National Incubation Center

Part 1: The Business Model Canvas – A recipe for Entrepreneurial Success

Often-times entrepreneurs have similar traits, ones that enable them to survive the bumpy ride to achieving their dreams. 

Two of the most important qualities are:

1. Being action-oriented

2. Having a clear sense of direction

Fortunately, these traits CAN be learnt over time. But what does the Business Model Canvas have to do with cultivating an entrepreneurial mindset you ask? Well, ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS, and the Business Model Canvas enables exactly that. It’s a not-so-secret recipe, that paves the way forward for you, so you can materialize your ideas into action. 

With a crystal-clear direction defined, you’ll build your strategy and you’ll execute and on the way, you’ll learn to be an entrepreneur. So, follow along as we take a dive into all the aspects of creating a business model canvas, so you can begin your journey to startup success. 

What exactly is the Business Model Canvas?

It’s a tool that helps entrepreneurs visualize the different elements/ areas of their business, to fully understand and digest it, rather than fight against it. The canvas allows entrepreneurs to put hypothesis to word and picture, to make sense of everything, and keep moving back and forth between the areas till all elements of the canvas fit in like pieces from a jigsaw puzzle.

Don’t be fooled, this won’t happen in the blink of an eye. As an entrepreneur you should be expecting to work on a series of iterations to fine tune the different elements on your canvas, as you validate and improve your business offering. And then a day will arrive, when you stare at that canvas on your wall and you feel that THIS is what my business is going to look like. 

That epiphany moment is a moment of great joy for an entrepreneur and is the moment from when the work REALLY begins. It’s now time to build that business plan and strategy and to take decisions, which are not based on random ideas in your head, but rather on systematic and validated hypothesis which you have built on, through market research and documented on our business model canvas. 

Startups essentially need to focus on Customer Development rather than Product Development. The Business Model Canvas helps a founder identify the right fit between its potential customers, and the product/service offered. If this sounds confusing at first dont worry it’ll all make sense soon. Let’s dig deeper.

The Business Model Canvas essentially has NINE building blocks that help an entrepreneur in developing a framework which he can use as a tool to build his business plan.

Please remember, neither your BMC, nor your Business Plan, is a static document, which you follow blindly, shutting external cues and changing environmental dynamics. The beauty of these tools lie in how they can be improved, revamped, and often COMPLETELY changed, if required, to come up with a business that does not shut down because it fails to find the right customers! 

This is where the importance of having an Agile approach comes in. Instead of following a step-by-step waterfall approach, where you follow a sequence of pre-defined steps without looking back, Agile is the way forward for startups- moving back n forth, pivoting and iterating on parts of the Customer Development Process, which is what you will be doing for a LONG TIME before you really start working on the product.

So, let me list down these nine components of the BMC for you, and leave it as food for thought before the next article in this series to decipher the business model canvas. See below the areas that synchronize perfectly with one another to create a framework you can build your company on. 

Now take a deep dive into the first building block of the BMC. The first building block we will be talking of, is Value Proposition. If you are interested in knowing about Value Proposition click here.

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The National Incubation Center (NIC) Program is a funded project of Ignite – Ministry of IT & Telecom.