Week 3 Business Model Canvas

In the last two weeks, we focused on the topic of business model canvas. It was a great opportunity to have Shannon Lyons, the executive vice president of Flashstarts, as the guest speaker in class. We also spent time to make our own business model canvas in our group and we worked very well.

Business model canvas is probably the easiest way to group our ideas together. It helps us to visualize our business ideas and it works like a simplified version of a business plan. Writing a business plan is a hard thing to do. Entrepreneurs always need to invest their time and effort on writing a 20 pages long traditional business plan. It’s not necessarily a bad thing to do but it’s much easier for us to write a business model canvas instead of a traditional business plan. Business model canvas is a method first published by Alexander Osterwalder in 2010. It provides starts for entrepreneurs to brainstorming their ideas. In this model, we can simply write everything we can think of about our business. After that, we can give it a try in a market and adjust our model again and again until it goes well.

In class, I found the AIDAOR idea really helpful. We need attention, interest, desire, action, on boarding and retention to let our business works well. Those are the consecutive steps that the customers need to experienced during our business relationship. I agreed with the professor for adding the additional two steps which are the on boarding and retention. As I just learned in the marketing class, it’s always necessary to keep our relationship with the customers. Therefore, this AIDAOR idea should be really helpful for our project.

I was surprised that our ideas came out easily in the initial phases of our group discussion. We could always figure out our customers, resources, activities and other stuffs very fast in the group discussion. We worked efficiently since we have already put this project in our mind. It’s a school project which built to help the high school students for preparing college. Since it works like a non-profit organization, we spent a little more time figuring out our revenue streams. Besides that, everything was pretty clear in our project.

Shannon helped us to go over the business model canvas in her lecture. She talked about everything specifically and she gave examples of her own business. Besides the things on the canvas, I found the validation and interview parts of her speech very helpful for building our business. Validation can help us to validate that we have a real business in the market. To do that, we need to stay on inquiry level and keep asking unbiased and open ended question. It can help us to gather information from the others about our own business. The interview is important too. Shannon talked about important ways for us to interview others. For example, we can never suggest or lead any answers to our questions. I believe most of methods are very true in the business world.

I remember Shannon said in class that they are always looking for a passionate entrepreneur. This reminds me the most important thing in doing a startup which is to be passionate on everything I do. I should always remind me this and I hope I can find such a work in the future.

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