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Business Model Canvas

> Explore and brainstorm together

Participants will seek to build a business model, generally starting from an idea: the value proposition. To support or disprove this value proposition, participants will explore the ‘customer’ side in order to green light the target and the way to reach it. Next on the list is the ‘production’ aspect, by identifying the activities and resources required for implementing the value proposition. To finish, they’ll look at the ‘financial’ angle, which will provide a complete and realistic picture of the business model.

Pre-requisites

Assemble participants who have a comprehensive view of the company’s various functions: marketing/sales, strategy, finance/management control, production/service.

Prepare a Board activity and create 9 categories:

Value Proposition, Customer Segments, Channels, Customer Relations, Key Business, Key Resources, Key Partners, Cost Structure, Revenue.

You may want to explain what’s expected in a note on the first card of each category (giving them the same colour code).

Activity settings Board

  • Activity format: Direct
  • Vote: by Likes or Points
  • Categories: 9 categories corresponding to the BMC

Process

1

Presentation

Explain the purpose of the session to the group: building a business model. Review the components you previously entered so that the entire group sets off on an equal footing.

Next, explain the method and especially the meaning of the 9 categories:

  • Value Proposition: What value are we offering to the customer? Why choose us over another product/service?

  • Customer Segments: Who are the target customers? 

  • Channels: How do you reach your customers to share your offers and deliver them?

  • Customer Relations: How do you expect to interact with your customers? Are you planning a special relationship programme for building customer loyalty and engaging them with your offers?

  • Key Business: What are the key steps for offering your product to your customers? What do you need to do?

  • Key Resources: What do you need, whether material, intangible, human or financial?

  • Key Partners: Who are you going to rely on, outside your company, to help you develop your offer? 

  • Cost Structure: What are the fixed and variable costs that are absolutely essential to your business?

  • Revenues: What are the expected cash inflows?

The BMC is normally used to develop a value proposition idea. Introduce this idea to the participants before starting the workshop.

2

Exploration & Discussion

The workshop takes place in steps. For each of them, the facilitator briefly reviews the step's content before allowing a few minutes for participants to put their ideas forward in the corresponding category. A debate ensues, before moving on to the next category.

  1. Starting with step 1, ‘Value Proposition’, ask participants to come up with ideas to clarify the common goal for the group. After they’ve shared their ideas, the group can discuss and possibly fine-tune the BMC's core value proposition.

  2. The facilitator then suggests participants come up with some ideas for the second category, ‘Customer Segments’. Participants can contribute any relevant customer ideas for this value proposition. If there are significant differences of opinion, you could suggest a vote, hiding the other categories beforehand. The group talks it through to ultimately focus on one or two target customer segments.

  1. Now it’s time for the third category: ‘Channels’. At this point, participants put forward ideas for publicising the offer and delivering it to the targeted customer segments.

  2. The fourth category, ‘Customer Relations’, is used to define the ways in which customers interact with you throughout their lives, from their acquisition and retention to the end of the relationship.

  3. It’s now time to switch to the 3 categories for producing the value proposition. The ‘Key Activities’ allow participants to define the key steps for producing the offer and bringing it to clients. 

  4. The next category is for Key Resources. The aim is to list the main resources needed for the success of the project. Such resources include both the financial and human.

  5. This section finishes with the ‘Key Partners’ category, the purpose of which is to identify external parties that have to be mobilised in order for the project to succeed. These may be suppliers, advisors or even distribution partners.

  6. The final two financial categories will conclude the workshop. Starting with ‘Cost Structure’, take an inventory of the various sources of expenditures, from investments to operating costs.

  7. Finally, we come to ‘Revenue’. Participants will outline different ways of bringing in money. What will the company sell? 

Once the 9 categories have been filled in, ask the participants if they feel that the business model is complete. Do they consider it viable? Perhaps some ideas need to be further explored later on. If so, which ones? 

3

Summary

When the activity is finished, identify a leader for each key idea needing further development. Note the components of the action plan as actions or decisions in order to have them appear in your meeting notes and ensure follow-up.

Activity Board
30 to 60 min
2 to 30
Expert
Exploration
Build a business model for a new activity.
The flagship tool of strategic marketing, the Business Model Canvas was initially a must for start-ups before being adopted widely by all companies.