This is how you make a business plan for yourself

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Most companies have a business plan. This is a formal document including an executive summary, a company overview, some information about products and/or services, a marketing plan, and details of the company’s financial plan. It’s a lot of work and most investors require this before putting money in your company.

Two years ago, I discovered the Business Model Canvas which was created by Alexander Osterwalder. It’s an easy approach on getting insight in your business. Tim Clark developed The Business Model You Canvas ©. It helps you with your career planning. Why not see your career as a business?

It’s very easy to use and it gives you insight on where you are in your business or career and what you need to do in order to take the next step.

In 2015, I took a certified course with Tim Clark on the Business Model Canvas © and I use it in my coaching/training sessions for both career planning and business planning. It’s an easy to use model for both professionals like engineers but also for entrepreneurs!

The Business Model You Canvas © includes the following building blocks (sections):

-Customers

This is about who you help. This can be your customers but also your colleagues at work or the customers of your customers.

-Key activities

An important building block about you. What do you do in order to help your customers? What service do you provide or what product are you selling? This can range from consultancy, contracting, coaching, nutrition advise or counselling.

-Key resources

List all your (or those of your business) resources. This can include your qualities, your skills but also your reputation, your physical abilities or your network.

-Key partners

In your business and in your life, there are people who help you. This can be your supplier, your partner, other colleagues, friends or family members. Who helps you?

-Value provided

How do you help your customers? Do you solve a problem? In this building block you describe the benefits of your activities for those you help (your customers).

-Customer relationships

This building block is about how you interact with your customers. Do you go to them or are they coming to you? Are you providing service through email or Skype?

-Channels

How do your (potential) customers know about you? I do this through networking and blogging. It also includes ways how you deliver. Do you send your product by email or regular mail? How do they pay for your services and how are they going refer your services to their network?

-Costs

This important building block includes all that you give and what it costs you to help your customers. Think about time, money, stress, frustration or energy.

-Revenue and Benefits

What do you get from all your activities? This can be money or energy as well. Other benefits can be acknowledgement, sense of purpose, happiness, experience, and growth.

So, how do you start?

Print out the canvas or model on an A2 or A1 sheet of paper and fill out all the building blocks. List your activities, your partners, etc. You can group some activities (like languages or types of customers) on a Post-it.

The benefit of the Business Model Canvas is that it gives you an quick insight or idea on what to do in a building block if you want accomplish something in another building block of your business or career.

If you know your goals in life or for your business, you can find out what to do to in order to reach that goal. Whenever the model is out of balance or you’re not able to reach your goal, check your building blocks to see what needs to be done or added. Perhaps you need to learn a new skill in order to grow your business or you need to look for new key partners to reduce stress.

What does your business plan look like and/or how do you plan your career? Are there techniques working (or not working) for you? Let me know and let me know what you think about this model!

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