Innovation and new business models in SMEs and the self-employed
26 Feb 2024. 09:37
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  • SME maturity
    1. Estrategias e iniciativas digitales
    Scope to digitize
    1. Digital strategy

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The development of technology in recent years has driven the emergence of new business models. Therefore, it is important for SMEs and freelancers to take them into account in order to meet the demands of their customers in an increasingly digital world. In this monograph, we tell you step by step how to define a new business model.

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Executive summary

The development of digital technologies continually gives rise to new ways of attempting to meet supply and demand, turning business models into a constantly evolving framework within this new digital economy. A business model is an abstract representation of all the components that make up an organization. This framework can help SMEs and freelancers understand, define, and plan the specificities that shape their business and make better decisions.

SMEs and freelancers can leverage existing business models or create new ones to address problems and/or meet market needs. Unlike large companies, their proximity to the customer allows them to firsthand understand customer needs and motivations, and they also have the ability to pivot in their strategy or approach without requiring significant time and resources.

Conceptually, the following process is proposed when designing or redefining a business model:

  • Research and Exploration: Identify the motivations and needs of the target customers, as well as recognize and assimilate internal and external factors that can affect a business and its proposed model.
  • Ideation and Conceptualization: Move on to a process of ideation and conceptualization of possible solutions. Initially, prioritize the quantity of ideas over possible quality. Subsequently, agree on prioritization criteria and proceed to the selection of ideas.
  • Prototyping and Validation: In this phase, validate the selected solution with customers (even if it's just a sketch or prototype of the idea to gauge interest in the solution).
  • Estimations, Construction, and Launch: Finally, estimate the material and human capabilities needed, the costs of the solution, its revenue potential, and think about how it will be built and launched.

To assist small businesses in analyzing, ideating, and defining the model that best suits their business, there are numerous free or low-cost tools detailed in this monograph, such as:

  • Business Model Canvas
  • Lean Canvas
  • PESTEL Analysis
  • Porter's Five Forces
  • SWOT Analysis (Análisis DAFO)
  • CAME Analysis (Análisis CAME)
  • Stakeholders Map
  • Stakeholders Matrix
  • Customer Insights Matrix
  • Empathy Map
  • Customer Journey Map
  • Blueprint

In summary, the business model is the key element around which the entire strategy and all the components of its machinery will pivot. Therefore, it is essential to conduct a thorough analysis of all internal and external factors surrounding the company, laying a suitable, solid, and coherent foundation. Moreover, it is crucial that the model undergo continuous review and reassessment, allowing it to be adapted to the new needs of the market and/or the business.

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