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Business Model Examples

Business Model Examples

Want success? Need a business model? From startups to big companies, it is a must.

Struggling to make yours? Check out examples of successful models!

Just use the right strategies and create the perfect business plan. You can do it!

Introduction to Business Model Examples

Business Models are frameworks to map out a company’s operations. They help visualise how components fit together and interact with each other, to optimise performance and create value.

The purpose of a business model is to provide structure and clarity. It should reflect the overall direction and vision; target customer base; pricing and acquisition strategies; pricing and distribution; marketing; supply chains; finances; partnerships; revenue sources; customer service policies; and operations.

There are various models to choose from: online / offline; membership based (Amazon Prime); product based (SpaceX, Coca Cola); subscription services (Netflix); B2B SaaS (Salesforce, Oracle); shared economy (Airbnb); free & freemium (Whatsapp); freemium platform operators (Apple App Store, Google Play Store); media (paid/free) and specialised offerings e.g. Etsy/StubHub. Each has its own pros and cons. Knowing common models allows us to identify opportunities and apply them in our own enterprises.

Types of Business Models

Business models are a way to define how a business creates, delivers, and captures value. It’s how they make money. Different elements need to work together to make it work. Different types of business models can be sorted by revenue sources, organizational structures, or pricing mechanisms.

The main types are:

  • Product/Service: Selling products/services for a profit. This includes physical goods and digital downloads like software/apps.
  • Platform: Businesses that bring two customer groups together on a platform that has network effects. E.g. eBay, Uber, Airbnb, Apple App Store.
  • Freemium: Offering basic services for free and charging for more advanced features. Monetizing userbase and expanding it via organic growth/viral marketing.
  • Subscription: Selling access to services over a set period. E.g. Netflix, Amazon Prime.
  • Affiliate/Revenue Sharing: Network offering rewards for driving traffic/purchase referrals.
  • Marketplace/Exchange: Multi-sided marketplaces connecting two sides through an intermediary. Revenue comes from commissions charged.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Business Models

Business models are essential for any successful enterprise. They define how a company operates, creates and delivers value, generates income, and interacts with customers. They also help allocate resources and secure funding. There are several different types, each with their own advantages and disadvantages.


  • Provide a structured way to visualize operations to ensure sustainability.
  • Allow stakeholders to identify their products/services to differentiate from competitors.
  • Make it easier to obtain financing from investors or lenders.
  • Help identify revenue and cost-cutting opportunities.


  • Need to be regularly revised.
  • Can miss long-term growth opportunities if too narrow.
  • Takes considerable time and effort to define goals and strategies.
  • Investors may reject incomplete proposals.

How to Choose the Right Business Model

It’s important to understand the different types of business models and pick the one that suits you best. There are four main kinds: service, value-based, product, and platform. Each has its own advantages and drawbacks. So take time to find which works best for your goals.

The service model offers a service or services to customers, like accounting, medical, transport, or private consulting. The overhead is low because there are no physical products. Customer relationships are strengthened due to personalized service.

A value-based model gives customers an indirect benefit, like helping a cause or social movement. Many companies link their offerings to charities – like TOMS Shoes. This makes customers feel they’re making a difference while getting something in return.

The product model revolves around providing tangible goods and services, like smartphones and repairs. It has consistent revenue streams, as products need parts, and loyalty from convenience.

The platform model enables interactions between buyers and sellers without direct transactions. Advantages include lowered liability and costs from virtual networks.

Examples of Successful Business Models

Business models are frameworks that explain how an enterprise creates value for stakeholders. Knowing various business models can help entrepreneurs spot viable revenue sources, set unique value and craft strategies that keep their businesses profitable. Successful business models include subscription services, VARs, PTOs, brokerages, and advertising networks.

Subscription Services: Netflix, WordPress, and Adobe Creative Cloud offer products/services on a recurring basis. Customers pay either a subscription fee or usage rate for access. Long payment periods generate steady cash flows.

VARs: Buy from manufacturers/distributors and add customization services (installation, repair, maintenance). High profit margins, depending on added value given to customers.

PTOs: Build innovative tech in particular industry sectors for faster/more efficient tasks. Mostly make money from selling licenses but may charge service fees for basic support-customer training.

Brokerages: Provide buyers with assistance to find bargains and maximize investments. Research assistance/introductions to other brokers. Useful for large purchases like real estate investments.

Ad Networks: Create digital marketplaces for advertisers to place ads directly on websites. Can be expensive/difficult to measure. Better ROI owning own assets than renting. Sometimes good traffic sources exist.

Strategies for Optimizing Business Models

Companies straddling different industries must have fresh strategies for optimizing business models to stay competitive. The main goal is to reduce operating expenses, get the most return on investments (ROI), and stay compliant. Calculated risks are taken, e.g., implementing new technology, entering new markets, or partnering with different vendors.

To ensure business model optimization is consistently used, consider key aspects like customer segmentation, profitability analysis, building/executing marketing strategies, and planning/executing pricing strategies. Trends in key markets should be tracked and successful innovations used internally and externally to drive revenue growth.

Here are three strategies to improve business models:

1) Update Profit Model: Use analytics to assess product performance objectives with insights into pricing movement by customer segment. Leverage price elasticity, seasonality, and market conditions with advanced analytical techniques like price elasticity modeling.

2) Embrace Responsive Cost Management: Identify cost-sensitive areas with quantitative measures to eliminate redundancies, restructure processes, and save from supplier negotiations.

3) Leverage Neuro Marketing Strategies: Use tools like eye tracking surveys and EEGs to measure emotional responses and usage data to create tailored offerings for customers.

Challenges of Implementing Business Models

Business models can be tricky. Taking time to understand the components and challenges is key.

Creating a business model involves finance, accounting, tech, ops and support. Tracking performance and gaining feedback is crucial. Complex data points need analyzing to gain insights.

Ensure stakeholders are included in the design. Plan ahead for potential issues. Have access to both quantitative and qualitative data to evaluate changes. Decide which actions and processes should stay or change for better results.

Conclusion on Business Model Examples

Exploring multiple business models, it’s evident each one has its own characteristics and requires specific considerations for creating value. Companies must decide which model is best for their industry and target customer. Despite being broad, it’s vital to consider the nuances of each model for various scenarios and gaining maximum value.

When using a business model, customer-centricity is essential. Companies must understand what customers need and find ways to create products or services that are more convenient, cost-effective or have other elements of value. It’s also important to track shifts in customer tastes and preferences. Leveraging global trends such as digitalization or demographic shifts is beneficial too. By focusing on customer needs and anticipating changes, companies can guarantee a successful business model deployment.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What are the 4 most common business models?
A: The four most common business models are service-based, product-based, subscription-based, and membership-based.

Q: What is a service-based business model?
A: A service-based business model is one in which the company provides services, such as consulting, design, or web hosting, to clients in exchange for payment.

Q: What is a product-based business model?
A: A product-based business model is one in which the company produces and sells physical and/or digital products, such as books, clothing, electronics, etc., to customers in exchange for payment.