How resilient is your business model? These three key questions should be checked

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We live and work in disruptive times. Changes come at high frequency and with great amplitude. They leave their mark on revenue and sales figures, change product lines, shift customer markets, and influence business areas. Whether and when things will return to “familiar” waters remains a matter of guesswork. What is tangible and essential, on the other hand, is to take a close look at one’s own business model right now. Which areas have changed? Where does your company need to partially or even completely reorganize? Here are the three key questions for a business model check-up in times of massive disruption.


Your company probably also uses a business model canvas to illustrate its business model and as a strategic management template for developing new business models and documenting existing ones. Use our three central questions to put your business model to the test in the current massive disruptions.

Even though the above three points do not cover the complete Business Model Canvas and include aspects such as strategy, the dynamic developments of the environment and the stakeholders: They help to set a cornerstone and to understand where to place your energy and budget in the future.


#1 – What is my customer segmentation and how has my business developed in these segments over the last few years?

Many customer segmentations are either too broad and or they cannot be clearly distinguished from each other. Check in which customer segment things have been successively better and in which successively worse over the last three years. The somewhat longer period also helps to identify seasonal fluctuations.

Also analyze which business areas and customer segments will change sustainably in the future and which disruptions will influence the development. For example, through changes in the packaging system due to sustainability (substitution of plastic by paper or a shift from disposable to reusable, etc.) or due to regulatory activities (legislative changes in the area of service packaging, changed quotas for the recycled content, etc.).


#2 – Do I have sufficient knowledge of my customer segments?

Based on clear customer segmentation, the next question is whether my company knows these customer segments sufficiently well. Only then can I help my customers achieve added value as a competent contact and supplier. So on the test bench belongs:

  • Do I understand the needs in my customer segment?
  • Do I know enough different potential and actual customers in this segment to be able to create a clear and reliable picture of my business model and potential competitors?
  • Can sufficient demand be identified in my sales territory and among customers of interest to me?


#3 – Can I accurately describe my value proposition?

The value proposition is the added value that I can offer my customers in products, deliveries and services. Ideally, I should not only be able to describe the added value, but also work proactively and with an eye to the future to further develop my value proposition. Naming a “me too” is not sufficient in this regard. It should really be about listing the actual added value for the customers in my customer segments. Ideally, I should also be able to describe my most important competitors and correctly classify my own company in the market.


A pilot and a clear view

With clear customer segmentation and a clear definition of added value for the customer segments, you get a pilot on board. He shows where the energy and also the budget should flow in the future.

The three key questions presented provide a clear view of one’s own entrepreneurial activity. They help to sharpen and adapt the strategy. They enable clear communication both internally and externally. And they ultimately also help in corporate management and communication, so that employees and owners, as well as customers and business partners, can recognize the focus as well as the core competence and market orientation. Feel free to contact us: in disruptive times, our expertise helps to readjust the focus on the essentials and to keep your company focused in the future.

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    Jens Hagmann