Had some of the confusion and stress taken out of finishing the business plan at a SCORE training last week. My SCORE Mentor is not a biz plan junkie so she registered me for a Business Model Canvas workshop. It’s apparent Mentors want to help us, there were four in attendance plus the one teaching. There were four businesses in attendance. Here’s what I learned.
Model vs Plan
Business model is how the business is run – broad strokes. Business plan is specific – nitty gritty detail. Business model canvas is a simple, yet effective way to lay out the who, what, where, why, when and how of a business plan. (There’s my journalism side coming out.) Only instead of the 5 W’s of news, it’s the 5 areas of the business plan. See the color coded copy of the canvas template on the right – customers, resources, revenue streams, cost structure, and intro – add a little and intro becomes executive summary, add financials and you have complete business plan. One of the Mentors attending also shared a Lean Canvas Template that his company uses every time they are flushing out a new idea or new service. Every time.
While a banker will want the full blown business plan, the model can, as I discovered, be integral in creating the plan. I think it is also a snapshot to be used as in introduction to potential investors – like maybe included on a crowdfunding campaign. It can be included in your full plan. A snapshot. An overview. Quick to keep up-to-date.
Create a Canvas
They also shared where to go to make your canvas for free. Free is always awesome. canvanizer.com has several models you can build, save, print, share, and more; including business model canvas and lean canvas. We all got to make one right there as the class was in a computer lab.
I highly suggest whether you’re thinking of starting a business, already jumped in, or have been in business for a long time, to check out SCORE (www.score.org) – even if you’re not near a chapter. LOTS of resources on the national site and chapter sites. Mentors will meet up via Skype, email or old fashioned phone (ha). Technology makes telecommuting and tele-mentoring a piece of cake. Chocolate please. #bizchampion