Business Models 101

So you have a great idea and you want to create your company. This is GREAT.

Starting something on your own, creating value for you, your family and the world is a totally recommendable thing to do. The world has been made by people like you. Entrepreneurs. Self-Made Men, Creators, Builders people that believed an obstacle is just another great challenge to overcome, to solve and put behind them as an achievement. 

So in order to give your business idea all the chances for success, it is important to go through a few important points that should not be forgotten before starting your race towards success.

The main part is to define clearly your business idea: this is called the business plan  and part of it is the business model which we are discussing here.

This business model mainly looks at your company as a cloud or black box that has stuff going in (material from suppliers, money from lenders, workers and their work, market feedback, orders, ...), stuff going out (whatever your are producing, marketing campaigns, salaries, taxes, waste, investments in equipment's, people, consumable, ...) and internal processes that are the heart, lungs and liver of your company (production or creation of your product, finance controlling, creation of marketing campaigns, websites, ...,)

We propose to you here a template of a business model that is used very frequently by many companies that want to start, restructure or just see where they stand in terms of their business model.

This Template is very easy to use and similar to a paper one as it uses the virtual Paper Notes that you can move around the sheet.

paper notes for business model

Here is the screenshot of the full sheet. We will explain here under and in the next pages how to use it. Go to the bottom of the page to download it.

business model template

We will go through all the blocks in this template.

Value Proposition (just hereunder), Customer, Channels, Revenue Streams, Key Activities, Key Resources,Key Partners, Cost Structure, Long Term, Mission, Strategy, Competition,


Our Example for the next 7 pages: A cupcake Factory


A business model is made of various parts.

 The Value Proposition

First you have to know what you want to do (The VALUE PROPOSITION) and this does not start with "I want to do money", because it has been proven a million time that money has no lasting effect on will power, pleasure at work, drive, etc...Of course if you have no money at all, then your priority in the short term is to make money to be able to grow bigger.
The only way people are driven for the long term is by passion. So your business model has to be driven by a passion and show the banker/investors (if you need some) that your passion will contribute to their well being too.
In my case, I am passionate about helping people and seeing that my efforts have produced an added value to these customers. Some are driven by discovering new planets, some by developing new virtual reality glasses, some by creating new medicine, some are feeding of the wellbeing, happiness or contentment they are producing and this is enough to drive them. At the end it is all about you being content even better happy with what you are doing and this leaves a lot of open avenues to explore and create a business. I am writing here and hopefully it will have a positive effect that in return will make me happy.

Happiness is important but making money while being happy is even better. So that is why you have to do something you like but also that other will benefit of.

In the case of a Cupcake factory, the business model value proposition could be written a a few sentence: We provide to our customers a cupcake for every occasion. These are healthy cupcakes (low sugar, low fat, ....) and we guaranty that they are locally produced with local ingredients.

value proposition

Here the questions you have to answer for the value proposition

  • What value/products do we deliver to the customer? 

  • Which customer problem do we solve?

  • Which product or set of products (can be service too), are we offering to our customers?

  • Which are the customer problems we are solving (Example: quality, performance, design, branding, strategy, cost reduction, pricing, risk reduction, production efficiency, legal, etc…)

Next: the Customer Segment


Download the template from here.

A SWOT Matrix  (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) is also used to define the strategy of your company when used in conjunction with the business model. The SWOT matrix can also be used for personal development, for example to compare yourself to other for a certain situation.

For this purpose we have created this SWOT matrix Template.




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