The Boutique Consulting Canvas

A specialized framework for solo, micro, and lifestyle consultancies to rethink their business model.

This post is part of a series on consulting business model innovation.

In yesterday's post, I shared what I learned after analyzing 10 different business model frameworks. They work - frameworks such as the Business Model Canvas will give you 80% of the benefits. But there's a lot of value in putting together a more specialized framework for boutique consultancies if you only work with them. Which is exactly my case.

Consultancy founders and partners at the smaller end of the market are already underserved. You deserve better tools and ideas. That's why I've spent a significant time during the last holiday pause working on one.

The Boutique Consulting Canvas (BCC)

The Boutique Consulting Canvas is a specialized framework for consultancies with 1 to 20 full-time employee equivalents in their team. It's also a more fitting tool for solo consultants and advisors (with no support staff) and scale-up boutiques (up to 50 people staff) when compared to other popularized business model frameworks.

The BCC was developed based both on interviews with boutique partners, a literature review, and empirical observation. The framework borrows a similar high-level structure as Johnson's Four-Box Model.

The Boutique Consulting Canvas

As you can see, it includes something similar to the three universal functions of every business: Value proposition, value creation, and value capture:

  1. Value proposition: It's how you express what value you bring to clients and how you differ from competitors and alternatives.
  2. Value creation: It's how you deliver value to clients. To do that, your consultancy will need both resources and processes.
  3. Value capture: It's how you transform value into profit.

Next week, I'll publish one post elaborating on each component. But before that, I'd like to clarify when to use the BCC as a tool, instead of any other more popular business model framework.

When To Use The BCC

It all comes down to one question: What's the standard you want to operate in?

An existing business model framework will give you 80% of the results. There is an abundance of online content, books, and courses for you to do it yourself. And there are also thousands of professionals who can facilitate a business model review process for a fee.

If you are starting a new practice or planning to make significant changes to your consultancy (be it by choice or necessity) and want to make it right, the BCC is a powerful framework to use. Simply put, it's a much more specialized framework. I'll write more about it next week, but feel free to connect if you're looking for expert guidance on how to use it.

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