The Business Model Canvas

The Business Model Canvas is an invaluable tool to synthesize fundamental components of a business model into a single consolidated view. It can radically transform and streamline cross-functional workstreams and strategies in a simple-to-consume format.
Image of a business model canvas template, which features a set of conjoined rectangles reading: Key Partners, Key Activities, Value Proposition, Customer Relationships, Customer Segments, Key Resources, Channels, Cost Structure, and Revenue Streams.

Anne has always been a proponent of using one-pagers to capture the essence of ideas, value, and impact, to inform decisions and direction. This provides a communication approach that conveys all of the key components in a manner that is easy for others to assimilate and is a standard deliverable of AH Consulting’s services. It is also a test of how well the topic is understood. If you cannot create an effective and accurate one-pager that simplifies the topic for all audiences, then you probably don’t understand it as well as you should.

When Alex Osterwalder invented the Business Model Canvas (and subsequently co-founded, AH Consulting was an early adopter. Since then, this has become the gold standard for companies of all sizes around the world.

The beauty and value of the Canvas (reference model) is that it brings all of the fundamental components of a business model together in a single view. It reminds us that all of these components are interdependent on each other. If one changes, we have to consider the impacts to the others.

This tool provides an excellent method for “what if” analysis also. It gives us a way to quickly vet and consider different possibilities before selecting one and then diving into more detail that is typically associated with a business plan.

These are the nine (9) elements of the business model canvas:

  • Value Proposition (see companion tool, Value Proposition Canvas to help derive)
  • Key Partners
  • Key Activities
  • Customer Relationships
  • Customer Segments
  • Cost Structure
  • Revenue Streams

Since the inception of the Business Model Canvas, it has been adopted by other niches. For example:

  • Lean Startup Canvas
  • Lean Change (blend of Kotter, Agile, and the business model canvas idea)
  • Lean Transformation
  • Mission Model Canvas

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