Visual business development tools (I): The business model canvas

Why spend weeks crafting a well written business plan, when your startup idea will change in time as you get additional partners, obtain funding or receive feedback from your first customers? Many people is pushed back by the idea of writing a business plan, and most of them don’t know where to begin.

My recommendation is to first use one or both of the visual business development resources I present in this post, to then design some slides to build a pitch deck and finally go to a detailed business plan when you have all the information you need on your hands and you really have the need for it.

Visual resources require little writing and can be easily changed as your ideas change; and they are a great alternative to verbose business plans which you probably can’t write right now because you lack vital information. Leave your keyboard aside. take paper, markers and adhesive notes – the first step to write your business plan is a fun one. 

1. The Business Model Canvas by Alex Osterwalder
Business and relationships

Some years ago Alex Osterwalder revolutionised the world of business development with his business model canvas.


He offered teams an easy and complete tool for product and service modelling and wrote a book in which he explained the method in plain english and with strong visuals. His model is used by entrepreneurs of all kinds and taught in many universities around the world.

The canvas helps you map a business model by collecting your customers, channels, products, resources, revenue streams… in one view in which you can analyse relationships and identify pros and cons.

A lot has been written about the Business Model Canvas; I can totally recommend to buy Alexander’s books or watch some of the many videos about it, like the one below. 

Don’t forget to continue reading about the value proposition canvas here.

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