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How To Guide - Can You Tweak Your Business Model?

This week we hosted a workshop about how you might be able to innovate in your business with small but significant tweaks that improve what you do. You can find the recording in the Member Hub by clicking 'Member Resources' from the menu.

I wanted to share the model we used to help unlock any untapped potential in your business. It's a simple 'plan on a page' style sheet that let's you 'see' your business clearly and think about what you could change for the better.

I have attached the Business Model Canvas below which was isn't mine, but a well used model by Statergyser. You can click through to take a deep dive if you want to know more.

Please don't be put off by the slightly corporate title, it's a super simple way to brain dump or plan ahead.

Ideally you can print off the model and rock out the coloured pens to see where you're up to. Simply fill in the grid using the prompts below:

  1. Key Partnerships - this is about the people in your business. Obviously this is you but also your team of people around you. These might be employees, family or friends that help you. Note everyone down even if they're freelancers you only use occasionally. Also consider the key skills in the business here too - yours and the those of the people above.

  2. Key Activities - what are the core processes in your business. This might be a making process or a digital process, e-commerce or booking system. Also note down any processes of your daily activity, e.g. how you plan your day/week. Make a note of any tech that supports this activity and any suppliers that are crucial to your business.

  3. Key Resources - this is mainly about your finances and cashflow. Perhaps you can note how cashflow is and if that goes up and down a lot or remains quite steady. You might also note if you have other income courses e.g. you work part time.

  4. Value proposition - why do your customers buy from you? This crucial question is about what you see but really the additional value you add to that product or service. What's special, what can't be replicated by others, what additional magic do you add.

  5. Customer relationships - note down how your relationships are e.g. are they mostly returners or one offs? Do you get word of mouth referrals? Do your customers see you in their everyday life or as an occasional treat? How do you characterise the relationship - like a friend, expert to client etc.

  6. Customer channels - how you communicate with your customers and how they get to your business or service. What channels do you use to attract customers e.g. social media, website, third party booking platform etc.

  7. Customer segments - these are the ways you've grouped your customers. You might do this by location or frequency of purchase or by their need e.g. young couples, families with children or perhaps regular small vs occasional large orders.

  8. Cost structure - how do you structure out the pricing in your business and what are the costs to you. Think about how you might manage recurring payments, deposits or payment terms.

  9. Revenue streams - think about all the ways you bring income into the business. Perhaps you have multiple ways that people can buy or different services or packages available.

As I mentioned, you might decide to fill in each section based on what's happening in your business today. Alternatively, you might like to populate them based on future plans or a wish list to help you refresh or upgrade your business. The coice is yours.

Once you've filled in the sections (bullet points are fine!) then step back and observe how all those section interact. For example, do you notice that your cashflow is a little feast or famine? Can this be related to your payment terms or structures? Could you perhaps put customers on a Direct Debit or insist on payment sooner or with a larger deposit? Have you noticed that your relationships with customers are great but they're all repeat customers and you struggle to attract new customers? Could you look at the channels you communicate through or perhaps you could better use people in your business to help?

Play with the BMC, fill it in and leave it for a few days maybe or perhaps you can draw arrows between each section to see if you can unlock some tweaks or changing to help you innovate and improve your business.

We're talking about this in the Forum under a thread about the innovation workshop so share your results and thoughts - more heads make lighter work!

Business Model Canvas
Download PDF • 223KB


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