Starting a business is an exciting endeavor, but it’s important to understand the different types of business models to make your business set up for success.

When starting a business, it’s important to have a solid plan that outlines the best way to make money. That’s where a business model comes in.

A business model is a blueprint for how a company will generate revenue and make money. One of the most important decisions you’ll make is choosing the business model that will determine the success of your venture.

Business models are the foundation of any successful business. Whether you're a founder, entrepreneur, or investor, understanding business models is an essential part of creating and running a successful venture.

Choosing the right business model is essential for your business. It serves as a blueprint for how the business will operate and how it will make money. It is also the foundation on which to build a successful and lasting enterprise.

In this article, we’ll discuss the different types of business models. But first, let’s understand what a business model is.

Without further delay, let’s get started!

​​What is a Business Model?

A business model is a set of rules and processes that define how a company will generate revenue, create value, and sustain profitability.

It is the foundation of any successful business and it determines how to structure the operations, allocate resources, and develop strategies for growth.

According to Steve Blank:

"A business model describes how your company creates, delivers, and captures value."

Every business needs a well-defined business model to succeed. A business model is the backbone of any successful organization, as it helps to identify the company’s products and services, target customers, and strategies for achieving desired results.

It also helps determine how the company will generate revenue and profit.

A well-developed business model can help companies identify opportunities for growth, develop competitive advantages over other businesses in the same industry, and create a clear path for reaching their goals.

It is essential for businesses of all sizes to have a sound understanding of their current market conditions and customer needs in order to create an effective business model that will allow them to achieve success.

A business model often describes four things:

  • What type of products or services a business will offer.
  • How it plans to promote that product or service.
  • What kinds of costs the company will incur.
  • How the business anticipates making a profit.

Here are a few takeaways on why a business model is important:

Revenue Generation: A business model outlines how a company will generate revenue and make a profit. Without a clear understanding of how to generate revenue, a company may struggle to survive in the long term.

Value Proposition: A business model defines the value that a company will offer to its customers. This value proposition is critical in attracting and retaining customers.

Competitive Advantage: A well-designed business model can provide a company with a competitive advantage. By understanding its customers' needs and developing a strategy to meet those needs, a company can differentiate itself from its competitors.

Scalability: A business model can also help a company scale its operations and grow. By understanding the key drivers of revenue and profit, a company can identify opportunities to expand its operations and increase its market share.

Business Model Canvas

A business model canvas (BMC) is a visual representation of a company model that emphasizes all important strategic elements. In other words, it provides a broad, comprehensive, and all-encompassing overview of the business' operations, clients, revenue sources, and more.

Why is BMC important?

A BMC can assist business owners and other stakeholders in the development of new business models or in the evaluation of current models as a strategic management tool.

On a blank canvas, you just sketch out the nine building blocks, fill them in with examples from your company's operations, and put them up for all to see.

It is a one-page document with nine boxes on it, each of which represents one of the core components of a company.

It offers a far simpler approach to comprehending the fundamental components of a business than the conventional business plan.

Business Model Canvas Explained
Business Model Canvas Explained- Types of Business Model
  1. Customer Segments

Customer segmentation is the practice of dividing a customer base into groups of people who are similar in special traits, such as age, gender, interests, and purchasing patterns.

It is simpler to understand the customer journey and satisfy consumer needs the more specific the target customer demographics are.

Customers may be divided up into various segments with common needs, behaviors, or other characteristics by a business in order to better serve them.

A business model could specify one or more substantial or minor customer segments. A business must decide consciously which segments to target and which to ignore.

2.  Value Propositions

A value proposition is a statement that communicates the benefits and unique value that a company's product or service will provide to its customers.

It helps a company to differentiate itself from its competitors and effectively communicate the value it can provide to potential customers.

A well-crafted value proposition can be a powerful tool for driving sales and growing a business.

Each value proposition consists of a collection of products or services that meet the needs of a specific buyer persona in your target market. It is the point at which what your business offers and the motives or impulsive buying habits of customers collide.

When defining your company or product, consider these good questions:

  • What is the problem I'm trying to resolve?
  • Why would someone want to solve this issue?
  • What is the primary driving force behind this issue?

3. Channels

How a company communicates with and reaches its Customer Segments is described in the Channels Building Block.

Channels are points of contact with customers that are crucial to the customer experience. Channels perform several tasks, such as:

  • Increasing consumer knowledge of a business's products and services
  • Assisting clients in evaluating a company's value proposition
  • Enabling customers to buy specific products and services
  • Providing customers with a Value Proposition
  • Providing after-sale customer support

4.  Customer Relationships

Customer relationships refer to the interactions and connections a company has with its customers. These relationships are based on mutual benefit, trust, and loyalty, and are aimed at building long-term, profitable customer relationships.

Good customer relationships result in increased customer satisfaction, repeat business, and positive word-of-mouth recommendations.

Effective customer relationship management (CRM) strategies include providing excellent customer service, regularly communicating with customers, and gathering customer feedback.

This clarifies the points of interaction you have with your customers as well as the communication methods you use.

This will also assist you in starting to define your operations as a firm and in finding areas where automation is possible.

5.  Revenue Streams

Revenue Streams are the methods by which your company converts your Value Proposition, or your solution to the customer's problem, into a monetary gain.

The following are the most common streams of revenue to consider:

Sales: This is the income generated through the sale of products or services to customers.

Subscriptions: Companies that offer subscription-based services can generate recurring income from customers who pay a fee on a regular basis.

Advertising: Companies that own websites or platforms can earn revenue from advertisers who want to reach a specific audience.

Licensing: This refers to the revenue generated from licensing the use of a product or service to another company or individual.

Commission: Companies that act as intermediaries, such as travel agents or real estate agents, can earn a commission on the transactions they facilitate.

Freemium: A company can offer its services for free, but charge for premium features or access to additional content.

Transactions: Companies that facilitate transactions, such as online marketplaces or payment gateways, can earn a fee from each transaction.

6.  Key Resources

Key resources refer to the assets, materials, personnel, technology, and other resources that are essential for a company to operate and compete effectively in its industry. Some examples of key resources include

  • Physical assets such as buildings, factories, equipment, and machinery
  • Intellectual property such as patents, trademarks, copyrights, and trade secrets
  • Natural resources such as land, water, and minerals
  • Skilled workforce, including managers, engineers, and skilled laborers
  • Financial resources, including cash flow, capital, and investments
  • Technology and digital assets, including software, hardware, and databases
  • Supply chain relationships and partnerships with suppliers and distributors
  • Customer base and brand reputation.

These resources are critical to a company's success and are considered a competitive advantage.

Companies must protect and manage these resources effectively to ensure continued growth and success.

7.  Key Activities

The key activities of your business or product are the steps taken to fulfill the value proposition for your customers.

These activities are often related to the production of goods or services, marketing and sales, customer service, and operations.

Examples of key activities include product design, research and development, manufacturing, marketing campaigns, order fulfillment, customer support, and distribution. Key activities are closely tied to the company's unique value proposition and the sources of its competitive advantage.

8.  Key Partners

Key Partners are a list of additional external companies, suppliers, or parties you might require to complete your important activities and serve your customers.

Key partners help a company overcome challenges, reduce costs, improve product quality, and increase customer satisfaction. They are essential to the growth and profitability of the business and have a direct impact on its success.

Stakeholders, joint ventures, and strategic alliances are a few examples of key partners that will help an organization in achieving its goals.

9.  Cost Structure

Cost Structure refers to the various types of expenses a company incurs in order to produce and sell its products or services.

It includes all of the costs associated with operating the business, including direct costs (e.g. raw materials, labor, shipping) and indirect costs (e.g. rent, utilities, advertising).

The cost structure is an important aspect of financial planning and management as it helps companies determine their profit margins and make informed decisions about pricing and product development.

The cost structure can be analyzed in different ways, such as by cost type (fixed vs. variable), by product line, or by customer segment.

Types of Business Models

To establish a successful business model, you must identify your target market, potential revenue sources, finance details, and the products and services you will be offering.

Here are the different types of business models.

1. Business to Business(B2B) Model

The Business to Business (B2B) model refers to the business transaction where one company sells goods or services to another company, rather than to individual consumers.

The B2B model involves a direct relationship between the supplier and the customer, rather than a consumer-facing model. The primary focus is on serving the needs of businesses, providing them with the tools and resources they need to achieve their goals.

The B2B model provides numerous benefits for both buyers and sellers, including cost savings, improved efficiency, and the ability to establish long-term partnerships.


  • Increased Efficiency: B2B businesses have a streamlined process and provide a faster and more efficient way of doing business.
  • Better Relationships: B2B businesses have long-standing relationships with their customers, which creates trust and loyalty. This leads to better customer satisfaction and the development of strong partnerships.
  • Stability and Consistency: B2B businesses have a more predictable revenue stream, as they are less impacted by consumer trends and fluctuations in demand. This allows them to plan and budget more effectively and helps to ensure the stability and consistency of their operations.


IndiaMart, a wholesale B2B marketplace, is the best example of a B2B business model in the country.

It provides its customers with millions of products, including electronics, equipment, apparel, and many more.

2. Business-to-Consumer Model

The Business-to-Consumer (B2C) model is a direct sales approach where a business sells its products or services directly to the end consumer.

B2C businesses aim to create a positive customer experience by offering a range of payment options, flexible delivery and return policies, and effective customer service.

Providing a convenient and seamless purchasing experience, B2C businesses can establish long-term relationships with their customers, build brand loyalty, and increase sales.


  • Increased customer reach: The B2C business model allows businesses to reach a large number of customers and targets specific demographics effectively.
  • Lower marketing costs: B2C businesses have lower marketing costs as they can reach consumers through social media, email marketing, and other digital channels.
  • Increased revenue: B2C businesses have the potential to increase revenue as they can sell to the end consumer, eliminating intermediaries and reducing costs.
  • Personalized marketing: B2C businesses can personalize their marketing efforts based on consumer data and preferences, making it more effective and increasing conversions.


Cred, one of India's B2C startups, started by awarding reward points to credit card customers. It makes the process simple, convenient, and easy, which lessens the hassle of managing several credit cards.

Etsy is a popular B2C model. On the Etsy website, individuals and small businesses can sell their creative products and services under their own unique brands. Then, customers can visit the website and make purchases from the sellers there.

3. Aggregator Business Model

The aggregator business model refers to a company that brings together a variety of products or services from multiple suppliers, vendors or providers and makes them available to customers through a single platform or website.

The company acts as an intermediary between the customer and the suppliers, offering a one-stop-shop solution to the customers while earning revenue through commissions, advertising, or other means.


  • Cost Savings: This model can help reduce costs for both the customers and the service providers by streamlining the purchasing process and eliminating middlemen.
  • Convenience: An aggregator platform offers a one-stop shop for customers, making it convenient for them to compare and choose from a wide range of products or services.
  • Increased Market Reach: An aggregator model can expand the reach of service providers, allowing them to tap into new markets and reach a larger audience.


Travel websites such as, Expedia, and food delivery services such as Swiggy, and Uber Eats.

4. E-commerce

An e-commerce business model refers to the process where an online retailer operates and earns revenue through the sale of products or services to customers through the internet.

This involves setting up an e-commerce website where customers can browse and purchase products, as well as utilizing online marketing techniques to drive traffic to the site and increase sales.

The revenue is generated through the sale of products, either as a one-time transaction or through recurring subscriptions, and the profits are made through the difference between the cost of goods sold and the sale price to the customer.

E-commerce businesses can also earn additional revenue through advertising, upselling and cross-selling related products, and processing fees for payments.


  • Cost-Effective: E-commerce eliminates many of the costs associated with physical stores, such as rent, utilities, and staffing. This makes it possible to run a business with a much lower overhead.
  • Convenience: Customers can shop from anywhere, at any time, with an internet connection. This eliminates the need to travel to a physical store and can save time for busy consumers.
  • Wider Reach: E-commerce businesses can reach customers anywhere in the world, whereas a physical store is limited to its local area.
  • Personalization: E-commerce platforms can collect data on customers' purchasing habits and use this information to personalize the shopping experience.
  • Higher Customer Service: E-commerce businesses can use live chat, email, and other digital tools to provide immediate customer support. This can lead to higher customer satisfaction and loyalty.


Nykaa is a renowned brand in the online e-commerce business model. It started as a Beauty and Personal Care focused online e-commerce brand and switched to an omnichannel strategy in 2014.

Meesho is also a social e-commerce startup that allows customers to purchase products like clothing, jewelry, and gadgets for lower costs.

5. Freemium Business Model

The Freemium business model is a popular strategy where a company offers a basic version of its product or service for free and charges customers for premium features or access.

The key to the success of the Freemium model is to provide users with a free version that is appealing enough to entice them to upgrade to a premium version.


  • Attracting a large user base: By offering a free version, companies can attract a large number of users who may not have tried their product otherwise.
  • Generating revenue: The premium version of the product generates revenue for the company and can provide a steady income stream.
  • Collecting user data: The free version can be used to gather data on user behavior and preferences, which can help companies improve their product and tailor their marketing efforts.


The email marketing platform, MailChimp initially offered a paid service until it introduced a freemium version in 2009. Users of MailChimp can create and deliver automated marketing campaigns, gather email list subscribers, and send regular email updates.

Users can send 12,000 emails and have 2,000 subscribers on its free plan, but the paid plans offer more advanced features.

6. Subscription Business Model

A subscription-based business model is a model in which a company provides access to a product or service to its customers for a recurring fee. The fee is paid on a regular basis, such as monthly or annually.

Business executives estimate that subscription business models will be key to their prospects in the upcoming years by 70%.


  • Customer loyalty: Subscriptions create a loyal customer base that is more likely to stick with the company for a longer period of time.
  • Upsell opportunities: Subscription-based businesses can offer additional products and services to their customers, which can increase their revenue over time.
  • Reduced churn rate: Subscriptions reduce the likelihood of customers canceling their service, which helps companies retain their customer base and minimize churn.


Streaming services like Netflix and Spotify, online marketplaces like Amazon Prime, and software providers like Adobe Creative Cloud.

7. On-Demand Business Model

The On-Demand Business Model is a business model in which customers can access goods or services on an as-needed basis, through a digital platform or app.

In this model, the company provides the goods or services when they are requested by the customer. This means that there is no inventory or surplus, and the customer pays for what they use or receive.


  • Efficiency and cost savings: Companies can save on inventory, storage, and staffing costs.
  • Flexibility: Customers can access goods or services at their convenience, without having to make a commitment to a long-term contract or purchase.
  • Accessibility: The On-Demand Business Model makes it easier for customers to access goods or services, especially in urban areas where demand is high.


On-Demand Business Models include Uber (for ride-sharing), and Airbnb (for short-term rentals).

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8. Franchise Business Model

A franchise business model is a type of business ownership where an individual (franchisee) buys the rights to use the trademark, products, services, and operating systems of a larger company (franchisor) in exchange for a fee.

The franchisor provides support and assistance to the franchisee in areas such as marketing, training, and ongoing operational support.

The franchisee operates the business using the franchisor's proven business model and systems but has the freedom to run their own day-to-day operations within the framework of the franchisor's guidelines.


  • Established brand recognition: Franchise businesses are associated with a well-established brand, which can give the franchisee an immediate advantage in the market.
  • Proven business model: The franchise business model is based on a proven business model, which has been successful in the past and has been refined over time. This can reduce the risk of failure for the franchisee.
  • Training and support: Franchisees receive training and support from the franchisor, including assistance with marketing, operations, and management.
  • Marketing support: The franchisor often provides marketing support, which can include national advertising campaigns and promotional materials.


McDonald's is a fast food chain that offers franchises to entrepreneurs who want to run their own McDonald's restaurants.

The franchisee pays an initial fee, ongoing royalties, and ad fees to McDonald's and must adhere to strict operating procedures and guidelines.

9. Dropshipping

Dropshipping is a retail fulfillment method where a store doesn't keep the products it sells in stock. Instead, when a store sells a product, it purchases the item from a third party and has it shipped directly to the customer.

As a result, the merchant never sees or handles the product. This business model allows merchants to offer a number of products without having to worry about managing inventory or storing products in a warehouse.


  • Low costs: Dropshipping allows you to start an online store without having to invest in large amounts of inventory upfront.
  • Flexibility: With dropshipping, you can sell a wide range of products without having to physically store them in your own warehouse.
  • No storage space required: As the supplier handles the storage and shipping of products, you do not need to worry about finding and paying for storage space for your inventory.
  • Easy to manage: As you do not have to handle the storage and shipping of products, you can focus on growing your business and finding new customers.


TradeIndia is a popular example of Dropshipping business model in India. With TradeIndia, you can guarantee risk-free transactions and other business processes for both suppliers and buyers.

Additionally, it helps customers identify Indian exporters, manufacturers, and suppliers on a global scale.

10. Crowdsourcing

Crowdsourcing is a business model that leverages the collective knowledge, skills, and resources of a large, undefined group of people through an open call to solve a specific problem.

It has been embraced by both established companies and start-ups as a way to access a broader pool of talent, reduce costs, and increase efficiency.


  • Access to a large pool of talent: Crowdsourcing allows companies to tap into a vast network of people with skills and expertise.
  • Speed and efficiency: Crowdsourcing can speed up the completion of tasks by leveraging the power of collective intelligence and allowing multiple people to work on a project simultaneously.
  • Innovation and creativity: Crowdsourcing can lead to innovative solutions and new ideas, as it allows companies to receive input from a large number of people with different perspectives.


Few well-known crowdsourcing platforms are Amazon Mechanical Turk, Kickstarter, and Wikipedia.

11. Razor And Blades business model

The Razor and Blades business model is a marketing strategy that sells a low-priced main product (the razor) with the intention of making profits from the sale of related and more profitable complementary products (the blades).

The idea behind this model is that once a customer buys a razor, they will have to purchase the blades regularly to keep the razor functional.

This creates a recurring revenue stream for the company and allows them to generate profits from the sale of the blades, which have a higher markup.


  • Customer Loyalty: The business model creates customer loyalty as customers continue using the product and purchasing the blades that are compatible with their razors.
  • Higher Average Customer Spend: Customers will spend more money over time with the razor and blades business model, compared to a single product purchase.
  • Improved Profit Margins: Companies can offer razor products at a lower price point because they can make a profit on the blades, which are sold at a higher price.
  • Upsell Opportunities: This business model provides opportunities for upselling, as customers purchase additional accessories or upgrades that are compatible with their razor.


HP Printers and Ink is the best example of the Razors and Blade business model.

12. Reverse Razor and blade

The Reverse Razor and Blades business model refers to a business model in which a company sells a product at a low cost, but then profits from the continuous purchase of complementary products or services.

The term “reverse” refers to the fact that the company’s primary revenue stream comes from the additional products or services, rather than the initial sale.


  • Higher Profit Margins: The profit margins on razor blades are higher than those on razors, allowing companies to maximize their profits and maintain their financial stability.
  • Low Competition: The reverse razor and blades business model reduces competition as companies have a captive customer base, making it difficult for new entrants to enter the market.
  • Cost-Effective Marketing: By offering low-priced razors, companies are able to reduce their marketing costs, as they do not have to invest in expensive advertising campaigns to attract customers.
  • Stronger Brand Image: Companies that adopt the reverse razor and blades business model are seen as innovative and customer-focused, which can help to improve their brand image and reputation.


A company might sell a basic printer at a low cost, but then make money from selling ink cartridges and other accessories. The customer becomes dependent on the complementary products to continue using the product, and the company profits from this recurring revenue stream.

13. Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is a performance-based business model where affiliates (or partners) promote the products or services of a company to their audience and receive a commission for any resulting sales.

This business model benefits both the company and the affiliates. The company gains exposure to a new audience, and the affiliates earn money by promoting products they believe in.


  • Access to New Audiences: Affiliate marketing provides access to new audiences, as affiliates have their own established audience that they can reach with product or service promotions.
  • Increased Customer Loyalty: Affiliate marketing creates a win-win situation, where affiliates and customers are both satisfied with the products or services offered, leading to increased customer loyalty.
  • Diverse Marketing Channels: Affiliate marketing allows for diverse marketing channels, as affiliates can promote products or services through websites, blogs, social media, and email marketing.


Skillshare is a platform where online courses are available.

Due to the popularity of Skillshare's affiliate program, many social media influencers utilize it to promote the brand on their networks.

14. Bundling

The bundling business model involves combining multiple products or services into a single offering for customers, at a discounted price compared to purchasing each item separately.

This can include product bundling (such as a computer and printer bundle), service bundling (such as a cable and internet bundle), or a combination of both. The goal of this model is to increase customer loyalty and increase profitability by creating a one-stop shop for customers' needs.


  • Increased Market Share: By bundling products and services, businesses can create a unique selling proposition that sets them apart from competitors and attract new customers.
  • Simplified Marketing: Bundling products and services into a single package simplifies marketing efforts as businesses only need to promote one product rather than multiple products.
  • Customer Retention: Bundling can increase customer loyalty as customers continue purchasing from businesses that offer convenient and cost-effective packages.


HelloFresh sells ingredients for a healthy, home-cooked meal. It’s a Bundle business model approach.  

15. Community-Led

The Community-Led business model is a model in which a company leverages its existing user base to create a community of users who can interact with each other, exchange information, and share experiences.

The company provides a platform or environment that enables these interactions, and the users provide the content and activity.


  • Increased engagement and loyalty: By creating a community of users, companies can increase the level of engagement and loyalty of their users.
  • User-generated content: The users of the community create the content, which can be in the form of reviews, recommendations, or discussions. This reduces the need for the company to create content, saving time and resources.
  • Data collection: The interactions and activities within the community can provide valuable data for the company to analyze and use for product development and marketing purposes.


HelloMeets, Glassdoor and Stack Overflow is the best example of a community-Led.

Wrapping Up

A business model presents the systematic measures a business takes to generate long-term worth for its users.

After developing a business model, a company must have a clearer idea of how it intends to operate and what its future prospects are.

A business model outlines how a company will generate revenue. If you are launching a business, take the time to select the model that best meets your targets and includes details about its design in your business plan and market research.