Eight-step approach to the Business Model Canvas

Eight-step approach to the Business Model Canvas


The Business Model Canvas is a shared language for describing, visualising, assessing and changing business models. Use this straightforward 8-step approach to get started.

The following eight steps provide a starting point for a proposed approach for using the Business Model Canvas in your own organisation. Download our introductory guide to the Business Model Canvas.

Step One:

Introduce the canvas to your colleagues and explain the nine building blocks.

Step Two:

Print out the canvas onto a large sheet of paper (or copy it onto a flip chart) and using post-it notes sketch out your current model.  Ensure all agree that this is how things are now. Download the Business Model Canvas.

Or if you're working remotely use one of the many platforms that have free online business model canvas templates.

Business model canvas with post-it notes

Step Three:

Map out your strengths and weaknesses thinking about our three principles of desirabilityfeasibility and viability in more depth. Consider whether you need to collect additional information or carry out any research to help you do this.

Step Four:

Scan the external environment and consider potential influences — what opportunities or challenges might affect your model in the future?

Step Five:

Explore alternative models. There are a range of techniques that you can use to start to innovate new business model solutions for your organisation. At this stage think quantity of ideas over quality and quickly sketch a range of different canvas options.

Step Six:

Narrow down your sketches to one or two ideas and elaborate your canvas — what would it take to make your new idea/s work. Think through your logic between the different building blocks.  Perhaps use stickers or colours to mark any assumptions or things you need to test out.

Step Seven:

Examine the validity of the idea/s, carry out research where needed to test assumptions such as audience demand, and turn the detailed canvas into a spreadsheet to estimate costs, income potential and financial validity.

Step Eight:

Describe your revised or new canvas to key stakeholders (staff, board, artists, audience groups, funders, partners etc.), tell the story one post-it note at a time and attract interest and involvement in your future direction.


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Business Planning
Resource type: Guide/tools | Published: 2022