Business Model Canvas: a tool for defining Business Models (part 7)

Key Resources The business Model Canvas tool developed by Alexander Osterwalder and Yves Pigneur, in addition of being a hot topic, it has been helpful for renown enterprises and also for new entrepreneurs that are configuring their business model. This is the reason why I have dedicated this series of articles to explaining each of the components of this tool.

Thus among the posts I have been writing I have introduced the tool, and I have described all the right side blocks of the canvas, in other words customer segments, value proposition, channels, customer relationship and revenue streams. In this and the next articles I will describe the left-side elements that refer to subjects inside the company. The first block I will describe is Key Resources.


What is the Key Resources building block?

This block refers to all the resources that are essential to make our business model work. In this way we must define all the resources that relate with the blocks we have already defined. In other words, we should determine all the resources that allow us to offer our value proposition, create a relationship and reach our markets and finally generate revenue.

The key resources vary among the different types of companies. For example a business that produces a good will focus on physical infrastructure and supplies while a consulting firm will focus much more on human talent.


What types of key resources our company might have?

As I already exposed, according to the type of company and its core business, it is going to need different type of resources. These resources may be categorized in the next way in accordance to Osterwalder and Pigneur:

  • Physical: this category refers to all physical assets such as buildings, manufacturing facilities, machines, among others.
  • Intellectual: in this category we may name all intellectual resources the company owns such as brands, patents and copyrights, partnerships, know-how and databases.
  • Human: this category is easy to understand because it refers to the employees of the company. Even though all companies require human resources, people are much more prominent in certain business models, such as industries that commercialize goods and services based on creativity and knowledge.
  • Financial: this category refers to resources related with financial guarantees such as cash, lines of credit, or stocks.


Taking into account our companies key resources, we can determine which are the key activities of our business. However this will be the subject for my next post. Expect it in few days.

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