What is the Business Model Canvas and Why Should You Care


Introduction to Business Model Canvas

The Business Model Canvas (BMC) is a strategic management and lean startup template that enables quick and easy visualization of business models. It is a one-page summary of the nine core elements of the business model, including customer segments, value propositions, channels, customer relationships, revenue streams, key activities, key resources, partnerships, and cost structures.

The BMC can provide valuable insight into the structure of a business, making it easier to make decisions and take actions that will lead to success. Let’s go into further detail about the BMC and why it’s important:

Definition of Business Model Canvas

The Business Model Canvas (BMC) is a strategic management and entrepreneurial tool that enables organizations to chart and design their value proposition, customer relationships, channels, revenue model, cost structure, activities and resources – showing how the business is expected to create value for clients.

Created by Swiss business theorist, Alexander Osterwalder in the early 2000s, the BMC does not replace a traditional business plan but rather helps to unify its various components into one visual framework. The canvas allows entrepreneurs to understand which are their core value creating activities as well as provides concrete insights into which activities actually generate revenue. It also helps identify possible sidesteps from competitors.

At its simplest level, it can explain a company’s strategy within an easily understandable context on one page. Ultimately, it enables an organization to map out its existing model or design a new one quickly and flexibly. This is achieved by breaking the process down into modular building blocks that can be arranged through experimentation by connecting them together in almost limitless combinations with other elements on the canvas.

Benefits of using the Business Model Canvas

Using the Business Model Canvas can help to ensure that critical pieces of information are visualized and discussed in order to establish company goals, make decisive decisions, and stay on track with strategies. This structure is extremely valuable when creating new business models or adapting existing ones. With this tool, not only will you have a clear road map of how to run your business but you’ll also be able to cross-reference against any future decisions.

Some of the top benefits of using the Business Model Canvas include:

  • Improved knowledge and understanding amongst a company’s executives and staff members regarding the primary components of creating a successful business strategy.
  • Comprehensive overview of an organization’s current situation as well as its options for growth.
  • Easy comparison for related organizations by presenting both their core processes as well as their resources in an easy-to-read format.
  • Clear visual representation that outlines a focused plan from which direction or decision making can be made quickly and deliberately with predetermined changes in mind.
  • Clear roadmap for launching or improving current services with cost considerations taken into account already at both start up and long term operations stages.

Overview of the Business Model Canvas

The Business Model Canvas is a powerful tool that helps entrepreneurs and business owners to visualize, design and develop new business models. It is a one-page visual template that can be used to map out the business model of a company. The Business Model Canvas consists of nine key components that form the core framework of the business model. These components are:

  • Customer segments
  • Value propositions
  • Key resources
  • Customer relationships
  • Channels
  • Key activities
  • Key partnerships
  • Revenue streams
  • Cost structure

In this article, we’ll discuss the benefits of using the Business Model Canvas and why it should be a part of your business strategy.

Customer Segments

Customer Segments are the people or organizations who benefit from the features and services of your product or service. Your Customer Segments should be clearly identified and segmented based on factors such as demographic or psychographic characteristics, roles, interests, behavior, and relevance to your offerings. In order to widen your target audience and maximize revenue potential, multiple Customer Segments may be identified.

When determining what Customer Segments you would like to target, there are several areas that you should consider:

  • Businesses (e.g. corporate clients)
  • Individuals (e.g. consumers)
  • Geographic regions (e.g. local, regional or global market)
  • Socioeconomic status, age group or other demographic characteristics
  • Psychographic preferences (e.g interests and lifestyles)
  • Relationship type (e.g new customers versus returning customers)
  • Behaviors by segment (e.g online shopping trends on different devices).

You also need to assess what value you can provide a certain segment/market as well as whether demand for your product/service in that market exists or if it needs to be created. Understanding which customer segments are important for your business model will help focus resources so that value creation can be maximized for both the company and the customer segments themselves – resulting in successful scaling of the business model canvas over time!

Value Propositions

Value propositions are statements that describe how a customer will benefit from a product, service or solution. They should make the value of a given offering clear and simple, in order to attract and refer customers. Value propositions may vary depending on the customer base and be divided into different groups or sub-segments. They are also typically linked to specific features or differentiators that distinguish an offering from its competitors.

In the Business Model Canvas, value proposition speaks to the attractiveness of a company’s offering for both customers and any partners involved in providing it (suppliers, distributors etc). When formulating value proposition statements look at how they answer two questions:

  1. Who are your target customers?
  2. What needs do they have that your product/service meets?

Value propositions may take different forms in various industries – for example: improved quality; increased speed; lower cost; greater convenience; increased safety; added features/functionality etc. Companies should craft different value propostions for each segment of their customer base as this can lead to better targeting of offers and resources as well as better understanding of customer behaviors and interests. Additionally, keep these ideas in mind when creating value proposition statements for your company: simplicity; specificity; scalability; sustainability over time etc.


Channels refer to the ways in which companies reach out to customers and users. They are the core means in which a company sells, distributes or communicates with its prospects, customers and users. Channels can take many shapes and forms, such as:

  • Physical stores or shops
  • Online with digital stores or on-premise software applications
  • Direct sales teams
  • Third-party intermediaries or partners like resellers and agents

Channels also include the support activities enterprises need to provide the best experience while using their products – such as online communities, self-service help centers, customer care services and more. Having an effective channel strategy enables companies to significantly increase sales and maximize their ROI.

Customer Relationships

The second core component of the Business Model Canvas is Customer Relationships. This section focuses on the different ways that a business builds relationships with customers, often referred to as customer relationship segments. These relationships can range from simply providing regular updates or product notifications, to providing detailed personalized customer service and support.

A business model must consider the different types of relationships it has with its customers, and determine which type of relationship makes sense for each customer segment based on what type of service or experience they are expecting.

The types of relationships a business can choose from when dealing with customers include but are not limited to:

  • Automated services
  • Assisted services (such as through call centers or email)
  • Third-party services (such as through affiliates or partners)
  • Co-creation (involving users in the design process)
  • Feedback loops (gathering customer feedback)
  • Personal attention

Each option comes with its own advantages and disadvantages and it is important to identify what type of relationships will benefit your business the most in order for you to build a successful business model.

Revenue Streams

Revenue streams are based on the value proposition a business offers to its customers, segmented into pricing and payment models. Having a clear revenue model allows businesses to measure their revenue sources, calculate costs and predict profitability.

A product or service can have various pricing and payment models. For instance, retail businesses may opt for fixed pricing for their goods and services, while subscription-based businesses might use recurring payments. Additionally, some businesses generate revenue through affiliate programs or by having partners refer customers to them.

Revenue streams may also refer to bundling various products or services together for customers as a single purchase. This commonly used marketing tactic is also known as product bundling which helps businesses increase sales of some of their slower-selling items.

Businesses can also opt for freemium models; these provide basic products or services at no cost while premium options are available at an additional cost. The goal of freemium pricing is usually to gain more users who are eventually willing to upgrade upon experiencing the basic version of the product or service being offered.

Ultimately, a business’ revenue streams depend on how skilled its marketing team is in identifying potential users that are ready to take action and monetize them through carefully crafted features which meet customer needs and wants.[1] Understanding customer segments thoroughly as well as market trends will help lead businesses in pursuit of profitable revenue streams in the long run.[2]

Key Resources

Key Resources refer to the resources a company needs to effectively deliver its value proposition and fulfill its customer relationships. They can be divided into physical, intellectual, financial, organizational and human resources.

  • Physical resources are tangible assets like machinery, products and office space.
  • Intellectual resources would include patents or proprietary knowledge.
  • Financial resources consider sources of revenue and investment capital.
  • Organizational resources include the cooperation of different divisions in a company as well as partnerships with suppliers or distributors.
  • Human Resources refer to the skills, experiences and competencies of the individuals employed by a business.

Understanding these key resources helps entrepreneurs identify what needs to be acquired in order for a business model to succeed. It is also helpful for determining what investments need to be made and what kinds of partnerships are necessary for success. This creates better clarity when looking at how an existing model can be further optimized or when developing new ways to create value within an existing market space.

Key Activities

Key Activities are the most important actions that a company must take in order to deliver its Value Propositions. These activities can include both internal processes and working with external partners. Key Activities create value for both the customer and the business, so they should be chosen carefully to ensure maximum value is delivered.

Examples of Key Activities include:

  • production and assembly
  • research and development
  • sales
  • marketing
  • delivery
  • customer service
  • branding or reputation management activities.

The focus with Key Activities should be on efficiency and effectiveness in delivering the core products or services of the company.

Key Partnerships

Business Model Canvas is a strategic management tool which outlines the nine essential building blocks of your business. It helps you to envision the elements which constitute your business model and how they relate to each other in order to better understand their potential impact on revenue, costs, and profitability. Key partnerships are one of the nine key building blocks and involve forming collaborations or alliances with third parties and/or competitors that can provide a competitive advantage.

The core aspects of key partnerships often involve sharing resources or leveraging existing capabilities possessed by another party to improve an organization’s competitive position in the market. Companies may join forces with other organizations in order to acquire new skills, expand into new markets, gain access to different distribution channels and resources (customer pools, technical infrastructure) or pool knowledge for innovation processes amongst others.

By recognizing strategic opportunities and carefully structuring collaborations from an organisational perspective through various legal forms (e.g., joint-ventures, contractual agreements or simple agreements) businesses can create advantageous relationships with industry stakeholders such as customers, suppliers and service providers that could ultimately provide advanced performance over rivals as well as valuable tools to achieve higher levels of efficiency, flexibility and resilience in today’s ever-changing environment.

How to Use the Business Model Canvas

The Business Model Canvas is a popular tool for developing, analyzing, and communicating business models. By using the canvas, it is possible to quickly build, visualize, and modify all elements of a business model in a single page. This makes it a great tool for entrepreneurs and business planners as it helps them to quickly test and compare different business models.

In this article, we will discuss how to use the Business Model Canvas effectively:

Identify your customer segments

When you are creating your business model canvas, it’s essential to identify your customer segments in detail. Knowing who your customers are and what their needs and preferences are will help you more effectively communicate the value of your product or service.

The customer segments section of the business model canvas requires you to clearly articulate who your ideal customer is. This can include considerations such as age, gender, location, occupation, etc. Being specific here will help guide many of the other components of your plan and allow you to focus on how best to reach and serve that target audience.

In addition to demographic information, understanding customer behaviour and motivations can be just as (if not more) important when it comes to understanding who should be a priority segment for targeting. Questions here could include:

  • What makes them purchase?
  • What channels do they use?
  • What outside triggers motivate purchase?

Identifying these motivators ahead of time will help ensure that you’re crafting the right message for the right people at the right time.

Create value propositions

Value propositions are the formulations of the value offers your company creates for its customers. It is one of the most important elements of the Business Model Canvas. Your value proposition answers the question, “What will this product/service do for my customers?” and should be designed to appeal to one or several of your preferred customer segments.

You need to make sure you understand their needs, build a durable positioning on those needs and articulate an attractive solution that resonates with them.

Creating successful value propositions requires a deep understanding of customer needs and desires, as well as a thorough analysis of current and potential markets. The goal is to create a unique combination of benefits that sets your offer apart from competitors and ensures it resonates with target customers. Think about how you can satisfy them better than any other business can:

  • What problem can you solve?
  • What need do you specifically address?
  • What benefits are combined in your offer?

Your value proposition should be expressed clearly and concisely in a single statement or phrase; it should distinctively define the benefit that makes yours the ideal solution for target customers. Clarifying what makes your product/service special is essential; clear communication of your business offering will distinguish it in the marketplace.

Put yourself in your customer’s shoes, distil down their requirements into priorities, and determine your competitive advantage clearly so they know exactly why they should buy from you.

Determine your channels

Channels are the physical and digital vehicles used to reach and engage with customer segments. It’s important to identify which channels you currently use and map out your plans for future channels.

In determining which channels are the most effective, consider what type of channel would best suit each customer segment. For example, if you have customers who like to learn about a product or service through online tutorials, then having an active presence on YouTube or a blog will be invaluable for reaching them.

It may be helpful to think beyond traditional channels too; for example, one company used their partnership with a charity as a way of propagating their brand message across multiple customer segments – not only were they able to tap into existing customer relationships with the charity, but they could also tell a story that resonated with everyone involved while still providing value back to those engaged in their actions.

Once you have identified and mapped out your channels, then it’s time to look at how you can use those channels most effectively. Consider how each channel can provide value both directly and indirectly (for instance, via leveraging social media influencers). Make sure that your activities in each channel adds real value; this could include providing helpful tutorials or exclusive discounts from collaborating partners and sponsorships on related websites or publications.

Establish customer relationships

When you use the business model canvas, one of the nine building blocks is establishing customer relationships. This important aspect of any business outlines a company’s approach to customer relations, including how it acquires and interacts with customers. It can also be used to evaluate approaches to customer strategy and make changes to improve the customer experience.

When creating the customer relationship strategy, it should include elements such as:

  • How a company interacts with customers
  • What types of communication channels will be used (e.g., email, phone)
  • How customers will pay for products or services (e.g., credit cards)
  • What type of incentives are offered for using a particular product or service
  • Any other information that helps create an easy and satisfying experience for customers

Additionally, it’s important to consider how efficiently customer relationships can be maintained once established and whether there are channels in place for acquiring new customers on an ongoing basis.

By leveraging data from existing customer relationships and monitoring feedback from surveys or assessments companies can understand more about their abilities when it comes to serving their customers. This approach ensures that resources are directed appropriately in order to meet the needs of existing customers while providing opportunities for prospective clients as well. Establishing a helpful and relevant relationship with your customers through clear communication practices, attractive offers and timely feedback can go a long way towards achieving success when launching or growing a business model canvas centered project or venture.

Create revenue streams

Revenue streams are the methods through which a company generates income from its customers, whether through selling a product or providing a service. When creating revenue streams for your business model, you’ll need to consider the type of revenue (e.g., one-off or recurring), pricing models (e.g., cost-plus models, subscription-based models, pay-per-use models), and packaging options (e.g., bundled packages, individual items). Your organization’s revenue strategies will determine how much money customers you will be able to bring into your business based on the products and services you provide.

In addition to understanding and defining your own organization’s revenue streams, it’s important to understand how your competition operates in order to identify areas of potential opportunity in which your company could differentiate itself. Keeping up with changes in customer behavior and preferences may also be necessary as customer diversity increases over time and new markets get more involved in purchasing products or services from businesses like yours.

One way of organizing potential revenue streams is by using the Value Proposition Canvas, which describes how businesses create value for their customers by linking offerings with customer needs or challenges they face. The Value Proposition Canvas also shows what you should define in order to create an overall successful value proposition for a given segment and what channels should be used to deliver this offering efficiently. This canvas can help you optimize prices and packaging depending on different market segments that can help generate meaningful revenues over time.

Identify key resources

The Business Model Canvas is an effective tool you can use to assess and improve your business’s strategy. It helps you focus on key areas of the business model and develop a comprehensive picture of how it works as a whole. When properly used, the Business Model Canvas can be a powerful asset for entrepreneurs looking to maximize success.

The Business Model Canvas provides nine areas that provide insight into the structure and performance of your business model, including key resources. Key resources are critical physical, intellectual, financial, or human resources that enable the company to deliver its value proposition – whatever it is that makes your company unique and gives it a competitive advantage. Identifying these sets of resources accurately allows you to build an enduring business model as well as properly allocate capital and manage efficiency across processes related to operations and delivery.

When identifying key resources on your canvas, think about what type of resource you will need (i.e., physical versus intellectual or human) to achieve the results I need in order to execute my strategy effectively? Asking questions like this will help you dig deeper into your resource management plan and can ultimately lead to improved efficiency across processes related operations and delivery.

Define key activities

All businesses go through certain activities in order to provide their services and/or products. The Business Model Canvas helps businesses to identify and define these key activities. It’s an important step in developing a strategy for the enterprise, as well as identifying resources that need to be allocated.

Defining the company’s key activities can be broken down into four main types: production, sales and marketing, customer relationship management, and asset/resource management.

  • Production: Any activity necessary for transforming raw materials into a finished product ready for delivery to end customers. This includes all stages of the supply chain from design and manufacturing through packaging and shipping. It encompasses elements such as labor costs, inventory management, quality control, speed of delivery, and more.
  • Sales & Marketing: Any activity geared towards finding potential customers or persuading existing ones to purchase a product or service. This could include anything from traditional advertising campaigns (including trade shows) to eCommerce activities (like email campaigns). It incorporates elements such as market research, pricing strategies, promotions tactics, customer segmentation strategies and more.
  • Customer Relationship Management (CRM): Any activity focused on strengthening relationships with current or prospective customers to ensure they remain loyal or become repeat buyers over time. This could include anything from customer service response times to loyalty programs that reward repeat purchases with discounts or rewards. It takes into account topics like billing systems and payment protocols; support staff training; product warranties; online portals for customers; feedback surveys & reviews; data analytics & insights; and any other activity designed to support customer satisfaction in some way.
  • Asset/Resource Management: Any activity related to managing assets effectively across suitable timeframe in order maximize gains while minimizing losses due changing market dynamics or competitive forces at play in industry ecosystem. This could involve anything from capital budgeting procedures (determining resource allocations) through portfolio analysis options (adjusting budgets strategically), inventory handling practices (minimizing stockpiling) cost accounting strategies (establishing proper pricing points), financial reporting standards (measuring performance), procurement policies (ensuring quality products are sourced) , organizational culture maintenance programs etc.

Essentially, developing an understanding of a company’s key activities will help managers make better decisions concerning the use of resources available at their disposal according proper optimal allocations each different type operational task has its own unique requirements needing fulfilled within timeframe stipulated by corporate goals timeline established beforehand forming basis decisions managerial methods employed during times crisis emergency require emergency responses only effective planning prior incident can create situation calm enough quick resolve possibly ensue thereby addressing overall objectives business model canvas created ensure this achieved without fail now successful implementation eventually reached expected results met established time limits!

Establish key partnerships

When developing and assessing a business model, it’s important to consider the key partners who are fundamental to its success. These tend to include suppliers, vendors, potential customers, investors and any other relevant industry participants that can have an impact on the success of the idea or venture.

Understanding these types of relationships is vital for any business venture and helps entrepreneurs secure vital resources for their ideas efficiently. It also helps them identify potential revenue streams and cost drivers. On the Canvas, key partners are located just below Key Resources. Here you will begin to set out who your partners may be – think about the companies that can drive your success so they become part of your network and can help reduce risks related to your venture.

Additionally, you should think about how you can establish mutually beneficial partnerships through collaboration between yourselves and these other companies. Aligning yourself with proven players within an industry has great potential value-building opportunities but also carries some reputational risk – as such you should think carefully before signing up with someone in this way as it could potentially damage your own personal brand or business activities if something goes wrong with that particular partner or their services/products.


The Business Model Canvas is a powerful tool for entrepreneurs to create and develop their business models. It provides a comprehensive view of the business and allows for an in-depth analysis of the different components of it. It is also a useful tool for helping to identify potential opportunities and weaknesses in the business model and for refining it.

In conclusion, the Business Model Canvas is a valuable business tool for entrepreneurs and business owners.

Summary of the Business Model Canvas

The Business Model Canvas is a strategic management and entrepreneurial tool that helps you develop a business model for your enterprise. It is best suited for entrepreneurs starting a new venture, as well as businesses looking to expand or innovate their existing models. The Canvas provides an overview of the nine essential elements of any business:

  • Customers
  • Value Proposition
  • Channels/Distribution
  • Customer Relationships
  • Revenue Streams
  • Key Activities
  • Partners/Resources

The Canvas’ graphical interface makes it simple to visualize potential ideas and opportunities while considering the consequences of each decision. This framework helps identify how to gain competitive advantage in the marketplace through creating unique value propositions or differentiating existing ones. It encourages businesses to think holistically about the “big picture” by considering each cornerstone in the context of all others.

The Business Model Canvas is an effective tool for assessing and predicting market trends before committing valuable resources into costly projects or poorly informed decisions that do not generate strong returns on investments made. Through its interactive design, it can also be used as an instrument to brainstorm and discuss potential strategies with teams – creating an environment conducive to sharing ideas within an organization without conflict or judgment.

Benefits of using the Business Model Canvas

The Business Model Canvas (BMC) is a tool that entrepreneurs can use to create and analyze their business models, as well as assess the effectiveness and performance of the business. The canvas includes a set of nine related fields that help entrepreneurs visualize and plan their intricate business models. Whether you’re planning to start a business, launch a new product or expand an existing one, the BMC can be invaluable for clearly articulating your vision.

Even if you are not planning to start a venture, understanding the BMC will help you better comprehend the workings of existing businesses.

There are numerous benefits to using the Business Model Canvas that extend beyond improving your understanding of existing or prospective businesses. For starters, it increases focus by guiding users towards identifying only those components of their business model which are absolutely essential. This leads to more efficient decision making while also giving all stakeholders clarity on every aspect of the venture’s operations. In addition, using the BMC helps minimize risk by reducing uncertainties associated with launching a business; potential problems and unwelcome surprises can be anticipated early on in this way.

Finally, using the canvas makes it easy to consistently track performance over time and make necessary adjustments as needed; all aspects related to generating revenue and cost savings can be monitored with ease when using this tool:

  • increases focus
  • leads to efficient decision making
  • gives stakeholders clarity
  • minimizes risk
  • allows tracking of performance over time
  • makes it easy to make necessary adjustments
  • allows monitoring of revenue and cost savings