Drawing Business Models for Start-ups and Small Companies with Kanban

Do you know what a Business Model is, why, and how to draw one?

You may find several descriptions on the web. In simple words, we can say that a business model is a document that describes the logical way a company creates, caches, and delivers value.

This logic in the process of creating, caching, and delivering value always existed. It was present in the old times, industries and services. For instance, newspapers used to create value by door-to-door deliveries, subscriptions, and press ads. This reality evolved to nowadays web portals, which sell online memberships and virtual advertising formats.

Why draw one for yourself, with GitScrum, using Kanban boards? The business model helps you define the problem you want to solve for your customers and focus on a strong value proposition that matters to them.

It would be no use running a business for yourself, or just because you think someone wants something.

Therefore, you can use the GitScrum Kanban boards to help you set the clear value you will focus on selling. Later on, you can use other GitScrum features to help the process of managing your business, and updating your previous plan.

Your business model must support you to answer:

  • who your target buyer customers are;
  • what the customer(s) want and value;
  • how you can sell and be profitable.

The Business Model Canvas (BMC) Sections

Alex Osterwalder was the author of the popular Business Model Canvas (BMC), and he split it into nine boxes. In GitScrum, we make Kanban boards columns turn into each box, to facilitate edition and task creations. Let’s see what each box is about:

Unique Value Proposition

Define the main reason people should buy your product/service(s), how it will impact their lives, and how to differentiate your offer from competitors. Your product must make their lives easier, more comfortable or less painful, more pleasurable or more profitable. Besides this, the offer must be clear, in order to be attractive.

Target Customer Niches

Your team must work together to set your main target buyer personas, based on market potential. Here, you must remember that it’s important to prioritize ideal client segments. The principle is that if you try to reach all possible customers, you’ll reach none.

You can consider the profiles of people who already know your product and the ones who still don’t. Search for market data that indicate the most promising groups to work for and direct your communications at them.

In the future, you will be able to use GitScrum User Stories to improve your products and guide innovation, based on the target niches you set.

Key Activities

Here you must list all the necessary macro activities to run your business, such as:

  • goods production;
  • services procedures;
  • direct sales, after-sales;
  • product development;
  • customer relationship management;
  • marketing key processes.These activities will be essential to reach your business goals, and you will be able to manage these objectives with GitScrum Sprints.

Key Channels

Decide the most vital channels for your business to communicate and deliver value to your clients. From the traditional marketing perspective, those would be your distribution and promotional channels (Point and Promotion). You will use these channels to demonstrate your value proposition to your audience, and convert them into customers.

Examples of channels:

  • Your website;
  • Social media;
  • Marketplace;
  • Store(s);
  • Direct sales;
  • Email marketing;
  • Events (virtual or presential).

Key Resources

Consider and plan everything that your business needs to operate:

  • HR structure – people and knowledge;
  • Equipment, machines, computers;
  • Software, licenses, patents;
  • Office space (how large);
  • Furniture, ergonomic structure;
  • Training/consultancy.

Key Partnerships

Which strategic businesses could be your ally to reach the target buyer personas you are seeking? Do you already have a network of other companies and professionals to partner with, or should you build one? Which would be the most advantageous?

Examples of partnerships:

  • Universities and colleges;
  • Press officers / digital influencers;
  • Experts who work in complementary areas;
  • Your clients;
  • Associations;
  • Local businesses.

Cost Structure

Here will be all the main costs that sum up the operation of your business. They will come from key resource blocks, activities and partnerships. Remember to add other relevant costs, too, like commissions from sellers and legal taxes.

Key Income Sources

This is certainly the most vital block to determine your business sustainability and profitability. Here will be all the means how your customers will pay you for your products and services. You can choose to adopt one or more from many income models, such as product sales, subscriptions, rents, licenses, auctions. For the same kind of product/service, there might be several charging modalities. So, before you start selling, make financial comparisons.

After you list your main income sources and costs, you can use GitScrum Spreadsheet to support your decisions and monitor results during the year.

How to Draw Your Business Model with GitScrum

Use the GitScrum Board to draw your Business Model

With GitScrum, it’s very easy to draw your own Business Model and edit it any time. For this, you will use Kanban Boards, the same powerful feature that works for all projects you manage there. The difference, in this case, is you will customize your Kanban columns like your Business Model blocks on your project settings (workflow template).


Gather Your Start-up Team Together to Work on Your Business Model

Still today, some companies have the custom to make meetings around a table. They use a large paper board and draw their Business Models to collect the team’s ideas with sticky notes. However, we live remote work times, and you can release as much creativity from your team members, inviting them to include ideas into your Business Model, using GitScrum.

Set a meeting time, explain what it’s about, ask team members to seek references and bring ideas. Do you know the best part? These inputs can become tasks and projects right after. Save time and gain productivity.

Aspects to Consider

If you are a Start-up owner, you are likely to be already considering attracting venture capital as smart money to your business. Remember to plan your product validation process steps and the accurate business valuation in your cost structure. Ask for advice from experienced entrepreneurs and make sure your product is unique, viable and scalable. See related article and start working on your business model.

What to Do After?

The Business Model is your starting point. It will help you know what your business really is about, and begin to work on a regular and consistent basis on it. You can choose your own routine. It’s common to make a yearly or quarterly plan review, with the possibility to add data based on other techniques. You can use other Kanban boards or GitScrum Mind Mapping to plan and review future actions, but always come and review these main concept and see if it remains coherent.

Once you have a viable model with profitable potential, you can start creating your projects with GitScrum, and manage them to reach your goals within the time-frame you planned.

Organize your business/company in Workspaces, with the possibility to create a separate Workspace per product, brand or client. Make your project management tool one of your main relationship channel to collaborate with clients. You can even personalize it with your own brand, replacing the GitScrum logo, just like you had deleloped your own CRM tool.

Train your team to collect and write Gitscrum User Stories, creating a record about your customers’ needs, wishes and requests. Manage their priorities and product increment releases.

Finally, make sure you can keep productivity and profitability with the help of GitScrum Time Tracking. Hold your tasks accountable and be able to charge for them after that, with GitScrum Invoices.