Of all of the start-up tools out there, the Business Model Canvas (www.strategyzer.com) is one of the most well-known and relied-upon to help entrepreneurs transform an idea into an organized strategy and an actionable business plan. The Business Model Canvas gives entrepreneurs a wide snapshot of all aspects of their business — everything from the value proposition and customer segments to operations and the financials.

The tool itself, however, is no more complex than a series of nine boxes representing business segments drawn across one sheet of paper. A large part of its effectiveness is in its simplicity. The exercise forces owners to stay focused and concise as they map out their business according to each of the boxes to hone in on their business strategy and plan.

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