Discover the Business Model Canvas!

A business model or business model describes the process through which a structure generates, procures and captures value, that is to say generated, among other things, money. If you are looking for a tool to facilitate the description, definition, analysis and improvement of your model, then the Business Model Canvas will literally shake up your habits and will undoubtedly help you in your modeling.

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A business model in 9 blocks and on a single page

The Business Model Canvas was developed by the Swiss researcher and entrepreneur, Alexander Osterwalder, as part of a doctoral thesis; he is co-author of the book “Business Model Generation” and is recognized by the American lean start-up experts, Eric Ries, precursor of “Product Development” and Steven Blank, inventor of “Customer Development”.
Who hasn’t dreamed of modeling their product on a single page? How many of us are writing quantities of business plan lines to describe our solution and its market? With the Business Model Canvas, you analyze the situation with the following 9 blocks;

1. The customer segment

A product serves one or more segments of a broad type of customer. You have to ask yourself the key questions. What is the customer profile? Is it a mass market? The niche? What are their needs ? Does your business cater to different customer profiles? To establish this diagnosis, choose to create a matrix for each profile.

2. The unique value proposition

The solution that definitively solves the customer’s problem or adequately meets their need. You have to ask yourself the key questions. Why should your customers buy my product? What needs do they meet by consuming your solution? For each need, what products/services are offered? What is my added value compared to the competition? What are the factors that will apply to your customer the act of purchase?

3. Distribution channels

The channels through which the product is supplied or the service provided. You have to ask yourself the key questions. Through which channel do I distribute my product/service? Is it online only? Which delivery solution?

4. Customer relations

The type of relationship maintained with each customer segment, the way in which we meet their expectations. You have to ask yourself the key questions. How do I retain my customers? By what actions? What tools are in place? How much do they cost ?

5. Sources of income

These are the revenues that are required from the proposal to the sale of your solution to the client. You have to ask yourself the key questions. How do I generate cash? What are the established prices? In return, how much do you spend on each activity? …

6. Key resources

The financial, material and human resources deployed to make your solution available.

7. Key activities

The recurring activities required within your company to implement the solution. You have to ask yourself the key questions. What activities do I implement or should I implement? What activities need to be remunerated?

8. Partner keys

Needs in external resources, subcontracting, suppliers, partners, sponsors… serving your product. You have to ask yourself the key questions. Who are my strategic partners? What are the advantages and disadvantages of each partnership?

9. Cost structure

This is all the costs generated by the implementation of the model described. You have to ask yourself the key questions. Which ones generate the most costs? What are the priority costs? The highest? The lowest?…

Challenge your optimal segmentation

Each segment has its own problem. Start by researching your potential customers. generally, on very broad thinking. Here, it is necessary to segment as much as possible in order to extract a fine list of customer issues to be addressed. You then create a model for each of them.
Ideally, before you launch your product or service, you research different post-creation alternatives. You first make simulations then you test them with the segments, in the field.
The same product can generate several business models, if only in the revenue structure. Will they be from fixed or variable sources, such as subscription, rental, sale or even one-time or repetitive recurrence?
Spending time before development saves a lot afterwards and this is valid for any type of product or service. You are in “crash-test” mode, it is the only way to validate your assumptions. Model in hand, you are not going point by point to confirm that you are on the right track.

The business plan will come… or it won’t come, after

Based on Steve Blank’s observation that “No business plan survives the first contact with the client”; if you want to save time or if you find the business plan a real time-consuming headache, you will appreciate starting with the Business Model Canvas or its derivative, the Lean Canvas.
Then, once the simulations are over, there will always be time to write your business plan. All you have to do is select each block of the business model, to develop it into a coherent and clear chapter, accompanied by figures determined by a reality.

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