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Business Model Canvas and streamlining value for your business

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Before you start implementing all sorts of changes to your business you need to take a good and hard look at it. And you can begin with determining the core value stream. 

According to IASA, a value stream is defined as a representation of how an organization configures its business capabilities to deliver value to an internal or external stakeholder, typically a customer.

Considering how it is defined, you and your business need to determine what your core value stream is. You need to know what it is that your business does and what value it adds to the customer. You can ask yourself this question and I can challenge you that your immediate response is in fact, an incorrect assumption. I have worked for over 20+ years in this space and I have yet to meet anyone that has immediately nailed it on the head. There is always a misalignment or a disconnect somewhere. 

So, now the question is how do you determine it? 
You can use a business model canvas tool to visually sketch out your business, from your partners, suppliers, and to your customers. Pay special attention to the central column which is the “value” column. 
If you are unfamiliar with the business model canvas or BMC for short, let me explain what it is. A business model canvas is used to visualize and assess the changing business models. It describes the rationale of how a business delivers, creates, and captures value. It is a one-page document that works through the key elements of a business or product, and it structures it in a simple and easily digestible way. It is commonly used to draw out a picture of what the idea of the business is and helps us get an understanding of the connection process between your idea and the actual business. It also lays out the activities and challenges that are connected to your initiatives and how they relate to one another. 

The business canvas model can be divided into two major sections. The internal which represents your company and the external section which represents your customers. These two sections then meet each other in the middle, which is usually the value column. This is where the exchange of value between your customers or clients and your business happens. 
The business canvass has other individual components, but the complete overview of this document helps to encourage a fresh perspective and idea on how to best fit these different pieces together. It also helps keep the discussions within the group be more focused and lets everyone involved get on the same page. 

What now?
When you are done mapping out the business canvas and your entire business is clear on the value that your company offers. You can now move to the next stage and that is mapping your processes that create this value. Look at the propositioned value column and begin asking questions like; are all activities in here really needed? Which activities are a waste of time? Which activity can be discarded or removed? Which activity do you and your business seriously need to invest in to beat out your competitors and get ahead of the pack? Which activity should you focus on to meet and possibly exceed your customers’ expectations?

Ask yourself those questions and begin to deduct the activities that are not necessary for your business to add value to your customers. See if there are activities or functions that can be outsourced to be cost-efficient. Check if there is any need for you to change your supplier or change the commodities that your business is using or selling. Do whatever you need to do to make sure that what needs to get done to support the value stream gets done. And this is without you having to shell out and invest a cent more than you need to. 

By looking at your business in this way you can efficiently remove unnecessary assets, resources, suppliers, services, and or products that are not conducive to the growth of your business. And may in reality be pulling it down. 
This is a challenge for any owner or leader, but it is a necessary activity to encourage your business growth and development.

Shivendra helps construction companies and contractors win more projects and grow profitably. Regarded as a master of practical implementation, Shivendra has guided organizations such as Downer and Siemens as well as smaller contractors to achieve double-digit improvements to their bottom line.

Underpinning his extensive industry experience are qualifications in engineering and a Ph.D. focused on rapid cost improvement techniques. He is the author of two books, The Competitive Contractor and From Paper to Profit, host of the Competitive Contractor podcast, and the founder of Shivendra & Co and The Constructors Network. You can find more about Shivendra & Co on