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Business Model Canvas – everything on one page

Alexander Osterwalder and Yves Pigneur are authors of Business Model Generation - a book that introduces the concept of the “Business Model Canvas”. This is a tool that helps you design, test, build, and manage business models. Their idea is to capture on one page (the canvas) the key elements of a business problem. They suggest that there are nine elements:

  1. Key partners

  2. Key activities

  3. Key resources

  4. Value propositions

  5. Customer relationships

  6. Channels

  7. Customer segments

  8. Cost structure

  9. Revenue stream

The business model canvas has captured wide interest because, on one page, key elements of a business proposition are brought together. There is no doubt about it, the visual and graphic way the elements come together create a great framework. It got me thinking of how the frameworks in the Business Models Handbook could be linked.

The starting point for most analysis are customer needs (number 1 on the diagram). Who are your customers and what do they need? Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, Kahneman’s System 1 and System 2 thinking and Kano’s tool for improving customer satisfaction can all be used here.

These tools must be related to your target audience (in the centre of the diagram). This requires you to understand the different segments of the market that are served, those that are most disposed to your offer and the size of the market.

Now you can move on and develop an offer that resonates (number 2 on the diagram). For this you could consider using the customer value proposition tool, the 4Ps model and a pricing tool to determine how much people will pay.

Delivering your offer to the market will be via some sort of value chain (number 3 on the diagram). Here you need to understand how to build awareness and interest in your offer. There may be some differences between what people expect and what you deliver. Gap analysis could be used to see where the offer needs shoring up.

Markets never stand still and your offer is unlikely to be perfect (number 4 on the diagram). Adjustments must be made and for these you could consider a brand audit, the customer journey map, benchmarking or the McKinsey 7s.

The message of this post is to think about how to link the tools and frameworks on this site and in the Business Models Handbook to build a picture of your market. Start with the big picture and get everything on one page. From here you can drill down on each element to develop your business plan.

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