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Canvas Model

It has become a trend in recent years. So much so that there are no conferences on entrepreneurship in which it does not come out. And it is that the Canvas model has proven to be a very effective methodology, to the point that it seems that everyone who bets on it is guaranteed success.

Therefore, if you have a startup, it is time for you to start considering applying this model in order to benefit from all its advantages. We tell you how you can apply it in a simple way!

The Canvas model helps you to have a comprehensive vision of your business model in order to make the improvements you deem appropriate. Put it into practice!


What is the Canvas model?

Before getting into the subject, it is worth reviewing what the Canvas model is. Also known as the "Business Model Canvas", it was devised by Alex Osterwalde in his doctoral thesis and consists of basing the business model on innovation, as well as on find and foster new ways to create, deliver and capture customer value.

From a more practical point of view, the Canvas model is based on the selection of nine key elements of the company and testing them until a sustainable model is found to create a successful business, thus configuring a great strategic tool.

In other words, it allows you to view from the same sheet the nine elements that define our business model and that constitute the general vision of the company, in order to be able to analyze them carefully and see if we are on the right track or if improvements need to be implemented.

How to apply the Canvas model in a startup?

Since most startups tend to be configured in a similar way, we are going to specify the nine essential elements on which you should base your strategy. Take a look at this highly summarized example of a Canvas model applied to Netflix and then we'll break down point by point what each one means.

key partners

No company can succeed alone. You need partners to help you on this hard road. And when we talk about partners we mean investors, suppliers, intermediaries, public institutions, shops, etc…

As you see for Netflix, the key partners will be film and TV studios, internet service providers, the postal service, and set-top box manufacturers. Pretty obvious considering their business model, right?

The exact components will depend on our business model, but they will all have the same goal: to get our project done with as few resources as possible.

key activities

Every startup has a plan. What's yours? doWhat are the essential actions that you have to develop to carry out your objectives? Look at the key activities of Netflix: having a video playback software, having a content license and carrying out mail handling operations. 

key resources

While the previous point focused on strategy, this one focuses on the resources you have to carry it out. We're talking so much about physical, economic and human resources. For example, for Netflix, its key resources are its content, its inventory of DVDs, and its servers. What do you need to develop your activity? 

Value proposal

Although in the part of key activities you will have already given some brushstrokes about your value proposition, now is the time to develop it. Explain what your idea is, why you think it will work and What do you have that the competition doesn't?  

Price, accessibility, and convenience make up Netflix's value proposition. And nothing has gone wrong for them.

Relationships with customers

Customers are the ones who will determine the success or failure of your business model, so you must take care of them and not approach them in any way. Perform an analysis of your target audience, find out what interests them and what sources of information they consult so that you can then design an effective method to approach them that is not too intrusive. You can opt for your own service and an automated one like Netflix does. 


Now that you know how you are going to relate to your customers, you need to know through what. What channels are you going to use to make them aware of your product and/or services? But you also have to ask yourself how you are going to take care of them. The process does not end with the purchase, you must offer orn good customer service, so you should also establish a channel and a strategy for this purpose.

Examples: Netflix uses its own app, website, and set-top boxes to serve its customers.

customer segments

Surely you do not have a single type of client, there will be several, with different needs and interests. You must segment your target audience properly and delve into their tastes and hobbies to get to know them in depth. Don't limit yourself to demographics, look further and try to discover the personal history that hides behind each client.

Netflix Customer Segments: Mass Market, Movie Fans, and People Looking for a Cable TV Substitute. Why is not it so difficult?

cost structure

Your startup must be economically viable, otherwise you are lost. Calculate what are the monthly expenses that you will have to face: equipment, rent, computers, internet payment, etc… And try to adjust it so that you don't have to give up anything but you don't live beyond your means either.

source of income

In the case of a startup, this may be the least clear key element when we apply the Canvas model, but it is convenient that you establish soon what all your sources of income are going to be. And if at the moment you only know two, then put those two, cOver time the business model will evolve. Netflix's sources of income come mostly from subscription earnings, but they are looking at new ways to evolve.

Once you have all this information, sit down to analyze it and you will have before you the Canvas model waiting for you to get the most out of it.


Download the Model Canvas template here 

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