By Ami Mariscal, Prosperity & Happiness Producer
Updated May 21, 2017
You are probably thinking about adding new income streams all the time. The business model canvas helps you develop new income streams. It works like this…
When you are creating a new income stream, you are most likely creating a new business model. A new business model is basically a system that is not working yet. In other words, you are making a bunch of assumptions and in order for the business model to work you’ll want to eliminate the risky assumptions and get all of the pieces of the system working together beautifully like a healthy human body.
The business model canvas is like a one page business plan that allows you see the different parts of your business model and how they relate to each other on one page. It’s a visual tool that you can use for a variety of useful purposes. For one you get a comprehensive, high-altitude look at your strategy ideas. In fact, it’s part of the inspiration for Profitlandia, because once you see this high-level perspective it’s easy to see where the big gaps are and how you can make improvements.
It’s also useful to share your model with your team in order to get their help building the system and making it work. When you allow your team to get involved in pursuing your purpose like this, they become much more engaged, loyal and happy.
Finally, there are constantly unpredictable events coming at you from the outside world and causing a system that otherwise works great to need improvement. (I see it as “resistance vs. God or the universe helping you” and these two things are generally at odds, with you in the middle having to make the final decisions. But that’s a conversation for another blog post;)
One of our goals at Lift Your Business is to get 10,000 small business owners spending at least 1 hour a week on their strategy to create their ultimate prosperity system. This is an awesome tool to use during that time. Now let me lay out what a business model canvas is and how you can use it to grow your profit and happiness.
The business model canvas is a tool that helps you design, challenge, and improve your business model. It can be used alone at your computer or – even better – in a workshop with your team. This is a fantastic blog post expounding how to improve your strategy sessions using the business model canvas by the people who wrote the book on it, literally – pun intended 🙂
The Two Best Business Canvases
The Lean Canvas by Ash Maurya
Ash Maurya’s Lean Canvas (below) is my favorite business model canvas (besides my own) because it simplifies things in a wonderful way.
Core Business System Canvas by Ami Mariscal
Here is the business system canvas that I created specifically for small business owners. You can print the image below on an 8″x11.5″ sheet of paper – regular letter paper – and use sticky notes to fill it out.
Here is a link to the Business System Canvas that you can print on a regular sheet of letter paper (8.5″x11) and write on directly or use sticky notes.
Below, the numbers show you which order to fill out the boxes to make it the easiest on your brain to complete.
Below are the prompts for the canvas. This Google Doc version of the Business System Canvas is more linear and contains all the prompts. You can duplicate the Google Docs version into a new document and start working on it right now!
The Purpose of Your Business
Purpose = Why your company exists (beyond earning you money:) Your purpose is the high-level reason you are doing what you’re doing. It’s your top level-goal that you are 100% committed to working towards for a very long time. Grit (passion + perseverance) is the greatest predictor of success. A strong purpose creates strong grit which creates a high probability of success. Who are you 100% committed to becoming in your company? What are you 100% committed to accomplishing?
Prospect Segments & Their Characteristics
Write down the characteristics of your most-ideal-client who will bring you the most sales, the most often. Picture your ideal clients in your head while you finish the following sentences.
This client spends the most with us because…
This client talks about us with all their friends because…
This client sends us the most referrals because…
This client comes to us the most frequently because…
What are the characteristics of a qualified prospect?
Your Top Prospect’s Problems & Desires
Most likely about 20% of your prospects will result in about 80% of your rewards. Who are these top 20% prospects and how can you group them? What are the needs, values and ideals of your ideal 20% clients? Try to come up with the top 3 needs or desires.
How do you fulfill your top prospects wants, needs & desires? Try to come up with the top 3 benefits of your offerings.
Tweetable Value Proposal
Finish this sentence, Our ideal clients love coming to us because…
What benefits do your clients gain? What pains do they relieve? Why should people use your solution above the other possible solutions? What desires do you fulfill with your product, service, idea or experience that they cannot get somewhere else? What is the single, clear and compelling reason you are different and worth paying attention to?
Best Traffic Source / Channel Right Now & Top Future Traffic Sources & Channels
How will you create a consistent line of people interested in your offerings? What traffic source works best for you right now? Where have you received the most traffic in the past? What traffic sources are you most excited about experimenting with next? What would be best for your team’s strengths and skills (including your own:) Which traffic source has the potential to make you the most money?
*Keep all of these marketing musts in mind: Traditional Advertising, Public Relations, Direct & Personal Sales, Partners, Content Marketing, Digital Advertising
Take a look at the big picture this board gives you. What assumptions are you making? Building your business on risky assumptions is like building a house on sand. If you take a stark look at risky assumptions now you can prioritize experiments to eliminate those risky assumptions.
What is the riskiest assumption you can see in your revenue growth map?
Costs & Resources Needed
Think about the biggest costs, and group together small costs like you would on your tax returns. Do the same thing with time, what do you spend the most amount of time doing? What are other areas that you spend time on? What skills & knowledge do you need to acquire? What social capital is required to succeed?
How do you know your current best traffic source? What are the key performance indicators you use to measure the pieces of your revenue growth system? What are the key activities you should you be measuring?
What advantages do you have over others who might do the same thing? Hint; first to market is not really an unfair advantage. This is something that cannot be bought or done by others.
Below is a video that I made back when I was working with startups introducing the business model canvas.
Have you used a business canvas to strategize yet?
If so, tell me about your experience below. If not, tell me if you are going to use one after reading this article 🙂
I look forward to hearing from you below!