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Do you have a business idea, but don’t know how to get started? The Business Model Canvas (BMC) can help you organize your thoughts and get a clear picture of where to begin. Let’s explore various segments of the BMC.

Value Proposition

The value proposition is the heart of what your business provides to customers. A strong value proposition explains the value you provide to your customers, how your business is different from competitors, and how your business solves a customer’s problem. You want your value proposition to be targeted, clear, and unique.

The Right Side of the Canvas

The right side of the canvas includes customer segments, customer relationships, and channels that impact your revenue streams (business sales).

  • Customer segments: Who are your most important customers? Why will they buy from you and how does your value proposition support those reasons?
  • Customer relationships: How will you create and maintain strong relationships with your customers? What keeps your customers coming back?
  • Channels: How can you most effectively connect with your customers? What sales channels work best for your customer segments?

The Left Side of the Canvas

This includes key activities, resources, and partners necessary to the success of your business. These sections will impact your cost structure.

  • Key activities: What do you do daily that supports your business’s value proposition? Which activities are vital to business success through customer acquisitions and retention?
  • Key resources: What resources (human, financial, intellectual, and technological) does your business require to support its value proposition? What is your business’s most important resource?
  • Key partners: Who do you work with to create your business’s value? What do they provide? Could your business function without them, if necessary?

Revenue Streams

  • What would your customers pay for the value you put into your product or service?
  • What are your primary sources of sales or revenue?
  • How can you add additional revenue streams to your business?


  • What are the most important costs to operating your business?
  • Which key resources & activities are most expensive to your business? Are they necessary to success?
  • How can you cut costs?

Business Resources

The BMC template can be used as a continuous, living document that changes and adjusts as your business idea grows. You can access a blank Business Model Canvas from Alabama Extension to complete at your leisure.

Alabama Extension offers the Business Model Canvas for Beginners class that can help individuals work through the different sections and ask questions about their business. We also offer a complete business building block series that teaches these concepts in greater detail and allows you to further explore the viability of your business idea.

In addition, one-on-one coaching and resources are available from the community resource development team as follows:

  • Haley Burns, CRD Specialist, Statewide
    Phone: 256-372-4966 / Cell: 256-836-0917
  • Jon Jacobson, Urban Regional Extension Agent, Jefferson & Tuscaloosa counties
    Phone: 205-325-5342 / Cell: 256-714-9142
  • Juani Christian, Urban Regional Extension Agent, Marshall & DeKalb Counties
    Phone: 256-582-2009 / Cell: 256-572-0241