Business Model Generation Canvas- reviewing where you are

Business Model Generation Canvas

When you start a small business, everybody has advice for you.

Some of it will be negative.

“80% of small businesses fail. You won’t beat those odds”.

And some of it will be positive. “Great news. I want to help you succeed and fulfill your dreams”.

Unfortunately, a lot of the people wanting to help are backed by their desire to profiteer off you.

They will inundate you with online courses and one-on-one consultations all claiming to deliver huge results and massive success.

They seem to always talk about the results they will get for you, not what you actually need. And never do they suggest you should start by reviewing where you are first.

That’s because in an age of instant gratification (or money for them), applying a detailed process that assesses your current situation is just too hard. The truth is, there’s money to be made off others so they go and sell elsewhere.

But ask yourself, how can you move forward if you don’t know where you’re starting from?

I reviewed where I was at

My first small business got off to a colossal start. Not long into my journey, I was raking in $300,000 from my kitchen table and wasn’t even working on it full time.

But it didn’t last.

Out of nowhere, my then wife asked for a divorce. It took me by surprise and impacted the way I managed and operated my small business.

Before long, $300,000 was turned into a $20,000 debt.

It seems a company-wide rebrand wasn’t the best use of money. And my inability to get out of bed and face each day stopped me from seeing (and dealing) with it.

I had blind spots. My small business was sinking. And as the captain, I was nowhere to be seen.

Tristan Business

I had two options. Fail or fight.

With my battle-face on, I chose to tackle this war and bounce back.  

I started by reviewing where I was and addressing what I needed to do to:

  • Service my customers
  • Acknowledge the value I can add
  • Assess what was (and wasn’t) working
  • Build relationships with customers and staff
  • Understand my pricing model

Knowing this allowed me to be the leader I wanted to be.

How to identify where you are

You don’t need to be spending huge money on some consultant to (apparently) help you grow.
In fact, all you need to do is understand where you are by focusing on nine key elements.

  • Customer segments: a breakdown of the customers being served.
  • Channels: how your offer is delivered.
  • Revenue streams: where the money comes from.
  • Key activities: performing what is needed to deliver.
  • Cost structure: the costs that result from your business activities.
  • Value or offer propositions: which seek to solve customer problems and satisfy customer needs or wants.
  • Customer relationships: how relationships are established and maintained.
  • Key resources: the assets needed to develop and offer the value proposition.
  • Key partnerships: those people and businesses you work with outside of your business.

The purpose of these nine key elements is to create a shared language for describing, visualising, assessing and changing business models.

It is intended to be a practical guide, which will give you a deep insight intoyour business model and a shared understanding of the value your business creates.

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Working through these nine key elements will give you the evidence needed to make informed decisions about where you currently are, where you want to go and how you can get there most effectively.

a man standing in front of a screen with the words business model generation canvass