Sell this way and stick to it. Don’t even try to suggest something different. Stop. No, I said no!! Don’t think about it, its not going to happen.

So, what is a business model, according to Wikipedia, the definition given by Osterwalder, Pigneur and Tucci is:
a conceptual tool that contains a set of elements and their relationships and allows expressing the business logic of a specific firm. It is a description of the value a company offers to one or several segments of customers and of the architecture of the firm and its network of partners for creating, marketing, and delivering this value and relationship capital, to generate profitable and sustainable revenue streams.

In other words it’s what you have to sell, how you sell it, and who you sell it to.

What.
Of course the type of commodity you are trying to sell is going to define your how and your who. Its not the same to sell heavy industrial equipment, high tech medical appliances or cell phones. Your “audience” is different, the way they are going to buy is different, the way they are going to pay is different and the way you are going to deliver and support the products is different.

How.
You can direct sale. You can sale through partners, you can finance, you can take cash, credit or check, you can provide support directly or through a 3rd party (or provide no support at all, if you want a company to run out of business its not my issue), you can ship, you can retail. It’s a whole universe of possibilities out there.

Who.
The most important part of the trilogy. The fuel that drives everything. Customers. Business models aim to them, products aim to them and how we sell aims to our Target audience. Of course the segment we will sell to is defined mainly by our what and the success in appealing to them is determined by the how.

So out of the three parts in this trilogy our most variable item is the “how”, we have a set of products which we usually can’t change all that much. Then there’s the who, products limit this, and business models, pricing, payment methods and other “details” can limit this. You might limit your target customers purposely with your model, or it can happen by “accident” .

But where’s the tyranny?
We’re getting there. In most cases  companies instate a Business model that proves to be somewhat successful and stick to it. Sales managers fall in love with what works for them and if someone suggests anything a tad different they are accused for heresy (and usually burn in some sort of pyre as well).

The result this usualy yields is a static business model, which only changes due to external influences and not because of an inside desire or drive to change.

What then happens is that a business model then wears off, gets outdated and must be replaced once it’s not working anymore (does the word “loss” ring a bell?). Thus the model tyranny.

Get out of the circle.
Is there any way to avoid this? Sure is! The business model should be in continuous reinvention, evolving and changing, ahead of the events whenever possible. Thus, new things should be tried all the time, different approaches (hows) to tackle the same issue. Of course this can be both time and resource-consuming, so there must be no confusion about “evolution” and “just trying things out”.

The whole point is to change the set of mind. Keep asking questions:
-This works so far, but can it work even better?
-What things can be done to improve the different areas?
-What’s already showing to be outdated or less than perfect (or will become so in a short term)?

Its a whole different approach, regarding a business model more like a dynamic ever-changing part rather than a word carved in stone.

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