BMC Part Eleven: After Your First Model
(If you’re using the Canvas, you’ll love my free Business Modelling eBook, full of tips for inventing and testing ideas that will change the world)
You’ve just finished your first canvas.
Now is the time to step back, clear your head, and take it all in.
The first question we need to ask: does this look like our business?
It’s strange seeing our idea in this template, but it should resemble our enterprise.
The second question is: are there alarm bells going off when we look at the canvas?
Alarm bells are great – something in our gut tells us that there’s a weakness. If we listen and take action, we can make improvements that strengthen the organisation. We’ll look at some examples in Part Twelve.
The third question is: What tests can we do to validate our model?
Testing is wonderful, because it can prove/disprove our core assumptions, without much costs and without any embarrassment.
Think of it this way: since there are faulty assumptions built into our idea somewhere, would you rather discover them now or later?
In private or in public?
We naturally resist testing because we’re worried, but it’s the other way around.
Testing reduces risk, testing helps you feel more comfortable about the guesses you’ve made.
This is explored in more detail in Part Thirteen.
The fourth question is: What if we change part of it?
What would it look like if we sold to a different customer?
Or if we kept the same customer, but sold them something else?
Could we change our pricing structure?
Could we change our delivery channel?
It’s important that we explore alternative models, because they might end up earning us more money and create more social impact.
Designing new ideas is both fun and rewarding, and costs nothing – just paper, pen and inspiration (coffee and alcohol each provide slightly different forms of inspiration, and both are useful).
We’ll look at some examples in Part Fourteen.
We can’t afford to fall in love with our first idea. It’s a good model, but it’s not perfect. Take some photos of this first canvas for your records, then move onto a blank template.
The idea that we need to run with might be version 10 or 11, so let’s work through some iterations.
If we want to build something innovative, we’ll have to step into the unknown.
We can’t mimic another company, but we can copy the thought processes that led to their success.
The next few articles are designed to make this process easier – sparking new ideas and raising good questions.
First up, let’s hone in on those Alarm Bells…
This is a multi-part series on the Business Model Canvas.
If you’d like to jump straight to a particular section, go to:
Overview: How To Use The Business Model Canvas
Desirability: Customer Segments, Value Proposition, Customer Relationships, Channels
Feasibility: Key Resources, Key Activities, Key Partners
Viability: Cost Structure, Revenue Streams
Then once you've made your first Canvas:
Reviewing: After Your First Model, Alarm Bells
Reinventing: Testing, What If?
Improving: Metrics, The Business Model Environment
Extensions: Pitching, Social Impact, Making It Great, What Next?