Finding the right revenue model for your business and products is an extremely important part of starting and growing your business. It's an important part of building a brand. Discover popular recipe models and how to choose the right model.
- What is a revenue model?
- 11 different types of recipe templates
- Costs associated with revenue models
- How to choose your revenue model
In one of the mostfamous lines from the 1941 classic Citizen KaneCitizen Kane,Or Mr. Bernstein proclaims: “It's not a gimmick to make a lot of money... if you want to make a lot of money.” If only that statement were as true as it seemed. It is probably more accurate to say, “There is amany waysto make a lot of money."
This is especially true for software companies, as the rise of the mobile internet is fueling an explosion in the number of viable revenue models. However, choosing the most suitable revenue model for your SaaS business is not easy (even if you only want to choose one revenue model for your SaaS business).
Your choice will help you determine yoursales strategy, and from there growth rates, the amount of money you need to invest initially, and the type of relationships you are likely to build with your customers. Even more – the choice determines the future of your company.
Let's take a look at some of the most popular recipe models in use today - why they're popular, why they work, and why they work (or don't work) for you.
What is a revenue model?
A revenue model is the revenue generation framework that is part of a company's business model. Common revenue models include subscription, licensing, and tagging. The revenue model helps companies determine their revenue generation strategies, e.g. B.: which revenue stream to prioritize, understand target customers and set prices for their products.
Revenue models are often confused with revenue streams, probably because each is a unique revenue stream. They are also confused with business models, which include revenue models. Revenue models help business owners decide how to manage their revenue streams and are required to complete a business model.
Without a well-thought-out revenue model, your business will incur costs it cannot afford. A revenue model lets you define, track, and forecast business growth based on specific customer segments.
11 different types of recipe templates
There is no perfect earnings model, but the popularity of some of the following methods suggests that many of them are well suited to the current state of the market. Here, we look at each type of revenue model and when they might be most beneficial and applicable.
Osubscription templateit's the "vanilla" SaaS revenue model, not that a well-performing subscription plan is boring. Businesses charge a customer for using a product or service every month or every year. All income is deferred and then paid in installments.
The subscription model is perhaps the most popular among SaaS companies because of the versatility it promises.recurring revenue, and high value: customer lifetime balance.Done right, it's a one-way ticket to sustainable growth.
Companies that work with recurring revenue models, such asSubscription or Licensing, you see more value from a customer over a given customer lifecycle.
Being able to offer a variety of value options means your business can meet more than one set of customer needs, increasing your appeal. Hubstaff's subscription plan, shown below, is a classic of its kind:
Hubstaff's various plans vary in price and features. This flexibility of the subscription model means hesitant or lower-priced customers can still get what they need, while keeping control of what they could get extra for a few extra dollars a month.
The freemium model is often described as a subscription revenue model, but it is actually a purchase model, not a revenue model. Freemium means giving users access to an app for free and then selling subscriptions for a premium tier that includes more features.
Markup is a very common revenue model for buyer companies (i.e. companies that buy the products they sell). It's as simple as it gets: take the cost of the products you just bought, increase them by X%, and get a profit margin on the original purchase.
There are several subgenres of the markup model, including the following:
- Wholesale: Selling goods or merchandise to retailers, business customers, or other wholesalers
- Retail: Identifying demand and fulfilling it across a supply chain across a range of potential retail outlets, including brick-and-mortar and e-commerce
In particular, markup is used by intermediaries such as e-commerce marketplaces such as Amazon. On average, Amazon charges a seller who uses its site 15% of the selling price plusFBA Fees(including storage, pick & pack, shipping).
Licensing is the leasing of goods or services to other companies. The seller retains full copyright control of the product or service used by the buyer. Licensing is commonplace for media companies and for patents, copyrights, trademarks - anywhere intellectual property is used. For example, compare this to subscribers paying for a copy of a product or service.
Computer software makers like Adobe turn to royalty revenue models just as oftensubscription incomemodels.
A typical software license agreement, this time for an Adobe XI Pro package.
The main difference between subscription and licensing is that subscription is for a fixed term, while licensing is perpetual until canceled by one of the parties involved. Licensing provides more stable recurring revenue; Subscription offers greater upselling opportunities.
Advertising allows any platform to attract a significant amount of traffic to convert that traffic directly into revenue. You've seen it on your favorite blog, media site and social media platform (think Google, Facebook and LinkedIn): the medium's popularity is appreciated and advertisers pay to feature their product somewhere on it (known as a display - Advertising ). to co-opt a percentage of this site's user base.
Other types of advertising that fall under the same revenue model are search engine marketing, social media marketing,facebook adand mobile advertising.
On a typical page hosted by UK newspaperThe guard, which operates a donation revenue model, we see a display ad on the right.
It's easy to combine with other revenue models for greater impact. For example, this online news source that uses a subscription or donation based revenue model may also use advertising to increase its overall revenue.
5. Payment per user
One of the most enduring legacies of SaaS in business is the advent of pay-per-user (PPU). It's about giving a customer potentially unlimited access to a variety of resources, while only being charged for the services they use. In the early days of SaaS, the PPU seemed like the most viable revenue model because the software didn't require physical delivery, so it could be deployed quickly and inexpensively.
But as natural as it seemed at the time,Pay per user is not popularmore. Assigning value to your product is one of the most important considerations of your revenue model, and part of that is showing why it's worth your target customers' precious dollars, not just making everything so cheap and easy they can't refuse. So the problem with PPU is that value is rarely assigned to your product.
Also, PPU kills your monthly active user metric. The per-user metric is not the most useful metric for customers in terms of driving value - your take it or leave it approach actively works against your daily active user count and therefore contributes to your churn rate.
As evidenced by the rise and riseKickstarter- EPatreonIn business-based ventures, altruism, while unpredictable, is a pretty effective income model in its own right. Relying on donations from regular users is a common revenue model for nonprofits, online media (eg YouTubers), and independent news outlets.
what is it?affiliate marketing? This popular new model works by encouraging referral links to relevant products and charging commissions on any subsequent sales of those products. Use your product's synergy with another product in an adjacent room and both can benefit.
The affiliate model can be as simple as including a link to a book or other product mentioned in an article, or offering specific recommendations related to purchase history (again, Amazon is a master at this art). Some companies like Etsy even have aspecific programto its affiliates, where other businesses can earn a commission on eligible sales resulting from providing links to Etsy products and services.
The affiliate revenue model is gaining popularity due to its good integration with other revenue models, especially advertising-based models.
The arbitrage revenue model, mainly applicable to sellers or market-oriented companies, uses the price difference in two different markets for the same good/service to make a profit. You buy in one market (a security/currency/commodity) and simultaneously sell what you just bought in another market at a higher price, pocketing the temporary difference in price.
Arbitrage is popular amongaffiliate merchant, as well as with many cryptocurrency companies, SFOX being a prime example.
In this transactional revenue model, an intermediary charges a commission for each transaction it processes between two parties or for each lead it provides to the other party. It is particularly popular with online marketplaces and aggregators, as well as companies such as independent music distributors.
It is particularly easy to get started with a commission-based business model as it is based on existing products. However, if your area is not suitable for a monopoly and your company is (or could become) such a monopoly, then find the commission modelvery difficult to climb.
10. Data sale
Ever heard the phrase, "If you can't see how the money is made, you are the product"? This is data selling in action.
Many companiesSale of digital productsand services could not exist without underlying core data assets. With the data sales revenue model, that data is sold directly to a private or business customer. While some companies use data sales as their primary revenue model, the use ofdata saleAdding another revenue model is practically ubiquitous.
11. Web/Direct Sales
The old redone revenue model, web sales and direct sales all involve paying for goods or services digitally.
Web sales involve a customer finding your product through outbound marketing (or a web search) and can be used for software, hardware, and subscription-based offers.
Direct selling revolves around inbound marketing and works well for dealing with multiple buyers and influencers in expensive markets.
Costs associated with revenue models
A good revenue model isn't just about getting as much revenue as possible out of a sales cycle; It's also about balancing your market ambitions with your resource requirements. A start-up revenue model can differ significantly from an established company as their capabilities are so different. When choosing your model, considering the cost is essential to ensure profitability.
cost of sales
The first cost you're likely to consider is the cost of products - how much it costs to produce the products or services you'll sell. For hardware, this might include testing and manufacturing; for software, it covers the entire development cycle. Regardless of what you produce, there are also administrative costs involved.
You'll find that cost of goods is a much less comprehensive metric than cost of sales, which is the total cost of producing and delivering a product or service to consumers. This includes everything we just covered plus sales and marketing expenses. Cost of sales is most commonly used in SaaS and other service-oriented industries because it makes it easier to understand the many costs that occur outside of SaaS production.
Prototyping is a fundamental aspect of every production cycle and, unfortunately, one of the most expensive. When testing prototypes or beta versions of your new product, even the smallest revisions can require costly changes to your production/development process.
This typically includes base cost plus iteration cost. When forecasting prototyping costs, it's a good idea to plan for several iterations; It's very unlikely that you'll get it right the first time, especially if your product is innovative or consists of multiple features.
One of the nice things about being a SaaS company is that there are no production lines that need to be running. Despite this, device costs still play a role.
firmware,Application development tools, server rentals, and any other subscription-based management services (like Slack or Hubstaff) all play a role in your device costs, but overall, device costs should be the easiest to predict.
An underpaid workforce is an unhappy workforce (if it is a workforce at all); Labor costs come from your bottom line.
Based on the interaction of salary and commission in yourcompensation plan, as well as the type of commission you offer (permanent or capped? Are there accelerators/delays?), you need to plan your personnel expenses differently.
advertising and marketing costs
Your advertising and marketing costs are determined as follows:
- The size of their respective advertising and marketing teams
- The exposure scale you are shooting
- Your approach to advertising and marketing:
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How to choose your revenue model
With all these options, how can you expect to make up your mind? The answer is in your own product.
Know your market
Where are your customers? How accessible are they to you? If your buyer personas are primarily individual customers, reach them with subscription options that are expertly tailored to their needs andhow your product can serve them. On the other hand, if you're looking to sell to larger companies that need a customized version of their core product, consider a license-based option that will allow you to build a solid, profitable relationship that lasts a long time. term.
If you know your market, you should also know your competitors. Before deciding on a revenue model, make sure you understand industry benchmarks: where is the baseline for equivalent products in the market? Where is your product located? Question your product honestly. An open assessment of your product's value not only avoids the mistake of over (or under) evaluating your product, but also shows you how to capitalize on its value and what your development compass should be.
Consider the strength of your ties to similar compatible companies. For example, if you use time management software and have ties to a nearby company that sells compatible HR software, get in touch with them. A strong network connection can be leveraged with an effective strategy based on an affiliate revenue model.
Know your product
Knowing your product is just as important as knowing your market, if not more so. Sometimes the nature of a product will itself dictate the best revenue model for it. If you have a variety of products, does it make more sense to have them as a subscription service or as one-time purchases? Smart money in this case for your growth and daily user count would be the subscription option.
Again, honestly evaluate your product's performance. How does your product compare to competitors? How wide is your resource array compared to the others? Knowing your product allows you to choose a revenue model that hits the sweet spot between value and willingness to pay.
If your product is not a simple software offering, continue to consider your options. For example, if your product is platform-based, examine your advertising prospects to capitalize on the traffic buzz and think outside the box to identify potential partners for an affiliate strategy that will give your earnings an extra boost.
Pitchfork's partnership program with craft beer producers can be seen in the leftmost tab.
Music blogging platform Pitchfork found that the only thing its readers love more than left-wing music is craft beer, so they launched a feature affiliated with Brewer's Outlet in October. It is a smart display of affiliate earnings evaluation.
Expect the unexpected
As your product line changes and your business grows, your original revenue model may change. You can start with a subscription revenue model, which then, with time and opportunity, will pick up aspects of the affiliate, advertising, and data sales models. You can start as a fledgling indie fundraising blog with a little publicity, then find a large enough audience to avoid advertisers, install a subscription model, and maintain the integrity of your writing.
Alternatively, you can start with a subscription, see just a fraction of your potential success, and switch to a royalty model. The important thing is that you are willing to change your revenue model or introduce additional models to complement what you are already using if the situation calls for it.
Your revenue model is unique
So many revenue streams, so many revenue models, so little time.
There are some fundamental differences between the revenue models. For example, if you're a SaaS company that manufactures your own software product, you probably won't get that far with an arbitrage model. If your product is a medium or you are a seller, a subscription-based revenue model will not cut it. A product with a high potential revenue threshold is not best served with a donation model.
However, choosing a crowd-centric revenue model that works for your product, and then how to combine it with appropriate aspects of other models, is up to you, and yours alone. As you define, add to, and refine your model, you must always keep your product and market in mind. After that it should be easy to generate the earnings yourself.Citizen Kanecalled.