Part 3 | Working with the Mission Model Canvas

This is part three of our guide to the Mission Model Canvas: your business plan cheat sheet. Read part one and part two in our journals. Previously, we walked through (4) Write a potential solution, (5) Identify who you will help, and answered (6) “How will this solution make an impact?” In this article, we will walk through the next three steps. 

7. How will you solve the problem?

This next section is where you’ll share your idea and the Key Activities that build an outline for your execution plan. A bulleted list is all that’s needed. Compare your list of Key Activities to your answer on the section for “What can help solve it?” Do they achieve that goal?

If you’re working from an existing business model, list which of those activities you’ll carry out and perhaps, list them in order of importance or alignment with your mission and core values. 

If one of your values is high-touch communication and one key activity is an automated checkout process, then how will you align your activity with your values? These items may be in direct opposition to one another and require some thought in implementation. What other activity could be added to complement an automated checkout process to make it more aligned with your values?

8. List your partners.

Partnerships are integral to any business. Your new idea has a business function, and it is important to know the people who will help bring it to fruition. The people listed here can include team members, volunteers, interns, lenders, or grantors who provide the initial funds. It can include business partners, influencers, or even other companies who share knowledge, education, or resources.

Evaluate if you have the right partners for all the activities to succeed. Do you need more partners? Fewer partners? Different partners? Do your current potential partners align with your values and support your mission? 

9. What do you need?

Answering the question below the partners’ section may uncover a need for additional partnerships or deepening some partnerships over others. As you identify what you already have and what you still need to succeed, it may highlight your readiness for some Key Activities over others. 

When filling out this section, we also like to take a phased approach. What do I need to test my idea? What do I need to create a minimum viable product or initial concept? What do I need to get one of my Key Activities functional? These answers would be very different from what I need to execute a fully operational, well thought out business plan. Remember that the CauseLabs Mission Model Canvas is intended to help validate ideas.

Next up is part 4 of the MMC. We’ll be covering (10) Engaging Customers, (11) Reaching Customers, and answering the questions (12) “What is the cost?”, and (13) “How will you make money?”

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