“Write a Business Plan” Month
Does your business have a written business plan? Does that thought overwhelm you? Then let me
suggest a Business Model Canvas instead.
The Business Model Canvas takes the elements of a business plan and lays them out in a visual space.
It’s concise and easily understood by employees as well as investors. It was first proposed by Alexander
Osterwalder in his book, Business Model Ontology.
Do I need a business plan, you might ask? If you believe that you can’t get there if you don’t know
where you’re going, then yes, you need a business plan. If you don’t care where you end up, then any
path will do. But if you have goals or hopes of achieving a certain income, or a certain experience with
your business, then make a plan!
You say you’re already in business and it’s going great? Wonderful! I still recommend creating – or
updating – your business plan if you haven’t looked at it for at least a year. Our business environment
changes constantly, and the business plan should, too. That’s another reason the Business Model
Canvas is a great option – it’s much easier to change as conditions do!
Business Model Canvas elements:
|Element||Questions to answer|
|Value Proposition||“What are you building, and for whom?” |
“What product or service are you building?”
|Customer Relationships||“How do I get, keep, and grow customers?”|
|Channels||“How does your product get to your customer?”|
|Customer Segments||“Who are they, and why would they buy?”|
|Revenue Streams||“How do you actually make money from the product or service being sold to the customer segment?”|
|Key Partners||“What key resources are we acquiring from them?” |
What key activities do they perform?”
|Key Activities||“What are the most important things I need to do to make the business model work?” |
“What key activities do I need to become expert at?
|Key Resources||“What do you need to make the business model work?”|
|Cost Structure||“What are the key costs?” |
“Which are the most important?”
“Which are the most expensive?”
Formatting the elements onto your Canvas
The following image shows how these elements are formatted onto the Canvas:
Keeping this easily available will help you focus on the important tasks and communicate to your staff or
investors what your priorities are and how your business functions. And when everyone understands
the goals, they can all work together much more efficiently!
If you’re looking for ways to focus your work, or streamline your efforts for better return on those
efforts, then a well-thought-out Business Model Canvas may be just the place you need to start. So
here’s to “Write a Business Plan” month!