6 online business models that work in 2021

The creation of a company is accompanied by many steps. After having had the idea and validated your project, it is imperative to establish a business plan. In this document, it is necessary to explain its ambitions in order to achieve them. Not only must it describe its commercial strategy and its legal form, but also its economic model. The latter is a key element that will allow the initial idea of ​​the entrepreneur to see the light of day.

The business model, also called economic model, has been used for many years to launch an entrepreneurial project. It makes it possible to concretely draw the financial structure of a company while taking into account the various services or products necessary for its creation. It contains the market studies, necessary to assess the demand and the knowledge in which sector one evolves, the entries but also the exits of money.

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The democratization of access to entrepreneurship, the ease of getting started, social media and other recent developments have enabled the multiplication of new business models. Although it’s not always easy to choose one, some are doing particularly well online in 2021.

The marketplace, still just as popular

For several years, marketplaces have been booming. This term encompasses both C2C, adopted by the Airbnb marketplace, as well as B2B and B2C. In France or the United States, this economic model has already enabled several companies to experience success and evolve rapidly.

Among them, ManoMano, which has greatly revolutionized the distribution of DIY and gardening items on the internet. Its business model, which is based on connecting buyers and sellers, has enabled it to become the third French DIY e-merchant behind Amazon and Leroy Merlin. The marketplace model allows ManoMano to work directly with its merchants, and also to have thousands of referenced products. Gradually, it was able to expand internationally, but also operate four fundraisers.

The freemium model is being adopted in all sectors

In recent years, a new economic model has emerged: freemium. This business model consists of offering part of a product or service for free and charging for premium features. Deezer, Buffer, Mailchimp… These companies quickly managed to sell additional features to their customers who used their free service.

Over the years, this business model has enabled them to become benchmarks in their respective sectors. This is also the case for Spotify, which has also adopted this economic model. The music streaming platform is attracting more and more premium subscribers. It now has more than 165 million, a figure that is still rising, as is its income.

Pre-ordering seduces start-ups

At their launch, companies generate goods must face many challenges, do not produce before selling. It is therefore necessary to have funds to stock up. The risk then is an overproduction of products, without having tested the market. For these reasons, several of them are now opting for pre-order. Indeed, they only launch the production of a product once the customer’s purchase has been made. The advantage of getting payments before production is that few funds are needed to get started.

This business model has been greatly democratized with the emergence of funding platforms like Ulule. These are increasingly shared on social networks, giving them significant visibility. This is how the Asphalte clothing brand has achieved dazzling success. After the failure of its first project, the company reviewed its business model and opted for pre-order. Its on-demand model allowed it to sell 42,000 t-shirts during its first crowdfunding presale.

Tips, an open door to the creative economy

Advice is highly valued by content creators as it ensures they have a stable revenue stream by basing their compensation on their audience, not on advertising or sponsors. Today, tips is an economic model present in many sectors, helped by the emergence of platforms like Tipee, specialized in crowdfunding or Substack, which allows newsletter creators to monetize their content thanks to its tool.

More recently, the tricks are also extended to the field of photo and video with the arrival of OnlyFans. A paid formula that provided both athletes, influencers and sex workers. Created in 2016, the platform now boasts 130 million users and 2 million creators, proof that the tips economy is a booming business model for content creators.

Intermediation changes consumption patterns

When starting a business, it is not always easy to find customers. It is for this reason that many startups have developed around intermediation. Concretely, these are platforms that connect buyers and suppliers of products or services and who are remunerated via a commission.

When you want to sell a piece of clothing, it is now common to do so on Vinted, Vestiaire Collective or Grailed. For carpooling, many travelers instinctively turn to BlaBlaCar. Based on the increase in Internet use, these two companies have greatly transformed our consumption patterns. For good reason, the fact that they translate the relationship between customers or professionals, and thus allow them to find what they are looking for more quickly.

SAAS for Software Vendors

For its part, SAAS (software as a service) is a very specific model that is anchored in B2B. To finance its activities, the company provides software through a subscription system. To save money, many companies have looked into the use of a SAAS. To meet this strong demand, software publishers are increasingly turning to this economic model. Several of them have taken advantage of its emergence, such as Content Square, which specializes in optimizing the digital experience, and Aircall, an expert in cloud-based business telephony solutions.

Finally, although there are many business models, it is important to choose the one that best suits your project. The effectiveness of the business model will depend on the potential and speed of growth of an activity.

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