Module 5: Business Modeling
Business Model Zoo™
Why should you use the Business Model Zoo™?
- Helps you understand the four elemental “ideal types” of business models
- Inspires with hundreds of examples of real business models
- Can improve your ability to recognize the differences in business models and thus design a business model that best fits your company’s unique needs
- Build a better understanding of your competitors and the dynamics across business models in your industry
What are the four categories in the Business Model Zoo™?
The product model: The company develops a product or standardized service and sells it to customers. The value proposition is transactional: to provide a product or standardized service that customers will buy.
The solutions model: The company engages with a customer about a problem the customer faces, and provides an integrated solution. The value proposition is relational: to tailor solutions to each customer.
The matchmaking model: The company joins buyers and sellers in its online or physical marketplace. The value proposition is transactional: to facilitate exchange.
The multisided model: The company provides different products or services to different customer groups. The value proposition is multi-sided: one customer group gets additional benefits from the other group’s transactions.
How to use the Business Model Zoo™?
Print out the Business Model Zoo™ worksheet. The worksheet will walk you through the following questions and give space for you to write down your ideas and brainstorm with your team.
1. Define Your business model category.
Complete the short assessment on the Business Model Zoo™ website to understand what category your business model falls into. Having this information will enable you to analyze your business model in new ways.
2. Evaluate your business model.
First, read the description of your given business model. Does the description of your business model category make sense for your business?
- No: you might have a hybrid business model that combines elements of multiple categories. Explore the webpages for the other categories to understand which other ones fit.
If you’ve identified a category that fits your business, take notes on the requirements for success. Answer for yourself: “is your business already doing this?”
- No: write down ideas for how your business can satisfy these requirements.
Next, take notes on opportunities and rewards in your category. Answer for yourself: “is your business taking advantage of these?”
- No: write down ideas for how you can.
Takes notes on the risks and threats. Answer for yourself: “is your business mitigating these?”
- No: write down some ideas for how to address these potential roadblocks.
3. Get inspired by other businesses.
- Explore the Exemplars for your business model category.
- Write down any that are similar to your business or that you would like to model your business after.
- Write down if there are any key differences or elements of the example that stick out to you.
- Next explore the Exemplars for your industry.
- Write down the most common category represented in your industry.
- Write down the less common categories.
What’s up next?
Now that you have your business model category defined, you can use another framework like the Business Model Canvas to identify the elements of your business model.
Business Model Zoo Website, Business Model Zoo Worksheet (printed or editable version)