British Library is one of the largest libraries in the world. They have a fantastic Business and IP Center where they hold regular workshops and trainings for Entrepreneurs. Many of their events are for free. Or you can use their search tools for an in-depth desk research of your product and market.
You also have the chance to book a 1-2-1 to get some more customised guidance. It’s a pretty great resource for everyone who is London based and wants to start on their own.
Yesterday however was Startup Day at British Library. A huge event with various speakers from different backgrounds.
Lean Startup Approach
One of the things that came up and I thought was worth sharing with you is the Business Model Canvas. The Business Model Canvas is a template to develop your business model. It’s great in case you use a Lean approach. The Lean approach is a “slim” approach version of your business model and process. This means you eliminate any waste and keep it as simple as possible. You usually build a minimum viable product – one that is a sim downed prototype of your product or service and test it in the market. You ask as many potential customers and early adopters as possible to build the best product as possible. Best product does mean the one that is wanted by the market. There is a great book about this whole topic it’s called the Lean Startup by Eric Ries. I will link it for you here.
As I mentioned before the Business Model Canvas is a great tool – a one pager that helps you think through a product and / or service.
You can access many templates for free. I can recommend you the one by Nesta as they also have a lot of other helpful resources for free. I used their page a lot as I generated a business plan during my postgraduate studies last year. You can access their resources here. It’s great for building a business in UK – but many of the sources are also great and relevant for businesses abroad.
The Business Model Canvas
The Business Model Canvas can help you to become more clear on your vision and how to achieve it. You find different categories worth thinking through on one page that gives you a great overview. The categories are:
- Key Partners – Who will help you?
- Key Activities – How do you do it?
- Value Proposition – What do you do?
- Audience Relationships – How do you interact?
- Distribution Channels – How do you reach them?
- Audience Segments – Who do you help?
- Cost Structure – What will it cost?
- Revenue Stream – How much will you make?
You can access a downloadable version of the Nesta Business Model Canvas template here. It’s a great way to get clear on what you want and also to cross check whether this makes sense. It’s also great in case you do not want to write a “proper” business plan (although it can be helpful to put in the work and sometimes necessary) to have at least everything thought through.