Now that we know that for starting a business an awesome idea is not enough, the question becomes, what do we do about it? As always there are several schools of thoughts, e.g. some people suggest creating a proper business plan. That business plan has to meet varying requirements depending on the target audience and other factors. It can be as short as a few pages or it can be quite detailed with dozens of pages.
There is, however, another approach which has become very popular in the startup community: A business model canvas. As always there are a few different available. For this post I’ll refer you just to the one from the original creators (see link at end of post).
The Business Model Canvas represents a structured yet light-weight approach for developing your business model. It covers areas such as customer segments, revenue streams, sales channels, and similar more.
While the canvas is an extremely valuable tool, be aware that like with any other tool it’s value is mainly determined by its user. It is up to you to try it out, try using it in different ways and make it work for you.
Working with the canvas is not sufficient either. The canvas is a tool that assists you in what you really need to do. Your target audience is very unlikely to sit next to you at your desk. Get out of the building, talk to people who can help answering the questions you need to ask to cover all areas required for creating and validating your business model.
The business model canvas is just one tool and in future posts we will cover more. There are online interactive version of the canvas, Visio templates, etc. To get started, you can download a PDF version of the canvas and have it printed as a large poster (A3 or bigger). Then use sticky notes to add your questions and answers on it. Alternatively get your printout laminated and then use dry-erasable pens to write or draw on it.
Download the Business Model Canvas here.
Posted: Wednesday, January 15, 2014 12:31:00 AM UTCShare