Exploring the Business Model Canvas

Alexander Osterwalder is credited with the initial proposal of the Business Model Canvas, which is basically just a template for taking a start-up venture from concept to operation. It has since been developed further, revised and amended to fit in with the most common businesses which occur in these times, a mere nine years after Ostwerwalder’s 2008 work.

A lot can change within a period of almost a decade in the world of business and with the rapid growth and development of the internet over the past nine years, a lot has indeed changed. This is why it’s worth exploring the evolved version of the Business Model Canvas, which although it may differ depending on field-specific interpretation, generally follows one common terrace.

So in its most basic of forms the Business Model Canvas is comprised out of four steps, namely:

-Identifying a gap or niche in the market

-Working on a solution to fill that gap or serve that niche identified

-Getting that solution to market

-Refining, extending or even changing the solution to meet real market expectations

Identifying a gap or niche in the market

This is as simple as spotting a problem in the market which can solved using some skills you might have, some key relationships you may have developed with individuals and organizations who may have the skills required to solve the problem or even some raw materials which you may have or which you may have access to in order to create a solution for the identified problem. Sometimes “problems” to be solved can be created, such as pointing something out which potential customers didn’t even they’d need to have in their lives. Think high-end, luxury goods like the Apple range of electronics.

If you have identified the problem, at this stage of the Business Model Canvass, you’d proceed to work on creating a solution to the problem you identified in the market and to use a typical Silicon Valley example, this is when you’d go underground, all wired-in and hammering some code away to get that app or piece of software you’re working on ready to launch.

Working on a solution to fill that gap or serve that niche identified by an in-house development and analytics team would be an ideal way to go about it – just how bioceutical companies like Fortress Bio have done it to expand and carve a name for themselves in this field. Maybe, that way, you would not only be able to better business prospects, but also improve your products as well.

Getting that solution to market

Most start-up founders who are active in any field really suffer from the syndrome of wanting their solution to be perfect by the time it hits the market. This is not the way to do it. What you should rather do is work on what is referred to as a minimum viable product, which means the most complete version of the product for the least amount of work required. Take this minimum viable product to market as soon as it’s good to go.

Refining, extending or even changing the solution to meet the real market expectations

Now you proceed to sell your product and see how the market reacts to it. The best case scenario is the market accepts it as is and all you have to do is scale up your production operation, but the likelihood is that the market will tell you how to proceed by coming up with their own suggestions of how they want the solution to develop further. Refine, extend or change and even make a complete pivot with your solution and you’re bound to have a winner.

Colin Shaw
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Written by Colin Shaw

Colin has been in the finance market for over 20 years and specialises in best business practice to make an organisation profitable. The only man for the job when it comes to numbers and accounts with a keen talent for simplifying finance for the wider market.