Business Model Canvas Explained

An illustration of a man looking at a chalkboard with idea, success and plan graphics

The Business Model Canvas is a business tool used to visualise all the building blocks when you want to start a business, including customers, route to market, value proposition and finance. You could also try the Lean Canvas, a 20min, 1-page business plan template that helps you pull apart your idea. It is adapted from Alex Osterwalder’s Business Model Canvas.

The blocks on the BMC are:

Customer Segments: Who are the customers? What do they think? See? Feel? Do?
Value Propositions: What’s compelling about the proposition? Why do customers buy, use?
Channels: How are these propositions promoted, sold and delivered? Why? Is it working?
Customer Relationships: How do you interact with the customer through their ‘journey’?
Revenue Streams: How does the business earn revenue from the value propositions?

Key Activities: What uniquely strategic things does the business do to deliver its proposition?
Key Resources: What unique strategic assets must the business have to compete?
Key Partnerships: What can the company not do so it can focus on its Key Activities?
Cost Structure: What are the business’ major cost drivers? How are they linked to revenue?

 Each of these blocks needs to be accurately filled in, and revisited regularly to ensure the business model is still accurate – its a good thing to do before you register a business.

So, what's the rationale behind creating a business model canvas (or the more concise lean canvas) to steer your product roadmap?

There are numerous advantages, but in essence, you can view a business model canvas as a guiding principle for your product roadmap. It serves as a useful point of reference, ensuring that your roadmap consistently incorporates all the essential strategic components vital for your product's triumph.

Looking for more resources and support? Take a look at the University and community support available, funding opportunities and free online resources.

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