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Business Insight: Make sure basics of your enterprise are on right page


Jessica Nelson
24 September 2018

Article by Southern Cross University executive officer in School of Business and Tourism Owen Hogan

Whether you’re a seasoned professional or a fledgling startup, there are always new and emerging ways to gain perspective on your own business. Drafting up a business plan is a great way to look at and into your business with an in-depth study of the internal and external operations of your business – but what if there was a step before this to help you map out similar insights on a single page?

Good news – there is. It’s called the Business Model Canvas. The concept of business models rose out of the dotcom era and generally describe how a business will sustain itself and provide value to its customers. The Business Model Canvas, which can be drawn up on a single page, was initially developed by Professor Alex Osterwalder and has become an effective tool for developing business ideas and gaining new perspectives. The versatile tool is an open-source resource that is distributed under a Creative Commons licence from and is an invaluable asset in any entrepreneur’s toolkit. Since its introduction in 2008, an array of canvasses have appeared and have become the new cornerstone of planning a business.

So, what can it do? The canvas is a one-page document separated into nine distinct yet interconnected sections. Centred around the business's value proposition, the right side of the canvas asks you to reflect on the internal operations of the business while the left side asks you to reflect on the external factors.   

The canvas asks you to assess your key resources, partners, and activities; it asks you to consider your customer relationships, and segments; as well as your business channels, cost structure and revenue streams. By following the canvas and taking a bird’s-eye-view of your business, new perspectives, questions, and answers can be uncovered.

Seeing value in this innovative approach from, the Southern Cross Enterprise Lab has recently partnered with Southern Cross University’s School of Business and Tourism to deliver a workshop on how to use the canvas. The workshop provided the opportunity for students, academic staff, and the local business community to come together and collaborate on startup ideas, bringing together diverse groups of people and introducing them to a contemporary way of business planning.

Through these workshops, Southern Cross Enterprise Lab (based at Southern Cross University’s Lismore campus) and the Digital Enterprise Lab (based at the Gold Coast campus) hope to bring new ways to innovate and create to our community and our region.

This article originally appeared in the Business Insight section of the Gold Coast Bulletin newspaper on 22/09/2018 and is for general information purposes only.