The Business Model Canvas is a template for developing a new business model or clarifying the elements of an existing business model. It is a “canvas” or chart that describes a firm’s value proposition, infrastructure, partnerships, value proposition, customers, finances and other strategic and operational dimensions of the business.
What is the Business Model Canvas, and what are best practices, tools and templates for teams and organizations?
Definition of The Business Model Canvas
Description of The Business Model Canvas
The Business Model Canvas was originally introduced by Alexander Osterwalder in his book Business Model Generation, and was based on his earlier work on Business Model Ontology. The Business Model Canvas is a design template that lays out nine building blocks for any business, whether a for-profit company or nonprofit organization. The different dimensions of business model design include:
- Customer segments: The different types of customers that a company targets to build a successful business model
- Customer relationships: The kind of relationships the company wants to have with its customer in order to be successful
- Value propositions: The things that distinguish a company from its competitors in order to better meet the needs of its customers
- Key activities: The most important activities directly related to reinforcing a company’s value proposition
- Key partners: The buyer-supplier relationships to create competitive advantage and reduce risk
- Key resources: The most important resources needed to create customer value
- Channels: Effective channels are important to distribute a company’s value proposition in ways that are fast, efficient and cost effective. This can be done through its own channels (store front), partner channels (distributors), or a combination
- Cost structure: The most important monetary consequences while operating under different business models
- Revenue streams: The way a company makes money from each customer segment.
The Business Model Canvas has become a global standard for business design and can be used to describe, design, challenge and pivot to a new business model. Derivatives of the Business Model Canvas have been created by various organization like Adobe, for example, which uses a modified version in their innovation toolkit called Kickbox.
Tools & Templates
The Business Model Canvas is a template containing a diagram laid out with 9 boxes, each one labeled with a heading from the list of business model building blocks. The canvas can be used as a PowerPoint template or printed out as a large format poster. Many teams use the canvas as a working tool to surface ideas using post-it notes, find relationships between business model elements, and then rework the post-its until they result in a compelling business model design.
upBOARD's Online Business Model Canvas Tools & Templates
Unlike most traditional Business Model Canvas templates in MS Word, Excel, or PowerPoint, upBOARD’s online Business Model Design tools allow any team or organization to instantly begin collaborating with our complete templates and input forms. Our digital platform goes far beyond other software tools by including progress dashboards, data integration from existing documents or other software, elegant intuitive designs, and full access on any desktop or mobile device.