The dreaded “business plan” has become a sticking point for many entrepreneurs. But the truth is it’s a vital document which you simply can’t afford to overlook. Certain stakeholders, including banks and investors, may require to see your business plan. But what’s more than that, it will act as a handbook to your business making sure that you stay on track and hit those targets!
But here’s the good news, your business plan needn’t be a long and daunting document. Introducing our new favourite business planning tool… the Business Model Canvas!
What is the Business Model Canvas?
Developed by Stategyzer, the Business Model Canvas (or BMC) is a simple strategic management tool, providing a snapshot of your business plan. It is a visual chart of nine essential building blocks which describe how your business will create, deliver and capture value. This includes:
- Value propositions – what products and/ or services do you offer which add value to your customer segments?
- Customer segments – who are the groups of people, or organisations, who will benefit from your value proposition?
- Channels – how will your value proposition be delivered to your customer segments? i.e. communication, distribution, and sales channels.
- Customer relationships – what kind of relationship will you develop with your customer segments and how will this be maintained?
- Revenue streams – how will your business create value? This is the result of your value proposition being successfully offered to a customer segment, at a price they are willing to pay.
- Key resources – what are the most important assets needed to deliver on the above?
- Key activities – what are the core activities needed for your business to perform well?
- Key partners – who are the partners and suppliers that bring in external resources?
- Cost structure – what are the costs involved in operating your business?
Why use the Business Model Canvas?
As a highly visual document, the BMC provides a simple snapshot of your business which can easily be referred to in the day-to-day running of your business. This will help you to make strategic and focused decisions on a daily basis.
What’s more, the BMC also helps you to step back from your business and think outside of the box, always keeping your customer in mind. This will help you to get, keep and grow customers. Remember, your value proposition is not about your idea or product, it’s about solving a need or problem for your customer. This mantra should be at the centre of your business planning and the BMC will help you to focus on this.
How can I get started?
Getting started with your BMC is simple. All you need is a copy of the BMC template and your business idea. Starting with your value proposition, you can build out your customer journey following the nine key steps and develop your core business activities around this.
You will then be left with a living and breathing document, which can grow and develop alongside your business. You can download some great free resources from https://strategyzer.com/
If you would like more advice on running your business in its first year of trade, we can offer you free support under the Enterprise Hub ‘Boost Your New Business’ programme. Find out about upcoming sessions here: eventbrite.co.uk/e/enterprise-hub-presents-boost-your-new-business-survive-thrive-in-year-1-beyond-tickets-41108459509
You can also contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 0151 706 8113 for an informal chat.