The canvas ensures your approach is thought through by asking you to scope the nine essential elements of a business model and showing how they connect systematically.
The canvas is one of the newer strategic tools, based on brilliant work done by two European management consultants Alex Osterwalder and Yves Pigneur. It has been further developed by Angela Cluff and Bernard Ross at =mc consulting to make it useful for public bodies, charities, INGOs and NGOs.
The canvas, in essence, asks you to explain how your existing or new business idea works in terms of nine key interlinked elements. These elements are the essential components that make up your business model.
Here is what every section in the canvas means and the kinds of content it contains:
Individuals or agencies, normally external, who contribute to some part of your business canvas. These can be suppliers, affiliates, vendors and even competitors. You may explore here what resources/services you get from them and link them to how they add value.
You can create the canvas from almost any starting point:
However, it is normally done in a particular sequence, ensuring you begin with and then build on the more important components. This allows you to focus and then elaborate on each item separately. A common sequence would be:
But you can begin as you would with a jigsaw and simply fill in what is obvious, and then build out to the other sections.
Note that the canvas doesn’t explore some other elements that you might want need to create a complete business case – these include:
There are other tools that can help you scope these.
=mc consulting has worked with a wide range of charities on adapting their business models.
We’ve used the model with a range of organisations from major INGOs like Doctors without Borders USA and UNICEF International, UK charities like the British Red Cross, NSPCC, local authorities such as London Borough of Brent, London Borough of Hackney, Rotherham MBC and small social enterprises like Crossroads Care in Kent and Age Exchange.
If a Business Canvas Model sounds interesting and if you’d like to find out more about them or strategic development generally then =mc consulting can help you consider how or what to change.
You can download some further information here.