A business model template is a blueprint or map for a new, or existing, business to follow in order to develop a business plan that is specific to their particular company. It will guide them through the variety of issues that they need to address to define how, and with who, their company will conduct business. Every business needs a business plan, and the more clearly that plan is outlined and defined the more targeted its implementation can be and therefore more verifiable. Any good template will deal with the three cornerstones of business: customer, product, resources. Let's examine these cornerstones.
The customer is the key to any business. Without a customer, there is no sale; therefore there is no revenue. Defining very clearly who a business is targeting is a must because this knowledge will drive all of the other aspects of the business. It may be a certain demographic group of people, or it could be a grouping of businesses that have a common need. Any marketing strategy is useless without knowing to whatever you are marketing. A good template will help guide businesses though this process of identifying and articulating their target market.
The product is the offer of value that a business sells, yet it is a physical product, a service, or even an idea. These things are not mutually exclusive since they are often intertwined. A business model template can facilitate the determination of what offer of value a business wishes to pursue. For example company A and company B both sell lumber. Company A's value offer is to satisfify the cost factor by a heal it yourself lowest price model, while company B's value offer is to satisfy the convenience factor by providing a home delivery service. Both are valid values to market but they require different facilities and different infrastructures.
The third component is made up of the resources and or capabilities that a business has, or needs to have, to provide the offer of value to their customer. In our example above company A needs only warehouse space, while company B needs a fleet of trucks. This is clearly over simplified but it does serve to illustrate that the resources necessary to implement the sales of even the same physical product can vary. By utilizing a good business model template, a business can better identify its customer, properly define its product in terms of value offering and finally determine what resources are necessary to deliver on that offering.