Business Model Made Easy: Benefits of the Business Model Canvas

A businesses model is the Holy Grail of every business – a blueprint for your product and how you’re gonna deliver it. It can determine whether your business is gonna make it – or break it. 

Traditionally, every company had their business model written in a business plan. Yet, things have changed. 100 – page long plans got too clunky to keep up with a fast-moving nature of lean businesses and startups. Last decade a new approach has been developing, that fits perfectly with the new agile environment. It’s called the Business Model Canvas.

Elements of the Business Model Canvas

Before digging in the benefits, we’ll shortly go through the elements of the Canvas.

Business Model Canvas - Elements
Elements of the Business Model Canvas

1. Key Partnerships:  What can the company outsource to partners so it can focus on its key activities?

2. Key Activities:  What key activities company does to deliver the value proposition?

3. Key Resources:  What unique assets company has in order to compete?

4. Value Proposition:  Why would customers want to buy and use the product? Why is it different than other similar products?

5. Customer Relationships:  How do you interact with your customers through their “journey” with the product?

6. Channels:  How do you promote, sell and deliver your products to customers?

7. Customer Segments:  Who are your customers? What do they feel, see, think?

8. Cost Structure:  What are the business’ major cost drivers? How are they linked to revenue?

9. Revenue Streams:  How does the business earn revenue from the value propositions?

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Benefits of the Business Model Canvas

It’s Short and Intuitive

Unlike lengthy business plans, the Business Model Canvas fits on a single sheet of paper. We can divide the model scheme into three groups of elements:

1. On the left side of the model are product related elements outlined in blue. They represent all activities and resources necessary for a product delivery. Product-related elements create costs.

2. Colored green, on the right side of the scheme, are customer related elements. They represent all aspects of a product that customers are in touch with. Customer-related elements create revenue.

3. Previous two elements interfere with each other and create a central element – the Value Proposition.

Dynamics of Business Model Canvas
The interaction between Business Model Canvas elements. Courtesy of apf.org

It makes sense – right? This logical structure makes the model catchy and easy to understand. Plus, the visual representation and spatial layout of elements make the model even more intuitive.

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It’s Easy to Modify

This is the world of continuing changes. Especially in the business world. New technologies, market niches, customer needs…all of those affect your business model.  So, finding an easy way to adapt your model to the changes is crucial.

Imagine rewriting a 100-page long business plan. It isn’t a pleasant thought – right?  Well, the Business Model Canvas is certainly a faster way for updating your business model. It will probably take you under 10 minutes to completely rewrite your old model.  However, if you stick with a business plan, it will take you longer than that just to read the first two pages.

It Focuses on a Customer Value

As I mentioned in a previous paragraph, the central part of the Business Model Canvas is the value proposition. It represents the coherence between what you’re selling and what customers need. Most importantly, it should highlight the uniqueness of how you bring that coherence.

Characteristics of Value Proposition
Characteristics of a Value Proposition. Courtesy of Convert.com

If you can’t define a clear, concise customer value proposition it may be a sign of a bad business model. The value proposition is the most important part of the Business Model Canvas and you have to explicitly define it. So, if it turns out you’re not really sure what your proposition is – you can promptly react. You will get a timely signal to redefine your business model and avoid possible disastrous outcomes.

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It Works

The Business Model Canvas is proven to work – and not just in the startup environment. Mega companies like LEGO, Microsoft or General Electric are also using this approach.  They have all realized the power of this simple tool.

LEGO has revamped the entire business model using the Canvas.  Not only did they avoid the bankruptcy, but they quadrupled the revenue and brought back the love of the kids around the world.

LEGO Business Model Canvas
LEGO Business Model Canvas. Courtesy of G. Motter

Make Your Own Business Model Canvas

It’s time for you to make your own Canvas. Click the interactive canvas below and use the post it tool to add new or edit existing post-its. Zoom in for the details, or zoom out to see a big picture.

10 Ways How Visual Collaboration Can Make You a Productivity Ninja

Many companies use visual collaboration tools when they deal with big projects. They involve people speaking different languages and living in different time zones. Despite that, they all have to work together. One of the most cost-effective and productive visual collaboration tools are online whiteboards. They erase time, geographical and language barriers. Check this 10 ways how visual collaboration whiteboard can skyrocket your productivity!

1. Allows real-time collaboration with people around the world

Let’s say you were working in a big software company with offices around the world. You have scheduled a business meeting with your Australian subsidiary, while your office is in the UK. So, you’re 10 hours behind them. As if that’s not uncomfortable enough, you don’t know how to explain their UX team what you’d like to change on the mock-ups they’ve sent last week.

But, what if you had a visual collaboration whiteboard? You could share it with a click of a button to your Australian team and make your comments in real time. You could show them what you’d like to change. And most of all, you would come to a mutual understanding faster and without frustration.

remote visual collaboration
Remote visual collaboration. Courtesy of: mindbowser.com

2. Breaks language barriers 

Images make sense to everybody despite cultural, geographical, ethnic or language differences. Imagine you’re having Japanese clients who don’t understand English quite as well as you’d like. You have sent them your project documentation written in business English. Unfortunately, their team leader had a very hard time understanding some of the requirements.

If you had a visual collaboration whiteboard, you’d map the concept using the international symbols and diagrams. The Japanese team would understand the symbology that you have visually presented to them and you’d avoid further misunderstanding.

visual collaboration tools break language barriers
Visual collaboration erases language differences. Courtesy of: rtrfm.com.au

3. Brings together people with different professional backgrounds

Let’s say you’re working on a web design project with team members from different departments. A lot of different professionals work on the project: marketing specialists, UX designers, front-end developers, graphic designers. Team leader asks you for an opinion as a marketing specialist. After observing it, you say you’ d like to change a banner copy. But, UX designer didn’t know that you were referring to a header, so he changed entirely different part of the page.

If you were collaborating on a visual collaboration whiteboard, these misunderstanding wouldn’t happen. You would simply mark the part of the wireframe you’d like to change, avoiding misinterpretations.

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4. Creates synergy 

Combining the audio and visual communication while collaborating you’re getting the most of your remote collaboration. Many visual collaboration tools, including online whiteboards, have built-in voice call systems. Using those tools on remote meetings and brainstorming sessions will make you feel as if you’re face to face with the people you’re communicating with.

5. Simplifies presentation of complex concepts

Studies show that visual communication is the most effective type of communication. People only tend to remember 10% of what they hear and 20% of what they read. However, they actually tend to remember 80% of what they see.

You have all probably heard the phrase: A picture is worth a thousand words. Showing your ideas to someone is always better than just telling them. That’s why infographics are so popular these days. Therefore, the visual collaboration will transfer your thoughts more efficiently and thus you’ll be more productive.

visual collaboration helps you grasp complex concepts
80% of what we remember comes to us visually. Courtesy of netimperative.com

6. Helps you understand a big picture

Imagine you were starting a new project and you got tons of project documentation. Text files are endless and reading them lasts forever. But, there is another way. With a visual collaboration whiteboard, a project leader can map out a visual concept and share it with a project team. The team can easily scan a concept and get a big picture of the project.

Visual collaboration tools help you see the big picture
It’s important to see a big picture. Courtesy of: huffingtonpost.com

7. Makes work in progress easier

Your team is working on a new design of your company page. You have mapped out the initial concept and sent it out to UX designer. But, every few days or so, someone from the team thinks of another change or idea to implement in the initial design. Sending new requirements and changes via email would be chaotic. Inevitably, the designer would misplace some requirements and wouldn’t implement them. Having your design concepts stored and available for editing whenever you think of a new idea, is a much more productive solution.

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8. Helps you handle urgent situations 

You work in a construction company and spend much time on sites. You are on your way to a new client, carrying a blueprint when your colleague calls you that he found a major calculation error on it. There’s no way you can correct that mistake anymore, except writing on top of it.

Not only that doing that will make the blueprint messy, but it will also make you look unprofessional. Visual collaboration tool would come in handy. You wouldn’t have to carry on a printed blueprint at all. You would have your tablet with a blueprint saved on it, and you could easily correct the mistake.

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9. Keeps you in the loop when on the go 

Whether you’re on a business trip or you work from home, you might want to keep track of your latest project updates. Visual collaboration whiteboard handles those situations perfectly. All your boards are saved online and updated in real time. You can access them via your personal computer or mobile device.

Visual collaboration tools help you when you work from home. Courtesy of: lab.securegroup.com

10. Inspires your creativity 

When more people work together on a single project, their imagination creates a synergy which sparks creativity. Individual ideas combine, creating new ideas, better and more creative. Visual collaboration between people initiates new inspiring ideas and positive emotions. Some colors even stimulate creativity. So, visual collaboration tools like online whiteboards can definitely boost your creativity.

Try out premium AWW online whiteboard completely free for a month.