Determine key business partners with 8 questions

The canvas business model was created by the Swiss Alexander Osterwalder to facilitate the strategic planning of new businesses in a fast, agile and integrated way, with the aid of canvas with 9 fields to fill.

Because they’re all nearby and being filled up in a short space of time and a group, the goal is for each response to be viewed broadly, making it easier to perceive the interpolations between each field.

Thus, the result is much more complete and meets the complexities inherent in planning business.

The 9 fields that must be filled in are the following:

  1. Key partners
  2. Key activities
  3. Value offering
  4. Key features
  5. Customer relationship
  6. Channels
  7. Customer segments
  8. Costs
  9. Revenues

In this post, we are going to understand better how to answer the 8 questions regarding the definition of the key partners in a business model canvas.

See also: Lean Business Model Canvas: For Every Type of Organization

8 questions to define the key partners in a business model canvas

A business needs to develop partnerships so that it can function properly.

Whether it’s suppliers, non-profits, unions, associations and even clients, you need to understand how these partnerships will help your business succeed.

See the following 8 questions and explanations on how to answer them:

1- Who are our key partners?

Who are the entities or people who will contribute to the success of your business, but who are neither employees nor suppliers?

For example: large universities often develop research in partnership with industries, which store these surveys to be able to use them in business.

2- Who are our key suppliers?

There are suppliers that can be easily replaced, usually those that produce commodities. But other extremely specialized features and services that your business needs come from key suppliers.

You have to find out who they are to strengthen the relationship.

For example: among the key suppliers of a jewelry store are the big producers of hard to find and replace gemstones.

3- What key resources do we get from partners?

In the first example we gave, this is clear: universities get capital to invest in research, And companies get the information and insights from the academic research they need.

4- What key activities do the partners carry out?

Again, our initial example helps to understand this: the high-quality professional service provided by universities, their professors, and students, is the activity that companies receive.

In the case of jewelry, the extraction, selection, and stoning of the gems are the activity the partner performs.

5 – What can motivate these partnerships?

Now the question is more strategic. See that partnership, in the case of universities, is a mutual process of collaboration, in which both key partners in a business model have a benefit, there is a reciprocity that motivates this partnership.

But, in the case of the supply of precious stones, this doesn’t occur, the relationship is merely commercial. Is it possible to find a way to strengthen this partnership?

If the jewelry store created a jewelry line with the name of one of the mines where they extract the stones, would this create a common brand between the two companies?

The next 3 questions go in this direction. Now that we know who the partners are and what they provide, how can we improve this relationship?

Have a look:

6- How do you achieve optimization and savings with key partners?

Creating a unique partnership with a smaller precious stones supplier, ensuring the purchase of all your production, with special prices for the jewelry, and determining quality standards that correspond exactly to what the jeweler needs, can be a beneficial idea for both key partners in a business model.

7- How do you reduce risks and uncertainties?

The previous example also goes down this path, especially for the stone supplier.

8- How do you access certain resources and activities?

Imagine that the university needs a certain expensive device to analyze certain materials and conduct their research.

It will need to find the right company, which has enough resources to purchase the equipment and maintain it. This company should also have an interest in this field of research.

See more: How to Organize a Small Business Using the Canvas Model

So, after defining the key partners in a business model, and responding to the other 8 fields in this table, model your processes with HEFLO, an intuitive, free for process modeling and cloud-based BPMN tool.


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