business models for startup

Business Models for Startups – Product, Service or Experience?

Some companies purely offer products. An example includes a toothpaste manufacturer or a pet food distributor. Some companies purely offer services. Examples include an accountant or a relationship counselor. Then there are those that purely offer experiences such as a hot air balloon flight or a beer festival. What are the right business models for startups to use to avoid pitfalls? 

Best Business Models for Startups

While many companies prefer to stay in one lane, there can be benefits to branching out and offering a mixture of two or even three of these options. Different types of business models can allow you to reach out to new markets and create different sources of income.

Below are just a few ways to start offering a mix of products, services, and experiences as the best business models for startups.

How to Start Providing Products

If your company provides a service, branching out into products can be a great way to supplement your income. An effective way to do this is to partner with product businesses related to your industry allowing you to easily market to your existing customers.

For example, it might make sense for a washing machine repair service to partner up with a washing machine retailer – if a customer’s washing machine is beyond repair, you can then point them in the direction of a new washing machine and get some commission.

business model of sellilng products
Selling products is a great business model to add if you provide services already.

Experience-based businesses can meanwhile supplement their income by selling products in the form of souvenirs. This could include a promotional product such as a branded cap – there are companies like Cap America that can manufacture custom branded hats for you to sell.

On top of providing customers with a physical reminder of your business, such souvenirs can generate conversation and lead to recommendations.

How to Provide a Service

Product businesses can equally provide services. This can be a great way to supplement your income during low sales periods. Examples could include a piano retailer offering services like piano moving, piano tuning, or even piano lessons.

Just make sure that you have the relevant expertise. Experience-based businesses can also provide services. A great way to do this is to provide lessons related to your experience.

For example, if you’re a performing magician, you could start providing training to other budding magicians in your spare time. This post at VeryWellFamily lists a few sites you can use as platforms.

How to Provide an Experience for Business Models for Startups

It’s also possible for product businesses to provide an experience. Tours and workshops that allow customers to see how your product is made are a great way to do this. Examples include stadium tours and children’s farms.

Food manufacturers may also be able to offer tastings (many breweries offer beer tasting events and brewery tours all in one). You could even open up a restaurant (restaurants are a classic example of a product-service-experience business)

If you offer a service, a seminar or workshop could similarly be a way of providing an experience. Experiences are great business models for startups to introduce new products and services.

beer tasting business model
Offer tastings or samples for product business models for startups to succeed.

For example, if you run a digital marketing company, you could consider hosting local seminars and workshops for business owners. If you don’t feel comfortable talking to a crowd, an alternative option could be to start a YouTube channel and monetize this, creating experiences in the form of videos.

Your Turn on Business Models for Startups

Which model do you prefer for someone just starting out running a small business? Is it a product, service, or experience? Or the combination of all 3 that works best? I’d love to know more in the comments below.

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