How To Use Mind Maps To Sketch A Business Model

Business modeling is a discipline that helps us experiment with the business we’re creating in the real-world so that we can quickly test the underlying assumptions of a business model and iterate to build a viable business with a long-lasting advantage. Mind mapping can help you sketch that business model.

Read: 30 Successful Types of Business Models You Need to Know

Why to use mind maps to sketch your business model

Business models, contrary to business plans, continuously evolve and have as fewer assumptions as possible.

Even the assumptions comprised in a business model need to be tested quickly to enable your company to gain traction.

That is why a mind map rather than a simple document can be effective in testing your business model hypotheses.

In short, mind maps have the following advantages:

  • Those are visual tools, which help you simplify the process of understanding your whole business.
  • They also help you develop a more dynamic understanding of your business, contrary to what happens with business planning.
  • They give you the ability to track the changes in your business model. As your business model mind map evolves, you can check how your business changed over the months and years, and what building blocks made it gain traction.

How to use mind mapping to sketch your business model

As explained over and over again on FourWeekMBA, business models are useful tools that entrepreneurs can use to sketch their business on a piece of paper. Yet, that business model will mostly not work, as it will need several iterations before finding the key building blocks which make it viable in the real world.

This is an ongoing, continuous process of experimentation and iteration. We used a FourWeekMBA partner’s tool (MindMeister mind mapping tool) to sketch a business model template that you can download and start using.

Below you can also find the public map template that I created which you can copy and then fill out (you just need a free MindMeister account to do this). As MindMeister also lets you share maps with colleagues and collaborate on them in real-time, so you can create your business model together.

Business Model by Gennaro Cuofano

What’s next?

Use as an example the template above to start building your business model with a mind map. Keep in mind, that based on the stage of conception, growth or scale your mind map will look quite different.

Indeed, if you’re at the conception stage, the business model mind map will be very simplified and it might have a few building blocks primarily comprising the product and the few key customers.

As the business grows and gain traction you can add more building blocks.

So few secrterts are:

  • Keep it simple: there is always time to make things more complex. To get started to keep the model as simple as possible by prioritizing the main building blocks.
  • Make it understandable: can other people understand that? This is a good test to realize whether you are keeping it simple. Why does it matter? See the next point!
  • Make it testable: if you don’t understand the key building blocks of your business model, you won’t be able to test the assumptions underlying it. Thus, make sure you understand the key assumptions underneath your business model also because your team will need to be able to test them too.

Key takeaways

In this article, we saw how we can use a more dynamic tool like mind maps to sketch a business model. As we’ve seen a mind map is visual, dynamic and simple to use.

For the sake of this article, we leveraged on MindMeister to build a template that you can reuse to start building and testing your business model today!

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