business model canvas design

The Business Model Canvas

The Business Model Canvas is a strategic management and entrepreneurial tool. It allows you to describe, design, challenge, invent, and pivot your business model. This method from the bestselling management book Business Model Generation is applied in leading organizations and start-ups worldwide.

business model canvas design

The Business Model Canvas enables you to:

  • Visualize and communicate a simple story of your existing business model.
  • Use the canvas to design new business models, whether you are a start-up or an existing businessManage a portfolio of business models
  • You can use the canvas to easily juggle between "Explore" and "Exploit" business models.

Online course: Mastering Business Models

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The Business Model Canvas

Mastering business models

A self-paced online course with 
Alex Osterwalder and Yves Pigneur.

Are you trying to improve your existing business model? Or trying to create a new one that can compete in today’s market?

Business Model Canvas: Explained with Examples

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Got a new business idea, but don’t know how to put it to work? Want to improve your existing business model? Overwhelmed by writing your business plan? There is a one-page technique that can provide you the solution you are looking for, and that’s the business model canvas.

In this guide, you’ll have the Business Model Canvas explained, along with steps on how to create one. All business model canvas examples in the post can be edited online.

What is a Business Model Canvas

A business model is simply a plan describing how a business intends to make money. It explains who your customer base is and how you deliver value to them and the related details of financing. And the business model canvas lets you define these different components on a single page.   

The Business Model Canvas is a strategic management tool that lets you visualize and assess your business idea or concept. It’s a one-page document containing nine boxes that represent different fundamental elements of a business.  

The business model canvas beats the traditional business plan that spans across several pages, by offering a much easier way to understand the different core elements of a business.

The right side of the canvas focuses on the customer or the market (external factors that are not under your control) while the left side of the canvas focuses on the business (internal factors that are mostly under your control). In the middle, you get the value propositions that represent the exchange of value between your business and your customers.

The business model canvas was originally developed by Alex Osterwalder and Yves Pigneur and introduced in their book ‘ Business Model Generation ’ as a visual framework for planning, developing and testing the business model(s) of an organization.

Business Model Canvas Explained

What Are the Benefits of Using a Business Model Canvas

Why do you need a business model canvas? The answer is simple. The business model canvas offers several benefits for businesses and entrepreneurs. It is a valuable tool and provides a visual and structured approach to designing, analyzing, optimizing, and communicating your business model.

  • The business model canvas provides a comprehensive overview of a business model’s essential aspects. The BMC provides a quick outline of the business model and is devoid of unnecessary details compared to the traditional business plan.
  • The comprehensive overview also ensures that the team considers all required components of their business model and can identify gaps or areas for improvement.
  • The BMC allows the team to have a holistic and shared understanding of the business model while enabling them to align and collaborate effectively.
  • The visual nature of the business model canvas makes it easier to refer to and understand by anyone. The business model canvas combines all vital business model elements in a single, easy-to-understand canvas.
  • The BMC can be considered a strategic analysis tool as it enables you to examine a business model’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and challenges.
  • It’s easier to edit and can be easily shared with employees and stakeholders.
  • The BMC is a flexible and adaptable tool that can be updated and revised as the business evolves. Keep your business agile and responsive to market changes and customer needs.
  • The business model canvas can be used by large corporations and startups with just a few employees.
  • The business model canvas effectively facilitates discussions among team members, investors, partners, customers, and other stakeholders. It clarifies how different aspects of the business are related and ensures a shared understanding of the business model.
  • You can use a BMC template to facilitate discussions and guide brainstorming brainstorming sessions to generate insights and ideas to refine the business model and make strategic decisions.
  • The BMC is action-oriented, encouraging businesses to identify activities and initiatives to improve their business model to drive business growth.
  • A business model canvas provides a structured approach for businesses to explore possibilities and experiment with new ideas. This encourages creativity and innovation, which in turn encourages team members to think outside the box.

How to Make a Business Model Canvas

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to create a business canvas model.

Step 1: Gather your team and the required material Bring a team or a group of people from your company together to collaborate. It is better to bring in a diverse group to cover all aspects.

While you can create a business model canvas with whiteboards, sticky notes, and markers, using an online platform like Creately will ensure that your work can be accessed from anywhere, anytime. Create a workspace in Creately and provide editing/reviewing permission to start.

Step 2: Set the context Clearly define the purpose and the scope of what you want to map out and visualize in the business model canvas. Narrow down the business or idea you want to analyze with the team and its context.

Step 3: Draw the canvas Divide the workspace into nine equal sections to represent the nine building blocks of the business model canvas.

Step 4: Identify the key building blocks Label each section as customer segment, value proposition, channels, customer relationships, revenue streams, key resources, key activities, and cost structure.

Step 5: Fill in the canvas Work with your team to fill in each section of the canvas with relevant information. You can use data, keywords, diagrams, and more to represent ideas and concepts.

Step 6: Analyze and iterate Once your team has filled in the business model canvas, analyze the relationships to identify strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and challenges. Discuss improvements and make adjustments as necessary.

Step 7: Finalize Finalize and use the model as a visual reference to communicate and align your business model with stakeholders. You can also use the model to make informed and strategic decisions and guide your business.

What are the Key Building Blocks of the Business Model Canvas?

There are nine building blocks in the business model canvas and they are:

Customer Segments

Customer relationships, revenue streams, key activities, key resources, key partners, cost structure.

  • Value Proposition

When filling out a Business Model Canvas, you will brainstorm and conduct research on each of these elements. The data you collect can be placed in each relevant section of the canvas. So have a business model canvas ready when you start the exercise.  

Business Model Canvas Template

Let’s look into what the 9 components of the BMC are in more detail.

These are the groups of people or companies that you are trying to target and sell your product or service to.

Segmenting your customers based on similarities such as geographical area, gender, age, behaviors, interests, etc. gives you the opportunity to better serve their needs, specifically by customizing the solution you are providing them.

After a thorough analysis of your customer segments, you can determine who you should serve and ignore. Then create customer personas for each of the selected customer segments.

Customer Persona Template for Business Model Canvas Explained

There are different customer segments a business model can target and they are;

  • Mass market: A business model that focuses on mass markets doesn’t group its customers into segments. Instead, it focuses on the general population or a large group of people with similar needs. For example, a product like a phone.  
  • Niche market: Here the focus is centered on a specific group of people with unique needs and traits. Here the value propositions, distribution channels, and customer relationships should be customized to meet their specific requirements. An example would be buyers of sports shoes.
  • Segmented: Based on slightly different needs, there could be different groups within the main customer segment. Accordingly, you can create different value propositions, distribution channels, etc. to meet the different needs of these segments.
  • Diversified: A diversified market segment includes customers with very different needs.
  • Multi-sided markets: this includes interdependent customer segments. For example, a credit card company caters to both their credit card holders as well as merchants who accept those cards.

Use STP Model templates for segmenting your market and developing ideal marketing campaigns

Visualize, assess, and update your business model. Collaborate on brainstorming with your team on your next business model innovation.

In this section, you need to establish the type of relationship you will have with each of your customer segments or how you will interact with them throughout their journey with your company.

There are several types of customer relationships

  • Personal assistance: you interact with the customer in person or by email, through phone call or other means.
  • Dedicated personal assistance: you assign a dedicated customer representative to an individual customer.  
  • Self-service: here you maintain no relationship with the customer, but provides what the customer needs to help themselves.
  • Automated services: this includes automated processes or machinery that helps customers perform services themselves.
  • Communities: these include online communities where customers can help each other solve their own problems with regard to the product or service.
  • Co-creation: here the company allows the customer to get involved in the designing or development of the product. For example, YouTube has given its users the opportunity to create content for its audience.

You can understand the kind of relationship your customer has with your company through a customer journey map . It will help you identify the different stages your customers go through when interacting with your company. And it will help you make sense of how to acquire, retain and grow your customers.

Customer Journey Map

This block is to describe how your company will communicate with and reach out to your customers. Channels are the touchpoints that let your customers connect with your company.

Channels play a role in raising awareness of your product or service among customers and delivering your value propositions to them. Channels can also be used to allow customers the avenue to buy products or services and offer post-purchase support.

There are two types of channels

  • Owned channels: company website, social media sites, in-house sales, etc.
  • Partner channels: partner-owned websites, wholesale distribution, retail, etc.

Revenues streams are the sources from which a company generates money by selling their product or service to the customers. And in this block, you should describe how you will earn revenue from your value propositions.  

A revenue stream can belong to one of the following revenue models,

  • Transaction-based revenue: made from customers who make a one-time payment
  • Recurring revenue: made from ongoing payments for continuing services or post-sale services

There are several ways you can generate revenue from

  • Asset sales: by selling the rights of ownership for a product to a buyer
  • Usage fee: by charging the customer for the use of its product or service
  • Subscription fee: by charging the customer for using its product regularly and consistently
  • Lending/ leasing/ renting: the customer pays to get exclusive rights to use an asset for a fixed period of time
  • Licensing: customer pays to get permission to use the company’s intellectual property
  • Brokerage fees: revenue generated by acting as an intermediary between two or more parties
  • Advertising: by charging the customer to advertise a product, service or brand using company platforms

What are the activities/ tasks that need to be completed to fulfill your business purpose? In this section, you should list down all the key activities you need to do to make your business model work.

These key activities should focus on fulfilling its value proposition, reaching customer segments and maintaining customer relationships, and generating revenue.

There are 3 categories of key activities;

  • Production: designing, manufacturing and delivering a product in significant quantities and/ or of superior quality.
  • Problem-solving: finding new solutions to individual problems faced by customers.
  • Platform/ network: Creating and maintaining platforms. For example, Microsoft provides a reliable operating system to support third-party software products.

This is where you list down which key resources or the main inputs you need to carry out your key activities in order to create your value proposition.

There are several types of key resources and they are

  • Human (employees)
  • Financial (cash, lines of credit, etc.)
  • Intellectual (brand, patents, IP, copyright)
  • Physical (equipment, inventory, buildings)

Key partners are the external companies or suppliers that will help you carry out your key activities. These partnerships are forged in oder to reduce risks and acquire resources.

Types of partnerships are

  • Strategic alliance: partnership between non-competitors
  • Coopetition: strategic partnership between partners
  • Joint ventures: partners developing a new business
  • Buyer-supplier relationships: ensure reliable supplies

In this block, you identify all the costs associated with operating your business model.

You’ll need to focus on evaluating the cost of creating and delivering your value propositions, creating revenue streams, and maintaining customer relationships. And this will be easier to do so once you have defined your key resources, activities, and partners.  

Businesses can either be cost-driven (focuses on minimizing costs whenever possible) and value-driven (focuses on providing maximum value to the customer).

Value Propositions

This is the building block that is at the heart of the business model canvas. And it represents your unique solution (product or service) for a problem faced by a customer segment, or that creates value for the customer segment.

A value proposition should be unique or should be different from that of your competitors. If you are offering a new product, it should be innovative and disruptive. And if you are offering a product that already exists in the market, it should stand out with new features and attributes.

Value propositions can be either quantitative (price and speed of service) or qualitative (customer experience or design).

Value Proposition Canvas

What to Avoid When Creating a Business Model Canvas

One thing to remember when creating a business model canvas is that it is a concise and focused document. It is designed to capture key elements of a business model and, as such, should not include detailed information. Some of the items to avoid include,

  • Detailed financial projections such as revenue forecasts, cost breakdowns, and financial ratios. Revenue streams and cost structure should be represented at a high level, providing an overview rather than detailed projections.
  • Detailed operational processes such as standard operating procedures of a business. The BMC focuses on the strategic and conceptual aspects.
  • Comprehensive marketing or sales strategies. The business model canvas does not provide space for comprehensive marketing or sales strategies. These should be included in marketing or sales plans, which allow you to expand into more details.
  • Legal or regulatory details such as intellectual property, licensing agreements, or compliance requirements. As these require more detailed and specialized attention, they are better suited to be addressed in separate legal or regulatory documents.
  • Long-term strategic goals or vision statements. While the canvas helps to align the business model with the overall strategy, it should focus on the immediate and tangible aspects.
  • Irrelevant or unnecessary information that does not directly relate to the business model. Including extra or unnecessary information can clutter the BMC and make it less effective in communicating the core elements.

What Are Your Thoughts on the Business Model Canvas?

Once you have completed your business model canvas, you can share it with your organization and stakeholders and get their feedback as well. The business model canvas is a living document, therefore after completing it you need to revisit and ensure that it is relevant, updated and accurate.

What best practices do you follow when creating a business model canvas? Do share your tips with us in the comments section below.

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FAQs About the Business Model Canvas

  • Use clear and concise language
  • Use visual-aids
  • Customize for your audience
  • Highlight key insights
  • Be open to feedback and discussion

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The Business Model Canvas

What is the business model canvas.

The business model canvas is a tool designers use to map out a business or product’s key actors, activities and resources, the value proposition for target customers, customer relationships, channels involved and financial matters. It gives an overview to help identify requirements to deliver the service and more.

“A business model describes the rationale of how an organization creates, delivers, and captures value.” — Alexander Osterwalder, Co-creator of the Business Model Canvas  

Learn about the business model canvas and how it helps in design.

  • Transcript loading…

The Business Model Canvas – Flexible Chart, Early-Warning System and More 

In service design , two tools are essential to use early in your design process: the business model canvas and the value proposition canvas . You can use the business model canvas to build an overview of changes to be made to an existing business (e.g., a merger) or of a totally new business opportunity or market gap . At the start of your design process, it’s vital to map out the business model of your service to see how it will fit into the marketplace. You’ll also need to ensure what you propose can bring maximum value to both your customers and business, and keep doing so in terms of customer retention, profitability and more.

To gain the most accurate vision of a proposed product or service, it’s essential to understand all the components and dynamics of not only the customer experience but also the service as a whole ecosystem . This ecosystem contains all the channels and touchpoints that must work together to deliver and sustain maximum value to the customer.

This canvas gives you several important advantages, namely these:

It’s collaborative – so you can bring the various partners together on the same page to generate and analyze ideas, and have an early testing ground for concepts before you advance to service staging a prototype.

It’s human-centered – so you can keep close track on how to create and maximize value for customers as well as stakeholders and other partners.

It makes it easier to collect rich data – if you have a clear purpose and strategy in mind. 

A business model canvas typically contains 10 boxes:

Key Partners – The people who will help you fulfill the key activities, using the key resources. 

Key Activities – Those vital actions that go into the everyday business to get things done; these are all the activities needed to realize and maintain the value proposition, and to power everything else involved.

Key Resources – The tools needed to get those things done, stretching across all areas the canvas covers to include, for example, customer retention.

Value Proposition – The item you think will create value for your customer: e.g., a new idea, a price drop. This is a summary of what your business will deliver to customers, and feeds into the value proposition canvas, the tool you’ll use to expand this.

Customer Relationships – Where you envision the relationship each customer segment expects: e.g., customer acquisition, retention and upselling (i.e., How do you get customers? How do you keep customers? How do you continue to create value for them?).

(Note: boxes 5 and 4 are closely linked as everything you do revolves around retaining the customer and considering the customer lifecycle.)

Customer Segments – Your most important customers (e.g., seniors); consider the value of personas here.

Channels – How you deliver the value proposition. Will it be online, through physical means or a combination? Here, you identify which channels are the best (both desirable for customers as well as cost-efficient and cost-effective for the brand).

Cost Structure – Here you find the most essential cost drivers. This allows you to consider the return on investment (ROI).

Revenue Streams – Where you find potential revenue sources (e.g., advertising). 

Sustainability – How sustainable your offering is overall, to the environment, to the social good, etc.

business model canvas design

© Strategyzer AG, modified, CC-BY-SA-3.0

How to Build a Business Model Canvas

For the best results, follow these guidelines and aim to fill in all the gaps, looking out for cause-and-effect relationships that run between boxes/throughout:

Complete the top seven boxes (Key Partners to Customer Segments) – using all the information you can gather from your research.

Complete the next boxes:  

Cost Structure – Determine the cost drivers from the Key Partners, Activities and Resources boxes; and

Revenue Streams – Determine these from the Customer Relationships, Customer Segments and Channels boxes.

Once you have established these, you can work to estimate them in monetary terms.

Complete the Sustainability box – according to the insights you’ve found.  

Here’s an example of a business model canvas as a work in progress:

business model canvas design

© Interaction Design Foundation, CC BY-NC-SA 3.0

Overall, remember your canvas is a flexible tool. It’s also a living document that you can revisit and use to find the most effective alternatives. With a clear sense of goals, a keen eye for detail and ear for input, and a readiness to refine this canvas, you can use it to fine-tune the best service prototype every time.

Learn More about The Business Model Canvas

Take our Service Design course , featuring a template for service blueprints.

Read this example-rich piece by experienced strategy designer Justin Lokitz for tips on using the business model canvas .

Find some additional tips on how to make the most of your business model canvas here .

Literature on the Business Model Canvas

Here’s the entire UX literature on the Business Model Canvas by the Interaction Design Foundation, collated in one place:

Learn more about the Business Model Canvas

Take a deep dive into Business Model Canvas with our course Service Design: How to Design Integrated Service Experiences .

Services are everywhere! When you get a new passport, order a pizza or make a reservation on AirBnB, you're engaging with services. How those services are designed is crucial to whether they provide a pleasant experience or an exasperating one. The experience of a service is essential to its success or failure no matter if your goal is to gain and retain customers for your app or to design an efficient waiting system for a doctor’s office.

In a service design process, you use an in-depth understanding of the business and its customers to ensure that all the touchpoints of your service are perfect and, just as importantly, that your organization can deliver a great service experience every time . It’s not just about designing the customer interactions; you also need to design the entire ecosystem surrounding those interactions.

In this course, you’ll learn how to go through a robust service design process and which methods to use at each step along the way. You’ll also learn how to create a service design culture in your organization and set up a service design team . We’ll provide you with lots of case studies to learn from as well as interviews with top designers in the field. For each practical method, you’ll get downloadable templates that guide you on how to use the methods in your own work.

This course contains a series of practical exercises that build on one another to create a complete service design project . The exercises are optional, but you’ll get invaluable hands-on experience with the methods you encounter in this course if you complete them, because they will teach you to take your first steps as a service designer. What’s equally important is that you can use your work as a case study for your portfolio to showcase your abilities to future employers! A portfolio is essential if you want to step into or move ahead in a career in service design.

Your primary instructor in the course is Frank Spillers . Frank is CXO of award-winning design agency Experience Dynamics and a service design expert who has consulted with companies all over the world. Much of the written learning material also comes from John Zimmerman and Jodi Forlizzi , both Professors in Human-Computer Interaction at Carnegie Mellon University and highly influential in establishing design research as we know it today.

You’ll earn a verifiable and industry-trusted Course Certificate once you complete the course. You can highlight it on your resume, CV, LinkedIn profile or on your website.

All open-source articles on the Business Model Canvas

Service design - design is not just for products.

business model canvas design

The Relationship Between Visual Design and User Experience Design

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 Business Model Canvas Template in Miro

Business Model Canvas Template

Determine and align your business priorities in a simple and visual way with the Business Model Canvas Template.

Trusted by 65M+ users and leading companies

About the Business Model Canvas Template

The Business Model Canvas template, designed by Alexander Osterwalder and Yves Pigneur, provides a strategic and powerful way to understand your business. The Business Model Canvas (BMC)  displays a business model, and it contains nine blocks: fill in each one using stickies, links, sketches, pictures, and videos. Use this business model template collaboratively with your team to clearly explain and visualize your business.

How to use a Business Model Canvas template: 9 key elements

The canvas provides nine key business elements to illustrate, summarize, and track. The nine building blocks of a BMC template are:

1. Key partners

List the key partnerships your business leverages or relies upon for success. Include the resources or value your business gets from these partnerships.

2. Key activities

Summarize the key activities that allow your business to provide services and deliver on your value proposition.

3. Key resources

List the key resources your business relies upon or uses in order to operate and provide services.

4. Key propositions

Summarize the different value propositions that set your business apart from your competition.

5. Customer relationships

Define and describe the primary relationships you have with your customers, including how you interact with them, how these interactions differ among different types of customers, what different customer needs are, and the level of support the different customers receive.

6. Channels

Detail how your customers are reached, how your services are provided, your different distribution channels, and how your value proposition is delivered.

7. Customer segments

Define the ideal customer personas your value proposition is intended to benefit, then describe the key differences between these segments and potential steps in the customer journey.

8. Cost structure

Identify the primary costs associated with operating your business and providing your services, then detail the relationship between these costs and other business functions.

9. Revenue streams

Describe how your business generates revenue through the delivery of your value proposition.

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When do you use the Business Model Canvas template?

Business Model Canvases are not intended to serve in place of a business plan . Instead, the BMC template is used to summarize and visually illustrate the most important information of a business model and to provide centralized ongoing clarity.

This canvas is appropriate for illustrating existing business models, regardless of whether the business is new. The Business Model template is also appropriate for visualizing new business models for startups, as it helps organize and consolidate ideas around your key functions. Keep in mind that the Business Model Canvas should be reviewed periodically, as all the factors listed can change over time.

5 Benefits of creating a Business Model Canvas online

Filling in the BMC template makes it easy to visually and collaboratively outline the core aspects of your business's unique value proposition. Here are a few benefits of using the template:

1. Provides a structure for ideation

The Business Model Canvas is extremely useful for structuring your business model visually. This helps at different stages of defining your business canvas and makes it easy to keep up-to-date as strategies shift.

2. Focuses you on your value proposition

It can be easy to get distracted by the varying factors involved in running a business. The value proposition is at the heart of the entire Business Model Canvas template, so you can continually focus on why your business exists. You should use your value proposition as a guiding star to give you direction as you fill out all other parts of the canvas.

3. Fast to complete

Whether or not your business model is clearly defined or you are testing out different business models, the Business Canvas template can be completed quickly and helps you generate new business ideas. This allows for quicker feedback, quicker ideation, and faster iteration.

4. Provides a holistic view of your business

With the Business Model Canvas, you can see how all of the elements of your business are interrelated and inform or affect each other. This provides you with a better understanding of how your business operates as a system or ecosystem.

5. Gives you a central document to share externally

Once you’ve filled out your Business Model Canvas template, you can share it widely, get feedback, and make any needed updates. Because the visual presentation is easy to grasp and understand, teams, stakeholders, advisors, and partners should find the canvas relatively straightforward and easy to understand.

Can I customize the template to suit my business or add more details?

Yes, you can customize the Business Model Canvas template to match your specific business needs and add additional notes or details as necessary.

How often should I update or review the BMC for my business?

The Business Model Canvas (BMC) is a dynamic tool that should be reviewed and updated regularly to reflect changes in your business model or market.

Can I use the BMC template for both startups and established businesses?

Yes, the Business Model template is suitable for both startups and established companies. It's a versatile tool that can be used for business model development, refinement, and innovation at any stage.

Is there a way to link external resources or documentation directly in the Business Model Canvas template?

Yes, in Miro, you can embed external links directly onto the canvas. This is particularly useful if you want to provide more detailed information or references for specific model sections or business cases.

Can I export my Business Model Canvas to share with stakeholders not using Miro?

Absolutely! Miro provides multiple export options for your canvas. You can save your Business Model Canvas as an image (PNG, JPEG), a PDF, or even a CSV file for the data.

Are there any integrations available to enhance my use of the Business Model Canvas template in Miro?

Yes, Miro offers a suite of integrations with popular tools and platforms to streamline your workflow. For example, you can integrate with tools like Slack for team communication, Google Drive for document storage, or Jira for project management. Using these integrations, you can seamlessly bring in external data, notify team members of updates, or even automate specific tasks directly within your Business Model Canvas board.

Get started with this template right now.

Porters Five Forces Thumbnail

Porter's Five Forces Template

Works best for:.

Leadership, Strategic Planning, Market Research

Developed by Harvard Business School professor Michael Porter, Porter’s Five Forces has become one of the most popular and highly regarded business strategy tools available for teams. Use Porter’s Five Forces to measure the strength of your current competition and decide which markets you might be able to move into. Porter’s Five Forces include: supplier power, buyer power, rivalry among existing competitors, the threat of substitute products or services, the threat of substitute products and services, and the threat of new entrants.

Lean UX Canvas Thumbnail

Lean UX Canvas Template

Desk Research, Product Management, User Experience

What are you building, why are building it, and who are you building it for? Those are the big pictures questions that guide great companies and teams toward success — and Lean UX helps you find the answers. Especially helpful during project research, design, and planning, this tool lets you quickly make product improvements and solve business problems, leading to a more customer-centric product. This template will let you create a Lean UX canvas structured around eight key elements: Business problem, Business outcome, Users and customers, User benefits, Solution ideas, Hypothesis, Assumptions, Experimentation.

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Product Positioning Template

Marketing, Product Management, Desk Research

For better or for worse, your company’s chances for success hinge partially on your market. As such, before you start building products and planning strategies, it’s a good idea to conduct a product positioning exercise. A product positioning exercise is designed to situate your company and your offering within a market. The product positioning template guides you to consider key topics such as defining your product and market category, identifying your target segment and competitors, and understanding your key benefits and differentiation.

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Wardley Mapping Canvas Template

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A Wardley Map represents the landscape in which a business operates. It's made up of a value chain (the activities required to fulfill user needs) graphed against the evolution of individual activities over time. You place components with value on the y-axis and commodity on the x-axis. Use a Wardley Map to understand shared assumptions about your environment and discover what strategic options are available. Easily communicate your understanding of the landscape to your team, new hires, and stakeholders.

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Social Media Calendar Template

Project Planning, Marketing

Most businesses have a social media presence, but many of them aren’t using social media as a competitive differentiator. The Social Media Calendar template allows you to plan, schedule, and craft posts for LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest, so you can leverage social media as a strategic tool to promote your brand. Use the Social Media Calendar template to plan out your social content a week, month, or quarter in advance. Collaborate with the marketing team, prepare for product launches and major initiatives, and share draft social posts.

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Icebreaker Template

Icebreakers

There’s no better way to kickoff a meeting or workshop than by building comfort and familiarity between your guests — to put them at ease and get them ready to participate and collaborate. That’s just the kind of human connection that icebreakers create, which make them great for remote gatherings or introducing new team members. There are many icebreakers to choose from, including: Describe yourself in one word. Share a photo of yourself as a baby. And if you were an animal, what would you be?

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How to Create a Business Model Canvas (With Template)

May 19, 2021 - 10 min read

Yuvika Iyer

Do you want to create a simple business plan? Something comprehensive, flexible, and easy to scribble on a napkin? You can do that with a business model canvas.

Every business has ever-changing, diverse interests. Illustrating all of this on a single sheet of paper may sound challenging — but by using a business model canvas template, your team can focus on the key elements of your business to ensure nothing slips through the cracks.

Business model canvas explained

"Lengthy business plans often increase the risk of failure," wrote Alex Osterwalder in his 2008 book “Business Model Generation.”

The business model canvas offers a way to avoid this, providing a simplified version of a business plan. A business model canvas is a simple, visual framework that helps teams outline the most fundamental elements of a business.

As a handy business tool, teams can use a business model canvas to map the nine core areas of a business, such as customer needs, value proposition, and platforms for customer acquisition.

This article will explain the business model canvas, its benefits, and how it can help your team develop a successful high-level business strategy and actionable roadmap .

How can a business model canvas help your business?

Many teams are so overwhelmed with operational issues that they don’t have time to focus on the core business strategy .

Utilizing the business model canvas helps create a unified framework that depicts this strategy alongside an action plan that teams can follow.

But how do you know if you need a business model canvas? If you are starting a business or even toying with an idea, a BMC can create a powerful visual representation of your concept. A business model canvas can also be a handy reference for your team as they move towards successful business outcomes. Here are five more ways in which a business model canvas can help your company.

It’s simple and easy to follow

Whether you have a business idea or are managing a large enterprise, having an easy-to-follow business plan can be immensely helpful. As a precise one-page document, teams can modify specific business model canvas elements as they go along without completely redoing a 50- or 100-page document.

Focused on being actionable 

Every business plan needs to be actionable. Using a business model canvas helps you accurately define your organization’s core value proposition and keep it aligned to your business strategy.

Your focus could be to achieve profitability in the first year or gain a large market share. Stay competitive by defining actionable steps for your team within the business model canvas.

Flexible and scalable as the business evolves 

No business stays the same forever but evolves as it interacts with diverse market dynamics, competitors, product innovations, and changing consumer needs.

To take your idea to market, you need a tool that connects the dots between what your customers want, your business's unique offering, and the desired profitability streams.

By creating a business model canvas template, you instantly get an edge over other market players engrossed in lengthy business plan documents.

How to Create a Business Model Canvas (With Template) 2

Puts the customer first

Ignoring customers sets businesses up for failure . Companies flounder if they direct their energies solely towards making a great product or service. With a business model canvas template, your focus stays on the ultimate end-users of your product. 

Having a business blueprint will force team members to think about what customers want, the primary issues they need help with, and how your product or service can do that. 

Helps get team and executive buy-in

23% of businesses fail without the right team on their side. Every company needs team members with a diverse mix of skills, experiences, and talents.

Companies require a solid business blueprint for hiring team members or bringing in investors. Having a business model canvas can help get everyone on board with your organization’s core vision. Potential employees and investors can visualize how the different organizational parts interact and see how they can become an integral part of the company.

Promotes focus on the unique value proposition of your business

19% of companies fail due to being outperformed by their competitors. If there's no difference between your product and one from another firm, why should customers come to your company? Every business needs a clear value proposition that helps them stand out — that's where a business model canvas template comes in.

When you look at the nine core elements of a business model canvas (explained below), you'll quickly notice some factors are controllable to a certain extent, while others are more fractious.

Your company's core value proposition sits right in the middle. It acts as the central pillar around which all other elements exist, defining the fundamental nature of the business.

What goes into each segment?

To fill out a business model canvas, you should know what goes into each of the nine fundamental segments.

Have a business model canvas template ready before you and your team start brainstorming on each of these elements (you'll find one below) and then add the research and data into the relevant sections. 

Customer segments In this fundamental business area, teams identify the core individuals they will help with their product or service. To do this, they create two to three buyer personas — potential customers that a business seeks to serve.

A buyer persona is a simple but detailed description of a prospective business customer. It assists with capturing the customer’s real-life problems and motivations, helping the business deliver what they want.

Value proposition The value proposition is the ultimate value that a customer will get from your product or service. It seeks to answer the question, “Why will a customer buy?” Here are a few popular value propositions for any organization:

  • Customization ability
  • Unique product design
  • Innovation in product or service
  • Exceptional service or product status
  • Affordable pricing and clear pricing model definition

Channels In a business model canvas, channels are the platforms through which a company sells its product or service to end-users. To identify the best channel for your business, look at how you plan to connect with your customers.

A few possible channels can be:

  • A self-owned retail store
  • Direct sales staff
  • Affiliate marketing platforms
  • Google Adsense

A business can either own its channels or partner with other companies that have their own channels.

Customer relationships Customer relationships in a business model canvas define how the company will obtain, retain, and increase new customers. Let's take a look at how customer relationships are built:

  • Identify how to obtain customers and from which platforms (e.g., Google, Facebook ads)
  • Gain clarity on how to retain existing customers using different techniques (e.g., exceptional customer service)
  • Discover how to increase the customer base of the business (e.g., sending text or email notifications to prompt website visits)

Revenue streams Revenue streams help the business owner decide how to generate revenue and achieve their predefined organizational goals . Key decisions with revenue streams include:

  • Choosing from a one-time payment model or monthly subscriptions
  • Keeping a free plus paid model or a wholly paid product or service with a free trial
  • How payment from customers will be received — website payments, PayPal, or in-store

Key resources Key resources in your business model canvas represent the assets that are vital to your company’s operation. Business assets can include anything from the below categories:

  • Physical assets , including machines, buildings, IT hardware, and vehicles
  • Intellectual assets , including patents, copyrights, partnerships, brands, and employee skills
  • Human assets , including talented employees in knowledge industries such as IT, law, and content marketing
  • Financial assets , like cash balances in the bank or lines of credit

Key activities Want to make your business canvas model work? Make sure to list the key activities that will help expand the business's core value proposition. Key activities can come from any of the below categories:

  • Production: How you will deliver your end product to the customers. You may need to order more stock or upgrade materials
  • Platform: For example, the software used to sell your product, which may require upgrades or maintenance
  • Problem-solving: For example, designing innovative solutions for issues that your customers face

Key partners Every business has some non-core activities that should preferably be outsourced. Key partners are the companies or individuals that complete these non-core activities.

Take a company like Facebook, for example — its key activity is to upgrade and maintain its platform. It doesn't create its own ads, so it also needs to strike deals with companies that wish to advertise on its platform. 

Similarly, it doesn’t create its content — the users do. The primary reasons for choosing key partners can be:

  • Achieving economies of scale
  • Mitigating risk and unpredictability in business
  • Acquiring resources and advertisements for its business (e.g., ads for Facebook)

Cost structure Once the key activities are outlined on the business model canvas, it's time to assign cost structures. Be clear and precise with the estimated business costs of the planned activities to ensure you reach your profitability goal.

Business model canvas example and template

How to Create a Business Model Canvas (With Template) 3

  • Customer segments: Facebook's customers can be divided into two distinct categories — advertisers and platform users
  • Value proposition: The primary reasons platform users come to Facebook. Users feel connected to friends and families, while companies get more leads through advertising on the platform
  • Channels: The website where all data is stored
  • Customer relationships: Facebook incentivizes users to stay on the platform through notifications and new features, leading more companies to advertise on it
  • Revenue streams: Facebook earns money through advertising, while companies gain new customers from Facebook ads
  • Key resources: Facebook's key resources are its platforms — Facebook.com, the Messenger application, and Facebook Ads Manager for advertisers
  • Key activities: Maintaining the website and its infrastructure are two of Facebook’s key strategic activities
  • Key partnerships: Facebook's key partners are its users and advertisers
  • Cost structures: Major costs incurred by Facebook include managing the software, backend engineering operations, product development, regular operations, and staff salaries

How to create a business model canvas (with template)

Ready to create your business model canvas? Before you begin, take some time to brainstorm answers to these questions related to the nine core fundamental areas of the canvas. Here's a simple business model canvas template exercise that can help your team get started.

  • Customer segments: Can you identify your potential customers?
  • Channels: Once the product or service is ready, how will customers discover it?
  • Key partnerships: Can any non-core business activities be outsourced?
  • Customer relationships: How will your business generate leads and retain and increase your customer base?
  • Cost structures: Can the business classify its main costs and expenses into fixed and variable? Is there a way to align costs with the core value proposition and planned revenues?
  • Revenue streams: Has the business decided on a profit margin? How will it make money?
  • Key resources: Which core resources are critical for the business to succeed?
  • Value proposition: Why will customers choose your business? Does the company satisfy any particular need with its product or service?
  • Key activities: Are there any activities that help your business deliver its unique value proposition to customers?

Do I need a lean model canvas? 

If your business is still an idea or in its infancy, choosing a lean model canvas makes more sense.

Inspired by the business model canvas, the lean model canvas was created by Ash Maurya . It is a one-page business plan template that distills the lean startup methodology into the original business model canvas. 

Lean model canvas assimilates multiple essential data points to develop a simpler, start-up optimized version of a business model canvas. It adds four more building blocks to the business model canvas, namely:

  • Problem: Identify the problem faced by the customer and focus on solving it
  • Solution: Start with a minimum viable product that helps solve the customer problem effectively
  • Unfair advantage: List the barriers to entry in a specific sector and your company’s competitive advantages
  • Key metrics: Focus on one goal at one time to ensure you’re doing a good job

Lean model canvas drops four elements from the original business model canvas — key partners, key activities, key resources, and customer relationships. 

While the original illustrates a more comprehensive business approach, the lean model canvas has a sharper customer orientation. Many start-ups prefer the lean model canvas to a traditional business plan for building an actionable roadmap.

The lean model canvas is a great fit for younger companies or those working with a tight time frame or budget to market with a more targeted problem resolution approach.

Why you should use Wrike to build a business model canvas 

The business model canvas’ nine building blocks clearly illustrate the core business areas and their interrelationships. Whether you're trying to figure out the model for a company with three employees or 50,000, a business model canvas can be very useful.

Begin by mapping out the most crucial information about your business, then link the blocks to ensure every value proposition is linked to a revenue stream and a specific customer segment.

Using Wrike to build your business model canvas template, you can iterate faster, communicate with ease, and enable organization-wide success . With a centralized hub, your teams can configure custom dashboards easily and produce better quality work using premade templates . Implement what you've learned about the business model canvas by trying out a free two-week trial of Wrike today.

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Yuvika Iyer

Yuvika is a freelance writer who specializes in recruitment and resume writing.

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What Is Business Process Outsourcing? A Guide

What Is Business Process Outsourcing? A Guide

As businesses scale and grow, they often have requirements that cannot be addressed internally — whether because of resource or budgetary constraints. Business process outsourcing (BPO) can be a solution that enables organizations to grow and scale effectively. But exactly what is business process outsourcing? What are the risks associated with the practice, and how can corporate leaders use business process as a service (BPaaS) to their advantage?  BPO meaning: What is business process outsourcing? Business process outsourcing describes a practice where specific tasks, functions, or processes within a company are contracted out to third-party organizations and vendors. These outside organizations have expertise in their specified area, which allows them to manage tasks and processes on behalf of other businesses.  For example, a marketing agency, during their resource planning process, may choose to outsource their payroll and accounting functions in order to focus on the core competencies of their organization.  There are three types of business process outsourcing: offshore, nearshore, and onshore outsourcing.  Offshore outsourcing: The function is managed by an operator or vendor in a different country (often far away and in another time zone) Nearshore outsourcing: The function is managed by an operator or vendor in a neighboring/closeby country Onshore outsourcing: The function is managed by an operator or vendor within the same country — but could be in another state or region  Business functions ideal for outsourcing may include admin, customer service, PR, data entry, HR, content moderation, and more.  Business process outsourcing can improve efficiency and present significant cost savings for companies that may not have the resources to hire a team of in-house customer service specialists or payroll professionals, for example.  In fact, Deloitte research indicates that 59% of companies who outsource say they do so with cost savings as a primary motivator. What is business process as service (BPaaS)? Business process as a service enables BPO by managing specific functions through cloud-based delivery systems. The global BPaaS market is extensive and expected to reach a value of $77.8 billion by 2023. Some well-known names in BPaaS include Accenture and IBM.  BPaaS can help manage:  Finance and accounting  IT services  eCommerce Customer service processes BPaaS leverages the capabilities of infrastructure as a service (IaaS), software as a service (SaaS), and platform as a service (PaaS) solutions in order to help companies manage and address their business objectives.  Business process as a service also relies on automation in many cases, reducing the need for manual intervention. Who needs business process as a service (BPaaS)? Business process as a service can be beneficial for organizations across sizes and industries. For example, instead of hiring an outside firm to manage their finance and accounting needs, a company might instead execute this function via a cloud-based platform licensed through a monthly subscription model.  This naturally brings costs down and offers a more flexible and scalable way of managing operations.  Any company looking to manage processes without the costs associated with hiring, training, and managing an internal team or department may find that BPaaS is an effective solution.  What are the benefits of outsourcing business processes? There are many benefits associated with outsourcing business processes. These benefits include cost and time savings, efficiency gains, the ability to focus on core business competencies, and more. Be sure to keep these in mind when contemplating outsourcing professional services key success factors, and which professional services agency is right for you.Cost savingsHigh costs associated with labor, training, management, and infrastructure can be a barrier as an organization scales and grows its operations. Outsourcing non-core processes can enable businesses to meet their objectives and operational needs while minimizing these internal costs and time commitments. Access to expertise and improved efficiencyBPO gives businesses access to vendors that have the necessary expertise, equipment, and personnel needed to execute a project or function on their behalf. This expertise means they are better equipped to provide cutting-edge, compliant, and effective services.  Ability to focus on key business competencies As a company grows and scales, there is often a need for growth or expansion in other areas of the business.  For example, a high-growth eCommerce company may need increased customer support capabilities to provide quality assistance to customer queries and issues. In this instance, outsourcing customer support staff to an agency or outside vendor allows the business to focus on its main competencies while also addressing customer challenges that can impact the bottom line.  As is the case with most things, business process outsourcing can have its set of challenges and risks. Are there risks to business process outsourcing? Risks in business process outsourcing can include lower than expected or inconsistent quality of service, lack of visibility and collaboration with the vendor, and security considerations. Inconsistent delivery We’ve all been there. A service looks good on paper, but the results turn out to be inconsistent or of a lower standard than expected. This is always a risk, especially when outside vendors are involved.  Lack of visibility and collaboration When handing over the keys to a business function, visibility and communication allow those within the organization to accurately track progress, success, and any challenges. Lack of visibility is a huge risk and could mean that a lower standard of service is inadvertently being passed on to customers.  Privacy and security concerns Privacy and security are a top concern in business process outsourcing. In most cases, BPO will involve some degree of handling sensitive or confidential internal data. Engaging a vendor with lax digital security policies may make an organization vulnerable to breaches or attacks.  As Deloitte notes, the tax implications of business process outsourcing should also be a consideration and factored into any business case. How to choose the right BPO vendor Choosing the right vendor can help avoid headaches, losses, and disputes. Here are some tips for choosing the right BPO partner for your business.  Due diligenceDue diligence will involve researching the vendor and their reputation to determine if they have success and experience with your industry, project type, or company size. Understand costsWhile cost-saving is a major factor when establishing a BPO partnership, unexpected fees may make outsourcing pricier than initially thought. Evaluate security infrastructureWhen determining the suitability of a vendor, be sure to assess their ability to manage and protect sensitive information.  Communicate clear objectives and KPIsClearly communicate objectives, expected outcomes, and KPIs and ensure they have the capacity to deliver.  Ensure stabilityOutsourcing a business function can be risky if the third party is in a financially, legally, or otherwise unstable position. Overreliance on unstable vendors can be a unique challenge to overcome.  How to organize your BPO with Wrike Streamline and simplify your business process outsourcing with Wrike. With Wrike, you can:  Create and manage a risk register for your vendor and the outsourced function Invite vendors as external collaborators to share reports and status updates Share and store vendor meeting minutes using our actional meeting notes template Integrate data from 400+ applications like Salesforce, Marketo, and more  Take advantage of the cost savings, time savings, and expertise that BPO and BPaaS can afford your business. Be sure to track and manage progress, communication, and risk using Wrike.  Sign up for a free two-week trial and discover why 2 million+ people trust Wrike to manage and execute their tasks and projects.  

The Ultimate Guide to Business Process Modeling

The Ultimate Guide to Business Process Modeling

Struggling to optimize your business processes? Find out process modeling benefits and techniques for executing business process modeling projects successfully.

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How to Build a Product Roadmap Based on a Business Model Canvas

Could you list all of the key building blocks you need to develop, manage, maintain, market, and sell a product on a single sheet of paper? With the business model canvas, you can! Using the business model canvas approach is a great way to force yourself to focus on the most strategically important elements of your product. As the name suggests, the typical use case for this tool is to outline the fundamental building blocks of a business, but it also can work really well for a product.

Today we’ll show you how the business model canvas works and how you can use it to come up with a high-level product strategy.

What is a Business Model Canvas?

As you can see from the sample example below (thanks, Strategyzer.com), a business model canvas is a one-page summary describing the high-level strategic details needed to get a business (or product) successfully to market.

The categories or buckets contained in a canvas can be customized. But most will look similar to the one here—covering such key areas as:

  • The product’s value propositions (what it does and promises)
  • Customer segments (who it’s for)
  • Key activities (the steps the team must complete to make it successful)
  • Key resources (what personnel, tools, and budget the team will have access to)
  • Channels (how the organization will market and sell it)
  • Customer relationships (how the team will support and work with its customer base)
  • Key partners (how third parties will fit into the plan)
  • Cost structure (what it costs to build the product as well as how to sell and support it)
  • Revenue streams (how the product will make money)

Business Model Canvas by Strategyzer

If you think about it, that’s a fairly comprehensive set of building blocks you’ll need to think through for your product before you begin developing it. There will certainly be additional factors that’ll affect your strategy, but if you can fill in these high-level details—which, as you can see, should fit comfortably on a single page—you’ll have a useful strategic guide for developing your product roadmap.

Why Should I Use a Business Model Canvas to Develop a Product Roadmap?

Okay, but why? What’s the benefit of building a business model canvas (or the, even more, stripped-down variation, the lean canvas) to guide my product roadmap ?

There are plenty of reasons. But simply put, you can think of a business model canvas as a mission statement for your product roadmap. It’s a handy reference you can refer to, to make sure your roadmap always reflects all the strategic elements needed for your product’s success.

Tweet This: “Think of a business model canvas as a mission statement for your product roadmap.”

Our co-founder Jim Semick has a couple of great short videos explaining the business model canvas concept, which you can check out in the player below.

As Jim explains, here are a few of the benefits of using a business model canvas to think through product strategies:

1. You can use a business model canvas to roadmap quickly.

You can use this canvas approach in just a few hours (and as Jim says, you can even do it with sticky-notes).

This way, rather than trying to write out every detail about your product plan beforehand, you can just document the highlights—and then you can get rolling translating the canvas into your product roadmap.

Read the Product Roadmaps Guide ➜

2. A business model canvas will be more agile.

One problem with the old structure of documenting a business model—the traditional business plan—was that it was almost always inaccurate as soon as the author finished drafting it.

These meaty plans included detailed cost estimates, revenue projections going years into the future, and long-term plans for growing the staff. How could any of that remain accurate for long?

In product terms, you can think of the business plan as resembling an MRD (Market Requirements Document). It’s long, detailed, and probably mostly untrue by the time it’s done.

But because you can put a canvas together so quickly, it will much more accurately reflect your strategic thinking and your company’s current reality. And if things change, it’ll be easier than a long and detailed plan to adjust. This brings us to Jim’s third benefit…

3. Business model canvas roadmaps allow you to pivot as needed.

If you build a business model canvas to guide your business roadmap , and something happens that forces you to re-prioritize or pivot your product , it will be a lot easier to update this short, high-level document than it would be if you had some monster MRD or business plan to tear apart and edit.

With a one-page business model canvas acting as the strategic undergirding for your roadmap, you’ll always be able to quickly spot any items or plans that need updating whenever priorities change or new realities demand that you adjust your approach.

How Can I Use A Business Model Canvas to Guide My Product Roadmap?

The alexa example.

Let’s talk through a hypothetical example, using Amazon’s Echo device (“Alexa”) as our guide.

Imagine that as they were talking through what belonged in the “Revenue Streams” bucket of the business model canvas, Amazon’s Echo team came up with three sources of revenue to start with:

1) Selling Echo devices.

2) Using the device to sell other stuff as customers ask it to connect to the Amazon marketplace. (“Alexa, please add laundry detergent pods to my shopping cart.”)

3) Licensing Echo’s proprietary speech-recognition technology to other businesses.

Now, if the Echo product team put these on their business model canvas, they’d know that they need to make room for budget, time, and resources on their product roadmap for all of these revenue streams.

Another Hypothetical Example of the Business Model Canvas: Channels

Or think about the Channels bucket in the business model canvas. If your team was building out a canvas, maybe you’d have several ideas for reaching customers:

1) The in-house sales team. 2) Affiliate partners. 3) Word-of-mouth advertising from users.

It’s easy to write. But how are you going to translate that “word-of-mouth” strategy into an actual plan?

Maybe you’ll need to budget time and resources for developing things right into your product that make it easier for users to share their experiences with friends, such as a handy tool to help them tweet about it. Maybe you’ll even want to include an “Invite a friend” feature that lets users easier send a trial license to friends, or a couponing feature that offers some reward to a user who brings in two more users.

The point is, your business model canvas can serve as a great strategic reminder of the things you’ve determined are important enough to make it onto your product roadmap .

So you can always look back and see immediately—it’s just one page, after all—if you’re still working on all of the essential elements of your product, or if you’ve inadvertently strayed from them and gotten lost in the wrong details.

That’s why we’re big proponents of the business model canvas approach to guiding your product roadmap .

Do you have an opinion about using the business model canvas approach for developing and documenting your product’s strategy? Feel free to share them in the comments section.

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A quick and dirty guide to the Business Model Canvas

Reading time: about 8 min

  • Product development

Of course, evaluating your business model can be daunting. With so many moving parts to sort through, it can be hard to know where to start. 

That’s where the Business Model Canvas template comes in. 

Using 9 key building blocks, the Business Model Canvas helps leaders conduct high-level analysis of their operations and map their business model in a simple, easy-to-understand visual document. 

Use this Business Model Canvas guide to learn how it works and how to use a Business Model Canvas template to kickstart your planning process. 

business model canvas

What is a Business Model Canvas?

A Business Model Canvas is an easy-to-digest one-page document that succinctly summarizes how your business should work based on the best information you currently have.

Created in the mid-2000s by business theorist and Strategyzer founder Alexander Osterwalder, it’s a strategic management and lean startup tool that condenses your strategic planning onto a single page. It’s used by successful innovators around the world like Intel, Panasonic, 3M, and Mastercard.

It’s like a mini business plan, but it’s much faster to put together. A business plan, on the other hand, is a detailed projection of what your company hopes to achieve and how it hopes to achieve it. 

A comprehensive business plan is typically between 30 and 50 pages long. In contrast, the one-page Business Model Canvas template makes it easy for an organization to describe its model.

Organizational factors

Need an even simpler, quicker way to visualize your business strategy? Try the Lean Canvas Model.

Benefits of using a Business Model Canvas

There are risks to plunging ahead without making a plan since, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 50% of businesses fail within their first five years. 

Whether or not you make a profit depends on how well you design and implement all the activities and resources that make up your business. You can use the Business Model Canvas to avoid getting overwhelmed by these pressures and get going on your new business.

  • Plan your strategy: The Business Model Canvas helps you plan and evaluate your assumptions quickly and efficiently so you can spend more time growing your business.
  • Be flexible: It makes it much easier to change things on the fly since you write down just the essentials.
  • Find gaps: It gives you a bird’s-eye view of your business so you can quickly see where you need to focus your energies.
  • Drive innovation: It encourages understanding, discussion, creativity, and analysis within your team.
  • Share your vision: It helps you create a complete pitch for potential investors or partners.

What is an entity relationship diagram?

Develop a plan for achieving your organizational goals through the strategic planning process.

Key elements of the Business Model Canvas

The Business Model Canvas consists of nine areas of strategic planning. If you’re starting a new business from scratch, don’t worry too much about the details––just get your vision down so you can get moving. Include the following elements of the Business Model Canvas: 

Value proposition

Your value proposition should be easily communicated in a single sentence, and it should inform everything you do. What’s your mission? What problem are you going to solve, and how are you going to solve it? What products and services will you offer to meet customers’ needs (these may vary by customer)? 

Most importantly, you want to define how your brand will be different from what’s already out there.

Customer relationships

Think about the kinds of relationships you want to establish with your customer segments. How will you communicate and build rapport with your customers throughout their journey? Will you offer personal assistance, create a community environment, or present a self-serve model? Consider how and where your customers like to communicate. Every communication should drive home the problem you solve and why your solution is the best (or, better yet, only) one around. 

Customer and market segments

These are the people and organizations for whom you create value. Who could really use the solution you’re offering? If there are multiple groups, list them all out.

You may need to investigate potential buyer personas, find niche markets that fit your offerings, or come up with a multi-sided market strategy that brings together different groups of customers.

Channels are the points at which you interact with customers to deliver value. How are the people who need your solution going to buy it? Take a look at your customer segments. Where do they spend money right now? Try to make it as easy as possible for a customer to say “yes” to buying your solution.

Key partners

You’ll probably rely on other people––suppliers, distributors, etc.––to create and deliver value to your customers. What individuals or entities outside of your business will you need to work with in order to produce, market, and deliver your solution? What key activities or resources can someone else take care of so that your business can focus on your value proposition?

Key activities

If an activity isn’t directly tied to delivering on your value proposition, then it isn’t key, and you probably shouldn’t be doing it. So what do you absolutely have to do in order to produce, market, and deliver your value proposition? 

Key resources

If the resource isn’t necessary to deliver on your value proposition, ask yourself if you really need it. What do you absolutely need to have in order to produce, market, and deliver your solution? These could be human, financial, physical, or intellectual resources.

Cost structure

This should be a description of the costs of operating your business. How much will your key activities, resources, and partners cost you? At this point, it may be a good idea to take a second (and a third) look at each of these categories and cut out everything that isn’t absolutely essential to delivering on your value proposition.

Pay attention as well to any fixed costs you’ll have to incur, variable costs you’ll need to keep an eye on, and changes in costs as you scale.

Revenue streams and pricing model

Decide what customers will pay for and how they will pay you. How much do you need to charge? Keep in mind that you need to make enough to cover your costs and have something left over to grow your business and reward you for your efforts.

Additionally, will your solution be subscription-based? Will you offer individual purchases? Choose a pricing model that will fit best with your customer base and your cost structure.

How to use a Business Model Canvas

The main goal of using the Business Model Canvas is to validate your business model. By laying out all the components, you can find simple, small-scale ways to test each aspect of your business model in a cycle of improvement.

1. Fill out the canvas

Filling out the canvas is quick and painless, and it should give you a lot of clarity. Try to finish it in just 30 minutes. Start with the value proposition and then proceed in the order outlined above, moving from the theoretical to the more concrete aspects of your strategy.

To demonstrate what a filled-out canvas might look like, imagine that a seventh-grader named Timmy wants to start a neighborhood lawn mowing business over the summer. His Business Model Canvas might look something like this:

business model canvas example

2. Identity and test your assumptions

It’s smart to have a plan. It’s even smarter to make sure that it actually works. Maybe you think that offering a subscription plan is the best pricing model, but once you run an A/B test, you realize that your customers prefer paying each time for your services. 

Find the key metrics that you can track to better understand your customers and your success in reaching them. If you aren’t doing well, these metrics will also help you understand why.

3. Adapt your strategy

Once you test your assumptions, make the necessary tweaks to your business strategy. You could even fill out a new Business Model Canvas to keep track of your changes and have a visual reminder of what you’re aiming for.

For example, you can make multiple copies of your canvas document in Lucidchart to explore potential future iterations of our business model, highlight areas where costs can be reduced, and map out relationships between key partners and their various functions.

4.  Repeat the cycle

The best way to grow your business is to continually reexamine your vision and performance. In effect, your Business Model Canvas should be a living document that represents your best hypothesis in an evolving landscape. Markets, customers, and trends change, and you need to be able to change with them. 

Whether you write your Business Model Canvas in the kitchen or the boardroom, you’re ready now to come up with a clear and effective business model. You can get started on your Business Model Canvas quickly in Lucidchart. 

icon of an emerging lightbulb

Looking for more ideas? Explore another way to define your business with a strategy mapping template.

About Lucidchart

Lucidchart, a cloud-based intelligent diagramming application, is a core component of Lucid Software's Visual Collaboration Suite. This intuitive, cloud-based solution empowers teams to collaborate in real-time to build flowcharts, mockups, UML diagrams, customer journey maps, and more. Lucidchart propels teams forward to build the future faster. Lucid is proud to serve top businesses around the world, including customers such as Google, GE, and NBC Universal, and 99% of the Fortune 500. Lucid partners with industry leaders, including Google, Atlassian, and Microsoft. Since its founding, Lucid has received numerous awards for its products, business, and workplace culture. For more information, visit lucidchart.com.

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The Business Model Canvas

Understanding what makes your company successful.

By the Mind Tools Content Team

business model canvas design

Do you know what your company's business model is? How well do you understand it? And why does this matter?

A company's business model determines how it generates its revenue, operates successfully, and makes a profit. If your company's business model is out of date or wrong for its market, then it's likely to fail.

Understanding your company's business model is an important part of developing the "commercial awareness" you need to solve problems effectively, make good decisions, and become known as a trusted leader in your organization.

This article explores a useful model that you can use to think about your business model.

What Is the Business Canvas Model?

Alex Osterwald and Yves Pigneur developed their Business Model Canvas in 2010.

They collaborated with 470 members of the Business Model Innovation Hub – an online forum for business professionals and researchers – who contributed case studies, examples, and critical comments to their research. As such, the Business Model Canvas represents the collective experience of a community of business people.

It appears as a template of nine basic building blocks, as shown in figure 1, below. These form a blueprint, based on which business models can be systematically designed, explained and challenged.

Figure 1: The Business Model Canvas

business model canvas design

The Business Model Canvas is the property of BusinessModelGeneration.com / strategyzer.com , and it is distributed under a Creative Commons copyright license .

How to Use the Business Model Canvas

To use the Business Model Canvas, think about each building block using the questions below. You may want to download our worksheet to help with this.

CS: Customer Segments

Your customer segments are your target markets – the specific groups of people or organizations that your business serves.

Instead of trying to satisfy everyone, all of the time, group your customers according to common attributes like their location, needs, or behaviors, and decide which segments to focus on. This way, you can deliver a product or service that is closely tailored to the specific needs of particular groups.

See our article on market segmentation for more on this.

Record your results in the CS block of the canvas.

VP: Value Propositions

The value propositions block defines how you'll deliver value to your customers. You can create value in many ways, including offering a low price, a high standard of design, good accessibility, convenience, and high performance. Consider these questions:

  • How do you create value for your target market?
  • What problem or need does your product or service solve for the customer?
  • How does your product or service differ from your competitors' offerings?

If you are struggling to crystallize your value proposition, conduct a USP Analysis and Core Competency Analysis to assess how your product or service stands out from those of your competitors.

Write your value proposition in the VP block of the Business Model Canvas.

R$: Revenue Streams

In this block, you analyze how each customer segment pays for your product or service.

There are many different ways to pay for a product or service. For example, is the price fixed, or will you charge customers for each use, by subscription, or with ongoing payments? Will any negotiation or bargaining be involved? And who, ultimately, is the customer? (Your customer may be an advertiser, for example, rather than the user of the service.)

Consider these additional questions:

  • What do your customers currently pay for similar products or services?
  • How do they pay for this?
  • What do you charge for your product or service?
  • Do customers get any free services or perks that your competitors don't offer?

Record this in the R$ block of the Business Model Canvas.

CH: Channels

The word "channel" refers to the way you deliver your value proposition to each customer segment. Channels include a direct sales force, web sales, own brand stores, partner stores, and wholesalers. Consider these questions:

  • How do you make your customers aware of your products and services?
  • What channels do your customers prefer to use?
  • How will you help customers evaluate your value proposition?
  • How do customers want to buy your products and services?
  • How do you provide customer support?

Record your answers in the CH block of the Business Model Canvas.

CR: Customer Relationships

This block defines the type of relationship you want to foster with each of your customer segments. There are several categories to consider here.

  • Dedicated personal assistance – This is where the wants and needs of each customer are handled by a dedicated customer service representative. For example, many types of business dedicate an account manager to highly valued clients.
  • Personal assistance – Here, customers can communicate with a customer service professional during and after the sales process. This can happen in person at the point of sale, or through a call center, email, or IM.
  • Self-service – Customers can purchase products without assistance.
  • Automated Service – An automated service recognizes individual customers through a login or other identifier. This provides a customized service that "remembers" the customer's preferences and presents options accordingly.
  • Communities – Here, the organization builds communities using social networking and blogs to encourage customers to communicate with one another, share ideas, and solve problems.
  • Co-creation – In these relationships, organizations go beyond the traditional customer-vendor relationship by encouraging customers to take a more active role in shaping what the product or service might be. For example, some companies encourage their customers to review their products, or create content that can be shared with others.

To think about how your business develops relationships with customers, you can use the Buy-Sell Hierarchy , Focus Groups , and Customer Experience Mapping to understand what your customers want from their experience, and then use this information to build the customer relationships you need.

Record your findings in the CR block of the Business Model Canvas.

KR: Key Resources

Your key resources are the things you most need to make your business model work, and different types of business need different types of resource.

Key resources may be owned by your company, leased, or used through some other arrangement with key partners.

Consider these questions:

  • What human resources will you need?
  • What financial resources will you need?
  • What physical resources will you need?
  • What intellectual property resources will you need?

Conduct a VRIO analysis to explore how you can make best use of the resources you have available.

Make a record of these key resources in the KR block of the Business Model Canvas.

KA: Key Activities

Your key activities are the most important business processes that your organization must use to operate successfully. Examples of these include designing, manufacturing, and delivering a product; providing new solutions to customers; or providing a platform on which customers are able to complete transactions.

List your key activities in the KA block of the Business Model Canvas.

KP: Key Partnerships

This is the network of partners, stakeholders and suppliers that you rely upon to make your business model work. Consider these questions:

  • What strategic alliances do you have in place to bring your product or service to market?
  • What partnerships are needed to access key resources such as areas of expertise, raw materials, or access to customers?
  • What partnerships allow you to access economies of scale?
  • Who have you joined forces with to minimize risk and uncertainty?
  • Who are the key stakeholders for your product or service? How can you create strategic partnerships with these people?

Conduct a Stakeholder Analysis to identify who has the most power and influence. And, as you evaluate potential partners, use our 10 Cs of Supplier Evaluation checklist to evaluate them carefully.

Write your key partnerships – both potential and present – in the KP block of the Business Model Canvas.

C$: Cost Structure

The last block you need to analyze is your cost structure. This looks at all of the operating costs that your business incurs as part of its business model. These costs should be easy to identify, now that you've defined your key resources, activities, and partnerships.

Record your findings in the C$ block of the Business Model Canvas.

Applying What You Have Learned

By working through the Business Model Canvas for your own company, you'll get a good insight into the things that really matter for your business.

You can use this understanding to make informed decisions about business areas that you are responsible for by checking, in particular, that your decision won't undermine the wider business in any way. You can also quickly identify business areas that will be improved by your decision, and this will help you "sell" your recommendations.

It also gives you a head start when you're scanning the business news or industry press for changes that will positively or negatively affect your business. You'll know the core things that your business depends on, and you can watch out for changes that affect these.

Another advantage of the Business Model Canvas is that it clarifies how your own part of the company affects, and is affected by, other departments. This helps all parts of the business co-operate with one another more efficiently.

The Business Model Canvas was developed by Alex Osterwald and Yves Pigneur, in collaboration with a community of business professionals at the Business Model Innovation Hub. It is a useful tool for designing and analyzing business models in an objective, structured way.

The Business Model Canvas incorporates nine building blocks:

Block 1: Customer segments.

Block 2: Value propositions.

Block 3: Channels.

Block 4: Customer relationships.

Block 5: Revenue streams.

Block 6: Key resources.

Block 7: Key activities.

Block 8: Key partnerships.

Block 9: Cost structure.

You can use the Business Model Canvas to develop a new business model, or refresh an outdated one; analyze the viability of a new business idea; and even to analyze your competitors' business models to discover opportunities for making your own business stand out.

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Home Blog Business What is a Business Model Canvas? Quick Guide + Examples

What is a Business Model Canvas? Quick Guide + Examples

What is a Business Model Canvas

Based on the work of Alexander Osterwalder, a Business Model Canvas , or BMC for short, is a diagram used to visualize a business model; it allows structured organization and a quick method of evaluation and reflection on the effectiveness of a Business Model. The use and study of Business Model Canvas Examples allows us to understand it in a complete way and apply it to different types of organizations.

The Role of the Business Model Canvas

What are the benefits of using a business model canvas, 1. customer segments, 2. value propositions, 3. customer relationships, 4. channels, 5. revenue streams, 6. key activities, 7. key resources, 8. key partnerships, 9. cost structure, the power of a bmc in entrepreneurship: visualize the business model, mcdonald’s.

  • How to Utilize a Business Model Canvas for your Success

Business Model Canvas PowerPoint Templates

Whether it be in small business entrepreneurship or large corporate product launches, the business model sits at the center. The one thing that stands at the very heart of the daily operations of an organization, is a model that dictates where the opportunity lies and how the company effectively acts on it at each step in the process.

The very best professionals will have all of this knowledge and action driving their decisions. However, the original business model one may follow may not always be applicable to the obstacles that an organization faces, thus it’s incredibly useful to fully display organizational structure and operations.

The Business Model Canvas is a powerful tool for businesses of all sizes and industries. Here are some key benefits of using this visual framework:

Simplifies Complexity: Business models can be intricate, with various elements and interactions. The BMC simplifies this complexity by breaking down the model into nine essential building blocks. This visual representation makes it easier for entrepreneurs, team members, and stakeholders to grasp the core components of the business without getting lost in a lengthy business plan. It’s a powerful tool for distilling complex ideas into a clear, concise format.

Enhances Focus: When creating a BMC, you’re prompted to think critically about each building block, such as customer segments, value propositions, and revenue streams. This process encourages a deep understanding of how these components interact and depend on each other. By explicitly defining these elements, you gain a sharper focus on your business strategy and objectives. It helps you identify gaps, redundancies, or areas where your model can be refined.

Promotes Collaboration: The BMC is designed to be a collaborative tool. It’s not something a single person creates in isolation; instead, it encourages cross-functional teams to work together. Each team member can contribute their expertise to fill in the relevant sections. This collaborative approach ensures that everyone involved in the project shares a common understanding of the business model, which is essential for successful execution.

Iterative and Adaptable: Business environments are dynamic, and your business model should be too. The BMC supports an iterative approach, allowing you to make changes and updates as needed. For instance, if market conditions change, you can easily adjust your value propositions or customer segments. It’s a flexible tool that accommodates experimentation and learning. You can use it to test different assumptions and hypotheses about your business and refine your model accordingly.

Cost-Effective: Creating a traditional business plan can be a time-consuming and expensive process. In contrast, developing a BMC is a cost-effective alternative. It doesn’t require extensive resources or financial investments. This makes it particularly valuable for startups and small businesses with limited budgets. It’s a pragmatic way to initiate strategic planning, especially in the early stages of a venture when resources are scarce.

The Basics of the Business Model Canvas

Whether one is creating an all-new business model, comparing a pre-existing model, or adjusting a model to improve value, the BMC excels in keeping anyone invested in the business on track without wasting time and focus. By displaying only, the most critical pieces in business operations or a product, this tool is both a time saver and a method to sharpen your awareness of expectations vs. reality.

Here is the Business Model Canvas explained: There are nine sections in a BMC, each containing a specified topic of information that composes the core of any business model.

PPT Template Business Model Canvas

This section contains the information related to the core target audience that you are selling to. Simple and traditional segmentation analysis must be done to identify the top segments of the model. Start simple with questions like Which are the demographics of the major customer groups being targeted? Why are they going to be interested in the product or service? In essence, how well does the model comprehend who is being sold to? It is crucial that you identify clearly the segments as when facing reality, you will need to focus only in a few (1 or 2) to really test your model without a full operation in place.

Create a list of the unique business value propositions you will offer. Why is the idea or company valuable? What makes it stand above competitors? If there aren’t any direct competitors, what gaps are being filled in given markets?

This section could be extremely lengthy, depending on the business model, but should only contain the most central concepts at the heart of the model that attract customers or generate revenues. This section will contain the aspects of the business that relieve a customer’s pains. If you’re struggling to identify what is most important, consider using a Value Proposition Canvas, another easy-to-visual tool that helps establish your target audience with your strengths. Focus on solving a real pain for the segments identified.

The information of this section should refer to how to connect segments and the value proposition. During the analysis, you should be asking questions like How are customers convinced that your product or organization has the advertised special qualities? What methods are used to interact with them? How does an audience engage with each strategy in the product lifecycle? Additionally, how is customer engagement tracked?

Once the customer is convinced of the goods or services, how would you deliver them? This should include every step of the process it takes to make the financial transaction and value delivery possible. Is there a separate supplier? Who distributes the product? How is it displayed? Think about what the model requires from start to finish in order to make a sale.

If the customer connects with the product or service, and they want to proceed with doing business, then how does the actual exchange of money happen? How is the cash flow tracked? Are there any middlemen between the sale and the income to the business?

Business Model Canvas Diagram for PowerPoint

Source: Editable Business Model Canvas PowerPoint Template

This section should include specific activities that the organization will do to create value. Unlike the Value Propositions, it’s not just about a new product or business practice, but rather the day-to-day operations that each team will take.

Similar to Key Activities but focusing on assets that are used. Is there a special supplier? Is there access to any materials or a local storefront that puts you in an advantageous position? Do you have a special intellectual property or patent that introduces new knowledge into the niche?

For areas that may be lacking, or areas that are too costly for the business to manage by itself, what can be outsourced to partners to focus on? Which areas would it be more cost-efficient to hire from supporting businesses? Specifically, identify model strengths, maximize time and money on them, and move identified weaknesses to connected partners that can address them better or solve them altogether.

Finally, what are the major expenses in the model? Are they a flat fee, or are they a variable cost? This may factor into previous sections, like key activities, resources, and partnerships.

Additionally, how does this relate to the Revenue Streams? How will the predicted costs vs. the actual be monitored? Most importantly, what will be done if costs outweigh the incoming funds?

Creating a Business Model Canvas involves analyzing each of these sections individually and as a whole, and connecting the dots between them.

Introducing a new business or product to the world is no small undertaking, especially when you consider how much competition and other new ideas are thrown into the world on a regular basis.

This also means keeping the model current and responsive. A business model, after all, is only a well-educated guess on how to generate success from a demand. If reality does not match up to the prediction, then even the very best business models are useless. A BMC is your abstract representation of how a business delivers value to customers to help them solve problems.

Steven Blank’s book to entrepreneurs and business leaders, ‘Four Steps to the Epiphany’ , demonstrates the difference between those who watch and listen to their model in action, and those who convince themselves that their business model is flawless, and the world will adjust to follow it instead. The fact is, you may have the most amazing ideas in the world, but it won’t matter if you aren’t paying attention to unforeseen challenges that arise between conception and actualization of a successful model.

The BMC is an excellent tool to get away from the guesswork, and out into the metaphorical streets. It allows an individual or team to compare expectations with reality, to double-check targets and see if those targets are still manageable, and it gives an opportunity to make adjustments to a business model before it’s too late.

This practice is called, ‘Get out of the building’, an important part of the Lean Startup Methodology . It means to develop a BMC and test it against reality. For this to work, you need to create an MVP ( Minimum Viable Product ) that materializes your Value proposition and tests it against real-life customers. Testing means that they should really purchase the MVP and that they complete the different sections of the BMC for true validation. This process is really iterative, and it helps entrepreneurs and business executives make the adjustments necessary to really market a value proposition, reducing the risk of mounting a full-scale operation.

Get Out Of The Building PowerPoint Template

Business Model Canvas Examples

By using examples of Business Model Canvas, we can evaluate business models and identify just what changes need to be made to the model in order to ensure growth and success. In addition, analyzing Business Model Canvas examples and being able to study success stories is beneficial to be able to apply it in different industries, helping you better understand Business Model Canvas explained with examples.

Let’s take a look at the BMC Example of the MoviePass company, which launched with the idea to sell a monthly service to the general public for daily movie tickets at major theater chains for a flat monthly membership fee. The company reasoned that they could benefit two groups, the average moviegoer would be able to see more movies, and movie theaters themselves would see better attendance. This innovative approach required the development of robust membership software to handle the logistics and subscriptions efficiently, making it one of the notable examples of a business model.

In theory, it sounds like a reasonable concept, but in reality, MoviePass had not developed a functional business model which resulted in a poor performance against new technologies. There was no constant evaluation to keep track of their cash flow, and by failing to keep the company growing fast enough, it couldn’t support the necessary costs. Perhaps if leadership had followed a BMC these issues may have been recognized earlier.

Business Model Canvas Example - MoviePass

By using the BMC, MoviePass could have visualized earlier that the business model was in need of a pivot, a change to a section of the model in order to address an issue. In MoviePass’s case, areas like cash flow and customer acquisition had some gaps that required a solution. Had the company been more aware of its business model, it might have seen a need for a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) where they could test the results of their ideas with a few early adopters.

An MVP is the bare bones of a product or service that can provide invaluable information about how a small group of customers reacts. By having a testing period of limited engagement, a business can limit costs while drastically improving knowledge on how to proceed. Had MoviePass used this, they might’ve been able to observe early on that some customers used their service to the max, purchasing a movie ticket per day, far outweighing the profit of their service from the cost of providing it.

The pivot would adjust to their business model, and a new MVP could be created to test the new approach. This new iteration of the business may have changed the original direction of the company. Through each pivot and each new iteration of the model, MoviePass BMC would adjust accordingly, allowing an easy method in which to keep track of the major changes without getting overwhelmed in all the details that lay underneath each educated decision.

There are, however, examples of well-crafted business models that can be observed on a BMC. Let’s take a company that has spread its business model all over the world and has undoubtedly enacted countless pivots and iterations of the business model in order to evolve, adapt, and thrive over the years: McDonald’s, as one of the prime business model examples.

When thinking about the massive scope of McDonald’s, it’s both interesting and telling of how the BMC can still capture the essence of their business model. McDonald’s is a global corporate cash cow requiring a rock-solid model, but that doesn’t mean it’s the same one since the conception of the company.

With the many decades in operation, you can be sure that a McDonald’s BMC would not look the same at the beginning as it does today. What originally started as a single burger joint on a street corner, now faces the challenges of global food service. Each time a new challenge or opportunity presented itself, the McDonald’s business model was forced to pivot by observing the environment, developing an appropriate plan of action, and monitoring the progress accordingly.

Over the years the world has grown to experience many iterations of the McDonald’s brand, whether it be an icon of American cuisine or an example of adaptation to dietary health. Flexible and ambitious, McDonald’s always made sure the business model matched the desired outcomes.

Business Model Canvas Example McDonalds

Uber is a ride-hailing service that has caused massive disruption for conventional taxi services. By using digital technology and a specific standard for cars and drivers offered to customers, many taxi services and individual taxi drivers have found it hard to compete with Uber. In contrast to developed countries, taxi drivers in developing countries have been unable to meet the minimum vehicle standards to qualify as Uber drivers, competing with them virtually out of the market. On the contrary, it has also attracted a new segment of people looking to use Uber as a part-time job to earn extra money.

By looking at Uber using the BMC Example we can see that its key partners include customers, drivers, payment processors, mapping data providers, and local authorities in the country it operates. Its key activities include developing its digital platform and algorithms, driver onboarding, marketing to balance demand and supply, and supporting customers using the service. The key resources of Uber are its digital platform, pricing, and routing algorithms. Uber relies on a peer-to-peer (P2P) circular economy. Where customers and drivers continue to contribute to the Uber revenue in almost a loop. And since Uber is easier to use compared to conventional taxi services, both customers and drivers tend to often use it as a routine. For example, many drivers have completely switched to Uber from conventional taxi services and new drivers entering the market cannot imagine providing services without the model Uber provides. Similarly, customers can get used to the service in a way that the Uber service itself becomes a part of their daily routine.

The value proposition of Uber is the provision of an on-demand taxi service for customers, whenever and wherever they need it. Uber fills the gap for the availability of an instant taxi service, without the need to necessarily ensure pre-booking or find a taxi manually. This offers user convenience, with various value benefits for both the customer and drivers, including the option to avail a cash-free taxi service by customers, earning opportunities for drivers and the supply of passengers and drivers through its ever-increasing base of users.

Uber reaches its customers and even attracts new drivers through its marketing and makes it easier for people to use its services through its app. Making it easy for the customers and drivers to communicate. Uber provides the utility of not just an on-demand service but also uses its algorithms to match supply and demand, find the shortest routes for customers, and to allocate the closest driver. However, since Uber is primarily connecting customers and drivers, it also shifts much of its costs to the former, since it does not require owning and maintaining a large fleet of cars. It can also adjust its revenue based on the market it’s operating in, and adjust prices to match not only demand and supply but the purchasing power and market rates of the country or area it operates in.

Business Model Canvas Example - Uber

When Amazon started in 1994, terms like e-commerce or online shopping were virtually unheard of. In fact, Amazon can be easily credited with being one of the first e-commerce platforms in the world. However, its customer-led approach, with the convenience Amazon offered soon turned it into a famous retailer, which now has various other services attached to its name including an online video streaming platform called Amazon Prime, a cloud storage service (Amazon Drive), Kindle tablets, Fire TV, etc. However, to keep things simple, let’s look at Amazon’s BMC Example in the context of its retail store.

Amazon provides users with a range of services from its network of sellers. These sellers are rated by customers according to their experience and sellers that fail to adhere to Amazon’s standards are removed from the platform. For example, during the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, many people began hoarding hand sanitizers and selling them at inflated prices online. Amazon was quick to act to remove such vendors.

The approach that Amazon has is based on not just connecting buyers and sellers but ‘continually raising the bar of the customer experience’. To ensure this, amazon often takes innovative steps that not only include improving its digital platform but also ensuring a steady supplier base. In 2019, Amazon announced $10,000 and three months worth of their gross salary to employees who quit their jobs and started a delivery service. Anticipating the need to expand its supplier base. Amazon has also been famous for offering competitive employee benefits and creating a corporate culture that encourages innovation and employee loyalty.

Through its colossal warehouses, customer-centric approach, and corporate culture that creates an atmosphere of employees to remain closely connected with the company, Amazon’s revenue stream simply does not rely on its customer experience, workforce, or supplier base but on how it’s able to create an environment where stakeholders, including customers and employees feel a sense of loyalty towards the company.

Business Model Canvas Example Amazon

Over the years, AirBnb has been among companies that have leveraged their platform to transform conventional modes of doing business. Using its rating-based digital platform, AirBnb enables people looking to rent accommodation and hosts to be able to connect and become a part of its revenue stream with a few simple taps or clicks.

The platform has not only helped people who have conventionally been renting out their property but also enabled individuals with extra space to consider becoming hosts to earn extra money by renting out space for a short period of time. Similarly, the customers benefit from avoiding hefty rates of hotels and expensive accommodation options.

Like Uber, AirBnb has also been a disruptive force in the market it has operated. It uses its digital infrastructure to connect travelers and hosts. While offering the value proposition of making money by utilizing underutilized space to hosts and offering low-cost accommodation for people looking to save money. This model has enabled the company to surpass large hotel chains and make a major impact in the industry for rent and accommodation. In 2020 AirBnb was valued at $75 billion, surpassing giants like Hyatt Hotels valued at $2.07 billion and Marriott Hotels International valued at $10.57 billion.

Business Model Canvas Example - AirBnb

From its launch in 1997 to 2006 in the United States, Netflix had a per-rental model per DVD. However, in 2007 it launched a subscription-based model that turned out to be more successful. Today, Netflix is available for streaming in over 190 countries, each with its own catalog of Movies and TV shows.

According to Netflix’s Business Model Canvas Example, its value proposition is the provision of on-demand entertainment regardless of where you are. Its subscription models provide access to one or more screens, with the utility to watch Netflix via mobile, tablet, laptop, gaming consoles, etc. Its packages include an economical package with an SD (480P) resolution limited to a single device to more exclusive packages offering Full HD (1080p) Ultra HD (4K) and HDR (2160p) resolutions.

Needless to say, the market segment of Netflix is quite close to universal. Outmaneuvering cable operators and conventional TV channels with exclusive on-demand content. While Netflix’s partners have included broadcasters and production companies, it has recently been focusing on original content. Through Netflix’s subscription-based model, there is very little need (if any) for customer interaction, unless a user is reporting a bug. The Netflix model focuses on self-service with an ‘all you can eat’ style subscription model, with algorithms constantly suggesting content to users to keep them engaged based on their viewing preferences.

Neflix Business Model Canvas Example

Ikea’s value proposition is to provide affordable furniture that is sturdy, aesthetic, and functional enough to cater to customer needs. In doing so Ikea claims to create a better everyday life for people who use its products. The Business Model Canvas Example of Ikea includes its vendors, suppliers, franchisees, and logistics partners making it possible to reach out to customers globally.

Unlike companies like Amazon, e-commerce is only part of Ikea’s operations, as it has a robust physical presence in more than 50 countries. Over the years Ikea has undergone continuous product development with new furniture designs and a range of products being released on a consistent basis. This has helped the company to cater to the needs of different customer segments including families, businesses, and people who need something that is easy to use, assemble, and disassemble.

Ikea Business Model Canvas Example

How to Utilize a Business Model Canvas for Your Success

Whether it be a brand-new business endeavor or a product launch at a long-standing company, it’s critical that the business model is kept at the core of every decision. A Free Business Model Canvas Template is a tool to easily keep the model insight and offers an easy method to open the dialogue when that model may need to pivot.

The whole purpose of the BMC is to allow for a simple presentation of information, reducing complications in understanding just what is required in each new iteration of a business model. At a glance, anyone invested in the outcome of the model should be able to understand the who, what, when, where, and why of the model, or bring it to everyone’s attention if they don’t.

Most importantly, the BMC is a tool to help drive success. If there are issues in your business model that need to be addressed, a BMC makes it easier to visualize where the gaps are, and how they may be filled. Keep in mind that pivoting is crucial to the success and survival of a business model and that change, growth, and adaptation are not an abandonment of what matters, but a natural progression to find the best outcomes to the ultimate goal. As Eric Ries, author of Startup Lessons Learned, puts it: ‘pivoting may lead [successful startups] far afield from their original vision, but if you look carefully, you’ll be able to detect common threads that link each iteration.’

Frequently Asked Questions

Business Model Canvas is like a blueprint for your business. It’s a visual tool that helps you plan, understand, and describe how your business works. It breaks down your business into key parts, like who your customers are, what you offer them, and how you make money.

A real-life example would be Airbnb. They use the Business Model Canvas to show how they connect hosts with travelers, offer unique accommodations, and earn money through commissions on bookings.

To determine your value proposition , you need to identify what makes your product or service special. Ask yourself: What problem does it solve for customers? What benefits do they get? Your value proposition should clearly communicate these advantages.

Building and maintaining customer relationships involves providing excellent customer service, staying engaged with customers through various channels (email, social media), seeking feedback, and addressing their needs promptly.

When establishing partnerships, consider what resources or expertise your business lacks and seek partners who can provide them. Think about how these partnerships will benefit both parties and align with your overall business goals.

The Business Model Canvas allows you to see all aspects of your business in one place, making it easier to identify weaknesses and opportunities. By analyzing each component, you can make informed decisions to optimize your model for better results.

Yes, the Business Model Canvas is versatile and can be used for various businesses, from startups to established companies, in different industries. It helps structure and clarify the business model for any venture.

The frequency of updates depends on your business and market dynamics. In rapidly changing industries, you might need more frequent updates, while others may do so annually or when major changes occur.

Use your Business Model Canvas as a visual aid during presentations. Walk stakeholders through each section, explaining how your business operates and creates value. Encourage questions and discussions to ensure clarity and alignment.

If you want to create professional-looking Business Model Presentations, take a look at the following Business Model Canvas templates , ready to edit and easy to use.

1. Free Business Model Canvas Template for PowerPoint

business model canvas design

Build a top-notch company presentation using Free Business Model Canvas Template for PowerPoint. The cool scheme is relaxing to the eyes. The clear layout can provide the audience with quick understanding of the entire report in just one slide.

Use This Template

2. Animated 3D Business Model Canvas Template for PowerPoint

business model canvas design

Created with a 3D Model, this professional PowerPoint Template is ideal for creating videos or animated versions of your Business Model Canvas. Very popular among educators and speakers of the entrepreneurship niche.

3. Business Model Canvas PowerPoint Templates

business model canvas design

This Business Model Canvas PowerPoint Template is created 100% with editable PowerPoint Shapes, allowing the user to customize the content and visual appearance of the presentation. Suitable for educational presentations where you need to navigate each section of the BMC, or for investors presentations where you need to deep dive on each section of your Business Model.

4. Business Model Canvas Template for PowerPoint

business model canvas design

Our most popular Business Model Canvas Template. Ideal for working in groups and iterating with different BMC’s. Its suitable for cooperation editing, and allows very simple compositions. Well suited for developing your MVP and crossing the assumptions that were negated by reality.

5. 3D Perspective Business Model Canvas PowerPoint Template

business model canvas design

This Business Model Canvas Design is inspired in the idea of empty boxes, that entrepreneurs need to fill with their ideas. The design is simple to edit and decorated with a colorful theme. Designed to impress every audience.

6. Lean Canvas PowerPoint Template

business model canvas design

This Lean Canvas template for PowerPoint and Google Slides is perfect for anyone who needs to pitch a business idea to investors, present their idea to stakeholders or company leadership. This template is 100% editable, allowing the user to customize the content and visual appearance.

7. Product Management Canvas PowerPoint Template

business model canvas design

The Product Management Canvas PowerPoint Template is a strategic planning and modeling presentation. This is a single-slide template showing various aspects of product planning and successful management. The purpose of this canvas is to consider all aspects of the product.

8. Editable Business Model Canvas PowerPoint Template

business model canvas design

Editable Business Model Canvas PowerPoint Template is a professional presentation representing the Business Model Canvas in “board” format. All the presentation design is completely editable and the user can move, or add, post-its like text boxes to work with the canvas.

9. Simple Business Model Canvas Template for PowerPoint

business model canvas design

If you are looking to create an aesthetic Business Model Canvas Template, the Simple Business Model Canvas Template for PowerPoint will allow you to give your presentation the style you need. You will be able to add sticky notes with information for each of the sections of your Business Model.

10. Business Model Canvas Template with Widget Design

business model canvas design

100% editable Business Model Canvas template for Google Slides and PowerPoint presentations, with a widget design and look and feel.

business model canvas design

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Acquisition, Business Model Canvas, Channels, Cost Structure, Customer Development, Customer Relationship, Customer Segments, Key Activities, Key Partners, Key Resources, Lean Startup, Management, Minimum Viable Product, MVP, Prototyping, Revenue Streams, Startup, Steve Blank, Strategy, Value Proposition Filed under Business

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2 Responses to “What is a Business Model Canvas? Quick Guide + Examples”

If your business is a non-for-profit , how can you adapt your MVP? You are not selling anything as such, so how do you test if your product (MVP) will be purchased?

Hi Elena If there is a “business model”, there is always a business. So, you are selling something. Even non-for-profit sell. They just sell at “cost” or “subsidized”, but there are customers which pay at the end. Otherwise, rather non-for-profit, it is philanthropy and there is no “business” around. Hope this helps. Regards GV.

Leave a Reply

business model canvas design

Business Model Canvas

Introduction.

The business model canvas is a great tool to help you understand a business model in a straightforward, structured way. Using this canvas will lead to insights about the customers you serve, what value propositions are offered through what channels, and how your company makes money. You can use the business model canvas to understand your own business model or that of a competitor! The Business Model Canvas was created by Alexander Osterwalder, of Strategyzer.

canvas

How To Use the Business Model Canvas

The business model canvas is a shared language for describing, visualizing, assessing and changing business models. It describes the rationale of how an organization creates, delivers and captures value.

Tool Overview

Customer Segments List the top three segments. Look for the segments that provide the most revenue.

Value Proposition What are your products and services? What is the job you get done for your customer?

Revenue Streams List your top three revenue streams. If you do things for free, add them here too.

Channels How do you communicate with your customer? How do you deliver the value proposition?

Customer Relationships How does this show up and how do you maintain the relationship?

Key Activities What do you do every day to run your business model?

Key Resources The people, knowledge, means, and money you need to run your business.

Key Partners List the partners that you can’t do business without (not suppliers).

Cost Structure List your top costs by looking at activities and resources.

Step-by-step guide

1 before you start.

You can learn a lot from your competition. Choose some competitors and map their business models. Armed with this information you’ll have deep insight into what customers want and what they are willing to pay for. You’ll have a clearer picture of just how customers’ needs are met across the entire industry, not just in your company. And, you’ll uncover vital information about how other businesses, maybe even very successful businesses, have created their own spaces in the market.

  • Get the right team of 3-5 people together
  • Grab a large chunk of wall space or a war room
  • Print or draw the canvas on a big sheet of paper
  • Have plenty of sticky notes and markers ready
  • Allow yourself 45-60 minutes of undisturbed time

2 High Level

Start by mapping out the business on a high level: only the most important, vital aspects of the business model.

3 Connect the Building Blocks

Link up the building blocks: every value proposition needs a customer segment and a revenue stream!When everything is on the board, take a step back. Have a short break. Did you miss anything? Forget something?

Tip! If you have multiple customer segments it is best to pick a color for each segment. That way you easily see if for each segment there is a value proposition and a revenue stream.

Example Checkout the business models of BMW versus Tesla

4 Current State

Don’t mix ideas for a future state with what is going on right now, and don’t mix different departments!

Tip! If you work for a large organization you might find varying value propositions and business models. In that case, ask the different departments map out their own business model. Compare them afterwards.

Take a step back check if every customer segment is linked to a value proposition and a revenue stream. Make sure everything on the left side of the canvas is needed to support the right side of the canvas. Everything else can go.

Rank your business model's performance (0:bad, 10:excellent) for each of the following questions:

  • How much does switching costs prevent your customers from churning?
  • How scalable is your business model?
  • Does your business model produce recurring revenues?
  • Do you earn before you spend?
  • How much of the work can be done by others?
  • Does your business model provide built-in protection from competition?
  • Is your business model based on a game-changing cost structure?

6 Next Steps

Tip! Have an artist visualize your business model. It helps creating impact when sharing the model and it makes it easier for others to become connected.

  • Take a snapshot picture of your business model canvas for easy to share future reference
  • Ask team-members discuss the business model with others
  • Trigger team-members to actively look for 1-2 blind spots
  • Filter out the design criteria
  • Test your assumptions

Additional Resources

  business model generation ( alex osterwalder, yves pigneur ),   business model navigator ( oliver gassman, karolin frankenberger, michaela csik ),   design a better business ( patrick van der pijl, justin lokitz, lisa kay solomon, maarten van lieshout, erik van der pluijm ),   value proposition design ( alex osterwalder, yves pigneur ),   visual meetings ( david sibbet ), you may also like, business model patterns.

Business Model Patterns

Download this free list of 100+ Business Model Patterns from WRKSHP.tools.

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Business Model Canvas

Start creating your Canvas Business Model now. A strategic management template used for developing new business models and documenting existing ones.

Download Business Canvas for Free

Business Model Canvas in png for free

These are PNG/PDF ready-for-download files. Try to edit your Business Canvas Model: access a bigger screen to access our desktop app!

User-friendly Canvas Editor

Save hours of work with our intuitive Business Model Canvas editor. Specifically designed for entrepreneurs and business professionals, this free Business Model Canvas generator simplifies the strategy-building process. Minimize time spent on formatting and focus more on your innovative ideas, accelerating your journey from concept to reality.

High-quality Image and PowerPoint Export

No more manual transferring of your business strategy into presentations. With just one click, export your Business Model Canvas into a high-quality image. Get your business model ready for pitches, brainstorming sessions, team briefings, and stakeholder meetings in no time.

Free Business Model Canvas Maker

The Business Model Canvas (BMC) is a powerful strategic management and entrepreneurial tool that allows you to visualize, design, and reinvent your business model. Developed by Alexander Osterwalder and Yves Pigneur, it provides a holistic, visual overview of your business on a single page. It's designed to be easily understandable and to facilitate business strategy discussions. The BMC comprises nine essential building blocks:

  • Customer Segments: Different groups of people or organizations your business aims to reach and serve.
  • Value Propositions: The bundle of products and services that create value for specific Customer Segments.
  • Channels: How your business communicates with and reaches its Customer Segments to deliver its Value Proposition.
  • Customer Relationships: The types of relationships a company establishes with specific Customer Segments.
  • Revenue Streams: The cash a company generates from each Customer Segment.
  • Key Resources: The most important assets required to make a business model work.
  • Key Activities: The most important things a company must do to make its business model work.
  • Key Partnerships: The network of suppliers and partners that make the business model work.
  • Cost Structure: All costs incurred to operate a business model.

Using these nine segments, you can outline your business's value proposition, infrastructure, customers, and finances, creating a snapshot of your organization's strategy and operational effectiveness.

Enter the Business Model Canvas generator tool. This online tool streamlines the process of creating your own Business Model Canvas, allowing you to concentrate on brainstorming and strategizing rather than formatting a document. Its intuitive interface lets you easily populate each segment of the canvas, helping you quickly visualize and iterate on your business model.

The Business Model Canvas generator tool not only simplifies the creation of a BMC, but it also supports collaboration. Teams can work together on the same canvas in real-time, leading to efficient brainstorming sessions and ensuring everyone is aligned with the business strategy. Furthermore, it allows for easy exporting of your canvas to high-quality images or PowerPoint presentations, saving you valuable time.

The Business Model Canvas is a dynamic and versatile tool, and the Business Model Canvas generator enhances this by providing a user-friendly, collaborative, and secure platform to craft your business model. Whether you're an entrepreneur in the early stages of a startup or a business professional rethinking your business strategy, the Business Model Canvas generator tool can be a game-changer in your planning process.

Business Model Canvas Template

Create and download your canvas online

Consider the business or project you want to build. Learn about Business Model Canvas to sketch your ideas.

Fill the boxes below by answering questions about your business. See the full picture.

Enter your email and receive your canvas. Print or share it with your team.

What is Business Model Canvas?

The Business Model Canvas is a strategic management and planning tool that provides a visual framework for describing, analyzing, and designing a business’s key building blocks and how they interact to create value.

What is the purpose of Business Model Canvas?

The purpose of a Business Model Canvas is to describe, analyze, and design a business model and outline high-level strategic decisions needed to get a business or product onto the market. Designed by the economic theorist Alexander Osterwalder and the computer scientist Yves Pigneur in 2005, the template comes in the form of an intuitive one-page business plan summary consisting of the nine key building blocks, from customer segments to cost structure.

When to use Business Model Canvas?

The Business Model Canvas is an adaptable tool with many applications. It’s commonly employed in the following scenarios:

  • Initiating a business: The Business Model Canvas helps flesh out your business concept and assess whether you should proceed with it or consider modifying your approach.
  • Enhancing an established business: If you’re dissatisfied with your business’s performance, the Business Model Canvas can assist in pinpointing areas that require improvement.
  • Introducing a new product or service: The Business Model Canvas provides insights into how your new product or service aligns with your existing business and the necessary adjustments to ensure its success within the organization.

How can Business Model Canvas benefit established businesses?

  • Structural Guidance: It provides a visual framework for structuring your business model, ensuring that the canvas evolves in line with your strategy.
  • Value Proposition Focus: The Canvas emphasizes the core value proposition, keeping your business aligned with its fundamental purpose and acting as a guiding principle.
  • Efficient Planning: Whether you have a defined model or are exploring alternatives, the BMC template enables rapid and efficient completion, promoting swift ideation and iterative development.
  • Holistic Understanding: It offers a comprehensive view of the interconnected elements within your business, enhancing your perception of it as a cohesive system.
  • Effective Communication: BMC can be easily shared with teams, stakeholders, advisors, and partners, facilitating clear feedback and understanding.

What should be included in Business Model Canvas (BMC)?

The Business Model Canvas should include 9 sections, each outlining the most strategically important elements of a business. The sections are as follows:

Customer Segments: What customer groups will be interested in your product or service?

Key Partnerships: Who are your partners and suppliers that make your business model work?

Key Activities: What activities do you require to make the business model successful?

Revenue Streams: How are you going to drive revenue?

Value Propositions: Why will customers buy and use your product?

Channels: How are you planning to deliver, promote, and sell your product or service?

Key Resources: What resources do you need to deliver on the value propositions ?

Customer Relationships: What customer communication channels are you planning to have?

Cost Structure: What will drive business’ expenses? How are they related to revenue?

How to create Business Model Canvas online?

For your convenience, you can quickly map out your business plan by filling in all 9 boxes of the BMC template online. There are no strict rules on which component of the BMC to spell out first. You may start by describing key partners, activities, resources, and value propositions and then move on to identifying your customer base and communication channels. The expenses and revenue boxes can be filled at the final stage.

Tips for Creating Effective Business Model Canvas

Here are four key tips to help you make the most of the Business Model Canvas:

Keep it simple. Your canvas should be clear, concise, and easy to understand. Avoid overwhelming it with unnecessary details. Focus on the core components that define your business, such as customer segments, value propositions, channels, and revenue streams. By keeping it simple, you’ll be better equipped to communicate your strategy to others and maintain a clear vision for your business.

Continuously update your canvas. Make it a habit to revisit and update your canvas regularly. Market conditions change, customer needs evolve, and competitors adapt. By regularly updating your canvas, you can ensure that your business remains aligned with current realities and emerging opportunities.

Collaborate with your team. Creating a Business Model Canvas is not a solo endeavor. Collaboration with your team is crucial. Gather input from various departments and individuals, as their perspectives can provide valuable insights. By involving your team, you can tap into their expertise and ensure everyone is on the same page regarding the company’s strategy and goals.

Test and validate your model. A business model is only as good as its real-world performance. It’s essential to test and validate hypotheses it contains. Experiment with different strategies, measure their outcomes and adjust your canvas accordingly. This iterative process of testing and refining will help you discover what works and what doesn’t, allowing your business to adapt and thrive.

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business model canvas design

Business Model Canvas triple bottom line

Business model canvas.

The holy grail of design thinking tools..

The business model canvas is a great tool to help you understand a business model in a straightforward, structured way. Using this canvas will lead to insights about the customers you serve, what value propositions are offered through what channels, and how your company makes money. You can also use the business model canvas to understand your own business model or that of a competitor! The Business Model Canvas was created by Alexander Osterwalder, of Strategyzer.

business model canvas design

11 building blocks.

1. Customer segments . List  your most important (future)  segments. Look for the segments that provide the most revenue.

2. Value proposition . W hat are your products and services? What is the job you get done for your customer?

3. Revenue streams . List your top three revenue streams. If you do things for free, add them here too.

4 .  Societal and environmental benefits.

What are you giving back to your community and planet? 

5 . Channels . How do you communicate with your customer? How do you deliver the value proposition?

6 . Customer relationships . How does this show up and how do you maintain the relationship?

7 . Key activities . What do you do every day to run your business model?

8 . Key resources . The people, knowledge, means, and money you need to run your business.

9 . Key partners . List the partners that you can’t do business without (not suppliers).

10 . Cost structure . List your top costs by looking at activities and resources.

11. Societal and environmental costs.

What’s the negative impact of your business model?  

Your step-by-step guide.

Before you start..

You can learn a lot from your competition. Choose some competitors and map their business models. Armed with this information you’ll have deep insight into what customers want and what they are willing to pay for. You’ll have a clearer picture of just how customers’ needs are met across the entire industry, not just in your company. And, you’ll uncover vital information about how other businesses, maybe even very successful businesses, have created their own spaces in the market.

Get the right team of 3-5 people together.

Grab a large chunk of wall space.

Print or draw the canvas on a big sheet of paper.

Have plenty of sticky notes and markers ready.

Allow yourself 45-60 minutes of undisturbed time.

1. High level.

Start by mapping out the business on a high level: only the most important, vital aspects of the business model.

2. Connect the building blocks.

Link up the building blocks: every value proposition needs a customer segment and a revenue stream! When everything is on the board, take a step back. Have a short break. Did you miss anything? Forget something?

Pro tip: if you have multiple customer segments it is best to pick a colour for each segment in the post-it notes you use. That way you easily see if for each segment there is a value proposition and a revenue stream.

3. Current state.

Don’t mix ideas for a future state with what is going on right now, and don’t mix different departments!

Pro tip: if you work for a large organization you might find varying value propositions and business models. In that case ask the different departments to map out their own business models. You can compare them afterwards.

Take a step back check if every customer segment is linked to a value proposition and a revenue stream. Make sure everything on the left side of the canvas is needed to support the right side of the canvas. Everything else can go.

Rank your business model’s performance (0: bad, 10: excellent) for each of the following questions:

How much does switching costs prevent your customers from churning?

How scalable is your business model?

Does your business model produce recurring revenues?

Do you earn before you spend?

H ow much of the work can be done by others?

Does your business model provide built-in protection from competition?

On what cost structure is your business model based?

5. Next steps.

Pro tip: have an artist visualize your business model. It helps to create impact when sharing the model and it makes it easier for others to become connected. Checklist :

Take a snapshot picture of your business model canvas for easy to share future reference .

Ask team-members discuss the business model with others .

Trigger team-members to actively look for 1-2 blind spots .

Filter out the design criteria .

Test your assumptions .

Need some extra brainpower for your business model canvas?

Meet stefan. he is your expert..

Stefan Buijsingh

11.2 Designing the Business Model

Portions of the material in this section are based on original work by Geoffrey Graybeal and produced with support from the Rebus Community. The original is freely available under the terms of the CC BY 4.0 license at https://press.rebus.community/media-innovation-and-entrepreneurship/.

Learning Objectives

By the end of this section, you will be able to:

  • Define a business model and its purpose
  • Describe a business model canvas
  • Describe a lean model canvas
  • Describe a social business model canvas

According to Alexander Osterwalder and Yves Pigneur , the authors of Business Model Generation , a business model “describes the rationale of how an organization creates, delivers and captures value.” Nevertheless, there is no single definition of this term, and usage varies widely. 29

In standard business usage, a business model is a plan for how venture will be funded; how the venture creates value for its stakeholders, including customers; how the venture’s offerings are made and distributed to the end users; and the how income will be generated through this process. The business model refers more to the design of the business, whereas a business plan is a planning document used for operations.

Each business model is unique to the company it describes. A typical business model addresses the desirability, feasibility, and viability of a company, product, or service. At a bare minimum, a business model needs to address revenue streams (e.g., a revenue model), a value proposition, and customer segments. In non-jargon English, this means you want to address what your idea is, who will use it, why they will use it, and how you will make money off it.

A canvas is a display that would-be entrepreneurs commonly use to map out and plan different components of their business models. There are several different types of canvases, with the business model canvas and the lean canvas being the most commonly used. There are hard-copy canvases modeled after an art canvas as well as digital versions. The original physical canvases are meant to serve as visual tools, used with sticky notes and sketches.

As developed by Osterwalder and Pigneur, the business model canvas has nine components, as shown in Figure 11.6 .

Link to Learning

Visit this site to see examples of completed Business Model Canvases for a variety of industries for a deeper understanding of how the different categories are filled in.

Osterwalder and Pigneur wrote Value Proposition Design as a sequel to Business Model Generation . Their value proposition canvas is a plug-in that complements the business model canvas, going in depth on activities such as encouraging entrepreneurs to address and tackle customer pains, gains, and jobs-to-be-done trigger questions, and designing pain relievers and gains. The complementary and accompanying activities and resources can be useful for a deeper dive into and understanding of customer value creation in the form of value proposition, although there are other approaches to conceptualizing your value proposition. For Christensen, the originator of the disruptive innovation and jobs-to-be-done theories, a value proposition is a product that helps customers do a job they’ve been trying to do more effectively, conveniently, and affordably.

Finding the intersection of your customers’ problems and your solutions is how you create a unique value proposition, according to the entrepreneur Ash Maurya , the author of Scaling Lean and Running Lean . In Running Lean , Maurya offers the following formula for creating an initial value proposition in the canvas, as shown in Figure 11.7 .

Maurya deviated from the standard business model canvas to create the lean canvas. It overlaps the business model canvas in five of the nine components: customer segments, value proposition, revenue streams, channels, and cost structure ( Figure 11.8 ]. Rather than addressing key partners, key activities, and key resources, the lean canvas helps you tackle problems, solutions, and key metrics instead.

Visit this site to see examples of completed Lean Model Canvases from some major companies for a deeper understanding of how the canvas can be applied.

While the business model canvas and the lean canvas are similar in format, there are differences in how they are used. It is generally accepted that the lean canvas model is a better fit for startups, whereas the business model canvas works well for already established businesses. The lean canvas is simpler; the business model canvas provides a more complete picture of a mature business.

Watch this Railsware video that demonstrates how the lean canvas model might be applied to startups to learn more. In the case example in the video, the lean canvas model is applied to the successful P2P ride-sharing app Uber, as if it were a startup.

Both the business model canvas and the lean canvas are designed for constant iterations, allowing for multiple versions and changes throughout the entrepreneurial process. Part of that process involves customer discovery; thus, the canvases invoke customer-focused design. The target customer is integrated into the canvas from the start through the use of a customer empathy map and a number of design-thinking ideation activities. 30 The customer empathy map is a portrayal of a target customer —the most promising candidate from a business’s customer segments—that explores the understanding of that person’s problems and needs ( Figure 11.9 ). Osterwalder and Pigneur used a customer empathy map as part of the design ideation phase of developing a business model canvas. There are differing versions of customer empathy maps, but most seek to answer common questions pertaining to the customer, such as:

  • With whom are we empathizing?
  • What do they need to do?
  • What do they see?
  • What do they say?
  • What do they do?
  • What do they hear?
  • What do they think?

Phillips, Proctor & Gamble, Microsoft, and Yeti are examples of well-known companies that make use of customer empathy mapping because, according to the journal Entrepreneur , every transaction can be turned into a meaningful and valuable customer interaction. 31 Once a company analyzes the results of customer mapping exercises, it may very well lead to new products that serve customer needs and/or wants.

For example, Philips used empathy mapping to detect a high level of fear in young patients immediately before an MRI medical procedure, so it invented a miniature version of the CAT scan equipment used in the procedure called the “kitten scanner” along with toy animal characters that were used to dispel the fear of MRIs among children. Proctor & Gamble created a new advertisement that was released for the 2012 Olympics visualizing the trials and tribulations of mothers raising young athletes, demonstrating Proctor and Gamble’s awareness that some of its customers wanted or needed empathy for the sacrifices they had made to help their children succeed. Likewise, Microsoft has attempted to demonstrate empathy with customers’ privacy concerns by developing an interactive website that explains not only how data is stolen but also how we can better protect our own data. 32

On their company website, the now-famous Yeti cooler company publicly extols the value of empathy mapping, explaining that it leads to better products. Yeti doesn’t just create one on its own, it actually asks its clients to work with the company to create an empathy map. 33 Thus, empathy mapping for Yeti is part of its product development process.

Customer empathy maps also strive to address customer pains (in this case, fears, frustrations, and anxieties) and gains (wants, needs, hopes, and dreams). 34

Strategyzer offers six videos outlining the business model canvas that total about 12 minutes; specifically they cover the prototyping journey from ideation to visualization of conceptualization.

Business Model Canvas 35

As Osterwalder and Pigneur describe it, according to Media Innovation and Entrepreneurship , their business model canvas blocks include revenue streams, customer segments, value propositions, cost structures, channels, key activities, key partners, key resources, and customer relationships.

Early on, your greatest focus should be on the right side of the canvas because:

  • These are, in many ways, the most critical aspects of starting a new venture (customer segments, value propositions, channels, and revenue streams).
  • The most fluid (revenue streams, channels, and value propositions will likely differ for the differing customer segments and, as you iterate and adapt throughout the customer discovery process, could likely change).
  • These follow a logical temporal order (there’s no need to focus on the costs of building a company if you won’t have customers).

In a follow-up to business model generation, the Strategyzer team created a second canvas, the value proposition canvas: https://www.strategyzer.com/canvas/value-proposition-canvas. The value proposition canvas is a new tool that pulls out the customer segment and value proposition blocks of the business model canvas, and encourages more in-depth exploration of those blocks to achieve a good fit between the two. The value proposition canvas tool looks at customer pains, gains and jobs to be done on the customer side and painkillers, gain creators, and products and services on the value proposition side. 36

Read this blog that provides a walk-through of how to fill in a value proposition canvas to learn more.

When you peel away the language used to describe business models, the early startup planning stages come down to a series of questions. When it comes to formulating a business model for a startup concept, another popular framework used in entrepreneurial circles is that of desirability-feasibility-viability Figure 11.10 ). This framework forces the entrepreneur to address broad questions about the startup concept:

  • Desirability: How desirable is the product? Who will use it and why?
  • Feasibility: How feasible is this idea? What are the costs of making it? How practical is the concept?
  • Viability: Will this idea remain viable? How will it make money? How will it be sustained over time?

These questions then begin to connect to form a narrative about where the startup concept came from, whom it serves, why it’s needed, how it will make money, and how it will be sustained in the future.

The value propositions, customer relationships, customer segments, and channels address the assumptions that will create customer value (desirability). The cost structure and revenue stream blocks are aimed at viability, or overcoming flawed business models. The key partners, key activities, and key resources are about execution and address feasibility. The risk of poor execution can undermine your assumptions that you chose the right infrastructure to execute your business model (feasibility). The risk of solving an irrelevant customer job (sometimes derisively labeled “a solution in search of a problem”) undercuts desirability in your business. The risk of a flawed business model would hamper the financial assumption that your business will earn more money than you spend (viability). Adaptability is about the assumption that you chose the right business model within the context of external factors such as technology change, competition, and regulation.

The business model canvas is not an exhaustive planning tool by any means. 37 , 38 The risk of such external threats is not specifically addressed on the canvas blocks. The external threats not specifically covered by the canvas blocks can be designed for adaptability, that is, the business model canvas is a necessary but insufficient component of determining the viability of the business idea/concept. There are many elements not included in the canvas that entrepreneurs must address. Industry analysis, including a competitive analysis, for example, falls “off canvas” but is important nonetheless.

The Lean Model Canvas

The lean model canvas is Ash Maurya ’s adaptation of the original business model canvas. As we noted earlier, gone are the customer relationships, key activities, key partners, and key resources blocks. Instead, a problem block is added, because as Maurya explains, “Most startups fail, not because they fail to build what they set out to build, but because they waste time, money and effort building the wrong product. I attribute a significant contributor to this failure to a lack of proper ‘problem understanding’ from the start.” Maurya next added a solution block to the lean model canvas, which corresponds well with features on a minimum viable product (MVP), which you will recall was covered in depth in Launch for Growth to Success . The lean model canvas also adds an “Unfair Advantage” block, similar to the block for competitive advantages or barriers to entry found in a business plan. 39

Social Business Model Canvas

As you’ve noticed by now, the core canvas components are common throughout the various versions. Many of the blocks of the social business model canvas are similar to those used in the business model canvas and the lean model canvas. 40 A few differences, as developed by Tandemic , focus on areas unique to social entrepreneurship ventures. For example, the new areas added include measures of what kind of social impact you are creating or developing, measures of surplus to address what happens with profits and where you intend to reinvest them, and measures of beneficiary segments, and social and customer value propositions. 41 These could be measures such as the number of trees planted, number of refugees housed and fed, jobs created, or investments made—depending on the venture. Social impact looks at an organization’s social mission beyond the bottom line. Measurement can differ among social entrepreneurs, but in terms of the canvas, impact measures are an effort to establish quantifiable metrics.

Social impact can be hard to measure, but nonetheless, many social entrepreneurs aim for long-lasting impact. 42 A 2014 report by the think tank, consultancy, and member network SustainAbility lists cooperative ownership, inclusive sourcing, and the “buy one, give one” model as three forms of social impact. 43 In addition to the Tandemic social business model canvas, there are other versions of similar canvases used for social entrepreneurship. For instance, Osterwalder adapted the business model canvas for mission-driven organizations into a mission model canvas. 44 There’s also a social lean canvas that adds purpose (explaining your reason for creating the venture in terms of social or environmental problems) and impact sections (describing the intended social or environmental impact). 45

This completed social business model canvas for the popular peer-to-peer lending platform Kiva illustrates how the business model canvas can and perhaps should be adapted for social entrepreneurship ventures.

What Can You Do?

Toms Shoes is perhaps one of the best-known companies for adopting a social entrepreneurship purpose into its business model. Part of its early success hinged on the fact that for every pair of shoes a customer bought, the company donated a pair of shoes to someone in need. The company won a prize in 2006 for its innovative solution to poverty. This “ 1-for-1 business model ,” sometimes commonly called the “Toms model” after the shoe company that popularized it, gained traction among other companies that followed suit in similar fashion, seeing both the social and the financial successes in the Toms model. Warby Parker is another example of a company that does essentially the same: A customer purchases a pair of eyeglasses, and the company donates a pair (although Warby Parker pays a third party to procure the glasses, as eyeglasses require an individual prescription, whereas shoes do not).

  • Can you think of an innovative social entrepreneurship business model?

The Birthday Party Project

Paige Chenault wanted homeless children in Dallas to feel special on their birthdays. Many have never experienced a birthday party. So this professional event planner sprang into action in January 2012. She launched the Birthday Party Project (https://www.thebirthdaypartyproject.org/), a nonprofit group whose mission is to celebrate the lives of homeless children (ages one to twenty-two). The group organizes monthly birthday parties with partner shelters. Since its inception, the concept has spread beyond Texas to cities across the United States, including Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, and San Francisco. In six years, the Birthday Party Project has celebrated 4,800 birthdays with 30,000 kids in attendance, eaten 40,000 cupcakes, cracked 30,000 glow sticks, and performed 1,100 renditions of “Happy Birthday.”

  • Identify a need in your community that could become a social entrepreneurship business, as Paige discovered with an initial passion project.
  • 29 Alexander Osterwalder and Yves Pigneur. Business Model Generation: A Handbook for Visionaries, Game Changers, and Challengers. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley, 2010.
  • 30 Charlene Perrin. “Create A Customer Empathy Map in 6 Easy Steps!” Conceptboard . March 28, 2019. https://conceptboard.com/blog/create-a-customer-empathy-map-in-6-easy-steps/
  • 31 Vineet Arya. “How to Infuse Empathy in Your Marketing?” Entrepreneur . June 28, 2019. https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/335987
  • 32 Vineet Arya. “How to Infuse Empathy in Your Marketing?” Entrepreneur . June 28, 2019. https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/335987
  • 33 Mike Godlewski. “The Secret to Knowing What a Client Is Thinking? Empathy Maps.” Yeti. February 8, 2016. https://yeti.co/blog/the-secret-to-knowing-what-your-client-is-thinking-empathy-maps/
  • 34 Germán Coppola. “What Is an Empathy Map, and Why Is It Valuable for Your Business?” Medium . November 28, 2017. https://medium.com/swlh/what-is-an-empathy-map-and-why-is-it-valuable-for-your-business-14236be4fdf4
  • 35 This material is based on original work by Geoffrey Graybeal and produced with support from the Rebus Community. The original is freely available under the terms of the CC BY 4.0 license at https://press.rebus.community/media-innovation-and-entrepreneurship/.
  • 36 Michelle Ferrier and Elizabeth Mays. Media Innovation and Entrepreneurship . The Rebus Foundation, 2017. https://press.rebus.community/media-innovation-and-entrepreneurship/.
  • 37 Jennifer van der Meer. "Do You Suffer from Value Proposition Confusion?" Linkedin . October 19, 2016. https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/do-you-suffer-from-value-proposition-confusion-jennifer-van-der-meer/
  • 38 “The Value Proposition Canvas.” Strategyzer . n.d. https://strategyzer.com/canvas/value-proposition-canvas
  • 39 Ash Maurya. “Why Lean Canvas vs Business Model Canvas?” Medium . February 27, 2012. https://blog.leanstack.com/why-lean-canvas-vs-business-model-canvas-af62c0f250f0
  • 40 "Social Business Model Canvas.” Business Model Toolbox . 2013. https://bmtoolbox.net/tools/social-business-model-canvas/
  • 41 “The Business Model Canvas Reinvented for Social Business.” Tandemic . n.d. http://www.socialbusinessmodelcanvas.com
  • 42 Ayse Guclu, J. Gregory Dees, and Beth Battle Anderson. “The Process of Social Entrepreneurship: Creating Opportunities Worthy of Serious Pursuit.” Duke/Fuqua case . 2002. https://centers.fuqua.duke.edu/case/knowledge_items/the-process-of-social-entrepreneurship-creating-opportunities-worthy-of-serious-pursuit/
  • 43 Lindsay Clinton and Ryan Whisnant. “Model Behavior: 20 Business Model Innovations for Sustainability.” SustainAbility . February 2014. https://sustainability.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/model_behavior_20_business_model_innovations_for_sustainability.pdf
  • 44 Alexander Osterwalder. “The Mission Model Canvas: An Adapted Business Model Canvas for Mission-Driven Organizations.” Strategyzer . February 25, 2016. https://blog.strategyzer.com/posts/2016/2/24/the-mission-model-canvas-an-adapted-business-model-canvas-for-mission-driven-organizations
  • 45 Social Lean Canvas. n.d. https://socialleancanvas.com/

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  • Authors: Michael Laverty, Chris Littel
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  • Book title: Entrepreneurship
  • Publication date: Jan 16, 2020
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  • Section URL: https://openstax.org/books/entrepreneurship/pages/11-2-designing-the-business-model

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IMAGES

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COMMENTS

  1. Create a Business Model Canvas Online

    How to create a business model canvas. Launch Canva. Open Canva and search for "Business Model Canvas" to start your design project. Choose a business model canvas template. Pick a template from our collection of business model canvas examples. You can easily find what you need when you filter by color, style, or theme.

  2. Business Model Canvas

    The Business Model Canvas enables you to: Visualize and communicate a simple story of your existing business model. Use the canvas to design new business models, whether you are a start-up or an existing businessManage a portfolio of business models. You can use the canvas to easily juggle between "Explore" and "Exploit" business models.

  3. Business Model Canvas: Explained with Examples

    Here's a step-by-step guide on how to create a business canvas model. Step 1: Gather your team and the required material Bring a team or a group of people from your company together to collaborate. It is better to bring in a diverse group to cover all aspects.

  4. What is a Business Model Canvas?

    The Business Model Canvas - Flexible Chart, Early-Warning System and More In service design, two tools are essential to use early in your design process: the business model canvas and the value proposition canvas.You can use the business model canvas to build an overview of changes to be made to an existing business (e.g., a merger) or of a totally new business opportunity or market gap.

  5. Business Model Canvas: The Definitive Guide and Examples

    Before 2004, entrepreneurs suffered from prolonged and cumbersome business plans. Alexander Osterwalder facilitated the creation of a business model by introducing the Business Model Canvas (BMC).. By definition, it's a visual template that illustrates various objects of a business model.Osterwalder's original canvas includes nine elements, which we will have explained below in the article.

  6. Business Model Canvas Template

    The Business Model Canvas template, designed by Alexander Osterwalder and Yves Pigneur, provides a strategic and powerful way to understand your business. The Business Model Canvas (BMC) displays a business model, and it contains nine blocks: fill in each one using stickies, links, sketches, pictures, and videos.

  7. How to Create a Business Model Canvas (With Template)

    Inspired by the business model canvas, the lean model canvas was created by Ash Maurya. It is a one-page business plan template that distills the lean startup methodology into the original business model canvas. Lean model canvas assimilates multiple essential data points to develop a simpler, start-up optimized version of a business model canvas.

  8. Business Model Canvas: Definition, Benefits, and Examples

    As Jim explains, here are a few of the benefits of using a business model canvas to think through product strategies: 1. You can use a business model canvas to roadmap quickly. You can use this canvas approach in just a few hours (and as Jim says, you can even do it with sticky-notes). This way, rather than trying to write out every detail ...

  9. Quick Guide to the Business Model Canvas

    Benefits of using a Business Model Canvas. There are risks to plunging ahead without making a plan since, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 50% of businesses fail within their first five years. Whether or not you make a profit depends on how well you design and implement all the activities and resources that make up your business.

  10. Business Model Canvas: A 9-Step Guide to Analzye Any Business

    Created by Swiss entrepreneur and Strategyzer co-founder, Alexander Osterwalder, the Business Model Canvas is a visual representation of the 9 key building blocks that form the foundations of every successful business. It's a blueprint to help entrepreneurs invent, design, and build models with a more systematic approach.

  11. Business Model Canvas Explained: Definition and Components

    See why leading organizations rely on MasterClass for learning & development. The simple, visual template of the Business Model Canvas has made it a favorite among entrepreneurs and business strategists. With its one-page, nine-points design, a Business Model Canvas allows stakeholders to quickly understand the key needs and goals of any business.

  12. The Business Model Canvas

    The Business Model Canvas was developed by Alex Osterwald and Yves Pigneur, in collaboration with a community of business professionals at the Business Model Innovation Hub. It is a useful tool for designing and analyzing business models in an objective, structured way. The Business Model Canvas incorporates nine building blocks: Block 1 ...

  13. What is a Business Model Canvas? Quick Guide + Examples

    Based on the work of Alexander Osterwalder, a Business Model Canvas, or BMC for short, is a diagram used to visualize a business model; it allows structured organization and a quick method of evaluation and reflection on the effectiveness of a Business Model. The use and study of Business Model Canvas Examples allows us to understand it in a complete way and apply it to different types of ...

  14. DesignABetterBusiness.tools

    The business model canvas is a great tool to help you understand a business model in a straightforward, structured way. Using this canvas will lead to insights about the customers you serve, what value propositions are offered through what channels, and how your company makes money. ... Design A Better Business (Patrick van der Pijl, Justin ...

  15. Business Model Canvas

    The Business Model Canvas (BMC) is a powerful strategic management and entrepreneurial tool that allows you to visualize, design, and reinvent your business model. Developed by Alexander Osterwalder and Yves Pigneur, it provides a holistic, visual overview of your business on a single page. It's designed to be easily understandable and to ...

  16. How To Use The Business Model Canvas

    How To Map A Business Model. To develop a visual map of a business model you put the nine blocks together. Redesign the blocks and you create new forms of value. A mistake often made is to ignore the customer in the design. Increasingly with services taking centre stage, business modelling defines the customer experience.

  17. Business Model Canvas

    The Business Model Canvas is a strategic management template used for developing new business models and documenting existing ones. ... With his business model design template, an enterprise can easily describe its business model. Osterwalder's canvas has nine boxes: customer segments, value propositions, channels, customer relationships ...

  18. Business Model Canvas Template: Free Online Tool

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    Business model canvas. The holy grail of design thinking tools. The business model canvas is a great tool to help you understand a business model in a straightforward, structured way. Using this canvas will lead to insights about the customers you serve, what value propositions are offered through what channels, and how your company makes money

  20. 11.2 Designing the Business Model

    Osterwalder and Pigneur wrote Value Proposition Design as a sequel to Business Model Generation.Their value proposition canvas is a plug-in that complements the business model canvas, going in depth on activities such as encouraging entrepreneurs to address and tackle customer pains, gains, and jobs-to-be-done trigger questions, and designing pain relievers and gains.

  21. Business Model Design and Design Thinking: Use Business Model Canvas to

    Business model canvas is the most commonly used tool to map out and plan different components of the business model. The design thinking process has five stages that provide a solution-based approach to solving problems. 2.1. Business Model Canvas. Business model canvas is a tool used for prototyping a business model.

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    B2B and B2C.) The Business Model Canvas is a Tool! We have taught you a new model and a new language. The Business Model Canvas is a practical tool. It helps craft a new business model or analyze and revitalize an old one. Draft One is based on Assumptions!

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