Business Model Template

Use the following business model template for your business model.

Business Model Definition

An operational plan to enable the business to accomplish the mission, and achieve the vision.

Background to Using the Business Model Template

If your in business with a feasible product or service to offer, you must manage the business, make decisions, and adjust along the way to optimize performance and the potential for growth to the next level

The recipe for success in that endeavor consists of many, many things. But normally early in the progression of business implementation you develop and communicate the Operational Business Model.

An Operational Business Model, also known as a three-year or five-year Operational Business Plan, usually consists of the company's vision statement, mission statement, scope, objectives, and strategies. Your company follows this plan to accomplish the mission, and achieve the vision.

One should exist at the corporate level reflecting the company’s plan, and each down-the-line reporting organization should have their own which dovetails into the corporate version.

A Business Model provides direction to the organization by focusing attention on doing things day-to-day to accomplish the mission, while taking steps to pursue the vision of the future – the map to the desired future of the business.

A well-crafted business model creates commitment and understanding. It excites and enables the team to focus on the future. It enables them to understand how the top of the organization visualizes the future and plans to get there. Initially, you create a dream that with the right plan, personnel, commitment, and execution comes to fruition.

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Business Model Reasons

if something were to happen to the leader, a business model ensures that someone else could pick up the ball and run with it. But, even with the leader still at the helm, one should develop and document an operational business model/business plan for the following reasons:

  • It is not enough to have vague ideas of direction in the minds of one or a few key executives. The company's vision, mission, values, and plan need to be thought through, written out, and then brought to life for others in the business.
  • The discipline of putting the plan in writing forces you to think through all aspects of the business, allowing you to identify and clarify obstacles and opportunities, determine areas in which one needs additional/professional help, set goals, and establish strategies and tactics.
  • Communicating the plan to the team lets them understand how the top of the organization plans to achieve the vision, and how the team makes meaningful contributions to the business.

Most people when using the business model template initially react with these thoughts...

  • "It’s too much work for little or no benefit".
  • "We should, but we're too busy fighting fires".
  • "We're too small to have something fancy like that".

On the contrary, the process of producing a business model results in providing you and your team with the recipe ingredients for success. By forcing the entrepreneur to think things through, advantages can be taken of company strengths, and company weaknesses can be identified and shored-up.

Get your arms around the big picture to reveal and see the cause-and-effect relationships at your business. You can't get that kind of higher view stuck on the ground amidst the "staying alive" activities of daily operations. From that fire-fighting viewpoint, you won't be able to see the forest because of all the trees! You need to take time out to think and plan; to pull back from the day-to-day frenzy and look at the big picture; to identify trends, weaknesses, strengths, opportunities, and threats.

The thought process to create the Business Model enables you to focus on the future as well as the present; provides the mission to accomplish the vision; provides the strategies and initiatives to accomplish the mission, while taking the steps to accomplish the vision. The process lets you look three to five years into the future, and lay out the appropriate strategies and initiatives to get there.

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A Living Document

A business cannot stand still and survive; it must continue to strive to grow or complacency begins to set in, and usually, eventually results in death - going out of business.

In today's continuously changing business environment, a long-term plan enables the capability for growth and survival. Developing one is not a minor task, but it's well worth your effort. An operational Business Model, if properly formulated and executed, helps ensure a company’s long-term survival and prosperity.

As with any major endeavor, developing, documenting, and then exercising the discipline of adhering to a Business Model is not so overwhelming when it’s broken down into smaller tasks that can be completed one step at a time. Mainly though, the process of developing the plan usually yields the greatest benefits.

With a documented Business Model, you can periodically (quarterly, annually at a minimum) review status and compare the plan to reality/actuality. This allows you to assess what worked, what didn’t, and to do some tweaking of the plan to enable greater and quicker strides toward the vision.

Regular reviews of the goals and objectives (housed within the Business Model) enables the team to re-focus on their goals. The review process enables you to redirect strayed actions and initiate new ones based on lessons learned, changes in the marketplace, changes in technology, etc. The Business Model and its review provide the capability and tool for you to proactively manage the enterprise, rather than "flying-by-the-seat-of-one’s-pants" and allowing confusion, chaos, and luck to manage the business and the future.

The fastest way to create a business model is to start with a business model template.

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Business Model Template Questions for Thought

  • What is the vision?
  • Why does the business exist? Think about products, services, facilities, the targeted market, customer satisfaction, etc.
  • What is the scope of the business?
  • What is missing, if anything?
  • What qualities and characteristics should be best exemplified by the business?
  • What resources are available?
  • What resources are not available?
  • What kind of skills may be required?
  • What kind of training may be required?
  • What is the business niche?
  • Based upon one’s values, vision, characteristics, and resources, what is the purpose of the business?
  • How can the business best serve the clients, family, employees, and investors?
  • What needs to happen for the business to get to the next level?

Set specific short-term goals and objectives, and take action in order to satisfy the Business Model intent, and make progress toward achieving the next level.

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Answer These Questions

  • What is the vision?
  • What is the mission?
  • What is the scope of our activity?
  • What are our strengths and weaknesses?
  • Do we have sufficient and the right resources and skills?
  • What are our objectives?
  • What strategies will we use to accomplish our objectives?
  • How will we get to the next level?

The Business Model Reflects

  • The vision of the CEO of the company.
  • The company's unique strengths and expertise.
  • The company's corporate culture.
  • The company's objectives and strategies.
  • The level of commitment.

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How To Proceed

For the small business, the owner or the top management develops the business model. After they are confident about it, have the rest of the staff/team consent and buy into it.

First, do some brainstorming. Nothing should be considered off limits/sacred – all thoughts and ideas should be captured in detail and eventually reviewed in depth for merit. Call upon your personal passion, which motivated you to begin the business in the first place.

Picture the vision in your mind first, and then create a picture in words that expresses the reason why the business exists. Add to it the vision for the company, and the current day-to-day operational activities.

Approach colleagues, associates, or employees whose judgment and insight you respect and see how they view the business, and capture some of their thoughts. You may get some good ideas that expands upon your original thoughts. Of course, ultimately the business model has to be yours.

Consolidate these thoughts with those above, and put it in writing. Then using the below business model template, try to take the consolidated thoughts and format them per the example.

When complete, place it somewhere where you can see it every day. A good place to put your formatted Operational Business Model is near your workspace so you can see it daily. Each time you re-visit it, allow it to saturate your thinking. Allow the thoughts and emotion you felt when you initially drafted it to be re-experienced over and over again. When you are sure about it, take one of the following paths:

  • Publish it and communicate it.
  • Review it with your staff and/or team to gain consensus and buy-in, then publish and communicate it; the value of doing it this way is that the plan is shared, and those who participated feel personal ownership of the Business Model - everyone owns the result. The downside is that you may not like the consensus process or the end result.

As you then make decisions on a daily basis, use the Business Model as a point of reference, and then make the decision that most closely supports the plan. That’s the real value of the business model – to keep you focused.

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*Business Model Template*

Vision (business model template)

Total customer satisfaction.

Mission (business model template)

Deliver products that foster and achieve customer enthusiasm and loyalty.

Values (business model template)

The values we will focus on are: Leadership, People, Teamwork, and Continuous Improvement.

Primary Objectives (business model template)

1)  Increase capability to deliver great products ahead of the competition, worldwide.

2)  Improve business performance to an internationally competitive level that ensures prosperity, profitability, and growth.

3)  Provide job security for all employees to the extent possible.

Enabling (business model template)

  • Develop innovative products that meet the needs of our customers while raising the level of their enthusiasm.
  • Ensure that our organizational values become the foundation of "Your Name Here".
  • Develop the capability to lead.
  • Define and improve organizational systems.
  • Foster an environment that stimulates professional excellence and encourages contribution by all employees.

Business (business model template)

  • Implement a balanced quality improvement plan.
  • Implement a global growth strategy.
  • Implement an integrated manufacturing and facilities plan.
  • Implement strategic product and manufacturing technologies.
  • Achieve total product harmony through understanding and integration of customer requirements.
  • Demonstrate good corporate citizenship through the ethical conduct of our business.

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Secondary Objectives (business model template)

1) Leverage resources.

2) Provide consistent higher quality products through improved processes.

3) Attract, Develop, and Retain a highly skilled technical work force of professionals.

4) Utilize consistent metrics and measurement techniques.

5) Improve communications in order to create a well-informed work force.

6) Create a team oriented environment where participation, collaborative effort, and opportunity for individuals are the norm.

7) Grow our business.

Strategies

1) Leverage resources.

   1.1) Group similar activities or functions.

   1.2) Commonize processes.

   1.3) Implement cross-training to facilitate personnel backup.

2) Provide consistent higher quality products through improved processes.

   2.1) Understand and implement common processes.

   2.2) Develop measurement processes.

   2.3) Utilize change management methodology.

3) Attract, Develop, and Retain a highly skilled technical work force of professionals.

   3.1) Provide leadership development.

   3.2) Support technical certifications.

   3.3) Provide training.

   3.4) Provide current tools and technology to enable employees to do  their job.

   3.5) Perform career planning.

   3.6) Build needed competencies that foster career growth.

   3.7) Encourage professional "networking".

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4) Utilize consistent metrics and measurement techniques.

   4.1) Develop a unit of work.

   4.2) Determine base level work to people ratios.

   4.3) Report on process performance measurement, i.e., effective, efficient, adaptable.

5) Improve communications in order to create a well-informed work force.

   5.1) Develop a communication plan.

   5.2) Implement a communication network.

   5.3) Provide key players with accomplishments and "kudo" updates.

   5.4) Increase management and individual contact via town halls, roundtables, etc.

   5.5) Encourage professional "networking".

   5.6) Communicate policy, standards, and procedures to enterprise.

6) Create a team oriented environment where participation, collaborative effort, and opportunity for individuals are the norm.

   6.1) Build needed competencies that foster career growth.

   6.2) Embrace learning organization concepts.

   6.3) Define and instill roles and responsibilities.

   6.4) Create a work environment that fosters positive morale and interaction.

   6.5) Provide key players with accomplishments and "kudo" updates.

7) Grow our business.

   7.1) Increase our client base.

   7.2) Support new business identification and pursue it.

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