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Business Model

You started implementing your business proposition in the previous steps and got to know your target market better. You should now be ready to continue preparing your company by asking yourself some questions about your business model. In principle, you know your business model – but it’s worth putting it down in writing in detail and thinking it through. You will often notice aspects that you hadn’t thought of before. 

We would like to share with you some questions that you should be asking yourself so that you can be as successful as possible and do not go off on a tangent. 

How do I create a business model?

To describe your business model, it is worth asking yourself the following nine questions (to give you a better idea, we have answered the questions using a photographer as an example):

    1. What problem are you solving for your customers? 
      Example: At key moments in their lives, people want someone to be there to document them so they can enjoy, capture and share the moment – that’s why we need photographers. 

    2. Which customers do you want to attract? 
      Example: I would like to attract people who are organising an event (e.g. a wedding) and want to hire a professional photographer. These people should have a sense of quality and a certain willingness to pay for it. 

    3. Where do you best reach your customers?  
      Example: At wedding fairs, through specialist magazines, in displays in bridal fashion shops or at men’s tailors. Plus on my website and through referrals from existing clients. 

    4. How do you engage with your customers?  
      Example: It is important for my customers that they can reach me on my mobile phone at any time. I also often network on social media and send greetings cards at Christmas. 

    5. What are your primary sources of income?  
      Example: Wedding photography generates the most income because people are willing to spend more money. I also have my own studio where people can drop by. Especially in winter, when there are fewer weddings, this is an important source of income. 

    6. Who are your most important partners?  
      Example: The most important partners for me are wedding planners and event locations who recommend me.  

    7. What do you absolutely need to run your business? 
      Example: Photo and camera equipment, my car so I can be easily mobile all over Switzerland and my laptop, including photo-editing software. 
    8. What are your main activities?  
      Example: As a photographer, I should always be on the road – either at customer events or to acquire new customers and meet new business partners. 

    9. What are your main expenses?
      Example: Rent for the studio, buying or leasing camera equipment, as well as depreciation charges and petrol for my car.

If you can answer these nine questions, your business model will be well on its way. If you want to dive deeper, we recommend downloading and completing the Business Model Canvas. This is a model that is well established around the world. 

How can I stand out from the competition?

You have now described your business model in broad terms, but you still don’t know how you stand compared with your competitors. In the following you will find further questions that are designed to help you stand out: 

  1. What can you do better than your competitors?  
    Example: I am professional and unobtrusive. I’m only noticed on the sidelines.

  2. What am I less good at doing?  
    Example: Because I am a professionally trained photographer, I am typically more expensive than my competitors, who are often amateur photographers.  

  3. What opportunities can you leverage for yourself?  
    Example: People increasingly feel the need to present themselves in a favourable light and to share their important moments with as many people as possible.  

  4. What are the risks? 
    Example: A large number of people nowadays think that they can take a professional photo with their own mobile phone and a few filters. 

  5. How can you combine your strengths with the opportunities? 
    Example: My skills as an experienced photographer enable me to show people in the most favourable light so that they can present themselves as well as possible to others. I should absolutely highlight this in my communication so that people know why I am a bit more expensive if need be.  

  6. What do I need to be particularly aware of with my weaknesses and risks?  
    Example: I must avoid entering into a price war with competitors and I must get a feeling for which customers really appreciate a professional service. 

The answers to these questions will already give you a good idea of what sets you apart from your competitors, what you need to watch out for and what makes you unique. Would you like to go into more detail? In that case, we recommend that you fill out our SWOT analysis template.

In the next step, we recommend that you take a closer look at preparing your offering.

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