Thanks again for the fantastic time in Detroit.  

Here is a quick synopsis of the Service Toolkit workshop I held this year. 

Service Toolkit
All community bicycle workshops offer services to people.  These are just some tools that can help your organization dial in what it does, or better learn what it wants to do.

Journey-Mapping - If you're creating a service, sometimes it helps to break it down into its main parts.  An example could be if your shop were providing a mobile bicycle repair station:
   - Assemble kit
   - Ride out to those in need of repairs
   - Provide repairs
   - Receive compensation
   - Ride back to shop
   - Record keeping
   - Unpack
   - Let people know about service

Instead of one big step, we've now broken it into 8 smaller steps that can be focused on individually.  Smaller steps are not as overwhelming as big steps.  Each of these small steps can then be broken down into smaller steps.  It's all about small victories because they add up.

Once you've broken your service down into smaller chunks, you can play with those chunks. That's right, I said play with it.  Have fun.  Act out how things might go down.  Build what it might look like with legos, or bike parts.  Rough it out. A hub might represent a counter and bolts could represent members.  See how the interactions would happen.  Use whatever you have at hand.  Build it with paper and spokes.  Whatever.  There are no rules.  This sort of exercise will bring up new questions that you may not have expected.  Use it as a quick and dirty guide to learn how to better develop your service before spending lots of time, energy, and money, only to hit major roadblocks that could have been discovered much earlier when you were having fun.

Acumen+ offers a free 4 week long online course on prototyping http://plusacumen.org/courses/prototyping/

There are tons of materials on how to prototype out there.  Look it up and have get to making!
Remember, it's about testing your ideas early and going from talking about it to actually DOING it.

Business Model Canvas
A BMC is a worksheet to fill out that can help you take a closer look at just what is involved with your services.  If you have a board to report to, or are asking for money from another organization, this can help show how what you are doing works - the front end, the backend, the customers, the people involved, costs, revenue, etc.  It's not as filled out, expansive, or intimidating to do as a full Business Plan.  And because it is just a worksheet, it's easy to make changes to.

Here are a few different versions.  Work with the one that seems like it bests suits your needs.
Again, if you do a quick google image search you'll find a ton to choose from.

I hope this helps your shops out to continue to service your communities.  Write to me with any questions or to let me know how this helped.


Rob Grossman