Time is money.
Isn’t that a quote we have all heard at least once in our life?
As much of a cliche as it may seem, it is one that applies. The time lost in confusion, mistakes, disagreements, and other factors affecting productivity as a result of miscommunication, reflect negatively on the company’s returns.
Developing a new business idea or improving on an existing one is one of the tasks that involve making changes in several departments. For that reason, it is essential that all people concerned are onboard and even take part in the process.
The Business Model Canvas workshop is just the right activity to work on together as a team. It covers the fundamental, strategic elements of the business; to avoid all possible miscommunication thereby lost time, and make sure everybody is aligned on the strategy.
We have prepared a recipe, for you, to cook the best workshop for your team.
30 minutes to half a day.
Recipe Instructions 📄
1. Invite the right people
Since the purpose of the Business Model Canvas workshop is to co-create with the goal of establishing a common language among the team, it is important for all people concerned to be present. Making them part of the process will enrich the business model canvas itself and avoid wasting time in having to repeat the discussion that took place during the workshop.
2. Fill in the Canvas
During the brainstorm, encourage all the participants to share as many ideas as possible. Going over all possibilities and even the craziest ideas during the workshop can open doors to opportunities we ignored beforehand, or highlight some flaws we might have missed when focusing on one idea. Furthermore, it avoids the trial and error process where the team faces trouble during the implementation phase, which could have potentially been avoided.
The Business Model Canvas itself is made of nine building blocks, in the following order:
1. The Value Proposition
The first building block defines what a business is about. The value a business delivers its customers through a product or service by solving their pain.
Questions that facilitators can ask to help participants define the value proposition:
- What pain is my business solving?
- Why would a person want this specific solution my business is offering?
2. Customer Segments
To have a better perspective on the clients you are serving, with your team, create customer personas, examples of an actual customer. Include all details that matter from their gender and age, to their income and hobbies. Add all the relevant information extracted from the personas on sticky notes.
Questions that facilitators can ask to help participants define customer segments:
- Who am I providing a solution for?
- What gender or age group is more interested in my product or service ?
The channel refers to the method whereby you come into contact with your clients. The team should list down on sticky notes how they want to reach out to their customers: a physical store, website, or even social media platforms.
Questions that facilitators can ask to help participants define the channels:
- Do I need a store for my customers to see our products or experience the service?
- Are our customers on social media?
4. Customer Relationships
After determining with your team the customer segment you want to target and how to reach it, brainstorm on the type of relationship you want to have with them. This includes the detail of communication and type of interaction.
Questions that facilitators can ask to help participants define customer relationships:
- Will it be in person, online, or is there a need for a third party?
- Is their customer follow up, and additional service following the sale or does the relationship end as soon as the customers complete the purchase?
5. Key Resources
Key resources refers to everything your business needs to be up an running. Add sticky notes of all potential resources your business might need from knowledge, staff, material used, to details including electricity and office pens.
Questions that facilitators can ask to help participants define key resources:
- Do I need computers and office supplies?
- What inputs do I need?
6. Key Partners
The partners are the external parties your business works with. Discuss and write down all suppliers, manufacturers, and any other partner your company works with.
Questions that facilitators can ask to help participants define key partners:
- Do I need manufactured goods, if yes, from who?
- If I am selling a product, do I have my own shop or do I need to collaborate with a shop owner?
7. Key Activities
Brainstorm the actions that the business does on the daily to offer the value proposition.
Questions that facilitators can ask to help participants define key activities:
- What is my business expertise?
- What activities does my business perform?
8. Cost Structure
Discuss all the monetary cost of getting the resources and running the activities. Add sticky notes in this building block detailing all the money you put into your business.
Questions that facilitators can ask to help participants define the cost structure:
- What investments do I need to make to kickstart my business?
- Am I renting out a space?
9. Revenue Streams
The main financial gain is determined by your pricing strategy. With your team, list all applicable methods by which your business can monetize the value proposition.
Questions that facilitators can ask to help participants define the revenue:
- Am I offering a subscription based service?
- Do I have a freemium plan?
Whether the purpose of the BMC workshop is to create a new product or service, analyse an existing business model, or to improve on a previous one, sharing a pool of ideas can help us gain time and productivity as we assess all sides and examine all opportunities.
3. Achieve alignment
Following the step of exchanging ideas, participants should communicate with one another in order to agree on the best strategy. Through a voting process, allow participants to select the most relevant sticky notes. Once the Business Model Canvas is complete, actions that follow become clear for all employees involved. This method enables them to be more up to date and fully understand the work required from them more than if it were simply emailed to them as a list of tasks. It also encourages a sense of independence which is motivating to the employees. The co-creation process described improves teamwork and furthermore enhances communication between employees as they have a better understanding of each other’s roles. All of this contributes to the final goal of an improved structure and productivity.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Business Model Canvas?
The BMC workshop enables teams to share their visions about each of the nine-building blocks. Discussing all factors related to the business from the value proposition to the internal and external factors that impact the business, allows the team to reach a point of alignment. Having a well-structured summary of the business, that all departments involved agree on following the BMC workshop, the team can only move on forward productively and incoordination.
Where does the Business Model Canvas come from?
The BMC was created in 2005 by Alexander Osterwalder, an entrepreneur, and business theorist. It has since increased in popularity over the years as all types of companies started incorporating it in their business plan.
When to use the BMC?
This strategic management tool has a variety of use cases. Implemented as an activity within a workshop the business model canvas can serve as a retrospective and strategic planner to, respectively, go over past performances and plan forward the strategy for the upcoming period. This also allows individuals to work together to achieve alignment and share the same language.
Companies also use it to gain a better understanding of their competition or clients as they address the customer segment and relationship blocks of the Business Model Canvas.
Whichever usage form your team decides to adopt, the main purpose of this workshop is to co-create and have a balanced panel of point of views that enrich the business model.
How long does the BMC workshop take?
Depending on the type of usage, the workshop can take from 30 minutes to half a day working along with your team to brainstorm all the important elements.