Small Business & Startups

Business model canvas: A planning tool

January 31, 2015
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For many people, creating a business plan seems like a chore. However, many business experts agree that a business plan is an important part of any startup strategy.

Not only are they often required to receive financing, but they also act as a blueprint to your business, helping you stay on track. Though many lenders may require businesses to submit a traditional business plan to receive funding, many entrepreneurs are starting to use the Business Model Canvas. This template offers a unique alternative to those looking to create a dynamic and engaging business model.

The Business Model Canvas was originally developed by Alexander Osterwalder in 2008. It is a strategic management or lean startup template for developing new business models, or updating existing ones. The Business Model Canvas template is visually designed to help you develop an actionable business model, focusing on nine different segments. This document gives you the opportunity to determine your:

  • Key partners
  • Key activities
  • Key resources
  • Value propositions
  • Customer relationships
  • Customer segments
  • Channels
  • Cost structure
  • Revenue streams

The Business Model Canvas is especially useful for business owners who are visual. In fact, some put the template on a white board, filling it in and editing as they learn more about their business. The video below gives a brief overview of the business model canvas, and what to include in each segment:

Interested in trying it out? The Business Model Canvas is available for free, through Strategyzer. Click here to learn more about the tool and how you can use it for your startup or small business.

An image of the Business Model Canvas can also be found online

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