Business Model Generation

The most important part of the planning process in starting a new venture is putting together the business model. A business model communicates all of the activities that affect how the firm competes in the marketplace. Investors want to know how the business will deliver value – to customers, partners, employees, and shareholders. Articulating a firm’s business model in a manner that is easy to understand can help improve the effectiveness of your elevator pitches and presentations.

I recently came across a book called “Business Model Generation” that helps you do just that by advocating a very creative and visual approach for creating business models. At the heart of this book is a tool they call the “Business Model Canvas” (it can be downloaded here: http://www.businessmodelgeneration.com/canvas). The canvas has a section for each component of a business model (e.g., value proposition, key partners, customer segments, etc.). The idea is to use sticky notes to populate the canvas and then draw on it to explain your business model as a narrative. If done well, the canvas can help you tell a convincing story for the value of your business. The visual nature of the canvas makes it easy to use, less intimidating than most other tools, and a fun exercise to do in teams.

Dr. Atul Teckchandani
CSUF Entrepreneurship Professor

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