Another Way To Plan – The Business Model v Business Plan

We noted in an earlier post about discovering a great source of business and entrepeneurial podcasts from Standford (Post: Weekly Digest #1 – How We Stumbled Upon Top Biz Resources). They kindly share a long list of inspirational and insightful lectures you can download and enjoy.

One session worth sharing was presented by Alexander Osterwalder. Osterwalder talks about the ‘Business Model Canvas’. A strategic management template for developing new or existing business models.

In layman’s terms, Osterwalder presents a simple and powerful device to explore and explain your business. It may be used to help build your business plan or even replace it. To distinguish between the two:

– A business model (dynamic) describes how your company creates, delivers and captures value (Source).

– A business plan (static) is an operational document to how your business will run.

Ultimately, the benefit of a business model is speed and story telling. It allows you to test your idea before moving too far down the formal planning route. It presents an alternative and flexible start to the planning process.

We have summarised the key elements of Osterwalder’s business model canvas below however the links at the bottom of this post will help you the most. Have you used a business model approach? Please share your experiences with us.


The 9 Business Model Canvas Building Blocks:

1. Customer Segments
2. Value Propositions
3. Channels
4. Customer Relationships
5. Revenue Streams
6. Key Resources
7. Key Activities
8. Key Partnerships
9. Cost Structure


Learn more about business models:

Learn from business model practitioners:

Download the business model canvas:

Gain more information on the business model concept from this book preview:

Listen to the Osterwalder podcast to hear more from the brains behind the concept:


You might also enjoy:
+ The Startup Dictionary – Learning the Lingo #3
+ Learning From Other Startups – 6 Real Life Stories
+ Startup Myths – I shall not be fooled again by gurus
+ The Bootstrap Challenge – Walking the Talk

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