One of the main challenges of business model innovation and business model implementation is communication. We need to get the message to the right people, and communicate it in a way they understand, like, and can move forward with. In this blog post, we will describe different ways of communicating business models.
1. Business Model as art
If your idea is great, it has to look great. Whether you want to go to an Angel Investor, or you want to convince your first customer, you have to pull out all the stops to impress them. You never get a second chance to make a first impression. Graphical work or drawings do a better job of bringing your business model to life than post-it notes.
First, you make a business model and decide what your goal is and who your target audience is. Second, you go find yourself a great artist with a good sense for business. He or she will make a prototype that you test with a member of your target audience. If they like it, you finalize. Make it look exclusive and don’t make too many copies. It’s art! Keep in mind that aiming for the best looking model can be time consuming.
Pdf-posters look great on your office wall, and they are likely to evoke reactions and discussions.
Presenting your business model in an attractive design makes it inviting to look at. Make sure to use clear statements, easy-to-read fonts and a high resolution. Get your timing right: creating the poster right after a high-energy workshop session generates enthusiasm. Location is key: hang your poster close to those that created it, since you may want to explain certain elements, or guide the discussions that pop-up in front of the poster.
3. Pitch a presentation
Output using dynamic export to .ppt enables you to present your model and take your audience through the story from customer problem, via value proposition and revenue streams to key activities, resources, partners and costs.
After exporting your business model to a PowerPoint-presentation, you can customize the layout of your slide-deck. Use the house style of your company (to-be). Try using the endless possibilities in PowerPoint to substantiate your story and the point you want to make. Start with why! In the customer problem lies the reason you exist.
4. Simple cut and paste
MS Office is very helpful if you would like to present (parts of) your Business Model Canvas in other documentation to clarify your message, substantiate choices or share and generate ideas.
Typically, you expect to find a business model in a business plan. A business model will also clarify the context in project plans. We advise you not to overwhelm your audience with the entire business model, but to build it up, step-by-step.
5. Intranet pages
Output in html is suitable for communicating your business model via the public company website, intranet, etc. Via intranet, employees have easy access to the fundamental aspects of their organization. The partners you collaborate with to realize your model may also be part of the target audience. A benefit of this is that your audience will only see the details they are interested in, by simply clicking on the boxes.
Before generating a HTML-report, think about the goal of your report. What should your report consist of? What will your landing page look like? A cascading stylesheet helps to simply generate an intranet page in your company’s house style.
6. Word reports
Presenting the canvas itself is in most cases sufficient. However, when a lot of documentation is used to substantiate choices, it is very useful to generate an RTF-Report in MS Word for communicating the rationale behind your model.
We advise an A3 landscape to present canvas models to keep element legible. After generating an RTF report for MS Word, it is important to customize the report. The documentation is reported in tables, intended to improve the readability and analyzability of the model and its documentation. Make sure this will be the case for your model, since big models come with big communication challenges! As for HTML-reporting, several settings can be adjusted in the BiZZdesign Business Model Canvas tool.
7. Implementation view e.g. using ArchiMate
A business model typically is a starting point for implementation. Implementations are about finding the first customer, pivoting the model and eventually getting your processes and supporting IT in place. Enterprise Architecture can help you to do this. Transforming the ‘post-its’ in your Business Model Canvas into implementation concepts, e.g. using ArchiMate will help you translate your value propositions (and the way you intend to deliver these propositions to your customers) into your architecture models. The generated concepts can be added to your architecture repository and used to build roadmaps that will guide you from your AS-IS state, to your TO-BE state. BiZZdesign Business Model Canvas Software offers the possibility to generate architecture models from your models and keeps track of relations and changes. Typically Enterprise Architects, Business Architects and project managers are interested in these views.
There is a standard mapping between canvas concepts and architecture concepts. You might want to adjust this by choosing from the concepts that your company has agreed to use, for instance in conventions. You can adjust the ‘implementation concept’ per ‘post-it’. Then you simply generate a set of architecture concepts (processes, applications, business interfaces, actors) that will form the basis for the implementation models.
Conclusions and next steps
We have described multiple ways to present a Business Model. Presenting your model can foster discussions and improve the exchange of ideas. It is important to have everybody on the same page, before you go into implementation mode. Referring back to your original idea is of key importance. The artistic approach is great, but time consuming. Tooling is a useful aid in communicating your business model, making all kinds of communication and views easy. Feel free to share your thoughts and suggestions on alternative presentations from your practice.