Future Scenarios and Business Modelling

The business model often evolves over time as businesses discover what really works, and adapt to their environment. By using the business model canvas to map out the business structure in response to different potential future scenarios, the business can take a more holistic view of what may lie ahead.

Here is a simple business model view of the free commuter newspaper. I’ve seen it called Metro in the UK, and Mx in Australia:

It’s a classic multi-channel business model with our two customer segments in a symbiotic relationship. Advertisers want access to lots of commuters on their way to work, commuters want a free read. But what would happen in the following scenarios?

  1. Advertisers move Facebook ad other more targeted channels with better returns
  2. Electronic paper becomes extremely cheap, making free electronic newspapers possible
  3. Home working replaces commuting, reducing the number of commuters by 80%
  4. Customers abandon the free paper in favour of their iPads

In each of these cases, the impact on the business model could be significant. Rather than wait for crisis to hit, running your business model through a few scenarios could give you the insight you need to be prepared for the future. 

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