The 4 Key Resources You’ll Need to Grow Your Business

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Key Resources are the components your business needs to build out the value proposition you promise customers. Every business needs them, and without key resources you won’t be able to bring in revenue or have a clear value proposition.

Without key resources, you wouldn’t be able to deliver value and you wouldn’t have a business to build a business model canvas for! 🙂

Here is a visualization of where key resources fits into the business model canvas.

key resources

Types of Key Resources

A key resource can fall into any of the four categories that we are going to look at, and you’ll definitely have at least one, so if you’re struggling to come up with this, do some research (more on how below).

Physical Resources

These are resources that you can touch, feel, and are tangible.

Examples of Physical Resources include:

  • Machinery and equipment
  • Buildings and office spaces
  • Vehicles and trucks
  • Point-of-sale systems (like Square or Shopify)
  • Distribution networks (i.e. storage facilities and the transportation that will get your products from point A to point B)

Intellectual Resources

These are the resources that are intangible but are often just as, if not more important than the physical resources.

Examples of Intellectual Resources include:

  • Proprietary knowledge like a certain method of doing things or information you’ve gained through the years on what works best.
  • Systems and processes
  • Customer knowledge
  • Your company’s brand
  • Copyrights and patents
  • Customer databases

As a service-based business, intellectual property is heavily relied upon to get things done and do them in our own way.

Human Resources

Not to be confused with the HR department down the hall that everyone dreads going to see (sorry HR folks!). These are resources…that are human.

These might also fit in with your key partners piece of the business model canvas.

Examples of Human Resources include:

  • People who create the product or service
  • Truck drivers who deliver products
  • Customer service agents
  • Managers who oversee production
  • Salespeople
  • Human resources employees (sorry, I had to!)

Again, as a service based business, human resources are super important to what I do. Without the right people, using the intellectual property the right way, my business wouldn’t exist.

Financial Resources

Of course, every business model is going to need cash on hand and some lines of credit to keep operations moving. But think about what your business needs.

If you are planning on building the next app that changes the world, you’re going to need quite a bit of money to hire a developer, marketing help.

If you’re opening a franchise location, do you have $50-$100k lying around, or will you need to go out and get a loan?

These are the types of things to think about when it comes to financial resources you’ll need.

Examples of Financial Resources:

  • Cash
  • Tradelines and lines of credit
  • Venture capital
  • Grants and loans
  • Stock options for employees

What Resources You’ll Need

If this is your first business or one in an industry you’re not as familiar with, there are a few places you can start to get ideas.

First would be doing some competitive research.

What are your potential competitors doing? Are there any larger companies who have their financials listed publicly that you can get ideas from?

Next, make a list that includes all the key activities you’ll be doing, people you’ll need, and channels you’ll be using to create your value proposition. Then take this list and think about what kinds of resources you’ll need to make those happen.

This doesn’t need to be an exhaustive list, but pull together the major buckets you’ll need to pay attention to in order to be successful.

Key Resources for a Marketing Agency Example

For a marketing agency, there are quite a few resources needed. Here is an example of what this exercise could look like:

Physical Resources

To implement campaigns, I’ll need a computer and a place to work (physical resources). I’ll also need a few pieces of software and tools to keep track of performance and help clients understand how their money is working for them.

Human Resources

I’ll need another person to help me implement everything and free up time so I can bring in sales (human resources).

Intellectual Resources

I’ll be training this person using proprietary knowledge and systems I have in place that help implement campaigns properly (intellectual resources).

Financial Resources

To get started, I will need to have enough cash set aside to be able to pay this new team member (financial resources).

What do your key resources look like?

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