Eight ways to reimagine your business model: Part 1

Wednesday, September 21, 2022

A business model is the north star that compels leaders to redirect visions, stay the course or chart new paths forward.

If you’re creating your business model for the first time (or looking for some fresh inspiration to give it new life), here are eight ideas to try.

1. Evaluate your existing business model

If you want to get a stronger pulse on what your company is doing today (the current state), start by mapping companywide assets, resources, roles, and activities. Based on this assessment, you can identity which components are working effectively, and which are underperforming or malfunctioning.

If you’re lucky, problems rise to the surface so you can quickly remedy the situation. Yet often, these issues are harder to fix without diligent examination. Overall, this phase illuminates your current strengths and weaknesses.

2. Create new activities

Equipped with the intelligence on your current state, you can determine whether to improve existing activities or introduce new ones to ensure optimal performance. As business demands and industry imperatives evolve, you can add or remove activities seamlessly.

A great example of this is Amazon. Initially, the eCommerce behemoth only sold new books. When they decided to reimagine their business model and sell used books as well, these accounted for 20 percent of total book sales. They also introduced a way to return items with ease, which dramatically improved the customer experience.

3. Unbundle your business model

If you have certain products that are packaged together, it might be smart to consider which offerings you can unbundle, based on data-driven customer insights. For instance, IKEA unbundled their assembly service when they noticed many customers were willing to assemble items at home by themselves, which took a lot of pressure off manufacturing.

4. Collaborate with ecosystem suppliers and partners

Finally, explore opportunities to tap into your existing supplier and partner network, and evaluate exclusive partnership agreements. They may be able to help extend your services and move the needle on your business in ways you never thought possible.

Parker Lee

Parker Lee is the managing partner of Territory, a design consultancy, who has developed and led teams in transformation, design thinking, and business development for decades. Co-author of The Art of Opportunity, he has created and facilitated dozens of design and visual thinking engagements.

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