Learning From Business

Learning From Business: What's Your Business Model?

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One of the first things a new business needs to do is figure out its business model--how it creates, delivers and captures value.  If you get the model right, then your business is likely to be successful. If you don't, then it's likely to go under. 

So how could business model thinking benefit the public workforce system? It would force us to really think through the ways we are creating, delivering and capturing our value.

It would also get us thinking differently about our customers, activities, cost structures, revenue streams and other aspects of how we conduct our work

To some extent, our business models are dictated to us. We have been set up to administer certain grant funded sources and who we can serve, what we can provide, etc. are proscribed in many ways. 

But we still have some flexibility and some opportunities for innovation that could come to us if we looked more closely at our models. 

One fantastic resource for this kind of work is Business Model Generation: A Handbook for Visionaries, Game Changers and Challengers. It walks you through various business models and helps you to create your own "Business Model Canvas" looking at things like:

  • Key Partners
  • Key Activities
  • Key Resources
  • Value Propositions
  • Customer Segments and Relationships
  • Your Cost Structure
  • Revenue Streams
  • Delivery Channels

It also provides you with an easy way to explore how changes in each of these components could change your model and provide you with new opportunities to bring value. You can download a free Business Model Canvas worksheet here

Try working through the Canvas describing your current Business Model and then see where you might identify some new opportunities to make changes to your model. It's also a valuable way to think through your value propositions so you can do a better job of marketing to customers. 

What's your current business model? How do you think you need to change your model to create more value for customers or to bring in additional revenues?