The vehicle that will drive your business to profitability. That is your business model. Today, we are spoiled for choice when it comes to suitable business models and there’s no reason for you to stick to one. Your business will move through various stages and you need different methods to transport yourself between the various milestones. What worked during your launch may not help you start employing people.

Let’s have a look at some popular startup business models used by successful brands.


Business Model 1 – Bleeding-edge tech startup

According to Investopedia, “Bleeding edge refers to product or service, usually involving technology, that very few customers use because it is very new.” This leads you to a business model where you are in possession of software that could solve a problem in your market. If you are willing to test and risk using the software, you could position yourself as a solutions provider to small businesses. Bleeding edge applications are not necessarily well packaged or marketed but it could well have the answer to someone’s business problem. The key to following this model is to explore technology in its infancy and match it with possible use cases. You should then work to package and white-label the solution so you can sell it as your own.


Business Model 2- Build trust with expert content

People buy based on trust. You can only be trusted if you are perceived as being knowledgeable. Building an authority website is a means for you to position yourself as an expert in your field. If people trust your content, they will trust your product. Spend time understanding your audience and their information needs. Regular fresh content is a great way to drive traffic to a website. Regular traffic is the best way to move towards profitability. Being an authority in your industry takes time, so be patient. Write more insightful content as opposed to just pushing out volumes.


Business Model 3 – Affiliate Marketing

This model perhaps works best if you happen to become an authoritative figure in your game. If your content is influential you don’t even need a product to sell. Just sell someone else’s. That’s affiliate marketing. People are visiting your website for content and they will see that you endorse a product or service. You never have to ship products, or handle subscription requests, or deal with refunds. The product owner or seller will handle that. There are some amazing affiliate programs that pay very good commissions. Find something you are very familiar with. Be ready to answer some questions about the product.


Business Model 4 – Free Trials or Big Discounts

This method has been tried and tested. Offer limited use of your service for a period and over-deliver. It’s a great way to build your brand awareness. Be clear about the terms of your free offer but be generous about your delivery. Depending on your pricing model, you may be able to run a permanent free offer. A good to capitalise on this model is to publish the offer onto other websites via the Google Display Networks. Much like any other model, this method depends on a wide-reach approach. Make your offer easy to share via social media. People rarely visit social media to shop for anything. A free offer becomes very attractive.

Find the business model that suits your business goals and the model that matches where you are on your journey. You may want to deploy a combination or blend of these models.

Here are some great resources for you to further investigate business models.


Business Model Resources

  • Board of innovation – Rethink your pricing strategy, acquisition model, and key activities.
  • Bernard Marr – What Are The 9 Most Successful Business Models Of Today?
  • What a Venture – 10 Business Models That Will Inspire You.
  • Big Happy Profits – Best online business models for 2019.


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