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StrategyDriven Entrepreneurship Article

Launching a Business? Here Are 5 Proven Business Models for You to Consider

Do you already have a service in mind, or are you working on entrepreneurial spirit alone? Both are a great starting point from which you can build a lucrative business. But if you want to inspire investors and customers alike, you need a compelling business model that fits well with what you’re offering. Here are five potential models to choose from.

1. Offer personalization.

Tech and the internet have comfortably reassured consumers that they can easily get exactly what they need. Get your business in on the action with personalization. Customized, tailor-made, bespoke, exclusive – these are all words that can attract certain groups.

Essentially, we want options, and it’s even better when the customer feels like they invented that option. From clothing to home goods to software, allowing people to build their own product carries a lot of promise.

2. Join the sharing economy.

Is your business a viable platform that allows people to get together and exchange good and services? From Craigslist to Airbnb to Uber, it’s possible that your new venture will involve taking a step back and allowing the community at large to decide what they want, and who they want to buy it from.

Relative to other models, there’s little investment risk here. Just ensure there’s a real need for your type of platform, and that you have ironed out issues of liability beforehand.

3. Let a buyer name their price.

Before procuring funding from Unsecured Finance Australia, consider a model that makes buyers feel like they’re practically stealing from you; or at least, very satisfied with the deal they got. Known as a reverse auction, this model lets the buyer name their price or budget.

It won’t work for every business, but it could be profitable if you have a great deal of inventory you can let go for cheap, or if your business has a ton of competition.

4. Offer subscriptions.

One model that has absolutely exploded in popularity in the last several years would be subscription-based services. Here, consumers pay a reasonable weekly, monthly, or annual fee to continue doing business with you.

But it’s not all Netflix. This model translates well offline, as we see millions subscribing to receive beauty and personal care items, food, lifestyle goods, and even cars to drive for a limited period of time.

5. Integrate internet and in-store.

The major challenge many physical stores face is competing with online shopping. Fortunately, the “bricks and clicks” business model has helped keep many physical locations in operation.

When you spread your efforts between both bricks and clicks, you’re supplementing your foot traffic with online shoppers. You can allow local consumers to purchase something on your website to be picked up at your store nearby, or simply sell inventory online and ship it in addition to offering it in person.

There are many more models to choose from than the ones presented here. No matter which you choose for your business, bear in mind that your model can become as much a part of the story as the product or service itself. Therefore, you want yours to not only speak to the modern consumer, but the consumer of the future.

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Develop A Process For Continuing Business Model Innovation

In recent days, Apple announced that co-founder Steve Jobs would be leaving the company for a time to deal with some health issues. Investors and analysts closely eyed how the stock price responded.

In interview after interview, people wanted to know whether Apple could maintain its cutting edge innovative abilities while Jobs is out of the picture. Isn’t that interesting? Why wouldn’t Apple continue to innovate? Or will it?

Now, ask yourself how well your organization would do in making business model innovations if you weren’t available? Hopefully, it wouldn’t make any difference and your business model would be continually updated without you.

For most organizations, however, that’s not the case. The “solitary genius” toils seemingly alone (or at least doesn’t let anyone else make a decision) in many companies. When that person dies or retires, everyone knows that the glory days are over.

Whatever happened to Edwin Land’s Polaroid?

You get the idea.

Most organizations are led by mere mortals, and they look to create a systematic source of success. A few organizations are blessed with geniuses who can continue to find more successful business model innovations. That blessing, however, turns into a curse if the genius stops delivering or leaves.

While one person does all the thinking, others daydream about what they will do after work rather than coming up with their own business model innovations.

A better approach is to install a process that engages lots of people in proposing and testing potential business model innovations. Examples where continuing business model innovation had been made into day-to-day work are few and far between. Typically, however, when the leader left who had organized the innovation process, business model innovation for that organization ended.

During a time of economic crisis like 2009, most companies will stumble because they will keep doing what they’ve always done . . . even if that approach stops working. Boards of directors will be shouting for better cost controls, for stronger balance sheets, for more influential leaders. And those won’t help if the business model is broken.

Wake up! Smell the coffee.

If you don’t have a process to upgrade your business model by the end of 2009, you are in trouble.

Here are some things to keep in mind:

  1. Have lots of experiments going that don’t cost very much.
     
  2. Cut off experiments that don’t seem to be going where you want to go.
     
  3. Share insights into what kinds of improved business models might work.
     
  4. Watch progress on developing new business models very carefully.
     
  5. Invite stakeholders to participate.
     
  6. Consider running global contests to get lots of help from the world’s best thinkers.
     
  7. Let non-experts have a crack at making improvements, too.
     
  8. Focus on innovations that will expand the market by providing new reasons and opportunities to do business with you.

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About the Author

Donald Mitchell is an author of seven books including Adventures of an Optimist, The 2,000 Percent Squared Solution, The 2,000 Percent Solution, The 2,000 Percent Solution Workbook, The Irresistible Growth Enterprise, and The Ultimate Competitive Advantage. Read about creating breakthroughs through and receive tips by e-mail through registering for free at http://www.fastforward400.com.

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