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November 28, 2023, vizologi

What are Typical Business Models?

The underlying operational design of any commercial organization, referred to as ‘business models’, define how a company creates, delivers, and extracts value. These models span the spectrum from traditional brick-and-mortar businesses to modern ones such as subscription-based and freemium services. The vast array of business paradigms cater to varying industry requisites and evolving customer demands.

Possessing a comprehensive understanding of these models equips firms with the strategic acumen needed to gain a competitive foothold in the market.

Understanding Value in Business

The journey towards success for any business venture fundamentally hinges on its ability to generate robust value by fulfilling customer needs effectively. The notion of value remains largely subjective and is determined by the customers’ perceptions of the benefits derived from a product or service against its cost. This concept forms the bedrock of a sustainable business model.

For instance, a product-based model is built around the production and sale of tangible items, whereas a service-based model hinges on the provision of required services or skills. Certain business models focus on providing access to resources, offering recurring benefits, or enabling temporary usage of assets. The selection of an appropriate business model is contingent upon identifying what customers value the most, and combing it with the entrepreneurial prowess of the business owner.

A Look Into Various Business Models

Product-based Model

In a product-based model, the business provides concrete items that carry value for the consumer. The gamut of items can range from physical entities like electronic gadgets to digital offerings like e-learning modules. The strategy here is to produce these items in a cost-efficient manner and sell them at a markup price to maximize profit. As an illustration, a company might elect to produce and retail robustly built headphones that deliver superior sound quality.

Service Provision

Service-oriented business models entail providing a specific assistance or skill that others may either lack or choose not to engage in. This model holds significant sway in the knowledge economy where businesses offer specialized expertise to complement the needs of their clientele.

For example, management consulting firms offer industry-specific advice to aid clients in resolving complex business challenges. Alternatively, a residential cleaning service can offer the convenience of maintaining clean and sanitized living spaces for individuals.

Utilizing Shared Assets

Shared asset business models revolve around the idea of providing access to a resource that can be utilized commonly by many customers. An example can be a fitness center where members are charged a fee to access workout equipment shared by all. However, maintaining a balance between managing the influx of customers while ensuring the quality of the shared asset remains uncompromised is an important part of this model.

Subscription Based

Subscription-based business models have surged in popularity in recent times. They involve offering customers access to specific benefits in exchange for a customary fee. Companies offering streaming services or grocery delivery subscriptions have capitalized on this model owing to the convenience they offer. Providing on-demand access to a vast array of films and shows without having to purchase individual DVDs or Blu-ray discs stands as a prime example of the value offered by such models.

Lease or Rental

This model entails letting out an asset for an agreed period in exchange for a fee. The application of this model is widespread across various industries like automobiles, equipment rentals, real estate, etc. It offers the customer a high degree of flexibility coupled with a steady flow of income for the business.

Protective Insurance

Insurance-based models involve the transfer of risk from the customers to the insuring company at the behest of regular payments. The inherent value here lies in shielding individuals from the catastrophic financial implications of unlikely but devastating events like health crises, natural disasters, etc. For an insurance company to thrive, it must be able to accurately predict the probability of such events and subsequently price its premiums higher than the claims it pays out.

Income from Reselling

Under this business model, entrepreneurs purchase goods from suppliers at a lower cost and resell them to customers at a higher price. Retailers who procure stock from wholesalers in bulk quantities and subsequently retail individual units at marked-up prices are characteristic of this approach.

Promotional Agency

Such businesses operate at the intersection of marketing and brokerage where they promote assets, which they don’t necessarily own, to prospective buyers. They earn revenue by charging a fee for bridging the gap between the seller and the buyer. This necessitates stellar communication and negotiation skills and a knack for collaborating with a diverse clientele.


Manufacturing business models involve the production of goods from raw materials or components. These could range from small-scale handcrafted items to large-scale mass-produced commodities. Manufacturing businesses typically ensure their products meet established quality parameters and are priced competitively to attract and retain customers.


Distributors purchase goods from manufacturers or wholesalers and sell them to retailers or directly to consumers. They serve as a crucial link in the supply chain, bridging the gap between manufacturers and end-users. In addition to distribution, they often offer value-added services like inventory management and marketing support, thus enabling manufacturers to reach their target customers more effectively.


Retailer business models entail direct interaction with consumers who purchase goods online or in a physical storefront. Alternately, businesses can choose to adopt a franchise model, leveraging an established brand’s reputation and operating under their prescribed business model. An affiliate business model, on the other hand, relies on third-party entities to promote or sell its products in exchange for a commission.


In a franchising model, entrepreneurs purchase the rights to operate under the banner of an established brand by adhering to their successful business model. This gives new business owners the advantages of an established brand reputation and proven operational strategy, minimizing some of the risks associated with starting a business from scratch.

Blueprint of a Successful Business Model

A successful business model is a blueprint for creating and delivering customer value. Possible frameworks to consider include Product-based models, Service provision models, shared asset models, Subscription models, Lease/Rental models, Insurance models, Reselling models, and Agency/Promotion models.

Each of these models presents its own set of advantages and challenges, and the choice would largely depend on the nature of the enterprise and the skills brought to the table by the entrepreneur.

Choosing the Right Business Model

The foremost factor to consider while choosing a business model is deeply understanding and identifying what value proposition the targeted customers would be willing to pay for. It is also crucial to establish clear entrepreneurial objectives and key performance indicators (KPIs) to ensure that the business remains on a steady trajectory of success.

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