Getting started on your business model can be overwhelming, but it will give your business the edge to succeed. In order to help you/your partner/your team thinking about your business model, take a look through the nine elements of the Business Model Canvas  and ask yourself the following questions.

  1. Customer Segments: You need to be segmenting your customers–or as Jeff Walker puts it, defining your avatars. Who are your customers? Young businessmen between 24-34? First-time moms? You might have a couple of these, but don’t shoot too broad!
    • Who finds my product/service most valuable?
    • Which customer segment should I be focusing on?
  2. Value Propositions: What value do you offer? This can be summed up in a statement generally. For example, if you are a food cart in a cafeteria, maybe you are the only one offering freshly brewed coffee quickly. To get thinking about your value propositions, ask yourself the following:
    • What do you offer that nobody else is offering?
    • What does the customer need that you can offer?
  3. Channels: These are your distribution channels–how/where you provide your goods/service. What is your avenue(s) to get to your customer segment to sell your product? For example, this could be online–specifically using WordPress and WooCommerce to reach your customers.
    • What are my channels currently like?
    • Have I taken my customer’s true needs into consideration when developing these channels?
  4. Customer Relationships: What kind of relationship do you have with your customer? How do you relate to them? How do you serve them? Are you energetic and bubbly? Or are you serious and reserved? What is the distance like? Establishing your customer relationships is hugely important.
    • How do my different customer segments expect me (my business) to relate to them?
    • How am I currently relating to them?
  5. Key Resources: If you are running a coffeeshop, then this might look like a barista, an espresso machine and a coffee mug. Your Key Resources are the things you absolutely need
    • What Key Resources need to go to my Customer Relationships??
    • What Key Resources need to go to my Channels?
  6. Key Activities: At the beginning, this can look like getting licensed or finding a permanent location. But Key Activities will change overtime. Maybe it becomes finding a larger location to fit your needs, or starting to hire employees.
    • What Key Activities are needed by my Customer Relationships?
    • What Key Activities are needed by my Channels??
  7. Key Partnerships: Your Key Partners are anyone you have to work with. Maybe the grocery you get your ingredients from, or the lawyer making sure your operating safely.
    • Who are my Key Partners?
    • What do these Key Partners do for me? What is their position?
  8. Cost Structure: From all these items, you can start to sketch our your cost structure. Figure in salaries, resources, activities, etc. and you will have a wonderful starting point.
    • What are the most important costs inherent in my business model?
    • What are the least important costs?
  9. Revenue Streams: As a nonprofit, my team and I are constantly trying to dream up revenue streams to keep us operating. For our team, speaking, coaching and product are some of our revenue streams.
    • For what value are my customers really willing to pay?
    • What are my customers currently paying for?

It’s time to get started. What is your business (currently existing or not) offering that no one else is offering? Scroll down and let me know in the comment section below!

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