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Why The Business Model Canvas PLUS is a Business Management Template that is crucial in helping to grow your business

Every business owner wants to grow their business and improve their ROI . To identify improvements and the actions to take, you as the business owner should step back, assess where  you are, see what areas of your business could be improved and then take appropriate actions to make your business more successful. A Business Model Canvas Plus is the Business Management Template tool that will help you reach your goals.

What is a Business Model Canvas PLUS?

The journey to the Business Model Canvas PLUS (BMC PLUS) begins with a completed Business Model Canvas. A one-page BMC description is developed by answering a set of questions. Figure 1 shows the questions that are asked. Figure 2 is the BMC we created for the SCORE San Luis Obispo chapter, a nonprofit entity. Each of the nine areas in the BMC will contain key elements related to your business . Your business might have more or fewer elements in any one of the nine sections.

Figure 1

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Figure 2 

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The Business Model Canvas PLUS

Figure 3 shows the next step in the journey of the BMC PLUS.   This new form will capture the improvements you will identify and actions to be implemented. The first two columns come directly from the completed BMC. The Value Proposition area in Figure 3 is used as an example.

The first column, Names of Nine Areas, is there simply to identify which of the nine areas is being worked on. The second column, the Results From BMC Key Elements, uniquely identifies a specific Key Element. This information comes directly from the completed BMC. Note that only five of the seven elements in the Value Proposition section have been transferred to their own individual rows. This is because each of these elements will have specific improvements and actions needed. Only two were omitted, (All services are free) because we couldn't think of any improvements needed to that element and (Business Literature Database), because it is being worked on by National SCORE. 

To fill out the third column, look at the second column and ask the question: What improvement to my business is needed here? In looking at skilled individual face-to-face co-mentoring, the improvement needed is more mentor training. Next, you need to go through the remaining four value propositions using the same question for each. When you finish with the value propositions, go to the next area, in the SCORE example the Customer Segment was used and ask the same question. Repeat for all remaining seven areas.

Completing the entire BMC PLUS and going through all of the columns will take no more time than doing a BMC. Experience has shown that the entire BMC PLUS form can be filled out by a business owner on average in four hours. It is a small investment of your time for the rewards that you will get by improving your business.

Figure 3

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Using the value proposition area on Figure 3 demonstrates how the various results from the BMC would be placed in separate rows. There were only five areas from the value proposition that we felt needed improvement. Note that there is an average of only three improvements needed for each of the remaining areas.

Figure 4 continues the process but shows only one example from each of the nine areas. For each area, ask what action is needed for each Improvement Needed. As an example, “Improvements Needed” could be “More mentor training.” What actions could be taken to achieve such improvement? 

    1. Sending mentors an invitation to attend some of our specific workshops, 

    2. Having training sessions during our monthly meetings and 

    3. Encouraging better attendance at monthly meetings.  Now, continue going down the Improvements Needed column and put in appropriate actions that could lead to improvements in that area.For Skilled Individual Face-to-face co-mentoring, there were three actions worth considering. If the action items seem a bit vague, the writer should consider being more specific. Members attending workshops could be reworded to something such as "Encourage members to attend (a specific) workshop by inviting and reminding them of the date and time.” For better attendance at monthly meetings one could add, “(every) monthly meeting.” In other words, be as specific as you can to get the biggest possible impact out of this process.

All Actions Needed should be examined, as demonstrated above, to determine if they can be improved and, if so, how.

Figure 4

BMC Plus Figure 4

For other improvements, one action might have been adequate--or six--depending on what’s considered necessary to make this improvement.

So just how many action items did we come up with. Let's look at each of the nine areas.

Figure 5

BMC Plus Figure 5

Figure 5 shows 28 improvements and 53 actions that we could make. Identifying these 53 improvements and actions took less than four hours. Some of these actions may not be taken because of cost or time, most can be made, some very quickly and at very little cost and this will be typical for the BMC Plus for any business.

Figure 4 showed one major element for each of the nine sections. While this example only describes one of the Improvements Needed for each, you should easily be able to identify more. And since this is the true value of the BMC PLUS, it is important to look critically at all aspects of your business or organization. This tool will identify many of the Improvements Needed and provide a list of actions you can take.

Prioritizing and planning our actions

Look at the remaining four columns: Priority, Name, Start and End Dates. First, it is important that you look at your action items. As far as prioritizing you can use whatever method you wish. One benefit of prioritizing lets you see which actions have a reasonably high priority and that are easy to implement. As you continue investigating and thinking about this, you may find the priorities change. Remember, as you begin to develop your plans you would like them to be measurable and realistic. Change is normal as plans begin to solidify.

There should be someone (Name) who is responsible for the implementation of the planned activity. Also, you should have a clear Start and End Dates for any significant plans. 

The BMC PLUS identified 28 Improvements Needed and identified 53 potential Actions Needed. Ten Actions Needed were rapidly identified and immediately implemented at virtually no cost or additional time spent.. When COVID-19 struck several Actions Needed were implemented immediately with great success.

As a part of the Actions Needed review and prioritizing, you could also have trusted advisors familiar with your business assist in their various areas of expertise, much as you would if conducting a brainstorming session. SCORE mentors would be happy to work with you as you complete the BMC PLUS.

The Business Model Canvas PLUS is a unique 21st Century business management template that will first help you  understand  your business better, then create a set of achievable actions to allow the business to operate more efficiently and profitably in the future.

If you are in the process of building out the BMC Plus for your business and would like an outside opinion, contact San Luis Obispo SCORE to Request a meeting with one of our Business Consultants or give us a call at (805) 547-0779.

 

About the Author(s)

Bob Kerwin

Bob Kerwin has been a SCORE mentor for 13 years and is a former Electronics Design Engineer, Project Manager and Assistant Division Manager at Hughes Aircraft Company.

Business Model Canvas Plus