What is your Business Model?
A business model is like Big Foot or unicorns: heard of by many, seen by few, proven by fewer.
Most of us, when asked, would give a strong, confident answer to the question what is a business model?
And most would be unanimously wrong.
A+ for effort though!
There’s nothing worse than knowing you know something you actually have no clue about. It’s the worst kind of lost. You just know you’re supposed to turn left, but you’ve seen that gas station, like, 5 times.
Just accept it, you don’t know where in the world you’re going.
Shit! If you’re lost in business you’re failing…right?
You can’t know what you don’t know.
You can’t replicate what you can’t implement.
So without knowing what a business model is, or having the first (correct) clue about creating one, your business is doomed to failure.
Meh, not so much.
Any business is built by experience. Being lost means you have to think outside of the box to get on track.
You may flail a bit without a business model in place, but you most certainly do not have to fail!
There is a way to do everything
I really do believe in that.
It’s a part of why I love branding.
When we’re going through the ringer though, we can lose sight of that.
I do. I have. And I probably will again.
But I always come back to it.
There is a way to do everything.
So instead of being the gal (or guy) who knows it all, and nothing at all.
Be “that gal” (fine, or “that guy”) who asks the questions, finds the answers and shares the wealth.
What is a business model exactly?
I mean that is after all what this here post is all about.
Don’t worry, I actually DO have the answer I’m not stalling.
Is the anticipation killing you? Eeeeeeek!
A business model is just the explanation of how your business plans to create revenue and profits.
See, nothing fancy. Relax.
It’s not an elaborate business plan with all these financial projections that you discovered through 2nd degree research.
It’s the answers to the hard questions that only you can answer for your business.
Oh, and it varies by industry.
N’wonder er’ones all confused.
Now that you have the definition, “how does one go about creating a business model branding sensi?”
Well, so glad you asked grasshoppa!
How to create a business model
I know I said it varies, but like all great things a business model has a foundation.
A homogenous core that everything grows from depending on where you are in business, what industry you’re in and what product you’re building it for.
Here are the basics:
1. What’s the thing you do (or have) that makes your stuff different? In industry terms, what’s your USP=unique selling proposition?
Okay, okay, we know you think yours is the bestest. But, why?
Lemme rephrase that as your potential customers will, So What?
In order to spotlight a product or services true benefit, you have to think like the consumer. And no matter how hard you try, you are not your ideal customer. You’re the business owner, maybe even the brand.
So dig deep. No idea where to start, read this piece.
2. How will you reach customers?
This one is a straight forward question.
Make no mistake, it still requires a well thought out strategy.
Will you use email marketing, content marketing, and/or social media marketing?
Complete Guerilla campaign or paid advertising too?
3. Pricing Strategy.
Ah, the fermium pricing strategy.
That’s a popular one for us online biz owners.
The first stop in the sales funnel, FREEEEEEEEEE pdf, report, case study…something.
Just as long as it costs zero dollars and cents.
Which is cool. It works.
You still have to make money though.
Here’s where the business model is most applicable for you, my readers.
Even if your initial offer is free, how will you price your services, courses, and advice so that the free offer yields dividends?
Free doesn’t mean ALWAYS free, or EVERYTHING is free.
So you have to know how your pricing affects your customers.
If you’ve got your branding right and your free offer doesn’t make you look like a jackass, this part of the business model will be less dreadful.
Get to pricing.
5. It’s time to Sell. Yup, yousa salesman.
We like to call it marketing because it sounds better. Marketing doesn’t make people cringe with bad flashbacks of Ponzi schemers knocking on the door during dinner with the family.
But, we are all salespeople. We have to be. If you’re not, your business probably hasn’t grown much.
And it won’t.
The truth is, selling isn’t about being sleazy, sneaky and actually selling.
It’s about providing a solution to your customer’s needs. Building products and services that solve problems.
It’s about listening intently and helping someone else achieve their goals. And yes, achieving your goals at the same time.
So what is your selling strategy?
5. Delivering the goods.
You might, like most, think it’s easy to deliver products over the internet.
All you have to do is format your product. If it’s video, find and pay for hosting. If it’s copy, spend hours and hours writing or pay a copywriter to get the benefits right. Usually it’s both.
Then of course there’s the design, promotion, and support all while running your business.
I don’t like being told my job, or yours, is easy and doesn’t take much.
It takes thousands of dollars, time, energy and a lot of trial and error.
It’s work. Hard ass work at that.
So when you’re deciding on your delivery, think of it all.
Clickbank for affiliates? Guest posts, webinars, both? Self-hosted Ecommerse site or Etsy or something similar?
6. Speaking of Support, it doesn’t begin and end with answering questions.
Supporting your customers means satisfying them too.
Customer support may mean consulting. Actually, consulting may be the next level in your sales funnel.
These are all the things you need to decide on.
What online/offline resources will you need to help support your customers after a sale? Maybe it’s as simple as telephone support, or more elaborate like having a dedicated support team.
This is where you figure that all out.
Customer satisfaction was mentioned because in my eyes, the proper support adds to the overall customer experience and satisfaction.
Happy customers, successful business.
Now I’m WELL aware that this little 1,000+ word post only scratches the surface.
Just look around the net. Business models are one of the most debated deliverables around.
Some say they are undefinable. Others treat them like the one-page business plan. It’s up to you to decide.
I will say this, your business model will grow. You don’ have to do what everyone does.
Yes, learn from your competitors, but don’t copy-cat them. Dare I even say it, innovate your business model.
This post hopefully gives you what was intended, the foundation.
Planning sucks. It sucks even more when you don’t know how to do it or where to start. This is my way of making this portion suck a lil’ less.
What say you?
What is a business model to you?
Have a fantastic day and don’t forget to share your comment and share this piece. It just may shed some light for someone you care about. Don’t be greedy!