The sheer number of business models available these days is just wacky. According to Beth Comstock (Former GE Chief Marketing Officer and Vice-Chair), “Business model innovation is constant in this economy.
You start with a vision of a platform. For a while, you think there’s a line of sight, and then it’s gone. There’s suddenly a new angle.”
There are profitable businesses making money off of centralizing online takeaway orders, from arranging peer-to-peer lift sharing, and even from showing user-uploaded videos.
This article offers some of the broadest online business models that have taken hold since the early 00s. These are the most popular business models that are proving time and time again to make a profit.
Buying Leads Rather Than Chasing Them
Put in simple terms, if you are selling something such as a service, you can invest all of your marketing budgets into advertising and a sales department and take the traditional business model route.
Or, you can remove your sales department completely and simply buy leads from a company. Your website converts the lead, and money is made. Some may think of this as outsourcing, but it isn’t, it is more like shopping for potential customers.
For example, if you are selling lending services, then you may buy leads and convert them. The savings you make on not having to pay for a sales department or run an advertising campaign is massive. Plus, if one leads company keeps sending bad leads, you can chop and change to another one as quickly as you like.
Give Something Away For Free So People Come Back For More
This is probably better known as the free cookie method, or whatever colloquial name you have for it. In short, the homely baker lady stands outside her cookie shop and hands out cookies for free, and people love them so much that they run inside and buy a bag of five of them.
If you are using this business model in any form, be it online or offline, then your giveaway items must be worth something or you are simply wasting money.
Many childcare companies use this technique by having people sign up online for free pregnancy packages that are full of free stuff with the hopes the parent will continue to buy with the branded company.
Plumbing services have been known to give away free sink unblockers with their business names on so people remember them during emergencies. Language learning classes allow people to sign up and receive their first 10-lesson course for free before being given the option to buy the other lesson courses.
Give Something Away For Free And Get Revenue From Advertisers
Many websites are doing it from YouTube to bloggers. You give your website viewers something that keeps them coming back, and you hope they click on your adverts so that you earn a little money from their clicks.
If you are even luckier, you will be paid extra because the clicker made a purchase with whatever advertiser was on your website.
The Freemium Model And In-App Purchases Model
Popularized by gaming apps, you give the game away for free, but people must pay if they want to upgrade. Good-quality developers will create fantastic free games where a user can grind their way into a premium level or grinding their way so that they can earn the items that are otherwise paid for. Doing this helps to popularize the game due to word-of-mouth marketing and positive reviews.
There are many problems with the freemium and in-app purchases models, such as pay-to-win, shoddy development values aimed to rinse money out of players, and unfair terms and conditions that force people to give up too much of their personal data in order to play a game.
Still, freemium and in-app purchases models seem to work well for some companies.
Recurring Subscription Payments
Though there are plenty of down-and-dirty methods relating to the recurring subscription payments model, the most nefarious-without-being-scammy is hosting subscriptions and domain subscriptions.
The model is “We will offer you this great price if you pay for a longer period, and then charge an awful price when you finally renew.”
Another classic is to charge you a fair price for your domain, and then when you popularize the domain, they charge a mini fortune to renew in the future. They get away with this not-so-nice behavior because changing hosting companies is a massive upheaval and hassle.
On the other hand, there are plenty of nefarious-and-scammy subscription services out there such as with Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian.
They tell you that you are owed a free credit report, they sign you up, and then start charging after the trial period while making sure it is viciously difficult to unsubscribe.
The same goes for tax-back companies that offer to get you money back but are actually signing you up for a subscription. If you take the subscription route, then be ethical.
Revenue As A Percentage Of Each Transaction
There are companies that centralize takeaway services. They have a single website where they host the menus to many different takeaways in the local area.
The user puts his or her postcode into the system, and the takeaways that will deliver to that house are shown on the website.
The user makes a purchase, and the order is sent to the takeaway company that then pays a portion of the revenue earned to the centralized takeaway service.
That is just one way that the revenue-as-a-percentage business model works. Taxi services use this system, and and eBay use a similar system because they charge their sellers are a percentage of the revenue their sellers make.
Money transfer and money exchange companies do a similar thing except that they are charging a percentage from the sender, which is not the same as charging another company for the revenue it makes.
Conclusion – Profitable Business Models through proven revenue geneartion strategies
Some say that the Amazon business model has always been the same, even when they were only selling books, but the truth is that it has changed and warped dramatically over the course of its life.
It didn’t start out an online giant, it didn’t start out with a streamlined delivery service, or its own warehouses, or its own media entertainment system, and it certainly didn’t start out with the aim of popularizing ebooks.
Business models change all the time because it is a business’s job to change according to shifts and not shift according to change.
Other business resources:
- What Is a Business Model? 30 Successful Types of Business Models You Need to Know
- The Complete Guide To Business Development
- Business Strategy: Definition, Examples, And Case Studies
- What Is a Business Model Canvas? Business Model Canvas Explained
- Blitzscaling Business Model Innovation Canvas In A Nutshell
- What Is a Value Proposition? Value Proposition Canvas Explained
- What Is a Lean Startup Canvas? Lean Startup Canvas Explained
- What Is Market Segmentation? the Ultimate Guide to Market Segmentation
- Marketing Strategy: Definition, Types, And Examples
- Marketing vs. Sales: How to Use Sales Processes to Grow Your Business
- How To Write A Mission Statement
- What is Growth Hacking?
- Growth Hacking Canvas: A Glance At The Tools To Generate Growth Ideas