Free Business Model and Business Model Canvas Templates

By Joe Weller | November 26, 2018

In this article, you’ll find the most comprehensive business canvas and business model templates in Microsoft Excel, Word, and PDF formats. Document, outline, and manage your unique business structure to ensure you are optimizing your target market, key resources, value proposition, and more.

Direct Sales Business Model Template


Direct Sales Business Model Template

Strategize on sales and distribution tactics and plan for your organization’s unique sales pipeline with this template. With room to document distribution models, pricing models, partner strategy, and sales management, you can easily create an effective sales business model. Download this template in Microsoft Excel, Word, or PDF formats.

Download Direct Sales Business Model Template

Excel | Word | PDF  | Smartsheet

Pay-Per-Use Business Model Template


Pay Per Use Business Model Template

Designed for business structures that rely on pay-per-use customers, this business model template allows you to track the success of your organization and strategize on future plans. With sections to document and track year-over-year paying customers, customer growth, premium paying customers, and net new customers, you can stay on top of the success — or areas of improvement — in your pay-per-use business model.

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Excel | Smartsheet

Business Model Canvas Template


Business Model Canvas Template

This template is designed to analyze and review current business models or to plan and document a strategy for new business models. Use this template to document the key details of your business plan, including key partners and activities, value proposition, and strategic channels. This template is available for customization and download in Microsoft Excel, Word, and PDF formats.

Download Business Model Canvas Template

Excel | Word | PDF


Franchise Business Model Template


Franchise Business Model Template

Use this template to create a targeted business model for franchises in order to illustrate potential success or highlight current profits. This template includes areas for documenting executive summaries and company descriptions, product or service descriptions, management structure, and more. This free template is available in Microsoft Excel, Word, and PDF formats.

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Excel | Word | PDF


Freemium Business Model Template


Freemium Business Model Template

This template provides a business model for companies that have a freemium pricing strategy. It helps you enumerate key products or services that the organization should upcharge for. Use this template to document critical details of your freemium business, such as cost structure, customer segments, and revenue streams.

Download Freemium Business Model Template

Excel | Word | PDF


Subscription Business Model Template


Subscription Business Model Template

Outline subscription details, monitor business growth, and keep track of the highest producing revenue streams with this business model template. This template offers space to document and track new subscription members, premium subscription members, and total yearly paid revenue. Download and customize this Microsoft Excel template based on your business needs.

‌ Download Subscription Business Model Template - Excel

Startup Business Model Template


Startup Business Model Template

Create a traditional business model and detail all key aspects of your organization with this startup business model template. This template allows you to document the components of your startup that you want to highlight, such as executive summaries, company descriptions, marketing plans, and financial information. This template is available for download and customization in Microsoft Word.

Download Startup Business Model Template

Excel | Word | PDF

Collective Business Model Template


Collective Business Model Template

Gather, document, and report on all the key details of your business with this collective business model template. Use this template to share the core components of your organization, such as key partners, resources, and activities, as well as customer segments and cost structures.

Download Collective Business Model Template

Excel | Word | PDF


Inclusive Business Model Template


Inclusive Business Model Template

This free template includes space to document the most fundamental building blocks of your company, so you can create a comprehensive business model. Document and communicate key details, such as products or services, cost structures, revenue streams, and more. This template is available for download in Microsoft Excel, Word, and PDF formats.

Download Inclusive Business Model Template

Excel | Word | PDF


Open Source Business Model Template


Open Source Business Model Template

Use this template to plan and record a comprehensive business model for open source projects. This template includes sections to document everything from problems and solutions to unique value propositions and customer channels. It is available for download in Microsoft Excel, Word, and PDF formats.

Download Open Source Business Model Template

Excel | Word | PDF


Consulting Business Model Template


Consulting Business Model Template

Geared toward businesses in the consulting field, this template lets you construct a comprehensive overview of your organization’s business model. Customize the details of this template to fit your needs. The template includes sections for company descriptions, mission statements, finances, key business metrics, and more.

Download Consulting Business Model Template

Excel | Word | PDF


Small Business Model Template


Small Business Business Model Template

This template is perfect for small businesses who want to map out their business model, either at the beginning stages of their business, or as their business grows. Use this template to include the most important high-level details, such as company description, market analysis, organization information, and financial projections.

Download Small Business Business Model Template

Excel | Word | PDF


Harvard Business Model Template


Harvard Business Model Template

Use this business model template, influenced by the Harvard Business School, to create the most comprehensive and detailed overview of your business. With space to include key details, like partners, business activities, resources, and value propositions, this template allows you to customize your business plan and share the details among your team.

Download Harvard Business Model Template

Excel | Word | PDF

SaaS Business Model Template


SaaS Business Model Template

Leverage this template to accurately explain, build out, and model your SaaS business plan. This template is especially helpful in mapping out key resources, like developers, software value propositions, and revenue streams based on usage. Download this template, available in Microsoft Excel, Word, and PDF, and customize it based on the details of your company.

Download SaaS Business Model Template

Excel | Word | PDF

Lean Business Model Template


Lean Business Model Template

To eliminate waste and provide the best value to the customer of a lean business, use this template to document and track the core components that contribute to your organization’s success. With room to include potential problems and solutions, cost structure, and unique customer segments, this template allows you to model and perfect the ideal lean business.

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Excel | Word | PDF


Service Business Model Template


Service Business Model Template

This template is designed to analyze and review business models related to the service industry. Use this template to document the key details of your business plan, including key partners and activities, value propositions, and strategic channels. This template is available for customization and download in Microsoft Excel, Word, and PDF formats.

Download Service Business Model Template

Excel | Word | PDF


Affiliate Business Model Template


Affiliate Business Model Template

Use this preformatted template to plan, track, and assess the business model of an affiliate business in order to keep all details in check. With space to record key details, such as market segmentation and targeting, marketing strategy, business operation, and more, this template gives you the structure to maintain a successful affiliate business. This template is available for download in Microsoft Excel, Word, and PDF formats.

Download Affiliate Business Model Template

Excel | Word | PDF


What Is a Business Model Canvas?

A business model canvas is a strategic management document that assists you in developing business models of all kinds, from lean to startup to subscription models. It is a purely visual chart that identifies and describes core business elements, like value propositions, market segments, and customers.

What Is a Business Model Canvas Used For?

Typically a one-page document, a business model canvas grants a high-level overview of the business structure and operation and describes the overall value of an organization. Not only is it a strategic tool for developing a new business, but it’s also a way to upgrade or analyze an already-active business. A business model canvas brings clarity, strategy, and simplicity to a business plan, especially regarding areas that are usually difficult to describe.

Why Is a Business Model Canvas Important?

A business model canvas is important because it helps provide a company with clarity, focus, and strategy. It offers a detailed structure of what the business does, how it should perform, and what markets or customer groups it should target.

What a Business Model Canvas Can Help an Organization Do

A business model canvas not only increases the transparency of the business plan by supplying a single, flexible explanation of the business and its strategy, but also helps a business or organization to do the following:

  • Describe, design, or redesign a business model

  • Organize new thoughts and ideas about how a business can increase its success

  • Enable both new and existing organizations to increase their focus on the operations and processes that run their business

  • Provide a platform to explore new options for a business, test any assumptions, and discover new opportunities

  • Devise new strategies for a business

  • Look at a business with a critical eye, identifying areas of improvement or areas of great success

  • Reevaluate any unique aspects of a business that are working and fine tune those aspects in order to improve an overall business strategy

  • Discover opportunities to grow or improve upon existing processes

  • Provide either a general guideline or a detailed layout of a business, depending on its structure

  • Identify specific instructions on how to achieve a new or improved business plan

  • Assess potential trade-off opportunities

  • Align marketing strategies and other business activities

  • Enable a structured conversation about a business model and an operation and management strategy that can include stakeholders, key team members, and external resources

  • Present strategic analyses, like a market analysis, customer analysis, or operational analysis

  • Develop new insight on customers and what they are seeking from a business

  • Describe the relationships between new initiatives and how a company can achieve those initiatives simultaneously

Who Created the Business Model Canvas?

Business theorist Alexander Osterwalder created the business model canvas following his earlier work on business model ontology.

The Core Structures of Business Models

Based on his analysis, Osterwalder proposed that all businesses share similar modeling, using the following core structures:

  • Infrastructure: This includes key business activities, key resources, and key partners that the business leverages on a regular basis.

  • Offering: The concept of offering deals with the unique value proposition of a business, which is what distinguishes one business from another.

  • Customers: This includes customer segments, channels, and customer relationships, all of which drive the strategy and overall success of a business.

  • Finances: Finances include both the cost structure and the revenue streams that drive the profit of a business.

When Was the Business Model Canvas Invented?

Alexander Osterwalder invented the business model canvas in 2008, following his work on business model ontology. Since 2008, business experts have created many variations on Osterwalder’s original business model canvas, including ones that are industry specific.

What Do You Include in a Business Model Canvas Template?

A business model canvas has a few main components that build out the structure, organization, and strategy of a business. The components include the following:

  • Key Activities: The key activities identify the crucial steps and activities a business must perform in order to deliver on its propositions and continue to succeed. As a business changes and grows, it must discover new techniques to perform better, provide better services or products, and consider how these key activities help to drive the value proposition.

  • Key Resources/Partners: The key resources delineate the strategic assets needed to achieve core business goals and maintain a more targeted and successful approach than one’s competitors. Three core business products make up the key resources: product, scope, and infrastructure.

  • Value Proposition: This is the driving force of the business, as it identifies the uniqueness of a business’s offering (i.e., what differentiates it from other competitors). The value prop works to pinpoint the needs of the customer and deliver on those needs with the company’s own product or service.

  • Channels: The channels signify the various media used to communicate the value prop to the appropriate customers. Channels also identify where and how you will sell your product and to what customers.

  • Customer Segments: This refers to the way in which customers interact with the business through the product or service lifecycle and which type of market a customer might engage with. Types of markets can include niche, mass, segmented, diversified, or multi-sided.

  • Cost Structure: The cost structure of a business model canvas pairs together how key activities will drive costs and determines how well the costs are aligned with the value prop. It is at this time that businesses must determine other key cost decisions, like using a fixed, variable, cost-driven, or value-driven structure and figuring out how the scope and scale of the business relate to the costs and revenue.

  • Revenue Streams: This determines the way a company generates revenue from each customer segment. Revenue streams can come in the form of asset sales, usage or subscription fees, lending, leasing, renting, licensing, brokerage fees, and advertising. A business determines its revenue streams based on its overall structure.

What Is a Business Model Canvas Report?

A business model canvas report is a roll-up of all the key details described in a business model canvas. The report aims to describe each component in further detail, providing commentary on both why a company is structured the way it is and how it plans to attain that structure.

What Is a Lean Canvas Template?

A lean canvas template is a one-page business plan that summarizes a business and breaks it down into nine key elements. Those elements include problems, solutions, key metrics, value propositions, advantages, channels, customer segments, cost structures, and revenue streams.

Why Have a Business Model Canvas?

Businesses and organizations should have a business model canvas in order to break down the key components of a business and discuss what is and isn’t working. This process will help you identify problem areas, improve on certain aspects, and continue to grow, generate revenue, and succeed.

Tips For Creating a Business Model Canvas

The best way to get started is by gathering a core group comprised of key team members and stakeholders (ideally around 3-5 people) and drawing out a canvas on paper or creating a canvas digitally.

Allow yourself plenty of undisturbed time to start mapping out a high-level overview of the business and its structure. Connect the core building blocks of your business, like market segments and target customers, and brainstorm how to achieve the most success.

Make sure to keep on open mind and separate the current from the ideal state of the business. After you have completed your canvas, review it and share it with your team to collect further ideas or comments. Ask team members to look for missing details, both in the design and structure of the canvas.

Once you have completed the canvas review, test your new plan and analyze it periodically to ensure it is working for your business.

Examples of Successful Business Models

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