantly updated to follow the latest fashion trends at the time.
To produce their collections Zara will also require manufacturing capabilities. Now Zara doesn’t own their own factories (we will get to that in the Key Partners section) but they still need to be involved in the garment manufacturing process.
Everything from fabric selection to pattern making, to detailing and dyeing affects the outcome of the final product which of course they have to then go on and sell.
The effective management of the retail and distribution channels (online, offline, shipping, and communication with providers) is also key. A breakdown in either of these activities, such as a poor relationship with an important provider will have serious consequences for the business.
Most modern business models now require brands to build out and work with various key partners to fully leverage their business model.
This includes partnerships such as joint ventures and non-equity strategic alliances as well as typical relationships with buyers, suppliers, and producers.
A great example of a strategic partnership would be between ThePowerMBA and Forbes . In exchange for exposure of our brand to the magazine’s global audience, we provide expertise and content on high-level business education programs.
As we touched upon when discussing key activities , Zara requires strategic partnerships with many different providers if they are to design and produce their collections.
Another key partner is their major holding company, Inditex .
Inditex has several subsidiaries including Massimo Dutti , Pull & Bear , and Oysho . Being a subsidiary of Inditex means they share a consolidated balance sheet, stakeholders, management and control, and various legal responsibilities.
While as a subsidiary Zara is afforded certain freedoms when it comes to design, delivery, and the general running of the company, the overall strategy will need to be aligned with Inditex and its other subsidiaries.
The final step of the Business Model Canvas is to ask yourself, how much is it going to cost to run this model?
This includes some of the more obvious needs such as manufacturing costs, physical space, rent, payroll, but also areas such as marketing activities.
If you are unsure of exactly what to include in your cost structure take a look at a Profit and Loss statement ( P&L ) from a competitor or company in a similar industry to yours. You’ll find many items overlap such as research and development ( R&D ), cost of goods sold, admin expenses, operating costs, etc.
Once that’s done you should prioritize your key activities and resources and find out if they are fixed or variable costs .
As Zara is such a large, corporate business they are going to have both fixed costs (rent, payroll, point of sales personnel) and variables, such as costs associated with the fluctuating sale of goods, purchase of materials and, manufacturing costs.
Once you’ve completed these 9 steps, your Business Canvas Model should look something like this:
Business Model Canvas Examples
Hopefully, you were able to get a good feel for the effectiveness of the business model canvas with our run-through of Zara.
However, if you found it difficult to follow due to the stark difference between your industries, I’m going to quickly go through 3 more companies to demonstrate the tool’s flexibility:
- Netflix (Media service/production)
- Vintae (Vineyard)
Even if these business model canvas examples don’t align exactly with your industry, I honestly believe that studying different models gives you a competitive advantage in your professional career regardless.
If you’re currently employed by a company, you’ll better understand how your specific role helps the company achieve some of its “long-term” goals.
Alternatively, if you are a business owner yourself (or perhaps thinking of starting your own business) you’ll have a better understanding of your business and where potential opportunities lay.
I’m sure you’re familiar with our next business model canvas example candidate, Netflix .
The global media company offers an online streaming service of various movies, documentaries, and TV programs produced in-house or licensed 3rd-party content. Their success sparked a revolution in the online media world with the likes of Amazon, Apple, Disney, HBO, and Hulu all rushing to launch their own online video streaming platforms.
Netflix started life as an online DVD rental company, basically a web version of the more popular (at least at that time) “bricks and mortar” Blockbuster.
Co-founder Reed Hastings predicted as far back as 1999 that the future of media was in online streaming, saying “postage rates were going to keep going up and the internet was going to get twice as fast at half the price every 18 months.”
It wouldn’t be until 2007 that Hasting’s prediction would become true when Netflix, as we now know it, was born.
So let’s take a current look at their business model canvas:
As you probably know, there are very few people out there who haven’t subscribed, watched, or at least heard of Netflix. There is content for everybody: wildlife documentaries, sci-fi movies, rom coms, action-thrillers, you name it – it’s there.
That’s why their customer segment can be classified as a “ mass market ” as the base is just so diverse.
All people require is a computer, TV, internet, and/or smartphone and they’re good to go. For most developed markets, that covers just about everybody.
Whether on the train to work, sitting in the car (if you’re not driving!), or relaxing at home in front of the TV, you can consume their online, on-demand video streaming service.
They also have a huge library of content for consumers to choose from, ensuring that people keep coming back, as well as increasing their mass-market appeal.
They also produce high-quality, original content to differentiate themselves from their competitors.
Most people access Netflix either through their website or mobile/TV App . Another popular channel that you may have picked up on is their affiliate partners .
You’ve perhaps signed up for a mobile, TV, and internet package where the provider offers Netflix as an extra to sweeten the deal, so to speak.
That would be an example of an affiliate partnership between Netflix and mobile service providers.
I doubt many consumers have had direct contact with Netflix unless it’s to resolve a subscription issue or general query. It’s very much a self-automated service – you download the app, select the program you wish to watch, and hit play.
Very simple, very effective.
Again, this doesn’t need much embellishment. Netflix generates money from the different tiers and packages put together in their subscription services.
This varies depending on the region to account for local markets, but on the whole, it’s sold at a low price point.
Originally, Netflix’s Key Resources would have been their unrivaled DVD collection combined with a cost-effective mail-order system.
Nowadays it’s undoubtedly the rights to stream online video content. Netflix has brokered deals with some of the biggest production studios worldwide.
Combined with their huge library of in-house productions , it’s more than enough to encourage customers to renew their subscriptions.
To help sustain interest in their product, Netflix understands they need to serve-up relevant content for each sub-sector of their mass audience. Therefore their machine learning algorithm selects content for consumers based on streaming habits (what they watched, at what time, etc,.) to personalize the customer experience.
This explains why over 80% of all content streamed on Netflix was cherry-picked by this algorithm, making it a Key Resource for their business model.
Also, Netflix accounts for a whopping 12.6% of global bandwidth usage . The literal capacity to stream their services must be met meaning bandwidth must also be included here.
Content procurement is arguably their biggest Key Activity. They need to find people to produce and deliver their original content, including actors, studios, writers, etc. as well as secure the licensing and streaming rights from 3rd party producers such as Sony, Warner Bros, and Disney.
Finally, they need a fast, easy-to-use application to host their online streaming service. This needs to be available for both TV and mobile devices if they are to deliver their “on-demand” value proposition.
K ey Partners
Seeing as Netflix’s entire business model is largely based around streaming 3rd party content, key partnerships need to be built with production studios . No content, no Netflix!
Also, as we touched upon earlier Netflix is one of the largest consumers of bandwidth worldwide. If the speed and delivery of their streaming service are to be continued then deals will also need to be made with internet service providers (ISPs).
Netflix’s biggest expenditures come from both their in-house content procurement and 3rd party licensing agreements . The high-quality standard of video streamed on Netflix is only possible due to the speed and performance of its online platform and application , which has additional costs of staff, software, etc.
To show you just how flexible the business model canvas can be, I wanted to throw in a slightly leftfield example. Vintae is a Spanish wine producer who, after a detailed analysis of the business model canvas, was able to innovate and disrupt one of the world’s most competitive industries.
As some of you may know, the wine industry is extremely competitive. It’s also steeped in history and tradition , making it very challenging for newcomers to grab market share, let alone think about year-on-year growth and revenue.
However, CEO “Richi” Arambarri looked at the traditional “ bodega ” business model and saw a chink in its armor.
A “small” innovation in the business canvas model helped them to become one of the region’s most important winery groups, with over 10 installations and a presence across all regional denominations (Rioja, Priorat, Rias Baixas, etc.) with year on year growth of 30% – practically unheard of in such a competitive industry.
So how did Vintae analyze the business model canvas to find a niche in their market?
To answer that question, we must first look at the traditional winery business model .
As you can see, the wine industry has historically been patrimonial. Vineyards and estates are passed down through generations with the winery responsible for all phases of production, clarification, and distribution.
The traditional winery business canvas model suggests you must be the owner of the winery/vineyard where the wine is “manufactured”, meaning physical assets are a key resource of the business model.
So, if you wanted to start producing a Rioja, for example, you’d have to set up your vineyard in the region.
This is monumentally expensive as you need to:
- Purchase the land
- Plant a vineyard
- Absorb set-up and installation costs
- Deal with maintenance costs
It’s here where Vintae saw their opportunity.
What if we move vineyard ownership across the business model canvas from key resources to key partners ?
By leasing the equipment and space of large wineries (of which there was plenty), they could still produce their wine but reduce the cost and exposure associated with land purchase, crushing equipment, huge storage tanks, vineyard maintenance, and their bottling line.
This enabled them to focus on their sales, marketing, and distribution channels to create a better brand experience for their customers.
Also, it afforded them more flexibility when creating new wines as they were no longer confined to the limitations of grapes grown on their vineyard.
The lightness of this new business model eliminates maintenance overheads, channels energy into personalizing the customer experience, and allows for unprecedented levels of growth in one of the world’s most competitive industries.
Business Model Canvas Software
Although I did mention starting with a large whiteboard, sticky notes, and a pack of colorful sharpies there are several options in which you can digitize the business canvas model production process.
While I still believe the aforementioned process is extremely valuable (it gets your entire team’s input in a single hour-long session) you may decide it more viable for each member of management to pool their ideas digitally before sharing with the rest of the group.
If that’s the case, then take a look at some of the following software tools for creating your business model canvas.
Created by the founders of the business model canvas Alex Osterwalder and Yves Pigneur , Strategyzer offers a range of business model canvas templates for you to get started with.
If you opt for the paid model (there is a 30-day free trial period) they offer a series of various classes that teach you how to build and test different value propositions and business models.
A real-time built-in cost estimator analyzes the financial viability of some of your business ideas, identifying alternative areas you may wish to explore with your model.
All-in-all, it’s a great resource to play around with and test some of your business ideas, with the option to dive into further detail if you see fit.
Canvanizer is a free, easy-to-use web tool that allows you to share links between team members who are brainstorming ideas for a business model canvas, but working remotely.
Like Strategyzer, there are several business model canvas templates provided to help you get started with your analysis. The strength of this platform is its accessibility. Much like a Google Doc., several people can brainstorm on the same canvas simultaneously with changes being synchronized automatically.
Business Model Canvas Tool
A ThePowerMBA alumni, impressed by the simplicity and effectiveness of the tool, went ahead and created the free application Business Model Canvas Tool .
It’s an incredibly intuitive, and easy-to-use tool that allows you to create templates simply by clicking the + button in each building block.
Each business model canvas created can be downloaded and shared as a pdf. with the rest of the team.
Would You Like to Learn More about Business Models?
If, after going through our 9-step guide on how to use the Business Model Canvas you’d like to learn more about different business model analysis tools , take a look at our alternative MBA business program .
As you’ll see, the course gives students a 360-degree view of business and management practices – such as engines of growth, segmentation and targeting, and value propositions.
I highly recommend you go check it out.
Regardless, I’d love to hear what you thought about this guide. Was it helpful? Would you like to see additional business cases analyzed from your industry?
Let us know in the comments below.
What’s it like to take one of our programs.
The best thing is to try it yourself with these classes that are totally FREE! Sign up and experience being part of the business school that has challenged the traditional educational model.
How much do you know about business?
Tools, concepts, business methodologies… Find out with this test! (it won’t take you more than 3 minutes)
You may also like
BANT methodology, the efficient way to identify prospects
Nov 18, 2023 | Marketing
In the world of marketing and sales, identifying and focusing on the highest potential opportunities is essential for...
Bing Webmaster Tools: the search engine you should also keep in mind
Nov 17, 2023 | Programming
Google has long dominated the search engine scene - after all, it's the name that comes to mind when you think of...
Augmented reality in marketing and tricks to take advantage of it
Nov 14, 2023 | Digital Transformation
Technology is advancing by leaps and bounds nowadays, so companies must find ways to implement new trends in their...
I am a DBA student. I have used your site a lot. Thank you for the information
Well defined steps, Thanks for good contents.
Dear Sir many thanks for you guideline. it was very effective for me. Thanks a Million
Well explained with practical business case
Wow, this article was incredibly helpful! I’ve heard about the Business Model Canvas before, but I wasn’t sure exactly how it worked or how to use it for my own business.
I need a sample of business model canvas for a beauty palour
you’ve done a great job. keep it up
This is a very insightful content with a step-by-step practical approach of how to write a BMC and what exactly it should contain.
My team and I literally used your guide to write a BMC for a project we were working on, and in just about an hour we were done.
Thank you so much for this content, it was really helpful.
Thank you very much Collins and we are glad you are using this tool.
Insightful! Gave me the clarity I needed for my upcoming business. Thank you so much.
Thank you very much for the business model example of ZARA. It was very very informative
- How traditional business accepted, adapted and transformed using Digital marketing tools. – Current Affairs - […] Netflix Business Model Canvas […]
- Entrepreneur vs intrapreneur: What’s The Difference? 👀 - […] Business Model Canvas […]
- Buyer Persona, how to Create An In-Depth? (+ FREE Template) - […] you could use a buyer persona canvas (similar to the framework used for the business model canvas) to draw…
- Demystifying business model canvas – Karmen Skaro - […] Additional information on business model canvas find here and here. […]
- Saas Business Model (2023) - […] in this material you will learn all about SaaS as a business model. It’s an interesting material that will…
- What is the main objective of inferential statistics? (2023) - […] offers a lot of information about different phenomena or behaviors that are relevant for making business decisions. The results…
- How to Prepare a Canvas Business Model - The Passionate Seeker - […] you have filled out each building block of the Business Model Canvas, you will have a comprehensive overview of…
- The Business Model Canvas: A Comprehensive Guide for SMEs and Start-ups – AdvantEdge - […] Further insights and practical applications of the BMC can be found here: The Power MBA’s Guide. […]
- Top 5 Tips For Business Success by Freeduhm Team | Milyin - […] that market and have a chance to make money and become profitable. Additionally, you can use a business model…
Submit a Comment Cancel reply
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *
Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.
Business Model Canvas: Explained with Examples
Got a new business idea, but don’t know how to put it to work? Want to improve your existing business model? Overwhelmed by writing your business plan? There is a one-page technique that can provide you the solution you are looking for, and that’s the business model canvas.
In this guide, you’ll have the Business Model Canvas explained, along with steps on how to create one. All business model canvas examples in the post can be edited online.
What is a Business Model Canvas
A business model is simply a plan describing how a business intends to make money. It explains who your customer base is and how you deliver value to them and the related details of financing. And the business model canvas lets you define these different components on a single page.
The Business Model Canvas is a strategic management tool that lets you visualize and assess your business idea or concept. It’s a one-page document containing nine boxes that represent different fundamental elements of a business.
The business model canvas beats the traditional business plan that spans across several pages, by offering a much easier way to understand the different core elements of a business.
The right side of the canvas focuses on the customer or the market (external factors that are not under your control) while the left side of the canvas focuses on the business (internal factors that are mostly under your control). In the middle, you get the value propositions that represent the exchange of value between your business and your customers.
The business model canvas was originally developed by Alex Osterwalder and Yves Pigneur and introduced in their book ‘ Business Model Generation ’ as a visual framework for planning, developing and testing the business model(s) of an organization.
What Are the Benefits of Using a Business Model Canvas
Why do you need a business model canvas? The answer is simple. The business model canvas offers several benefits for businesses and entrepreneurs. It is a valuable tool and provides a visual and structured approach to designing, analyzing, optimizing, and communicating your business model.
- The business model canvas provides a comprehensive overview of a business model’s essential aspects. The BMC provides a quick outline of the business model and is devoid of unnecessary details compared to the traditional business plan.
- The comprehensive overview also ensures that the team considers all required components of their business model and can identify gaps or areas for improvement.
- The BMC allows the team to have a holistic and shared understanding of the business model while enabling them to align and collaborate effectively.
- The visual nature of the business model canvas makes it easier to refer to and understand by anyone. The business model canvas combines all vital business model elements in a single, easy-to-understand canvas.
- The BMC can be considered a strategic analysis tool as it enables you to examine a business model’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and challenges.
- It’s easier to edit and can be easily shared with employees and stakeholders.
- The BMC is a flexible and adaptable tool that can be updated and revised as the business evolves. Keep your business agile and responsive to market changes and customer needs.
- The business model canvas can be used by large corporations and startups with just a few employees.
- The business model canvas effectively facilitates discussions among team members, investors, partners, customers, and other stakeholders. It clarifies how different aspects of the business are related and ensures a shared understanding of the business model.
- You can use a BMC template to facilitate discussions and guide brainstorming brainstorming sessions to generate insights and ideas to refine the business model and make strategic decisions.
- The BMC is action-oriented, encouraging businesses to identify activities and initiatives to improve their business model to drive business growth.
- A business model canvas provides a structured approach for businesses to explore possibilities and experiment with new ideas. This encourages creativity and innovation, which in turn encourages team members to think outside the box.
How to Make a Business Model Canvas
Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to create a business canvas model.
Step 1: Gather your team and the required material Bring a team or a group of people from your company together to collaborate. It is better to bring in a diverse group to cover all aspects.
While you can create a business model canvas with whiteboards, sticky notes, and markers, using an online platform like Creately will ensure that your work can be accessed from anywhere, anytime. Create a workspace in Creately and provide editing/reviewing permission to start.
Step 2: Set the context Clearly define the purpose and the scope of what you want to map out and visualize in the business model canvas. Narrow down the business or idea you want to analyze with the team and its context.
Step 3: Draw the canvas Divide the workspace into nine equal sections to represent the nine building blocks of the business model canvas.
Step 4: Identify the key building blocks Label each section as customer segment, value proposition, channels, customer relationships, revenue streams, key resources, key activities, and cost structure.
Step 5: Fill in the canvas Work with your team to fill in each section of the canvas with relevant information. You can use data, keywords, diagrams, and more to represent ideas and concepts.
Step 6: Analyze and iterate Once your team has filled in the business model canvas, analyze the relationships to identify strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and challenges. Discuss improvements and make adjustments as necessary.
Step 7: Finalize Finalize and use the model as a visual reference to communicate and align your business model with stakeholders. You can also use the model to make informed and strategic decisions and guide your business.
What are the Key Building Blocks of the Business Model Canvas?
There are nine building blocks in the business model canvas and they are:
Customer relationships, revenue streams, key activities, key resources, key partners, cost structure.
- Value Proposition
When filling out a Business Model Canvas, you will brainstorm and conduct research on each of these elements. The data you collect can be placed in each relevant section of the canvas. So have a business model canvas ready when you start the exercise.
Let’s look into what the 9 components of the BMC are in more detail.
These are the groups of people or companies that you are trying to target and sell your product or service to.
Segmenting your customers based on similarities such as geographical area, gender, age, behaviors, interests, etc. gives you the opportunity to better serve their needs, specifically by customizing the solution you are providing them.
After a thorough analysis of your customer segments, you can determine who you should serve and ignore. Then create customer personas for each of the selected customer segments.
There are different customer segments a business model can target and they are;
- Mass market: A business model that focuses on mass markets doesn’t group its customers into segments. Instead, it focuses on the general population or a large group of people with similar needs. For example, a product like a phone.
- Niche market: Here the focus is centered on a specific group of people with unique needs and traits. Here the value propositions, distribution channels, and customer relationships should be customized to meet their specific requirements. An example would be buyers of sports shoes.
- Segmented: Based on slightly different needs, there could be different groups within the main customer segment. Accordingly, you can create different value propositions, distribution channels, etc. to meet the different needs of these segments.
- Diversified: A diversified market segment includes customers with very different needs.
- Multi-sided markets: this includes interdependent customer segments. For example, a credit card company caters to both their credit card holders as well as merchants who accept those cards.
Use STP Model templates for segmenting your market and developing ideal marketing campaigns
Visualize, assess, and update your business model. Collaborate on brainstorming with your team on your next business model innovation.
In this section, you need to establish the type of relationship you will have with each of your customer segments or how you will interact with them throughout their journey with your company.
There are several types of customer relationships
- Personal assistance: you interact with the customer in person or by email, through phone call or other means.
- Dedicated personal assistance: you assign a dedicated customer representative to an individual customer.
- Self-service: here you maintain no relationship with the customer, but provides what the customer needs to help themselves.
- Automated services: this includes automated processes or machinery that helps customers perform services themselves.
- Communities: these include online communities where customers can help each other solve their own problems with regard to the product or service.
- Co-creation: here the company allows the customer to get involved in the designing or development of the product. For example, YouTube has given its users the opportunity to create content for its audience.
You can understand the kind of relationship your customer has with your company through a customer journey map . It will help you identify the different stages your customers go through when interacting with your company. And it will help you make sense of how to acquire, retain and grow your customers.
This block is to describe how your company will communicate with and reach out to your customers. Channels are the touchpoints that let your customers connect with your company.
Channels play a role in raising awareness of your product or service among customers and delivering your value propositions to them. Channels can also be used to allow customers the avenue to buy products or services and offer post-purchase support.
There are two types of channels
- Owned channels: company website, social media sites, in-house sales, etc.
- Partner channels: partner-owned websites, wholesale distribution, retail, etc.
Revenues streams are the sources from which a company generates money by selling their product or service to the customers. And in this block, you should describe how you will earn revenue from your value propositions.
A revenue stream can belong to one of the following revenue models,
- Transaction-based revenue: made from customers who make a one-time payment
- Recurring revenue: made from ongoing payments for continuing services or post-sale services
There are several ways you can generate revenue from
- Asset sales: by selling the rights of ownership for a product to a buyer
- Usage fee: by charging the customer for the use of its product or service
- Subscription fee: by charging the customer for using its product regularly and consistently
- Lending/ leasing/ renting: the customer pays to get exclusive rights to use an asset for a fixed period of time
- Licensing: customer pays to get permission to use the company’s intellectual property
- Brokerage fees: revenue generated by acting as an intermediary between two or more parties
- Advertising: by charging the customer to advertise a product, service or brand using company platforms
What are the activities/ tasks that need to be completed to fulfill your business purpose? In this section, you should list down all the key activities you need to do to make your business model work.
These key activities should focus on fulfilling its value proposition, reaching customer segments and maintaining customer relationships, and generating revenue.
There are 3 categories of key activities;
- Production: designing, manufacturing and delivering a product in significant quantities and/ or of superior quality.
- Problem-solving: finding new solutions to individual problems faced by customers.
- Platform/ network: Creating and maintaining platforms. For example, Microsoft provides a reliable operating system to support third-party software products.
This is where you list down which key resources or the main inputs you need to carry out your key activities in order to create your value proposition.
There are several types of key resources and they are
- Human (employees)
- Financial (cash, lines of credit, etc.)
- Intellectual (brand, patents, IP, copyright)
- Physical (equipment, inventory, buildings)
Key partners are the external companies or suppliers that will help you carry out your key activities. These partnerships are forged in oder to reduce risks and acquire resources.
Types of partnerships are
- Strategic alliance: partnership between non-competitors
- Coopetition: strategic partnership between partners
- Joint ventures: partners developing a new business
- Buyer-supplier relationships: ensure reliable supplies
In this block, you identify all the costs associated with operating your business model.
You’ll need to focus on evaluating the cost of creating and delivering your value propositions, creating revenue streams, and maintaining customer relationships. And this will be easier to do so once you have defined your key resources, activities, and partners.
Businesses can either be cost-driven (focuses on minimizing costs whenever possible) and value-driven (focuses on providing maximum value to the customer).
This is the building block that is at the heart of the business model canvas. And it represents your unique solution (product or service) for a problem faced by a customer segment, or that creates value for the customer segment.
A value proposition should be unique or should be different from that of your competitors. If you are offering a new product, it should be innovative and disruptive. And if you are offering a product that already exists in the market, it should stand out with new features and attributes.
Value propositions can be either quantitative (price and speed of service) or qualitative (customer experience or design).
What to Avoid When Creating a Business Model Canvas
One thing to remember when creating a business model canvas is that it is a concise and focused document. It is designed to capture key elements of a business model and, as such, should not include detailed information. Some of the items to avoid include,
- Detailed financial projections such as revenue forecasts, cost breakdowns, and financial ratios. Revenue streams and cost structure should be represented at a high level, providing an overview rather than detailed projections.
- Detailed operational processes such as standard operating procedures of a business. The BMC focuses on the strategic and conceptual aspects.
- Comprehensive marketing or sales strategies. The business model canvas does not provide space for comprehensive marketing or sales strategies. These should be included in marketing or sales plans, which allow you to expand into more details.
- Legal or regulatory details such as intellectual property, licensing agreements, or compliance requirements. As these require more detailed and specialized attention, they are better suited to be addressed in separate legal or regulatory documents.
- Long-term strategic goals or vision statements. While the canvas helps to align the business model with the overall strategy, it should focus on the immediate and tangible aspects.
- Irrelevant or unnecessary information that does not directly relate to the business model. Including extra or unnecessary information can clutter the BMC and make it less effective in communicating the core elements.
What Are Your Thoughts on the Business Model Canvas?
Once you have completed your business model canvas, you can share it with your organization and stakeholders and get their feedback as well. The business model canvas is a living document, therefore after completing it you need to revisit and ensure that it is relevant, updated and accurate.
What best practices do you follow when creating a business model canvas? Do share your tips with us in the comments section below.
Join over thousands of organizations that use Creately to brainstorm, plan, analyze, and execute their projects successfully.
FAQs About the Business Model Canvas
- Use clear and concise language
- Use visual-aids
- Customize for your audience
- Highlight key insights
- Be open to feedback and discussion
More Related Articles
Amanda Athuraliya is the communication specialist/content writer at Creately, online diagramming and collaboration tool. She is an avid reader, a budding writer and a passionate researcher who loves to write about all kinds of topics.
How to create and use a business model canvas
Reading time: about 8 min
We’ve all had those flashes of entrepreneurial inspiration. You know, that brief moment when you think, “Hey, that would make a great business.” Most of the time, that’s as far as it goes. But say you want to take it a step further. (After all, every business, from tech giants to the lemonade stand down the street, started with a similar thought!) What’s your next step?
The business model canvas is essentially a framework for trimmed down business plans—and when we say trimmed down, we mean really trimmed down. As you use the business model canvas, you’ll take the crucial elements of your business model and put them into a single-page template.
Unsure what those crucial elements are? Don’t worry—we’ll break down the whole process for you.
What is a business model canvas?
The business model canvas is a template—think of it as a framework for organizing information about a business model. Alexander Osterwalder of Strategyzer came up with the method in the mid-2000s and it has been a staple of the Lean startup methodology ever since.
At the center of the business model canvas is your value proposition: What do customers get from your product? That’s your starting point. From there, you’ll fill in the canvas with additional information about your company and your customers. The information in a business model canvas should be treated like a hypothesis: Under the conditions presented, could your business survive? It’s a quick and easy way to determine the viability of your model.
Elements of the business model canvas
As mentioned above, the business model canvas is a template. No matter who is using the template, every business model canvas will look more or less the same. And they all consist of the same nine elements:
- Value proposition
- Key partners
- Key activities
- Key resources
- Customer segments
- Customer relationships
- Cost structure
- Revenue streams
Each of these elements is represented by a box on the page and these boxes are always organized in the same way. Everything related to business infrastructure (partners, activities, and resources) falls on the left side of the page. Customer-related elements (segments, relationships, and channels) go on the right. Finance-related elements go on the bottom. In the center of the page, the value proposition ties everything together.
Layout is the easy part—it’s already been done for you. So let’s talk a little bit more about content: What do you actually include in each piece of your business model canvas?
What are you offering customers? What problem or pain point are you solving? How are you going to do it? Answer those questions as succinctly as possible (one sentence is best!) and there’s your value proposition.
Treat your value proposition like a guiding star: It should inform every other aspect of your business plan.
It’s unlikely that you’ll be able to provide your product or service all your own. Whether it’s suppliers or distributors, a parent company, or other partners, someone else is going to be involved.
Think about a neighborhood lemonade stand: The kids running the stand aren’t growing their own lemons—they rely on a grocery store. Similarly, they probably get the table and pitchers from a parent. Both would be key partners.
To determine if a partner is a key partner, ask this simple question: Could the business model function without them? If things would fall apart without them, they’re a key partner.
Activities are the actions required to actualize your value proposition.
Remember the lemonade stand from the last section? (It’s going to come up a lot.) What activities go into producing the product and bringing it to customers? Someone needs to make the lemonade, pour it, and take money from customers. These are all key activities.
To determine if an activity is “key,” ask the same question as before: Could the business model function without that action being performed?
As you list your resources, be sure to consider more than just physical resources. You’ll likely also require human resources (employees), intellectual resources (know-how), and financial resources.
Who is your solution for? A lemonade stand employee doesn’t have any need for a product developed for software engineers. (At least not your average lemonade stand employee.)
Your customer segments are the people and companies who would receive value from your product. As you list your customer segments, it might be helpful to think in terms of buyer personas.
Think about how you are first reaching potential buyers: Is it through social media? SEO? Conferences? These methods of contact are your channels. Whereas sales teams are typically responsible for building and maintaining customer relationships, channels are, for the most part, the responsibility of the marketing teams.
As you operate your business, you’ll have to spend money—probably more than you’d like. To maintain your key activities, resources, and partners, you will need to pay employees, cover material costs, etc. These expenses make up your cost structure.
Hopefully you’re not just spending money, though. For your business to be successful, you have to generate revenue. Your revenue streams refer to the ways in which you bring money in: How are you converting your value proposition into revenue? Perhaps you offer a subscription based service, or maybe customers pay a one time fee. Whatever model you use, be sure to list all of your revenue streams—when it comes to planning out finances, you want to be especially thorough.
How to create a business model canvas
Now you’re ready to learn how to fill out a business model canvas for yourself. Understanding each element of the business model canvas is the hardest part, and that’s behind you: All that’s left is to fill out the canvas with your specific business plan.
1. Gather stakeholders and materials
Whether you’re creating a digital or physical business model canvas, you’ll need to be able to fill in the boxes on the template. This could mean typing your info into a digital template or drawing the business model canvas on a whiteboard or paper. (You should really just stick to a digital template—it’s 2020 after all. And a digital business model canvas means more collaboration, easier sharing, and cloud-based storage!)
As you fill in the business model canvas, you’ll likely need input from marketing, sales, and other teams. Schedule a meeting with the necessary individuals and fill out the template together. It’s a quick process—this meeting should only take between thirty minutes to an hour!
2. Fill out the canvas
Do you have your blank template and representatives from necessary teams? Good. You’re ready to start filling out the canvas. Remember: Your goal is not to create an exhaustive business plan. You’re trying to clarify the essential aspects of your business model and make any adjustments you feel necessary.
Start with your value proposition and work from there. If you need a refresher on any specific element, review the list above!
3. Test your assumptions
Your filled out business model canvas is a plan, but it’s not set in stone. As your team gathers information and offers insights, you may realize certain aspects of your model need to be changed. Perhaps you’ve listed a supplier as a key partner, only to find a different supplier with more competitive pricing. Or maybe you decided that a subscription model wasn’t the best payment plan after all. The business model canvas is meant to help you identify such adjustments—don’t hesitate to change things around!
4. Adapt and maintain
The business model canvas is often thought of as a planning tool—and it is a great one!—but its uses extend beyond the planning stages. As you adapt your business model based on insights from your business model canvas, update the canvas to reflect those changes. If you make drastic adjustments, you might even want to create a whole new business model canvas.
An up-to-date business model canvas is a valuable asset to have, regardless of where you are in your business plan. Whether it’s to show stakeholders your business model to gain buy-in or to onboard new employees, the simple format of the business model canvas makes it a flexible and versatile resource.
Now it’s your turn to create a business model canvas in Lucidspark.
Lucidspark, a cloud-based virtual whiteboard, is a core component of Lucid Software's Visual Collaboration Suite. This cutting-edge digital canvas brings teams together to brainstorm, collaborate, and consolidate collective thinking into actionable next steps—all in real time. Lucid is proud to serve top businesses around the world, including customers such as Google, GE, and NBC Universal, and 99% of the Fortune 500. Lucid partners with industry leaders, including Google, Atlassian, and Microsoft. Since its founding, Lucid has received numerous awards for its products, business, and workplace culture. For more information, visit lucidspark.com.
Choosing the right business model
Let’s dig into what a business model is and why it is important to choose the right one for your organization.
How to decide when it's time to revamp your business strategy
Let's dig into some ways to decide when it's time for your business to revamp its strategy and key tools to make the process easier.
Bring your bright ideas to life.
or continue with
- Skip to primary navigation
- Skip to main content
- Skip to primary sidebar
- Skip to footer
HDD & More from Me
The 20 Minute Business Plan: Business Model Canvas Made Easy
Table of Contents
What’s the Business Model Canvas?
How do you get started, why use the business model canvas, when should you use the business model canvas, how do you use the canvas to facilitate alignment and focus, step 1 (of 10): customer segments, step 2 (of 10): value propositions, step 3 (of 10): channels, step 4 (of 10): customer relationships, step 5 (of 10): revenue streams, step 6 (of 10): key activities, step 7 (of 10): key resources, step 8 (of 10): key partnerships, step 9 (of 10): cost structure, step 10 (of 10): applications, analysis & next steps, example a: enable quiz (startup), example b: hvac in a hurry (enterprise), using the google doc’s/powerpoint template.
If you’re already familiar, you can skip to the next section, ‘ How do I get started ?’.
The Business Model Canvas (BMC) gives you the structure of a business plan without the overhead and the improvisation of a ‘back of the napkin’ sketch without the fuzziness (and coffee rings).
Together these elements provide a pretty coherent view of a business’ key drivers–
- Customer Segments : Who are the customers? What do they think? See? Feel? Do?
- Value Propositions : What’s compelling about the proposition? Why do customers buy, use?
- Channels : How are these propositions promoted, sold and delivered? Why? Is it working?
- Customer Relationships : How do you interact with the customer through their ‘journey’?
- Revenue Streams : How does the business earn revenue from the value propositions?
- Key Activities : What uniquely strategic things does the business do to deliver its proposition?
- Key Resources : What unique strategic assets must the business have to compete?
- Key Partnerships : What can the company not do so it can focus on its Key Activities?
- Cost Structure : What are the business’ major cost drivers? How are they linked to revenue?
The Canvas is popular with entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs for business model innovation. Fundamentally, it delivers three things:
- Focus : Stripping away the 40+ pages of ‘stuff’ in a traditional business plan, I’ve seen users of the BMC improve their clarify and focus on what’s driving the business (and what’s non-core and getting in the way).
- Flexibility : It’s easier to facilitate alignment by tweaking the model and trying things (from a planning perspective) with something that’s sitting on a single page.
- Transparency: Your team will have a much easier time understanding your business model and be much more likely to buy in to your vision when it’s laid out on a single page.
The first time you engage with the canvas, I recommend printing it out or projecting it on a whiteboard and going to town (see below for a PDF). However, if you’re ready to put together something a little more formal (for distribution, presentation, etc.) here’s a Google App’s template you can copy or download as MSFT PowerPoint:
*Omnigraffle a popular diagramming program for the Mac. It has a fairly easy to use layering environment which you may find handy as you want to tinker with and produce different views of the canvas. You can try Omnigraffle for free (the basic paid version is $99).
The short answer is this: because it’s simple yet focused and that means more of your audience is likely to pay attention to it. Also, it’s highly amenable to change on the margins.
This matters a lot- more than most people think. A company that wants to innovate has to be ready to be wrong . A good VC in early stage investments succeeds with a prevalence of something like a 1/10. If you think you’re doing a lot better than that with substantial new innovation investments (a startup or a new line of business inside an enterprise) you’re probably throwing good money after bad.
Transparency, simplicity, and focus are great facilitators of the ‘creative destruction’ a good innovation program needs, and the Canvas does a nice job of delivering that across lines of business. For a large corporation with multiple lines of business at various levels of maturity, I actually prefer the Corporate Innovation Canvas as a starting point. However, from there, the Business Model Canvas does an excellent job of bringing clarity to the questions of how, for example, a given line of business creates focus and then implements it in an innovation-friendly way with, for example, ‘objectives and key results’ OKR’s . It’s a central element in the ‘innovation stack’ where an enterprise is able to go from priority innovation areas (with the Corporate Innovation Canvas) to testable business model designs (with the Business Model Canvas) to product charters (with an agile team charter ) to individual learning pathways to cultivate the talent they need to execute.
Even more important than the top down cascading of objectives with testable results and KPI’s is the improvement in the feedback in outcomes that helps the overall innovation program learn and adapt quickly. With layer appropriate innovation metrics, it’s much easier for the achievements of individuals to cohere (or not) to the job of teams and in turn from there to lines of business back up to corporate objectives. This helps both help the company’s talent understand where they might benefit from more practice and learning as well as what constitutes success in their individual roles and collaborations.
Anytime you want to have a focused discussion about what matters to a given line of business, the Business Model Canvas is a good place to start. The Canvas has received a lot of attention as a tool for startup entrepreneurship. While this may be one of the ‘sexier’ and more ostensibly simple applications of the Canvas, I actually think it’s one of the least compelling. For a startup, the only thing that matters is product/market fit, which the Canvas represents as a set of relationships between Customer Segments and Value Propositions. The Canvas doesn’t do a bad job of describing this, but it’s kind of overkill- the whole left side of the Canvas which describes the delivery infrastructure is mostly irrelevant for startups that are still finding product market fit, since all that’s provisional about where (and whether) they arrive at product/market fit.
Where the Canvas really shines is describing an existing line of business to answer questions like: a) What does product/market fit mean for this business? b) Where have we focused our company building and is it still relevant to ‘a’? c) What are our key revenue, cost, and profit drivers, and how do we improve those?
Now we’re taking! Whether you’re an ‘intrapreneur’ exploring a new extension to the business or a ‘digital transformation’/IT consultant trying to facilitate a discussion about what ‘strategic IT’ means and how you’ll know if you achieve it, the Canvas is a quick and productive place to anchor such a discussion.
First and foremost, I’d try it out for yourself. Fill out the elements the business you’re working on and then ask yourself ‘Does this make sense?’ ‘What are the most important linkages and components of the model?’
From there, you may just want to use the Canvas you sketch to facilitate alignment on some other topic. However, if you’re working with a team on a new venture or with a client on a new project, you may then want to take it from the top and facilitate a workshop where you facilitate a fresh take on the Canvas, levering your experience thinking through it once. The link below will take you to a related curriculum item that has workshop slides, prep. items, and agenda.
LINK TO WORKSHOP PAGE
Otherwise, the next sections (10 steps) offer a tutorial on how to think through a business model design with the Canvas. The closing sections offer notes on how to use the Google Doc’s/PowerPoint and Omnigraffle templates.
Output : a list of Personas, organized by Customer Segment if you have more than one segment. I recommend trying to prioritize them- Who would you pitch first if you could only pitch one? Who next? And so forth…
Notes : If you’re spending a lot of time on this first item, that’s OK (and it’s probably good). The Canvas is a tool, not a strategy and not all the nine blocks are equal. The pairing of Customer Segments and Value Propositions is really the ‘independent variable’ that should be driving everything else in your business model. When I use the Canvas in my Venture Design classes, we usually spend all of the first session (plus time for field research) on Customer Segments and Value Propositions.
For example, at Leonid, an enterprise software company I founded, we thought our largest customers worked with us because of the cost savings we offered and our knowledge about best practices. It turned out that was mostly wrong- reducing their time and risk to get new services to market was the most important. It’s not that the other things weren’t important, but they weren’t the top Value Proposition. That made a difference on how we sold the product and how we focused on operationalizing it for customers.
This mapping says ‘We have 3 personas. Persona 1 cares about VP 1 & 2. Persona 2 cares about VP 2; Persona 3 cares about VP3. (One segment only so segments not noted)’.
Output : a prioritized list of Value Propositions and linkages from each Personas to the VP’s relevant to them.
Notes: Again, this pairing is the key driver for most business models and if you want more on how to describe and discovery what to put in this part of the canvas, I recommend this: Tutorial- Personas .
Maybe you feel like you’re in good shape on understanding the customer’s world but you don’t have any validation on whether the Value Propositions are clicking because this is a new venture? If you’re not sure, that’s OK and good for you for acknowledging the uncertainty! It’s the responsible thing to do. The key is to write down those assumptions, prioritize them, and figure out the quickest and cheapest way to prove or disprove them. That’s what Lean/Startup is about and there are resources here to help you with that, if you’d like- Tutorial: Lean Startup .
Channels includes entities you use to communicate your proposition to your segments, as well as entities through which you sell product and later service customers (see AIDAOR journey below). For example, if you sell bulbs for light houses and there’s a website all light house attendants purchase equipment, that site is a sales Channel. If you use Google AdWords, that’s a Channel, too (for getting attention). If you use a third party company to service the bulbs when they break, that’s also a Channel.
Output : a list of important Channels, linked to Personas or Segments if they differ substantially. Make notes on what steps are relevant for each- promotion, sales, service, etc. See Note this section for more structure on this.
Notes: Channels and the next item, Customer Relationships, define your interface with the Customer. It’s important to think all the way through the customer ‘journey’ in specific terms. For most businesses, the way they get a customer’s attention is different than the way they onboard them or support them over the long term. For this, I recommend the AIDA.OR framework (attention-interest-desire-action-onboarding-retention) and storyboarding your way through it. Here’s a post explaining all that- Storyboarding AIDA(OR) . If you don’t want to do the storyboards, I recommend at least making notes about your customer journey through the AIDA(OR) steps.
Another consideration is whether your channels will give you enough visibility into the user, including, for example, a way to follow up with users. Not sure? Document your assumptions Lean Startup style and figure out how you’ll quickly prove or disprove them.
Output : a description of Customer Relationships, with notes if they differ across Customers (between Segments or among Personas within a Segment) or across the customer journey.
Notes: If you’re a startup, be sure to document and review critical assumptions here. Also, the focal items are in a kind of specific order- you should validate your Segments and their relationship to the Propositions above all else. If this means you provide personal support in the early days (a ‘concierge test’ in Lean Startup terms) to do discovery and validation of Segments and Propositions, that’s OK. You can subsequently test the Customer Relationship models. (Here’s a post on using consulting as a concierge vehicle in B2B if you want more detail: Consulting as B2B Concierge Vehicle ).
Notes : If you have a startup or are re-engineering the business, this is a time to look at where you’re driving revenue and whether it aligns with the rest of your focal points. Are you charging on value? Perceived value? They say everyone loves their banker; hates their lawyer. Why is that? Is there an actionable analog in your business?
For a product-driven business, this probably includes ongoing learning about users and new techniques to build better product. If you’re focused on doing a bunch of things for a particular set of customers (ex: comprehensive IT for law offices), this probably includes maintaining superior expertise on the segment(s) and creating or acquiring products and services that are a good fit, whatever that entails. For an infrastructure business (ex: electric utility), it probably includes keeping the infrastructure working reliably and making it more efficient.
Outputs : a list of Key Activities linked to your business’ Value Propositions.
Notes : One question this analysis should raise for you is whether or not certain Activities and Resources are actually core, actually focal to your business, something you’ll want to think through .
Outputs : a list of Key Resources linked to your business’ Key Activities.
Notes : Product-driven businesses have a differentiated product of some sort. Rovio, the company that makes the popular app Angry Birds, is such a company. Key Resources in product-driven businesses are typically key talent in critical areas of expertise and accumulated intellectual property related to their offering.
Scope-driven businesses create some synergy around a particular Customer Segment. For example, if you started a business that would take care of all the IT needs for law firms, that would be a scope-driven business. These businesses typically have key knowledge about their segment, a repeatable set of processes, and sometimes infrastructure, like service centers.
Infrastructure-driven businesses achieve economies of scale in a specific, highly repeatable area. Telecommunications is traditionally an infrastructure business. Retailers focused on retail, like Walgreens or Costco, are primarily infrastructure-driven businesses. The Key Resources for this type of business are, you guessed it, various types of physical or virtual infrastructure.
Let’s take a single product category: diapers. The Honest Company or another innovating around compostable or otherwise more environmentally friendly diapers would be a product-driven take on the category. Procter & Gamble which has a cradle-to-grave strategy for providing consumer products is a scope-based take; so are various baby-focused retailers. Kimberly-Clark (wood pulp) or DuPont (chemicals and polymers) are both infrastructure-based takes: diapers is just another way to sell something they produce at scale with relatively little differentiation.
If there are major cost components that don’t map to a Key Activity, I’d take a closer look at those costs.
Output : a list of Cost Structure elements with notes on their relationship to Key Activities.
Congratulations- you have a working canvas! The section below offers a few analytical ideas and suggestions for next steps.
Core Applications The most core and obvious applications of the Canvas are to ask: – Does it make sense? – Could it be better? – Does the rest of my team understand and agree? Have additional ideas? – (rinse and repeat at least quarterly)
Competitiveness The canvas does a good job of helping you figure out your business, which is a good place to start. You also want to look at the competitive environment and think about if and how you have/maintain a long term competitive advantage.
For this, I like Michael Porter’s Five Forces framework ( Wikipedia Page ; see also Chapter 2 of ‘ Starting a Tech Business ‘). Try walking through the Five Forces for your company and then bounce back to your canvas. How does it all hang together?
Next Steps Every business is a work in progress (sorry, I try to avoid saying things like that but it seemed to fit here). As you go through the canvas, you may encounter areas that give you trouble. The table below summarizes a few of the most common that I see in my work as a mentor and coach:
Want to make innovation an everyday thing?
What is Enable Quiz?
Enable Quiz is a (fictional) startup that’s building a lightweight quizzing application for companies that hire a lot of technical talent (engineers). Their take is:
For hiring managers who need to evaluate technical talent, Enable Quiz is a talent assessment system that allows for quick and easy assessment of topical understanding in key engineering topics. Unlike formal certifications or ad hoc questions, our product allows for lightweight but consistent assessments of technical talent.
Why and how would Enable Quiz use the Business Model Canvas?
They have a small team, but arriving at a clear, shared understanding of what they’re after is still important. That said, it’s important that the way they talk about this is both highly visible and amenable to change. Given that, the Canvas is a good fit.
The Business Model Canvas at Enable Quiz
This page shows Enable Quiz’s current working view of product/market fit:
What is HVAC in a Hurry?
HVAC in a Hurry is a mid-sized enterprise that services commercial HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) systems. Their take on the business is:
For facilities managers & business owners who need their heating & cooling systems managed and repaired, HVAC in a Hurry is a full service provider that allows for easy and responsible management of a business’ HVAC systems. Unlike smaller firms, our commitment to best practices and training allows customers to worry less and realize superior total cost of ownership for their HVAC systems.
Why and how would HVAC in a Hurry use the Business Model Canvas?
HVAC in a Hurry has a working version of product/market fit. However, their industry is competitive and successful firms increasingly use technology to improve customer experience (CX) and reduce cost (overhead) in their operations. HVAC in a Hurry has a small ‘digital transformation’ team that’s working on digital applications to improve the company’s performance. This team decided to use the Canvas to ‘manage upwards’ in order to facilitate better discussions about where they should focus, how that aligns with the business as a whole, and what success definition makes sense for them.
The Business Model Canvas at HVAC in a Hurry
Here’s their current view of product/market fit:
If you’re not familiar with it, Google Doc’s is a web-based office suite, similar to MS Office. If you have a gmail account, you can access it (no guarantees- that was the case last time I checked).
First, you’ll want to link to the template file: BUSINESS MODEL CANVAS TEMPLATE IN GOOGLE DOC’S .
Once you’re accessed the file, you can make make it your own by going to the File menu and either ‘Make a copy…’, creating a copy in your own Google App’s domain or you can use the ‘Download as…’ option to download it as PowerPoint (and a few other formats).
What’s your experience with the Canvas? How have you used it? What worked? What didn’t? Please consider posting a comment!
Copyright © 2022 Alex Cowan · All rights reserved.
- Create your own canvas
Create a new Business Model Canvas
The Business Model Canvas was proposed by Alexander Osterwalder based on his earlier book: Business Model Ontology . It outlines nine segments which form the building blocks for the business model in a nice one-page canvas. You can find a detailed explanation in his bestselling book "Business Model Generation".
If you want to try it a Business Model Canvas without entering your email address, please use our Canvanizer 2.0 Business Model Canvas Demo for a first impression.
Your Name :
More about the Business Model Canvas
The Business Model Canvas reflects systematically on your business model, so you can focus on your business model segment by segment. This also means you can start with a brain dump, filling out the segments the spring to your mind first and then work on the empty segments to close the gaps. The following list with questions will help you brainstorm and compare several variations and ideas for your next business model innovation.
- Who are your key partners/suppliers?
- What are the motivations for the partnerships?
- What key activities does your value proposition require?
- What activities are important the most in distribution channels, customer relationships, revenue stream…?
- What core value do you deliver to the customer?
- Which customer needs are you satisfying?
- What relationship that the target customer expects you to establish?
- How can you integrate that into your business in terms of cost and format?
- Which classes are you creating values for?
- Who is your most important customer?
- What key resources does your value proposition require?
- What resources are important the most in distribution channels, customer relationships, revenue stream…?
- Through which channels that your customers want to be reached?
- Which channels work best? How much do they cost? How can they be integrated into your and your customers’ routines?
- What are the most cost in your business?
- Which key resources/ activities are most expensive?
- For what value are your customers willing to pay?
- What and how do they recently pay? How would they prefer to pay?
- How much does every revenue stream contribute to the overall revenues?
You love working with canvases? How about bringing innovation and collaboration to the next level with great canvases and a great app.
- Basic Canvas templates
- Anyone with the link can access
- Can't change segment titles
- PDF & PNG export
- No images / standard font
- Desktop only
- Single canvases only
- No team features
- English only
- The "old" look&feel
- Over 40 popular canvas templates
- Private canvases / Revocable links
- Customize segment titles
- Upload images / choose fonts
- Mobile editing & camera use
- Project workspaces
- Team progress & collaboration
- Languages: EN,ES,FR,IT,NL,PL...
- View modes, filters, sidenotes...
Choose a canvas template:
What is Business Model Canvas?
How to make a business model canvas in 9 steps.
Business Model Canvas (BMC) is a strategic management tool to quickly and easily define and communicate a business model, product or service. BMC offers a template on one page that helps you work through the fundamental elements of a business or product, structuring your ideas in a coherent way.
Business Model Canvas explained
A BMC has 9 elements: key partners, key activities, key resources, value propositions, customer relationships, channels, customer segment, cost structure, and revenue stream.
Why use a Business Model Canvas?
BMC is all about defining your business model or defining a product or service that your organisation offers. You can use BMC as a step-by-step guide to developing a complete business model, product or service. A BMC can also serve as important groundwork for your strategic plan in OGSM , since it helps you think about a range of important factors for your Strategies.
How do I make a Business Model Canvas?
The Business Model Canvas template consists of 9 different components that you will have to think about and define as concretely as possible. Below, we briefly explain each of the components:
1. Key partners: These are your relationships and strategic alliances with other businesses and suppliers. These relationships can help you with resource acquisition, reduction of risk, and optimization of economies. Partnerships can help you innovate and stand out in the market, outperform the competition, and/or increase sales.
2. Key activities: These are the most important activities that your company needs to execute to make your business plan work. The key activities of a company can be managerial or operational. You’ll want to briefly describe the activities that are core to your company’s functioning, but don’t go into everything in exhaustive detail.
3. Key resources: These are the resources you need to create value for your customers. They include all assets that your company needs to sustain and support the business. This component includes human, financial, material and intellectual resources.
4. Value propositions: This is the added value that your service or product offers. It should define the main reason why customers should choose you over a competitor. The value proposition must address a problem, need or desire of a customer.
5. Customer relationships: To ensure the survival and success of your business, you must identify the type of relationship you want to create with your customer segments. This element should cover three critical aspects of the customer relationship:
- How your business will get new customers;
- How your business will convince existing customers to keep purchasing its products or using its services;
- How your business will grow its revenue from its current customers.
6. Channels: Your company can deliver its value proposition to its targeted customers through different channels. Effective channels will distribute a company’s value proposition in ways that are fast, efficient and cost-effective. You could reach clients through your own channels (store front), partner channels (major distributors) or a combination of both.
7. Customer segments: Different customers have different needs and requirements. It is very important to recognise them, so your company can target new customers effectively and successfully leverage the customer relationships as described under component 5.
8. Cost structure: Each company has costs linked to the key activities, key partners and the key resources. For each cost, you should determine whether it is fixed or variable, and direct or indirect.
- Fixed costs: These don’t change, even if the production increases, e.g. rent paid for office space.
- Variable costs: They increase proportionally with the volume of production, e.g. material or labour costs.
- Direct costs: They are essential for the creation of the product or service.
- Indirect costs: They do not have a direct link with your value proposition
9. Revenue stream: This describes the way your company generates revenue from each customer segment. Some possible revenue streams are usage fees, product sales, subscription fees, licencing, advertising, lease, and brokerage.
Now that you know all the BMC components, you can make a table with two columns and nine rows. In the left column, enter all nine components from top to bottom. Then, in the right column, enter the required information for each component.
BMC as preparation for OGSM or OKR
We highly recommend utilizing the Business Model Canvas as a valuable tool for your strategic preparation. The Business Model Canvas provides a structured framework to visualize and assess your organization’s key components, relationships, and value propositions. It enables you to gain a comprehensive understanding of your business model and identify areas for improvement or innovation.
The Business Model Canvas is a tool to map the essentials of your company. This is a great foundation for a strategic plan in OGSM or OKR , which can help you to take your business to a higher level. Do you want to learn how to fill out an OGSM or strategic plan? Click here for a step-by-step guide.
Other tools to help you prepare for OGSM
Before crafting a strategic plan, it is essential to thoroughly analyze and evaluate your organization’s current situation, including the challenges it faces and the opportunities available. Business models serve as valuable tools to provide a concise overview of your organization’s status, enabling you to effectively determine your strategic direction.
- SWOT Analysis : Conduct a comprehensive analysis of your organization’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. This assessment will help identify internal capabilities and external factors that may impact your strategic planning.
- PESTEL Analysis : Evaluate the political, economic, sociocultural, technological, environmental, and legal factors affecting your industry and organization. This analysis provides a broader understanding of the external environment and its potential impact on your strategic decisions.
- Competitive Analysis: Assess your competitors’ strengths, weaknesses, market positioning, and offerings. Understanding the competitive landscape will help you identify areas of differentiation and develop effective strategies to gain a competitive advantage.
- Market Research: Gather relevant data and insights about your target market, including customer preferences, trends, and needs. This information will inform your strategic objectives and guide your decision-making process.
- Financial Analysis: Review your organization’s financial performance, including revenue, costs, profitability, and cash flow. Analyzing financial data will provide insights into the financial feasibility of your strategic initiatives and help set realistic goals.
- The BCG (Boston Consulting Group) matrix is a useful tool for portfolio analysis and can be used as a complementary tool when preparing your OGSM (Objectives, Goals, Strategies, and Measures). The BCG matrix categorizes your organization’s products or services into four quadrants based on their market growth rate and relative market share.
Download your business model canvas template
Describing your organization using a Business Model Canvas (BMC) provides a concise starting point for your OGSM (Objectives, Goals, Strategies, and Measures) framework. With the BMC, you can summarize your organization’s starting position on a single canvas. Download our strategic template package here to begin describing your organization using the BMC.
Frequently asked questions about Business Model Canvas
A Business Model Canvas (BMC) is a template to quickly and easily communicate a business model, product or service. A BMC is made in 9 steps, resulting in a simple overview of a business model (not a business plan!) on one page.
A Business Model Canvas is a template for a business model. It outlines what products or services you offer, who your clients are, what your revenue streams are, what your sales channels are, and so on. It is a snapshot of your current company or a business case for a new company.
A strategic plan, for example in OGSM or OKR format, contains quantitative goals, strategies, KPIs and actions to execute the plan. A strategic plan is a living document with an owner, and it is continuously adjusted based on data and learning.
Making a BMC can help you communicate your business model easily. It is also useful preparation for your strategic planning process. By walking through the 9 steps of the Business Model Canvas, you get important input for your Strategies and Action Measures (OGSM) or your Key Results (OKR).
For more detail, see above. The steps are:
- Key partners
- Key activities
- Key resources
- Value propositions
- Customer relationships
- Customer segments
- Cost structure
- Revenue stream
Get some paper or open your document editor and divide the page into two columns, a narrow one and a wide one. In the narrow left column, write each of the 9 steps above. In the right column, add the relevant information for each item.
- For more detail on the contents of each step of the BMC, Wikipedia explains all the elements.
- Business design company BMI made a ready-made Business Model Canvas template.
- ING Bank has some more info (in Dutch) on each of the core elements of the Business Model Canvas.
- Watch this useful BMC introduction video on YouTube by The Business Channel.
While both OGSM and Business Model Canvas (BMC) are canvas models used to summarize a business challenge, they serve different purposes. OGSM is a Change Canvas that outlines your desired destination and the strategies to achieve it. It is action-oriented. On the other hand, BMC is a Descriptive Canvas that provides an overview of your business model.
OGSM and BMC complement each other in strategic planning. You can use a BMC to prepare for your OGSM by establishing a foundation and ensuring alignment within your team regarding the fundamental aspects of your organization. It can also be helpful in quickly onboarding new team members. From there, you can develop your Change plan using OGSM to define your objectives, goals, strategies, and measures.
Free training & support
Serious about security & privacy, innovative solutions, ogsm in organizations.
OGSM examples OGSM for MBA/BBA students OGSM for health care OGSM for ESG OGSM from Playing to Win OGSM for personal development
Prepare for your OGSM
Business model canvas SWOT Pestel BCG matrix
OGSM Software: get started
OGSM Software: Case Studies Video Tutorials Frequently asked questions (FAQ)
What is OGSM Cascading an OGSM OKR and OGSM Download OGSM template Find the best OGSM experts The Eisenhower Matrix & OGSM
Business Model Canvas [+ Template]: How-to & Examples
Home » Business Model Canvas | 🕑
Gust de Backer
November 6, 2023.
The Business Model Canvas is your complete business on 1 a4’s sheet…
How do you make sure you keep an overview in the chaos and also innovate in time?
In this article, I’ll show you:
- What the Business Model Canvas is
- How to fill in the Business Model Canvas
- And I’ll show you how to innovate the Business Model Canvas
Let’s get started…
Table of Contents
Business Model Canvas
The business model describes in concrete terms how an organization creates value, delivers it and how it makes money from this.
There are 9 blocks that the Business Model Canvas consists of:
Here, the left part of the canvas focuses on efficiency and the right part on value:
We are now going to cover the 9 different components…
1. Customer segments
An organization serves one or more customer segments.
Customer segments describe the different people or organizations that your company wants to reach and serve.
No business can survive without customers, to better connect with customers it is useful to divide the group of customers into different target groups.
A customer segment can consist of demographic characteristics:
But also from other types of characteristics:
- Digital intelligence
- Mileage awareness
Beyond the customer segment, it is also useful to consider what type of market you want to enter:
- New market ( blue ocean )
- Existing market ( red ocean )
- New segment in an existing market (niche)
2. Value proposition
A company must solve a problem with a clear value proposition.
The value proposition block describes how a product creates value for a specific customer segment, or in other words shows the benefits your company delivers to the customer.
The value proposition is the reason why customers choose one company over another.
There are basically 11 types of value propositions you can offer:
- Newness : something that is not possible at the moment. You create a market and push the boundaries of what is currently possible.
- Performance : you are going to do something better or faster than the existing competition.
- Customization : personalizing an experience.
- Getting the job done : you focus on a sub-activity of the customer and you take this completely out of their hands.
- Design : if you respond to the form or functionality of your product, we talk about the design.
- Price : if you play on price then you focus on the segment in a market that is not willing to pay extra to your competitors. It is important that the market is large enough.
- Brand/status : if people want to show that they are wearing your brand, you play on brand and status.
- Cost reduction : you save the customer costs.
- Risk reduction : You reduce the risk of something for the customer.
- Accessibility : you provide access to something a customer previously had little to no access to.
- Convenience/usability : the convenience for a user or customer.
Value propositions are delivered using communication, distribution and sales channels.
The channels describe the way a company communicates with the customers and how it actually delivers the value proposition. Thus, there are 3 types of channels involved:
- Communication channels
- Distribution channels
- Sales channels
So each channel offers one or more touchpoints, you could map these in the way below:
Here, of course, you can also differentiate between direct (owned) and indirect (partner) channels.
Tip : use the Pirate Funnel Canvas to map out the customer journey figures.
4. Customer Relationships
An organization must establish and maintain relationships with each customer segment.
This section describes the type of relationship you have with the customer, these can range from personal to automated.
The motivation for having a relationship with a (potential) customer can be as follows:
- Customer acquisition
- Customer retention
- Selling more (up-selling)
There are several types of relationships you can have with the customer:
- Personal assistant : the customer can have contact with a person, this can be through call centers, email or perhaps on location.
- Own personal assistant : one or more people in your company are assigned to a specific customer. This is the most in-depth customer relationship you can have and usually involves a longer period of time.
- Self-service : ensuring that customers can help themselves.
- Automated service : automated processes that ensure the customer is helped.
- Community : an online community that shares knowledge and helps others along the way can also be a form of service.
- Co-creation : helping users to strengthen the relationship by thinking or collaborating on a product or service.
5. Revenue stream
A revenue stream occurs when the value proposition is successfully delivered to the customer.
The revenue stream represents the money a company makes from a customer segment. In this, it is important to ensure that the revenue stream closely matches the value the customer receives.
There are quite a few revenue models and pricing strategies you can choose, but these are the most common:
- Hourly rate : you get paid by the hour.
- Transaction model : you get paid per sale.
- Subscription model : you get paid on a periodic basis each time.
- Advertising model : you make money selling advertising space.
- Rental model : you make money from renting out something.
- Consumption model : you make money from the amount a user consumes.
- Mediation model : you make money from referring users or matching supply and demand.
- Production model : you produce something on behalf of a party.
- Donation model : you make money from donations.
- Freemium model : you offer a free version first and then make money from the paid version.
6. Core Resources
The key resources needed to keep the business running.
The resources you need to create and deliver your value proposition, reach a market, maintain customer relationships and make money are your core resources. These resources can be:
- Or be rented/purchased from external partners
7. Core Activities
The main activities that the company engages in.
The most important tasks a company does to make the business model work are core activities. Core activities can consist of 3 different categories:
- Manufacturing : designing making and delivering a product in specific quantities, is often used by manufacturing companies.
- Problem solving : solutions to specific customer problems, is often used by service related companies.
- Platform/network : networks, matchmakers, software and even brands can serve as a platform. For example, VISA is a platform for businesses, customers and banks.
8. Key Partners
Partners who provide key activities or resources.
The network of suppliers and partners that help realize your business model are your key partners.
It is important to have partners because they allow your company to optimize its business model, reduce risk, and help you get additional resources.
There are 4 types of partnerships:
- Strategic partnership between non-competitors.
- Coopetition , strategic partnership with a competitor.
- Joint venture to attract new business.
- Buyer-supplier to maintain reliable inventory.
There are three types of motivations you may have for entering into a partnership:
- Optimization and economy of scale : a partnership to reduce costs, because a company simply cannot produce all the resources itself.
- Reduction of risk and uncertainty : to reduce risk in a highly competitive market.
- Acquisition of specific resources and activities : attract more opportunities to you by partnering with different companies, this may be in terms of knowledge, licenses or access to customers.
9. Cost Structure
Different components in the Business Model Canvas will create costs.
All costs in a business model that are necessary to keep the business running fall into the cost structure.
There are two types of cost structures:
- Cost-driven : business models that focus on reducing costs whenever possible. Often the cost-driven cost structure comes in combination with a value proposition where a company claims to be the cheapest, this may include a lot of automation and/or a lot of outsourcing.
- Value-driven : these companies are less concerned with cost and focus on creating value. This cost structure is often used with premium value propositions and/or when a lot of personalization is involved.
A cost structure has 4 different characteristics:
- Fixed costs : costs that are always the same regardless of the volume of products or services.
- Variable costs : costs that are related to the volume in which products or services are delivered.
- Economies of scale : cost advantages that a firm gets when it produces or purchases more volume.
- Economies of scope : cost advantages a company gains from having a large scope of activities. For example, think of offering multiple products because you already have the marketing or distribution channels in place.
Business Model Canvas examples
How to manage the Business Model Canvas
First, download the Business Model Canvas:
Goede keus! Check je mail voor de resources...
Make sure the company understands the value of the Business Model Canvas and establish a team to work with it.
Immerse yourself and your team in the market and the organisation so you have enough knowledge to fill in the Business Model Canvas.
Complete several Business Model Canvases and test your assumptions where possible.
Implement the Business Model Canvas you have chosen.
Continuously evaluate if your Business Model Canvas is up-to-date, adjust where possible and try to innovate in time.
Business Model Canvas innovation
Innovate in your Business Model Canvas in the following ways:
- Unmet demand in a market : find a market in which you can fulfill an unmet demand.
- Bring something new to the market : bring a new technology, product or service to the market or leverage existing intellectual property.
- Improve the market : improve or disrupt an existing market.
- Create a market : create a new market.
There are several challenges involved here:
- Finding the right model.
- Testing the model before launching on a large scale.
- Getting the market to adopt the new model.
- Continuously adjusting the model in response to feedback from the market.
- Dealing with uncertainty.
In this you can distinguish between:
The exploit’s part it’s biggest risk is not innovating in time and in the explore part uncertainty is the biggest risk. In addition, it is important to pursue the right culture, think for example of ‘The Culture Map’ .
And now you…
Now I’m curious, how far along are you with your business?
Are you at the point of innovating the Business Model Canvas (BMC) or have you yet to draft your first BMC?
Let me know in a comment.
P.S. if you would like additional help let me know at [email protected]
Frequently Asked Questions
The Business Model Canvas describes in concrete terms how an organisation creates value, delivers it and how it makes money from it.
You use the Business Model Canvas to map out your entire business, it is also easier to talk to stakeholders about your business if you can present it on 1 a4’s.
Core activities are the activities that keep your business running.
You can describe a Business Model in a Business Model Canvas, using 9 blocks to map out your complete business.
The BMC helps companies to understand their business, using 9 blocks you have concrete insight in the most important parts in your business. The BMC helps stakeholders to understand your business in an easy way.
You start with the customer segments, then you move to the value proposition, then you move to the channels, customer relationships, revenue stream, core resources, core activities, key partners, and conclude at the cost structure.
I try to help business surpass their growth ceiling with my content.
Let’s connect on LinkedIn!
Business Model Canvas | Business Strategy | Market Research | Marketing and Sales | Pricing Strategy | Product-market Fit | Revenue Models | TAM SAM SOM Model | Treacy and Wiersema | Value Proposition Canvas
Gust’s Must-Reads 👇🏼
- TAM SAM SOM
- Value Proposition
- Decision Making Unit
- Product-Market Fit
- North Star Metric
- Market Research
- Customer Development
- Growth Hacking
- Brand Identity
- Customer Journey
- Account-Based Marketing
OGSM Model (2024): How-to & Examples [+ Template]
OGSM Model: a solution that helps with strategic planning and goal setting. You know where you want to go, but you don't have a clear picture of how you're going to get there. Ideas and goals are often not realized because there is no clear planning associated with...
Rapid Experimentation: The Road To Innovation (Complete Guide)
You read it left and right, companies that owe much of their success to experimentation.... Of course, experimentation can be understood in a hugely broad way, so in this article I'm going to get you started with: Understanding why experimentation is important...
Cognitive Biases (2024): Complete List of 151 Biases [Psychology]
Cognitive biases, there are so many of them... Decisions we make based on emotion, cognitive biases are irrational 'errors' that are programmed into people's brains and affect the decision-making process. Plenty of different articles have been written and an entire...
I think this training will help me very much and I need it also thanks for putting this online.
Thank you, Bernard!
Submit a Comment Cancel reply
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *
Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.
You have Successfully Subscribed!
- November 2023
- October 2023
- September 2023
- August 2023
- February 2023
- January 2023
- December 2022
- November 2022
- October 2022
- September 2022
- August 2022
- February 2022
- January 2022
- December 2021
- November 2021
- October 2021
- January 2021
- November 2020
- October 2020
- September 2020
- August 2020
- February 2020
- January 2020
- December 2019
- November 2019
- October 2019
- September 2019
- August 2019
- February 2019
- January 2019
- December 2018
- November 2018
- October 2018
- September 2018
- August 2018
- February 2018
- January 2018
- December 2017
- November 2017
- October 2017
- September 2017
- August 2017
- February 2017
- January 2017
- December 2016
- November 2016
- October 2016
- September 2016
- August 2016
- February 2016
- Customer Relationship
- Digital Marketing
- White Papers
- Entries feed
- Comments feed
6 Real Business Model Canvas Examples with Step-by-step Instruction to Create and Refine Yours
The Business Model Canvas (BMC) offers a visual representation of your entire business model, enabling better understanding, communication, and decision-making within your business.
Here, we will instruct you step-by-step from basics to practical tips for creating a BMC and we will provide real business model canvas examples that you can review and learn how to use this tool for your business.
After reading this article you should be able to create it for your business.
Before starting the process, it is recommended to read the informative article, “ Business Model Canvas Cheat Sheet “ which will provide you with the foundational knowledge required to effectively utilize the BMC.
Step-by-step instructions for creating your business model canvas
Creating a business model canvas is an invaluable exercise for any entrepreneur or business owner looking to refine their strategy and enhance their understanding of their business model. In this step-by-step instruction, we will walk you through the process of designing a BMC using Osterwalder’s framework.
By following these clear and practical steps, you can gain valuable insights into your business and set a solid foundation for future success.
Phase zero: Prepare yourself
- Gather a small team of your co-workers who have a clear vision of your business. Prepare a whiteboard or a big sheet of paper.
- Draw the Osterwalder’s canvas on the big sheet.
- Draw smaller canvases for each team member to encourage individual input and engagement.
Phase one: Individual Exploration
During the first phase, allocate approximately 45 minutes to independently complete the BMC following these steps:
Start with “ customer segments ”. Try to write only the most important segments. You can use your defined “persona” to have a more clear understanding of each segment.
Write each segment on a Post-it note separately.
Persona is a great complementary tool for “Business Model Canvas”. You can read more about the benefits of this tool and how to create it for your business in this article: “ How to create an accurate Buyer Persona ”
Pro tip: Write each segment on a different color Post-it. From now on, every color means a segment of your target market. This will help you a lot in the following steps.
For each segment of the previous step, try to find the values you are proposing to them. Write related values to each segment on the same color of Post-it. Focus on your main and unique value propositions.
It is possible to have mutual values on different colors of Post-it because it is a valuable service for two or more segments of your targeted market.
Pro Tip: You can have a neutral color of post-it to show the values that are common for all segments like the grey color in the provided business model canvas examples.
Complete the other 7 blocks of the canvas using color-coded Post-it notes. Before completing each block, take a look at the definitions of each block and the business model canvas examples provided in this article.
Pro tip: While you are completing the “Revenue” section of the canvas, make sure you are thinking about your Pricing strategies. If you do not know what type of pricing is suitable for your business, read the “ Best Ecommerce Pricing Strategy ” article.
Phase two: Collaborative Discussion
Now it is time to share your ideas. Like the previous phase, start with the customer segments. Discuss your choices and decide on your final selected customer targets.
Pro Tip: Make sure that everyone has time to present and defend their selected segments.
Write down the selected target on new color-coded Post-it notes. You will use these new colors for other blocks of your business model canvas.
Discuss and decide on the remaining blocks and stick the final notes on the blocks of your canvas. Your final results can be something like this:
In this BMC, yellow, red, and blue notes are three selected segments. Grey ones show information that is relevant to all three segments. For example in the “customer relationship” block, there is only one grey note, which means we use the same customer relationship strategies for all three segments.
Phase three: Verification
Now give your team a break, you have come so far by now. Just two more steps and you will be ready to go.
You have to review your final canvas and verify it. Try to ask yourself the following questions, then modify and polish your canvas.
- Is it based on facts?
- Do we really provide these values?
- Are we using these channels to connect with our customers?
- Do we have access to these resources?
- Are we actively engaging with our key partners?
- Do we have real customer information that approves our assumptions?
Now you can put your business model canvas in a shared space within your company so that everyone can see it. It will be your company’s guiding North Star which will direct your whole business even in the darkest of times.
Phase 4: Continuous Refinement
Your business model is not and should not be written in stone. You need to keep your business agile and flexible. You need to embrace the changes and disruptive innovations that occur rapidly in your industry. Therefore, you have to review your business model and refine it on a regular basis. Whenever something is not written or you see a new opportunity, you need to adapt fast and take advantage of it.
Take the new AI boom that is happening right now. If your business is not responding and modifying itself based on the massive changes caused by AI, you are going to have a problem in the near future.
You can read more about this topic in the “ Current and Future Impact of Artificial Intelligence on Business ” article.
Benefits of Business Model Canvas
The Business Model Canvas is more than just a visual tool; it is a strategic powerhouse that can revolutionize the way you understand and shape your business. We explore some benefits that it offers:
- Provides a visual representation of the entire business model, facilitating understanding and communication.
- Encourages a holistic view of the business, fostering identification of gaps, opportunities, and areas for improvement.
- Facilitates strategic decision-making, allowing businesses to experiment and pivot their models more effectively.
- Enhances collaboration and alignment within organizations, enabling cross-functional teams to work together.
Business Model Canvas template
You can find plenty of Business Model Canvas templates on the internet. While many options exist, all templates offer the same thing: similar structures and components. If you prefer a tangible, paper-based approach, you can easily download a printable version from various sources.
For your convenience, we also provide a high-quality Business Model Canvas PDF that embodies simplicity and clarity.
Alternatively, using online tools like Figma can streamline the process of preparing your Business Model Canvas. The choice of medium—whether digital or analog—is up to you.
However, what truly matters is following the essential steps, regardless of the method you choose.
By sticking to the recommended steps, you ensure a systematic approach to capturing the key elements of your business model.
Whether you opt for a traditional pen-and-paper method or leverage the convenience of online tools, the goal remains the same: to unlock the full potential of the Business Model Canvas and gain valuable insights into your business.
Therefore, pick the approach that works best for you while remaining committed to the fundamental process.
6 Best Business Model Canvas examples
When it comes to designing your own business model, learning from real-world business model canvas examples can be incredibly valuable. By examining the BMC of renowned companies such as Uber, Netflix, Airbnb, and Amazon, we aim to inspire and ignite your creativity as you navigate the difficulties of your business.
Uber Business Model Canvas Example
We prepared a canvas for Uber as one sample of business model canvas examples. As you can see, we use 3 colors to fill in the elements. Green means drivers, blue means riders (passengers), and yellow belong to both segments.
For the rest of the business model canvas examples, we just provide the information needed to create BMC of other famous brands.
Netflix Business Model Canvas Example
From this point, for other business model canvas examples, we will fill in each of the canvas’s elements. You can draw the canvas for each of them using the business model canvas pdf template . The colors mentioned in brackets are showing the color of the Post-it notes. They will help you to identify the relation between the information in each element of the canvas.
Airbnb Business Model Canvas Example
Amazon Business Model Canvas Example
Be aware that in this Canvas we only analyzed the amazon.com website for buying and selling. We did not consider various services of Amazon like AWS.
Business Model Canvas for Marketing Agency
For marketing agencies, creating a BMC can be very helpful. They have to provide various services and their customers can be from different industries with different company sizes. A well-designed Business Model Canvas for Marketing Agency can act as a lighthouse that lead the business in complicated situations.
As another business model canvas examples, we will explore how marketing agencies identify their target market, position themselves as industry experts, and develop comprehensive marketing strategies that yield measurable results in this part of the article.
Lean business model canvas
The Lean Business Model Canvas combines the concepts of the Business Model Canvas with Lean Startup methodologies. It emphasizes rapid experimentation, customer feedback, and iterative development to build a sustainable and scalable business model.
The Lean Business Model Canvas consists of the following elements:
Problem: Clearly define the customer problem or pain point that your product or service aims to solve.
Solution: Articulate your unique solution that effectively addresses the identified problem.
Key Metrics: Determine the key metrics that you will use to measure progress and evaluate success.
Unique Value Proposition: Identify the distinct value that your product or service offers to customers compared to existing alternatives.
Unfair Advantage: Highlight the unique advantages or barriers to entry that set your business apart from competitors.
Channels: Outline the most effective channels through which you will reach and engage with your target customers.
Customer Segments: Define the specific customer segments that you will target with your product or service.
Cost Structure: Identify the core costs associated with your business operations and delivery of value to customers.
Revenue Streams: Determine the different revenue streams or monetization strategies that will drive your business’s financial sustainability.
- The Business Model Canvas is a powerful tool that provides a visual representation of your entire business model, facilitating understanding, communication, and decision-making.
- It is recommended to read the “ Business Model Canvas Cheat Sheet ” article before starting to create and utilize the BMC.
- Creating a BMC includes different phases: individual exploration, collaborative discussion, verification, and continuous refinement. This will ensure a systematic approach to capturing the key elements of your business model.
- The benefits of using the Business Model Canvas include fostering a holistic view of your business, facilitating strategic decision-making, and enhancing collaboration and alignment within organizations.
- Various resources, such as Business Model Canvas templates, online tools like Figma, and real-world business model canvas examples from companies like Uber, Netflix, Airbnb, and Amazon, are provided to further assist you in creating your business model canvas.
Image Credit: Freepik
Join and get exclusive contents for free.
Ecommerce Conversion Rate Optimization: A Comprehensive Guide With 5 Best Practices
Your business is bleeding! The flow of potential customers is ...
10 Crucial Benefits of Content Marketing Automation
Content marketing automation is a powerful tool that is changing ...
How to Use ChatGPT for Ecommerce Content Writing: Practical Tips Based on Personal Experience
Ecommerce businesses are always looking for ways to improve their ...