Doing business is inherently personal.  The discipline of business also has creative tools to help us think about and implement our call to be good neighbors and good stewards of God’s creation.  One of those tools is the Personal Business Model Canvas.  (Note: See http://businessmodelyou.com/ for the genesis of this idea.)

Questions to Ask Yourself

Marketing

  • Who will you help (Customer Segment)?
  • What problem are you trying to solve?  Why?  What motivates you?
  • How are the people in that Customer Segment currently solving the problem?  (That is, who are your Competitors and what are the Substitute Products?)
  • What solution are your providing?  What is unique about it?  What are you communicating to your customers (Value Proposition)?
  • How are communicating to your “customers” (Channels)?
  • How do you and your customer interact?  That is, what are you doing to build a Relationship? (Ultimately that is one of the primary tensions between loving our neighbor and trying to scale — make multiple sales.)
  • How do you measure success–what is your bottom line?  What intermediate metrics do you use to measure success along the way?

Operations (Production)

  • What exactly do you do (Activities)?  What are the essential tasks that have to be completed to serve your Customer/Neighbor?
  • What do you need to do those tasks?
  • Who helps you (Partners)?

Accounting

  • What does it Cost you? What is the Structure of those Costs?  How leveraged are you?
  • What do you get in return for what you do (Revenue)?  Is there more than one revenue stream?  (Note that there is both qualitative and quantitative revenue.)

Operations (Management)

  • What can you do to the “system” that will result in more “throughput” – more Customer Problems solved, more of what you get? (Revenue)
  • What can you do to reduce what you need to do what you do (Inventory)?
  • What can you do to reduce the costs (both qualitative and quantitative) of what you do? (Expenses)
  • How can you scale?  What are your main Operating Plan Milestones?

Finance

  • How much funding does your business generate?
  • What funding do you need to fill in the gaps and meet your milestones so that you can solve more problems?