Every business has to do something in order to produce revenue. On the Business Model Canvas, we refer to these as Key Activities. Key activities are what you do with your key resources. In this stage, the most important thing to consider are the activities that need to be done in order to achieve your value proposition (in other words, what you need to do in order to bring value to your customers.) Your activities must create unique value. You’ll also want to ask yourself what activities your channels, customers, revenue streams, and Key Partners call for.
(To catch up on the rest of my Business Model Canvas series, view the following links: Value Proposition, Customer Segment, Channels, Customer Relationships, Revenue Streams, Key Partners, Key Resources.)
Key Activities can take place in the following areas:
- Production: Marketing, designing, and producing.
- Problem solving: Training, studying metrics, and improving.
- Platforms: Website updating, promotion, and IT.
- Networks: Primarily people networks.
- Financial: Securing a merchant account, shop management, and Ecommerce.
All of these things are incredibly important, yet they happen behind the scenes. But for growth to happen, your Key Activities need to be running. Do you want to start a hole-in-the-wall coffee shop? Make sure you develop your Key Activities. These could include menu creation, ordering supplies, creating the coffee beverages, and marketing on social media. Pay attention to how your key resources contribute to a key activity, and how that key activity plays a role in running your business.
Two Examples of Key Activities
Two major examples of Key Activities are Supply Chain Management and Software Development:
- Supply Chain Management—Supply chain management is the management of the flow of goods and services and includes all processes that transform raw materials into final products. Your Key Partners and Key Resources help you maintain this flow. If you’re in the manufacturing industry or have a product to produce, then supply chain management will become one of your Key Activities. Even if you outsource your supply chain management, it’s still a key activity.
- Software Development—Software is here to stay. Almost all business systems have been moved into software processes. Now you have access to computer software that helps you mange all of the pieces of a business that need to operate and run. For example, at WealthBuilders we use a CRM called Kindful to manage our nonprofit donors, and we use ConvertKit for our email marketing. No matter what your business is, someone has probably created software that can make your life easier. Find and integrate it into your business.
Businesses often fail because the entrepreneur or the manager does the wrong thing and pulls the wrong levers. Remember that there are several steps in the Business Model Canvas before you get to Key Activities. Make sure you’re working from your Value Proposition first.
What is an important Key Activity for your business? Let me know in the comment section!