As crazy as it sounds, we often get so caught up in the daily operations of our businesses that we lose sight of how our businesses fit into the bigger picture, and the opportunities that are right under our noses.

The good news is, you can get most of the clarity you need by putting some time aside to honestly map out how your business works.

Thanks to free tools like the highly-regarded Business Model Canvas, you can quickly and easily mark out not just where your money comes from and where it goes, but also consider things like communication channels, customer segments, value propositions and key partners.

The Business Model Canvas is used by big and small companies all over the world – including in agriculture.

Irish farmers Brendan and Derek Allen completed a Business Model Canvas for their family property, Castlemine Farm, in 2013.

Click the images below to see where they were at their first Business Model Canvas.

The First Business Model Canvas of Castlemine Farm produced by Fergal Brophy,  Entrepreneurial Specialist at University College Dublin.  The First Business Model Canvas of Castlemine Farm produced by Fergal Brophy,  Entrepreneurial Specialist at University College Dublin.

By reviewing their business will all options on the table, the Allens got the clarity of seeing all the levers and relationships that influenced their business in one place.

Then they could ask “is that a good thing to be doing?” and “what else could we be doing with all these pieces?”

After revisiting their plan, the Allen brothers realised they had a great product that was being undervalued by their existing customers.

Here’s where they ended up on their second Business Model Canvas:

The Updated Business Model Canvas of Castlemine Farm produced by Fergal Brophy,  Entrepreneurial Specialist at University College Dublin.  The Updated Business Model Canvas of Castlemine Farm produced by Fergal Brophy,  Entrepreneurial Specialist at University College Dublin.

By looking at their business differently, the Allen brothers transformed their ‘simple’ business of producing beef, pork and lamb for sale to the big food companies into a successful farm gate producer and distributor of high-quality organic meats and pre-made meals.

DOWNLOAD YOUR OWN BUSINESS MODEL CANVAS

Once you’ve completed your Business Model Canvas, you can start putting numbers and plans around what success looks like today and what it might look like in future – both topics for upcoming posts.

Of course, if you find opportunities for growing your business, we’d be more than happy to look at your finances to see how additional funding could be arranged or existing funding restructured.

Comment and Win!

What opportunities have you found in your business that came by looking at things differently? We’ll be awarding a copy of “Business Model Generation” to one lucky commenter.

Drawn 1 September, 2017.