Your business in a nutshell

8 Jan 2015

It is good to review your company.

It is something I do regularly, and I encourage other entrepreneurs to do the same.

The reason is that all entrepreneurs, whether we just started or have been in business for ages, can get tunnel vision a bit.

We develop our products and services because we have a passion for it, whether it is a webshop selling sustainable products or an accountant selling financial advice. And because of our passion we sometimes seem to forget all that goes into it, and the way others perceive it.

That is why the Business Model Canvas is a great tool to review your company with!

Business Model Generation Canvas

Business Model Generation Canvas explanation

The Business Model Generation Canvas let’s you describe your business in a nutshell. You just talk about every item individually and then see how it all comes together:

1) Customer Segments

So who are your clients? What do they do? What do they feel? What problem do they have? Are there multiple customer segments or is there just one?

2) Value Proposition

What is the value your product will bring to the table? Why would the client buy it? Think of the USP’s of your product from the perspective of the customers. I will talk more in length about USPs in this weeks newsletter (Want to receive it? Click here for EN and here for NL!)

3) Customer Relationships

How will you interact with your customers and potential clients? Is it online? Face2face? A combination? And why? Is it working for your customers?

4) Channels

Now that you know how you will interact, it is time to decide the channels. How will people be able to buy your product? And how will they learn more about you and your products?

5) Revenue Streams

So how do your products and services make you money? How much? One time or periodically? List all your revenue streams here.

6) Key Activities

What activities do you do to get your product or service out there? Sure, we all do our finances so that isn’t a key activity unless you are an accountant. Count those activities that are vital to your business.

7) Key Resources

And which resources are vital? Is it the people? Your knowledge?

8) Key Partners

Sometimes you have partners that work with you on your products and services. For me that would definitely be the graphic designer I work with and the accountant that helps me with my financial administration for instance. Who are your key partners?

9) Cost Structure

Key Resources, Activities and Partners can cost money. Rent, communication devices, software, etc. What money is it costing you to make your products and services?

Way to work the model

Just take some Post-its and start writing. Everytime you think of something that should go into one of the boxes, write it on a post-it and stick it on the model. It does help to follow the order I suggested but if you suddenly have a thought for one of the other boxes, don’t be afraid to write it down and stick it on there!

When you feel like you have written everything down as you work now, start reviewing. Play the ‘What if’ game. What if I would make this product cheaper, what if I wouldn’t have that graphic designer anymore? Also see if you can add things that would make your business model better. Like an extra USP, a new partner, a new way to communicate (and maybe sell) or maybe even a new product or service.

Don’t know where to start? Just give it a go. You will see you get better really fast. But if you want help, you can always call on me!

I am really interested to hear if you have used the business model canvas and what you thought of it.

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