Recently, I’ve been spending the majority of my time at Daxko working on new things. Last year I was introduced to the Business Model Canvas, a concept that has been widely adopted within the business world for developing and testing new business models. The concept is to document your entire business model on a single sheet, the canvas, as a living document that evolves as you learn more and more. Having written twenty-page business plans in the past, that inevitably nobody ever got around to reading, I was quickly drawn to the Canvas.
While the magic in the canvas is the exercise of thinking through and documenting all of the puzzle pieces, my favorite is the Value Proposition. This is where the rubber meets the road and you are forced to define what difference you make for your constituents. You can define this for your organization as a whole, but I would also encourage you to build a canvas for the different offerings of your organization as well.
Is there a class that you are struggling to promote? Try building a canvas for it. At a minimum, try your best to complete the Customer Segments then the Value Proposition. Once you think you’ve got your value proposition down, ask “why does that matter?” or “what difference does that value really make in the customer’s life?” When you’ve got those questions answered, you are getting to your real value proposition.
The exercise of defining your target market, which problems you are solving for them, and ultimately the value that you provide will be eye opening. You and your team will walk away with a deeper understanding of the impact you have and a much easier time explaining that to others. You might even be inspired to spread the word even faster.