Do you have a business plan?
Yeahhhh, you say? Okay, so where is it? And when was the last time you looked at it?
Business plans aren’t a “one-and-done” proposition. As soon as you write your 10-page (or 30-page or more) plan, it’s pretty much obsolete. Something changes. The market changes. Technology changes. Your competition alters what they’re doing or pricing. Or, something is bound to change.
That’s why we’re celebrating the Business Model Canvas. And hosting a workshop in conjunction with the Small Business Development Center on April 9 at ELEVATE coSPACE.
Here are the reasons we’re praising the Business Model Canvas developed by Alexander Osterwalder and Yves Pigneur:
1. It’s flexible. You use post-it notes that are meant to be stuck and unstuck, posted, unposted, re-posted. Your business WILL change. Why not make sure your business plan can change, as well. (we love post it notes)
2. It’s easy. Seriously. It’s easy to take a quick look and see who your audiences/segments are, where you’re making money and what the challenges are. It’s a simplified, boiled-down version of what’s important in your business plan without the frilly language or excess verbiage. Plus, it allows you to address complex situations, models and assumptions and see how each of the variables interact and impact each other.
3. It’s visual. For visual and creative people, this is KEY. It’s easy to see what’s important and hone in on what “levers” and areas you need to tweak, enhance, modify or rethink to get the whole business model back in balance and profitable.
4. It focuses on the customer first. Too often, we start with our goals as entrepreneurs or business owners or managers. The Business Model Canvas forces you and your team to forgo your own notions of what will work and puts you in the mindset of your customer segments or personas.
5. It brings a team together and can help get alignment. If you’re all working on the same whiteboard or big canvas – you’re focused. You’re discussing. You’re interacting. People can easily post and un-post the Post-it notes. Nothing is set in stone and it starts to break down preconceptions or territories. Everyone owns the business plan – the full plan – and everyone sees how it all fits together like an ever-moving, interactive jig-saw puzzle.
Read more about the benefits of the Business Model Canvas and how it can help your business (whether you’re a startup or existing corporation or small mom-and-pop shop) focus, grow and make more money.