Scaling a business requires a clear and intelligent underlying structure. Fortunately for us, many of the keenest business strategists from recent history took the time to develop, write down and share some these structures with us. Broadly speaking, these are referred to as 'business frameworks' or business strategy frameworks--and we'll be walking through 12 of them that are still relevant for businesses in 2023, below.
Typically, you'll see an entire book dedicated to a particular business strategy framework. But in this post I'm just going to give you the key takeaways--along with a neat Notion widget that lets you generate a fresh template for each of the frameworks discussed, with the click of a button (inside your own Notion pages).
11 Business Frameworks For 2023
- Business Model Canvas;
- SWOT Analysis Board;
- Porter's Five Forces;
- RICE Priority Scoring;
- Impact-Risk Matrix;
- Lean Canvas;
- S.M.A.R.T Goals;
- Eisenhower Matrix;
- PESTLE Analysis;
- DeBono's Six Thinking Hats; and
- Balanced Scorecard.
Let's get into it, then.
1. The Business Model Canvas
If you haven't come across the Business Model Canvas before, it's an incredibly powerful and concise way to get your entire business plan on one page. It was designed by Alexander Osterwalder, based on his earlier work on business model archetypes.
You can think of the BMC as a kind of map, or snapshot, of your business. And just like any good map, it needs to be clear and legible, so that you can orient yourself (and others) easily. The key elements that the BMC helps you to consider are:
- Key Partners;
- Key Activities;
- Key Resources;
- Value Propositions;
- Customer Relationships;
- Customer Segments; and
- Revenue Streams.
Notion Template: Business Model Canvas
2. SWOT Analysis Board
A SWOT analysis is a tried-and-tested method for thinking about the internal and external factors that impact your business. It's usually presented as a matrix, with four quadrants:
- Opportunities; and
Notion Template: SWOT Analysis Board
3. Porter's Five Forces
In 1979, Michael E. Porter published a now famous article in the Harvard Business Review, in which he described the five forces that shape any given industry. These are:
- Rivalry among competing firms;
- The bargaining power of buyers;
- The bargaining power of suppliers;
- The threat of new entrants; and
- The threat of substitute products.
4. RICE Priority Scoring
If you've ever tried to prioritize a list of features or ideas using something like "MoSCoW" (Must have, Should have, Could have, Won't have), you know how quickly it can break down. RICE is an alternative that's been developed at Intercom, and which I think is much more user-friendly. It stands for:
- Reach (how many people will be impacted?);
- Impact (how big will the impact be?);
- Confidence (how confident are we that this will work?); and
- Effort (how much effort will it take to implement?).
Notion Template: RICE Priority Scoring
5. Impact-Risk Matrix
The Impact-Risk Matrix is a tool for visualizing the risks and potential impacts of different decisions. It can be used to help you make better, more informed choices about which risks are worth taking, and which ones aren't.
To use the matrix, you'll need to rate each decision or course of action on two scales: impact and risk. Impact is self-explanatory--it's simply the potential magnitude of the outcome, good or bad. Risk, on the other hand, is a little more nuanced. It's the probability that the outcome will occur, and the severity of the consequences if it does.
Once you've rated each decision on these two scales, you can plot them on the matrix.
6. Lean Canvas
The Lean Canvas is a tool for planning and developing new products and businesses. It was created by Ash Maurya, based on his experience as a startup founder and entrepreneur.
The Lean Canvas is similar to the Business Model Canvas, in that it helps you to think about all of the key elements of your business on one page. But it goes a step further than the BMC, by helping you to focus on the problem that you're solving, and the solution that you're offering.
The Lean Canvas is divided into nine sections:
- Customer Segments;
- Unique Value Proposition;
- Key Metrics;
- Revenue Streams;
- Cost Structure; and
- Unfair Advantage.
Notion Template: Lean Canvas
7. S.M.A.R.T Goals
You've probably heard of SMART goals before, but in case you haven't, here's a quick refresher. SMART is an acronym that stands for:
- Relevant; and
In other words, a SMART goal is one that is specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and timely.
Notion Template: S.M.A.R.T Goals Tracker
8. Eisenhower Matrix
The Eisenhower Matrix is a tool for prioritizing and decision-making. It was developed by President Dwight D. Eisenhower, who was famously efficient in his use of time.
The matrix is divided into four quadrants:
- Urgent and important;
- Important but not urgent;
- Urgent but not important; and
- Not urgent and not important.
To use the matrix, you simply need to decide which quadrant each task falls into. Tasks that are both urgent and important should be done first, followed by those that are important but not urgent.
Tasks that are urgent but not important can be delegated or outsourced, and those that are neither urgent nor important can be ignored altogether.
Notion Template: Eisenhower Matrix
9. PESTLE Analysis
PESTLE is an acronym that stands for:
- Legal; and
A PESTLE analysis is a tool for business analysis and strategic planning. It helps you to understand the external factors that can have an impact on your business, and to make plans to mitigate any risks.
10. Six Thinking Hats
The Six Thinking Hats is a tool for decision-making and problem-solving. It was developed by Edward de Bono, and it helps you to look at a problem from six different perspectives.
The six hats are:
- White hat: facts and figures;
- Red hat: emotions and intuition;
- Black hat: caution and skepticism;
- Yellow hat: optimism and positive thinking;
- Green hat: creative thinking; and
- Blue hat: process management.
Notion Template: Six Thinking Hats
11. Balanced Scorecard
The Balanced Scorecard is a tool for performance management. It was developed by Robert S. Kaplan and David P. Norton, and it helps organizations to track and measure their progress towards strategic goals.
The Balanced Scorecard has four perspectives:
- Internal Process; and
- Learning and Growth.
Notion Template: Balanced Scorecard
How to use the Business Frameworks Template?
Once you're logged into your Landmark account, hit the 'Add to Notion' button on this page, and select the account you'd like to use it in.
The Widget acts as a dropdown menu, containing all of the business frameworks listed above. Simply hit the '+' icon for the framework you'd like to use, and 'voila'--Notion will spawn a fresh copy of that framework which you can edit and use anywhere in your Notion workspaces.