The Business Model Canvas. What is it?

The Business Model Canvas. What is it? 

By: Abu Dhabi SME Hub

Got a new business idea, but you are overwhelmed by the idea of writing your business plan? Or is your current business model under attack and you are looking to strengthen it?  

The Business Model Canvas is a strategic management tool that can help you clearly define a project, the concept of your envisioned business, or the revised model for your existing organisation.

Whether you are starting fresh, or trying to reframe, completing the canvas is an exercise you should never do alone: you should approach it as a creative group exercise, highly interactive with free-flowing ideas. 

A one-page document, the Business Model Canvas lets you visualize and assess your business idea or concept through nine boxes that represent different fundamental elements of a business.

The Business Model Canvas’ four pillars are: 

  1. Product/Service
  2. Customer Interface
  3. Infrastructure Management
  4. Financial Aspect



How to Fill a Business Model Canvas 

There are nine building blocks in the business model canvas: customer value proposition, customer segments, channels, customer relationships, revenue streams, key resources, key partners, key activities, and cost structure

When filling out your business model canvas, you will need to brainstorm and conduct research on each of these elements:

1. Start with the Value Proposition:

Define your value proposition for each of your customer segments and how it addresses and meets their: 

  • Jobs to be done (tasks and problems to solve) 
  • Pains (obstacles and risks) 
  • Gains (benefits from completing their ‘jobs to be done’) 

2. Complete the Customer Relationships, Customer Segments, and Channels boxes:  Assess the desirability of your offering  – do your customers really look what you have to offer? 

3. Fill in the Key Partners, Activities, and Resources boxes:  is your business model feasible, in the first place?

4. Fill in Cost Structure and Revenue Streams: Being financially sound and profitable will ensure your company’s viability.

5. Finally, think about validation: Test your assumptions using experiments: build and test a prototype and validate interest with your users before building an MVP of this new project or product.


Download our free Business Model Canvas template and get started on assembling your own puzzle to success


For more information on the Business Model Canvas, check these informative sources: 

The Strategy Group: "Business Model Canvas" 

Creately: "The Easy Guide to the Business Model Canvas"

The Business Model Analyst: "Zoom Business Model" 

E=MC3: "Alex Osterwalder’s Business Model Canvas" 

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