Business Model: Key resources

The next element of the Canvas that we will go over is the Key Resources.

When I ask entrepreneurs what resources they need, most of them say that they need money, or capital as we call it in business jargon. However, they usually leave out other resources that are sometimes more important than capital.

The resources are needed to create value for your customers. They are considered your assets and they are needed to sustain and support your business. These resources can be categorized into four main categories:

  1. Physical resources, such as raw material, buildings, vehicles, transportation, storage facility, machines and factory.
  2. Human resources, or staff, such as a talented engineer or marketing experts. These resources are more important in companies in the knowledge-intensive and creative sectors.
  3. Intellectual resources, such as your brand, patents, copyrights, partnerships, and customer databases. This can include recipes for those who deals with food. Or it can include a particular way of doing things (that maybe only you know).
  4. Financial resources, such as cash, credit etc.

I will give you a concrete example. If you produce hand bags, you will need to have: work space, machines to stitch, people to manage the machines, materials (e.g. fabric, thread and zips) and money to keep the operations going. You may also need to protect your handbags and could for example build a strong brand that customers relate to you and your business.

Take away: So, if you haven’t already done so, write down all the resources you need to effectively execute your business. Organize them into the four categories to make sure you stay on point and don’t forget anything.

Esther’s resources

Before I developed my business model canvas, I was unsure about what resources I would need the most to start my pumpkin business. Step-by-step, I started to prepare a list of the resources that I would need and gradually I realized that it was more than initially thought. But I am so happy I did it since the list helped me keep my eyes open when I had meetings with potential business partners that had better access to some of these resources that I had.

As raw materials I needed the pumpkins from my garden. I was growing them without major costs. I also needed sugar and spices to create juice, sauce, jam and wine. Then I needed jars, lids and packages to package the products.

Moreover I needed at least one more person (human resource) to help me with preparing the products, packaging them and carrying them to local market with a vehicle.

Initially I used my own kitchen (physical resource) to prepare the products, so I did not need to spend money on space.

Lastly, I needed some capital to pay upfront to fill the purchase orders from my customers.

However, I knew going forward I would need more resources. For example, to grow my business I had to leave my house and find a professional kitchen to cook. I also needed to buy a car or bike to transport my products to the market, a computer and website to grow my online presence and get into e-commerce. So already from the beginning I listed both my initial resource needs as well as future resource needs so that I kept in mind what I needed to grow the business.

Take away: Now take another look at your resources and make sure you are not missing something important.