Before the end of 2012, I had the opportunity to spend a two-day business planning retreat with other people doing business in the Internet. I guess my biggest take home from that weekend was a documented Mind Map of my business model and fresh perspective on how I should operate my online business starting 2013.
Here’s the current Mind Map of the Business Model of BenFrancia.com which was based on the Business Model Canvas in the book Business Model Generation by Osterwalder and Pigneur:
The business model mind map above is composed of eight components:
1. Customers – This is your target market. We all know that defining and knowing your market is an important part of running a business. What most people fail to do however is not going through a “Customer Empathy” exercise where the customer is understood in a more personal and intimate level. This way, you as a business man can easily create and “build a relationship” with your market and earn customer loyalty.
Check out this earlier video I did on Customer Empathy:
2. Value Proposition – This is essentially the VALUE that your business provides to your target customers. It’s best to have this in a short and concise sentence that you can easily recall. Mine is “Empowering People to Create Success in the Internet”.
3. Channels – Here you list down the different source of your leads and customers. My major source of leads are my online properties which includes my website, blog and social media accounts. I still get “offline” referrals once in a while from past clients, which normally end up checking me out in my online properties as well.
4. Key Resources – Key Resources don’t just include financial assets and employees in your payroll. I believe the most important assets that I have in my online business is the “Expertise” that I have in the Digital Marketing industry and the passion and love for what I do. So don’t fail to put your Strengths and Passion in to account when you list down your Key Resources.
5. Revenue Stream – This is where the money comes from baybeh! ☺ For the longest time, my main source of revenue was the Outsourcing Services that I provide. Starting this year, I’m slowly making a shift to create more revenue from Products that I will create. So watch out for this in the next few weeks!
6. Cost Structure – Cost structure is really more of the accounting stuff. Here you need to outline what are the different expenses you incur in running your online business.
7. Key Activities – This is just basically an outline of the different activities in the operation of your business. You can divide it according to departments to make it organized like how I did it. (Marketing, Product Development, Training, Etc.)
8. Key Partnerships – These are like minded individuals and organizations whom you have a collaborative relationship with in the attainment of your business goals. Keep in mind that these are parties that you not only benefit from, but also mutually benefit from the help and support that they get from you in the partnership.
The key to the success of choosing your Key Partnerships is to attract Influencers or Thought Leaders in your industry. Being in relationship with these Authorities not only provides tremendous leverage for your business, but also gives you an opportunity to be coached and mentored by these successful people.
Looks simple right? We’ll I must confess that it took a lot of careful thought, hours and caffeine for me to just come up with the Mind Map above. And overcoming the “Procrastination” created a huge positive impact to my business. Do this exercise and see how positive results would start to unfold. You’ll be surprised how documenting your business model makes you pour in a tremendous amount of commitment without you knowing it, which then attracts abundant opportunities to your business.
I will be with Janette Toral and other Digital Marketing Practitioners on Jan. 11, 2013 for the E-Commerce Boot Camp – Face to Face Session at University of the Philippines Information Technology Development Center. Find out more about documenting and innovating your business model in this one day workshop. I hope to see you there! 🙂