There are free options to help with business modeling like the Business Model Canvas. Why should I pay for BPS Tools?
For the same reason you pay for anything else, superior overall value
We believe that when compared to the BMC we provide better value to entrepreneurs and to the entities / organizations that work with entrepreneurs to help them develop business models. Let me quickly follow that up with this; I am a big fan of the BMC. As a former SBDC consultant and a former BMC instructor I am very familiar with the tool and I believe it is workable solution for some entrepreneurs. In fact it is part of the reason the Business Planning System exists, the frustrations and limitations I heard from entrepreneurs lead me to create a better solution. Below are some of my thoughts on why it is worth it for entrepreneurs and support organizations to pay for BPS Tools even when free options exist.
The goods and bads of Business Model Canvas:
It feels ambiguous because it is. Designing a business modeling system that works for any business in any industry at any stage; and trying to capture all the relevant information in 9 boxes on one sheet of paper is Hard thing to do, but that is what the BMC says it is. To make that work you have to stay with high level concepts and stay away from a lot of the day-to-day operational details because there isn't anywhere to put the details. The problem is, many entrepreneurs are focused on the details and have a hard time working on the high level concepts while they have specific, real-life, questions that are not being answered. Our step by step process lets you work on the details as you create and validate the business model. We embrace the details up front because that's how many entrepreneurs think. If you are a strongly concept oriented person and you are comfortable with less structure when planning out complex issues, then the BMC is a good place for you to start. It may be all you need to put together a great business model, and I genuinely wish you nothing but success, but my experience has been that most people are happier with the results of a more structured process.
How much is free help costing you?
If you live very far away from the organization helping you with the BMC or have a busy schedule you may find that you are paying fifty dollars or more in time & travel costs per session to get your free help. Most places that teach the BMC keep standard business hours and are closed on most holidays. If you have to take a half-day off of work, or use sick time and then get to drive, fight traffic and parking to get there for a 1-2 hour meeting, you are probably better off staying home and doing your business modeling online with us.
What happens when the BMC instructor isn't available for questions? The book that goes along with the BMC is very helpful, if you take time to read it, and you are a business geek, and you already have some experience with the tool. Without the book, and the time, and the experience, and being a geek, there are usually a Lot of questions after someone is introduced to the tool. There are also videos that are very helpful, but if someone isn't familiar with the ideas behind the tool we get back to the previous point - high level concepts meeting real-life questions. BPS Tools was designed from a different perspective, we help you figure out the details that are causing stress and may be hurting your business, then use the answers you provide to fill in the blanks in the business model. You get answers to important questions as you go and you create the big picture in the process, then we help put it all together into a final package that make it easier for you to communicate your business to someone else.
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