The Business Model Canvas

The Business Model Canvas is a fairly new tool that is useful for the preliminary planning stages of a new business. It helps you map out the 9 crucial components of a business, and see them all on one chart.

Start with just the basic info, but revisit the canvas, re-working it as the plans change.

The Business Model Canvas is freely available in many formats:

Here are some of the details you can chart:

  • Who are your customers? What groups or segments do they fall into?
  • Is your business a service? Think of your future business transactions as a relationship with your customer segments. What does it look like?
  • How will you reach your customers? How will they find you?
  • What problem will you solve for your customers? What is your niche in your industry or market? How will you be different?
  • Break the activities or process of your business down into steps. What work is required? Please include sources of revenue streams, the general production or purchase process, sales activities, distribution channels, and customer relationships.
  • Given that, what resources, equipment, facilities, etc. does your idea require?
  • Who are your key partners? Your key suppliers?
  • What are the costs of your business? Which resources are the most expensive? Which activities are the most expensive?
  • How will you make your money? Direct sales? Subscription? Licensing? Do you have multiple revenue streams?

Read more: Business Model Generation: A Handbook for Visionaries, Game Changers, and Challengers (Osterwalder, 2010)