The Business Model Canvas

Big Red Car here and it’s another smashing day in the ATX. It’s cool this morning and it will be warm this evening and it will be sunny all day.

On Earth as it is in Texas!

So The Boss has been working with a number of startups and small businesses. Of late, he has been pitching in over at TechStars Austin and he has had a number of inquiries. One thing that is bothering him a bit is the absence of basic planning on the part of the entrepreneurs who are founding and running these enterprises.

For the startups, this translates into a failure to really understand the nature of their businesses and the products they intend to develop. There is a fair amount of thought evident on the “product” side of things but the product is not as well tailored to the market because there is next to no thinking evident on the nature of the business engine and how it fits into the market.

A corollary of this is the fact that many startups seem to be low crawling up on the raison d’etre of their business — what is the problem you are solving? What is the pain point you are eliminating or anesthetizing?

Once you answer those questions, the targeted customers, the nature of the revenue, the revenue channels, the income statement, the essential skills, the strategic alliances all flow more freely and obviously which allows an entrepreneur to make a useful business model canvas.

So why is it not routinely being done?

The Big Red Car doesn’t know and really doesn’t care as long as entrepreneurs see the necessity of rectifying this problem and now.

Business Model Canvas Exemplar

Here is a graphic of what a typical Business Model Canvas can look like. I am attaching both a PDF and a JPEG for your use. You can click on either and see the graphic at full size.

Generic Business Model Canvas exemplar

Business Model Canvas Exemplar Checklist

The Boss has prepared a useful checklist to prod you along in creating your own Business Model Canvas. It is also attached here. Click on the hyperlink below and see the PDF.

Wisdom of the Campfire The Business Model Canvas REV 25 June 2013

If you will take a look at these documents, they will assist you in preparing your Business Model Canvas.

Two other quick points:

This exercise is very similar to that espoused by others including this one. The Big Red Car suggests using all these resources together to make your Business Model Canvas and likes The Boss’s approach as it is a bit more graphical. Use everything at your disposal.


This exercise also requires you to know your business process. This is really another exercise but one you should also have already done, no?

So, beloved entrepreneurs, founders, CEOs — do your planning and document your business model canvas. Now.

But, hey, what the Hell do I really know anyway? I’m just a Big Red Car. In a world full of turmoil, be a little pool of tranquility and peace.