Cost Structure

Cost Structure defines all the costs and expenses that your company will incur while operating your business model. This final step in the process is important, because it will help your team decide whether to pivot or proceed.


There are two main categories of cost structure: value-driven and cost-driven. The focus of value-driven cost structures is to create more value in the product itself, not necessarily producing the product at the lowest possible cost. Examples of this would be Prada, Rolex, or Ritz-Carlton. On the other hand, cost-driven cost structures focus on minimizing the costs of the product or service as much as possible. Examples would be Walmart and Southwest Airlines.

In order to populate the cost structure block of your business model canvas, your team must consider the most important costs to your business and create hypotheses for these expenses. You will need to take into account both fixed costs, such as startup and acquisition costs, and variable costs, such as your monthly operating costs. After you gather data using resources available (see “Library Resources” in Helpful Resources) in order to prove your hypotheses, you will be able to determine if you should pivot or proceed. To proceed, your costs will have to be less than your revenue, which you determined in the Revenue Streams block of the canvas. If this is not the case, you will have to pivot and make adjustments.

Our Experience:

The DoughJoe- We were blessed with two accountants in our team. If I have to make one recommendation, it’s get yourself an accountant. In this phase we wanted to focus on the possibility of alternatives: make vs. buy, lease vs. own, equipment possibilities, etc. One unique aspect of cost structure is that it is singularly annoying – finding industry averages is just the beginning. This is the part of the BMC where you’ll source most of your Key Resources through negotiation or tireless effort, only to find that the cost to lease a building that’s been the backbone for your business idea can’t be sustained by your revenue streams, and you’ll have to nearly start from scratch. On the bright side, there are almost always cheaper or more effective alternatives, so keep diggin’!

Crepe Expectations- In order to gain an understanding of what our cost structure should be, we created an expense model. We formed a spreadsheet consisting of estimates for all the costs we would reasonably expect to incur, both startup and recurring costs.

Food Truck Expense Report
Startup Costs:
Truck (including redesign and equipment) $ 60,000-70,000
Initial Food Purchases 1,000
Permits and Licenses 500+
Legal/Consulting Fees (including setup costs) 1,000
POS System 200-500
     (Could be around $100 if use existing iPad)
Paper Products/Utensils/Etc 300-500
Cookware 1000-1500
Initial Marketing 500-750
Administrative/General/Misc/Unexpected Expenses 1000-2000
Approx. Total Startup Costs $ 65,500 – 77, 750
Monthly Recurring Costs:
Food/Supplies Restock (~75/100 crepes/day) $ 1,000-1,500
Insurance 175
Permit Renewal ($250/yr) 20
Payroll (including payroll taxes) 6400
Storage/Commercial Kitchen Rent 800
Fuel 300-500
Administration/General/Misc Expenses (Budget 5% of Revenue) 1000
Budget for Unexpected Repairs/Maintenance 1000
Approx. Monthly Recurring Costs 10,695 – 11,395
Time Cost: 2-6 months

***After examining our spreadsheet and taking into consideration our financial resources (see Key Resources), we decided we could proceed with our business model since our estimated costs would be less than our estimated revenues.



For more information and further reading, click here.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s