Portfolio Map.

One tool to map them all.

You can no longer stick with one single, static business model. But how do you grow new business models while sustaining existing ones? The answer is simple: a portfolio of business models. Ironically, managing a portfolio is far from simple. That's why we use the business model portfolio map. It is a magical model that helps you to plot your current business models and your future business opportunities. With your portfolio on one page, you can assess and strategize.  So, let's dive in and explore the benefits of portfolio mapping!

Why should you use this tool?

Your portfolio map will help you to: 

  • Get a visual representation of the different business models within your company. This makes it easier to communicate the portfolio to others. ​

  • Analyse your portfolio in a strategic way: You can identify gaps, duplication of effort, and areas that can be optimized. ​

  • Identify new opportunities and develop new models that can help it stay ahead of the curve.​

  • Prioritize your resources, both in terms of time and money. By identifying which models are most important and which ones are underperforming, your company can make more informed decisions about where to invest. 

How to use this canvas.

Define strategy.

Value Space are your opportunity areas for future value creation and are influenced by what's happening in your context.  Your value spaces should be defined in such a way that they optimally support your overall vision and strategy.

This stage contains ideas without a clearly defined customer. Also, there’s no proof yet the idea is addressing a problem worth solving.​

In this phase you’ll iteratively prototype and validate your ideas into a solution that creates true value for your customer.​

You’ve proven to have a solution for a true problem. Until now you’ve been working on a small-scale, now you’re ready to penetrate the market. Can you prove you can acquire enough customers?​

You have proven the new business model to be successful. Now you can focus your energy on optimizing your operations in preparation for the handover to Execution.

You’re scaling-up your business model, acquiring and serving more customers every day.​

You’re reaching the ceiling of this business model. Optimize for profit and keep yourself from being disrupted as long as possible.​

Decline is inevitable. To keep your business focused, Business models in this stage should be divested, repurposed or let go.

Your step-by-step guide.

Before you start.

At Business Models Inc. we look at your portfolio through the business model lens. What's in a name, right?

A business model shows how your company creates, delivers, and captures value. Before you start mapping your portfolio we recommend you to have a good understanding of your business model(s). Click here to get familiar with our business model canvas.


  • Familiarize yourself with the Business Model Canvas.

  • Make sure you plotted your current business models beforehand.

  • Get help from colleagues if needed.

  • Open up your Miro board for a digital white co-creation space. Import the canvas and get ready to get to work.

1. Think long-term.

As a first step plot your value spaces in the define strategy column. Remember: value spaces are areas where you want to explore opportunities for future value creation.

Are you looking to shift to a circular business model? Your value spaces might focus on reduce, re-use, recycling. Are you looking to go exponential, you might have a technology development value space.

Pro-tip: We recommend a maximum of 4 value spaces. You want to explore, but you don't want to loose focus either. Check-out our value spaces here.

2. Start plotting.

As a first step, plot the current business models that you are executing on the right side of the map. 

Second, add all your new business opportunities on the search side (=left) of the map. Notice how there are different stages there? Each stage shows what your organization should be focused on based on the maturity of the idea. 

Pro tip:Not sure where to plot your initiatives? Each stage has a milestone that you should have achieved before passing on to the next stage. Did you validate your problem-solution with customers in the market? Great then you can plot your opportunity in the grow phase. 

3. Analyze and discuss.

Once you have your full portfolio plotted you can use it to have conversations with your team and as a strategic decision-making tool.

You and your team can have conversations about strategic questions such as:

  • How balanced is our current portfolio between search and execute? Are we doing the right things to achieve our long-term vision?

  • Do we have enough business opportunities that we are exploring, building, and growing in our search portfolio?

  • How could spotted business opportunities bring value to our portfolio? And what is needed to make it a success?

Next step: strategize.

Plotting your portfolio is not a one-off exercise. This map should stay ‘alive’ so you can see how your portfolio develops over time.

That's why we recommend checking in and strategizing at least every quarter: Identify new opportunities, ​prioritize your resources, and conclude which models are most important and which are underperforming. Make strategic decisions

based on the outcomes.