A leap is required whenever you start any new project, initiative, or business; you can’t possibly know everything before diving in. However, there are some simple ways to “look before you leap” to spot potential hazards with a small amount of upfront planning.
In 2010, I first discovered the concept and value of planning on a single page through the book “Business Model Generation” by Alex Osterwalder and Yves Pigneur. It was in this book that the authors introduced the now well-known Business Model Canvas.
Unlike typical text-heavy and overly tedious business plans, the Business Model Canvas represents a quick, thoughtful, and visual way to get the entire vision of a business on a single page. These features make the creation of a canvas a lot of fun. Whereas the same can seldom be said about the creation of a typical business plan.
The canvas consists of nine elements that allow you to quickly get an overview of what a business or initiative requires to succeed.
Like all good planning models, these elements ask questions that guide you toward a clearer vision of what you are attempting to build.
Customer Segments: The one or several customers that you plan to serve
Value Propositions: How you will solve customer needs and pain points
Channels: The communications, distribution, and sales channels used to deliver your Value Proposition
Customer Relationships: To be established and maintained with each Customer Segment
Revenue Streams: The revenue received for successfully delivering your Value Proposition
Key Resources: The assets required to offer and deliver on the previous elements
Key Activities: The things you will DO to aid in offer and delivery
Key Partnerships: The strategic outsourcing of select activities and resources
Cost Structure: All elements ultimately result in a cost structure that determines profit
The Business Model Canvas is quite popular, especially in the entrepreneurial community. I have used the canvas many times over the years, both in my enterprises and with clients.
Whether you are using it for the launch of a new product, service, or division of an existing enterprise, or for an entirely new venture, this single-page planning methodology will get you off on the right foot.
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