business-model-tools

Business Model Tools for Small Businesses and Startups

In this article, we’ll see a few one-page tools to give entrepreneurs clarity of mind on their overall business to take actions to build a sustainable venture that unlocks value for many players in the long-term.

Business model canvas

The nine building blocks of the business model canvas comprise vital partners, key activities, value propositions, customer relationships, customer segments, critical resources, channels, cost structure, and revenue streams.

The business model canvas comprises nine building blocks:

Business-model-canvas

Lean startup canvas

The lean startup canvas is an adaptation of the business model canvas by Alexander Osterwalder, which adds a layer to the traditional business model canvas that focuses on problems, solutions, key metrics and unfair advantage based on a unique value proposition.

You can learn more about the lean startup canvas:

What is the lean startup methodology?

lean-startup-canvas-vs-business-model-canvas

Value proposition canvas

A value proposition is about how you create value for customers. Value Proposition Canvas is a methodology which integrated with the business model canvas can help you design a value proposition for your business model.

For a deep dive into the value proposition canvas:

Value-proposition-canvas

Blitzscaling business model innovation canvas

In some scenarios, building up a business feels a lot like throwing yourself off the cliff and assembling an airplane on the way down,” as Reid Hoffman, former PayPal, and co-founder of LinkedIn pointed out. 

This is true especially when you’re trying to build a business in an innovative sector, where the speed of adoption becomes critical for its long-term success. In that scenario, the Blitzscaling canvas is better suited:

blitzscaling-business-model-canvas
This is a model based on the concept of Blitzscaling, which is a particular process of massive growth under uncertainty and that prioritizes speed over efficiency and focuses on market domination to create a first-scaler advantage in a scenario of uncertainty.

Blitzscaling starts from the assumption that a company’s business model  is built on four growth factors and two growth limiters:

blitzscaling-business-model

To gain a better understanding of this tool, you can see below the six levers to blitzscale:

The business model navigator methodology

Assessing, designing and innovating a business model isn’t a simple feat. Thus, it is critical to have several tools that can help you look at your business from different perspectives.

The Business Model Navigator Methodology uses a simple framework to dissect a business model which looks at who, what, how and why of a business. Those four dimensions allow you to map any company’s business model by having a complete picture of its engine.

business-model-navigator

The BMI Lab created this framework. And FourWeekMBA in partnership with BMI Lab also put together a list of the business model patterns identified by its research.

The FourWeekMBA business model framework

fourweekmba-business-model-framework
An effective business model has to focus on two dimensions: the people dimension and the financial dimension. The people dimension will allow you to build a product or service that is 10X better than existing ones and a solid brand. The financial dimension will help you develop proper distribution channels by identifying the people that are willing to pay for your product or service and make it financially sustainable in the long run.

Key takeaway

Building a startup, a small business or a solo business isn’t simple. Yet to make this endeavor more successful you would be better off by simplifying the processes and methodologies used.

Instead of relying on pages and pages of business planning with a few one-page tools you can be way more effective.

Once you have cleared the few critical elements to build a successful business the remaining part will be about ongoing experimentation. You’ll set up feedback loops from customers, to comprise into the product and service and test if the market likes them.

This process can be simplified with simple tools that in a page can allow the entrepreneur to have a clear idea about the business and start taking actions to build a sustainable business model!

Other resources for your business:

Handpicked business models:

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Published by

Gennaro Cuofano

Creator of FourWeekMBA.com | Head of Business Development at WordLift.io | International MBA

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