When you’re looking at improving your business the best place to start is to consider how everything that needs to happen fits together.

There are lots of ways to do this and the business model canvas is one good way of summarising this onto a page. Having modelled your business NOW, you can then remodel an improved version for WHERE you would like it to be in the future before working out HOW you can get there.

Needless to say, if you follow this Now-Where-How process you will have a plan and be well ahead of about 90% of other small businesses.

One of the great things about the BMC is that you start modelling your business from the outside in, rather than from the inside out. This means you start with the questions around “who are my customers, how do I interact with them and how can I help them, rather than what are my skills, what equipment do I need and how can I use it?

Working from the outside – in is a much more strategic approach and is likely to result in a business that it is built to last. If you focus too much on yourself and your own skills you are likely to end up with something that’s not a business but a job.

This means you’ll be working for your business rather than your business working for you.

The BMC is a simple way of helping you visualise how everything should fit together but I have found people can overcomplicate it and lose track of what they are trying to achieve. It’s worth remembering that the BMC really only asks you to think about the nine questions in the picture above.

The process is iterative but I have numbered them to show a good order to ask them. Note how your value proposition is at the centre of the model.

Stick to these basics and you shouldn’t go wrong.

You could also watch this  short video by  Alexander Osterwalder who developed the tool. It explains it quite well. 

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