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Within every company, key activities may produce the value proposition. Looking at all the other sections of the BMC will help determine these key activities. Here are some examples: Ask yourself -

  1. What key activities does our value proposition require?

  2. What activities are important to our distribution channels?

  3. What activities are important to maintain our customer relationships?

  4. What activities are fundamental to our revenue streams?

We will be discussing, Cost structure and Revenue streams in a later BMC blog.  As a last check of your company’s BMC, you’ll review key activities again.

Defining the key activities keeps focus on what makes your product unique and keeps your business operating.

Key Activities vs Key Resources

Key activities and key resources, addressed in a previous blog, are tightly linked together. Key activities are actions while key resources are things. Key partners, which identifies people or businesses that are important to your business, will be covered in the next BMC blog.

Types of Activities

Let’s start by looking at an example using our nursery business. The nursery wants to offer customers high quality plants.  The key activities might look like the following: 

The company may deliver product to their customers, own a greenhouse that needs to be maintained, have employees, and have the usual other business activities.  All of these things could be out sourced.  Someone else could deliver product.  The greenhouse could be rented so that maintenance was the owner’s responsibility.  Ultimately, if the nursery cannot deliver high quality plants and be able to tell customer’s what plants they have, then they will fail at delivering their value proposition.

If your company creates or manufactures its product as a key differentiator, then the following might be key activities:

  • Design next generations of the product

  • Keep current on the latest trends and innovations in your company’s field

  • Manufacturing, completing a product

  • Maintaining manufacturing equipment to continue building a product.

  • Making sure that materials are available for building the product

  • Making sure that components are delivered where they need to go to be integrated into the product.

  • Inspecting the product for quality

Apple and Nike focus on design and outsource manufacturing.

A few years ago, computer companies had production problems because all disk drives were manufactured by companies impacted by a natural disaster.

Some companies provide knowledge expertise to their customers. Examples are consultants, hospitals, architects, landscape design, and interior design. Key activity examples are:

  • Provide knowledge expertise

  • Remain current on changes in the area of expertise

  • Influence others on behalf of a customer due to knowledge

Every few years, tax laws change which requires tax lawyers and accountants to update their knowledge so they can advise their clients.

Other companies specialize in a wide variety of infrastructure that is used by customers. Distribution, call centers, real estate, and party rentals provide these kinds of services.

  • Be able to flex as customer requirements change

  • Monitoring and tracking appropriate metrics are critical to ensure that a business is moving me in the right direction. Two obvious examples are provided below:

    • Monitor fixed costs to maximize profits

    • Maintain metrics to increase sales

For real estate, keeping track of metrics helps encourage sales staff and gain customers.

Determine Your Companies Key Activities

Review the questions at the top of this blog along with your BMC. Focus on the actions performed by your company that make your company unique to your customers and helps the company stand out from your competition.

Additional Reading:

https://www.cleverism.com/key-activities-block-business-model-canvas/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JTfPPYg_YM8

https://isaacjeffries.com/blog/2017/4/3/bmc-part-seven-key-activities

 

About the Author(s)

Melissa Traynor

After graduating from California Polytechnic State University at San Luis Obispo, Melissa Traynor worked for 25 years in the Silicon Valley for well-established Hewlett Packard and startup MontaVista Software.  Melissa gained experience in the operations of a medium to large company doing a wide variety of support related, technical jobs.

Key Activities