In general, a business model describes the rationale of how a company creates and delivers value to its customers. Get started with your next business model by using this sample template.
What is your company’s value proposition? More importantly, how will you deliver that value to your customer base? Focus on strategies that distinguish your product offering in your market. What do your customers want most and how best can your business deliver that to them?
Segmenting your customer base is an essential part of identifying your venture’s critical sales channels. Focus on key demographics, age groups, ethnicities and genders in order to segregate your customer base. From this exercise you should be able to distinguish between those customers that your enterprise deems to be the most important and essential to growing your market.
Once you’ve segmented your customer base, you’ll now have to decide upon those aforementioned channels to market. This may ultimately force you to use multiple channels. For instance, you may opt to sell direct to end-users for some product lines, while using sales agents and distributors for others.
What do your customers expect from you in terms of servicing and maintaining their business? Can your enterprise bundle special services with your product offering that might help to set it apart from its competition? Move away from seeing sales as a series of singular transactions where you try and maximize gross profit on each additional sale. Instead, see your customers as potential partners and define what it takes to retain their business for the long-term.
Define your company’s revenue streams. Will you only derive revenue on sales of a given product line, or will you charge for essential services such as delivery and special packaging? Approach this step with the mindset of your customer segments. What are your customers willing to spend in order to benefit from your enterprise’s value proposition?
What resources must your company acquire or secure in order to attain its value proposition? Your venture’s resources can be its business knowledge, its core competencies, its management, its employees, or even its physical assets, such as equipment and machinery. What resources does your venture require in order to achieve your value proposition?
What activities or operations are essential to growing your business? Think of those business activities that your enterprise must excel at in order to meet its value proposition. Think of the importance of a well-defined supply chain, one where vendors are properly aligned and can immediately turn around raw materials and parts. Think of the importance of having solid partnerships with creditors and investors.
Who are the venture’s main stakeholders, and of those stakeholders, who are the most valued partners? When looking to define your venture’s stakeholders, look to isolate those strategic partnerships so vital to your venture’s success and ones that are essential in mitigating risk. Focus on key investors, suppliers and creditors. Next, define their relationship to your enterprise and their appropriate roles and responsibilities.
In this step you’ll define your company’s cost structure relative to your value proposition. What costs are essential to manage in order to deliver your value proposition? How best can you manage these costs in order to derive the greatest return? Focus on segregating those resources and activities where you’ll need to have strong cost controls. Lower costs means these activities will bear fruit earlier in the process.