The Benefits of Creating a Business Model


Having a well-defined business model is critical to the success of any new entrepreneurial venture. A clear business model helps founders clarify their value proposition, identify target customers, determine required resources, and map out sources of revenue. With a thoughtful business model in place from the start, entrepreneurs can better communicate their ideas to stakeholders, raise funding, and set strategic priorities.

What Goes into an Effective Business Model?

A useful framework for developing a business model is the business model template canvas. This one-page visual chart prompts entrepreneurs to succinctly define the key components of their business model, including:

  • Value Proposition: What core value do you deliver to customers? What customer needs do you fulfill?
  • Customer Segments: Who are your target customers?
  • Channels: How do you reach customers and deliver your value proposition?  
  • Customer Relationships: How do you acquire, retain and grow your customer base?
  • Revenue Streams: Where does revenue come from? How do customers pay?
  • Key Resources: What assets and infrastructure are required to create and deliver your value proposition?
  • Key Activities: What are the most important things your company must do to operate successfully? 
  • Key Partnerships: What strategic alliances and partnerships are required?
  • Cost Structure: What are the major costs inherent in your business model?

Fleshing out the details of each building block forces clarity and alignment across founding teams. The process also surfaces potential gaps or flaws early on.

Enables Strategic Decision Making

With a well-defined business model in hand, entrepreneurs can start to make decisions guided by an overarching strategic framework. Business models help leaders evaluate opportunities and prioritize actions that move the company toward profitability.

For example, a clear-cut customer segment definition enables startups to say “no” to partnerships, features, or marketing campaigns that distract from their core audience. And knowing revenue streams helps calculate how much funding is required to achieve break-even. 

Attracts Funding and Talent

Investors want to put their money behind startups with sound business models and a path to profitability. A strong business model gives external stakeholders confidence that the founding team knows who its customers are, what problem it solves, and how it will make money long-term. 

Likewise, talented people are drawn to work at companies with clearly articulated missions. A well-defined business model helps startups articulate their greater purpose to stand out in a competitive hiring market.

Drives Operational Excellence

Perhaps most importantly, an intelligently crafted business model guides day-to-day execution. With the business model canvas guiding them, startups can ensure that new initiatives always tie back to serving customer needs, while moving the company towards sustainable profitability. Teams can call out ideas that seem out of alignment with the core business model.

Leaders should revisit and update their business models as new information emerges. But putting in the effort upfront to map out a strategy provides an invaluable anchor point. Founders who do the work on the front end to create smart business models give their ventures the best chance at long-term success.

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