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Business Model Integration: Business Model Canvas Explained

Discover the power of integrating business models with our comprehensive guide to the Business Model Canvas.

The Business Model Canvas is a strategic management and entrepreneurial tool that allows you to describe, design, challenge, invent, and pivot your business model. It's a visual chart with elements describing a firm's or product's value proposition, infrastructure, customers, and finances.

It assists firms in aligning their activities by illustrating potential trade-offs. The Business Model Canvas was initially proposed by Alexander Osterwalder based on his earlier work on Business Model Ontology.

Understanding the Business Model Canvas

The Business Model Canvas is divided into nine basic building blocks that show the logic of how a company intends to make money. These nine blocks cover the four main areas of a business: customers, offer, infrastructure, and financial viability.

The business model canvas is a great tool to use to understand your business better. Using the canvas will lead to insights about the customers you serve, what value propositions are offered through what channels, and how your company makes money.

Components of the Business Model Canvas

The nine building blocks and the interrelationships between them provide a way to show the key elements of any business model. Below is a brief description of each building block:

1. Customer Segments: Defines the different groups of people or organizations an enterprise aims to reach and serve.

2. Value Propositions: Describes the bundle of products and services that create value for a specific Customer Segment.

3. Channels: Describes how a company communicates with and reaches its Customer Segments to deliver a Value Proposition.

Application of the Business Model Canvas

The Business Model Canvas can be printed out on a large surface so groups of people can jointly start sketching and discussing business model elements with post-it note notes or board markers. It's a hands-on tool that fosters understanding, discussion, creativity, and analysis.

It's a way of getting a bird's eye view of your business in one visual that is easy to understand and communicate. Businesses can use it to understand their current business model or to explore different business models.

Revenue Growth and the Business Model Canvas

One of the main advantages of the Business Model Canvas is its ability to help companies visualize their current state, which can then be adjusted to optimize growth and revenue. By understanding the relationship between the different components of the canvas, companies can identify areas of strength and weakness, and adjust their strategies accordingly.

For example, a company might find that it is serving a broad customer segment, but not all of these customers are profitable. By refining its customer segments and focusing on the most profitable ones, the company can increase its revenue.

Revenue Streams

Revenue Streams is the building block that represents the cash a company generates from each Customer Segment (costs must be subtracted from revenues to create earnings). If customers comprise the heart of a business model, Revenue Streams are its arteries.

A company must ask itself, for what value is each Customer Segment truly willing to pay? Successfully answering that question allows the firm to generate one or more Revenue Streams from each Customer Segment. Each Revenue Stream may have different pricing mechanisms, such as fixed list prices, bargaining, auctioning, market dependent, volume dependent, or yield management.

Innovation and the Business Model Canvas

The Business Model Canvas is not only a tool for improving existing business models but it's also great for innovative thinking. By using the canvas, companies can brainstorm and explore new business models that could potentially disrupt the market.

For example, a company could use the canvas to explore new ways to deliver value to their customers, or to identify new customer segments that they could serve. This could lead to the development of new products or services, and potentially open up new revenue streams.

Key Resources

Key Resources is the building block describing the most important assets needed to make a business model work. Every business model requires Key Resources. These resources allow an enterprise to create and offer a Value Proposition, reach markets, maintain relationships with Customer Segments, and earn revenues.

Different types of resources are needed depending on the type of business model. A microchip manufacturer requires capital-intensive production facilities, whereas a microchip designer focuses more on human resources. Key resources can be physical, financial, intellectual, or human. Key resources can be owned or leased by the company or acquired from key partners.


The Business Model Canvas is a powerful tool that allows companies to visualize, design, and innovate their business models. By understanding the relationship between the different components of the canvas, companies can optimize their strategies for growth and revenue.

Whether you're a startup looking to disrupt the market, or an established company looking to stay competitive, the Business Model Canvas can provide valuable insights that can drive your business forward.

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