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I received an email the other day on, from Anthony Stewart (, asking a key question….What is your Business Model?

Now Brother Stewart is a knowledgeable and well respected Black technologist. So when he asked this question, I had to take the time to think about the answer. In his email (which is too long to post here) he outlined some great points, that most of us online business guru’s, take for granted.

Mainly that a Business Model is a completely different thing from a Business Plan. Even though your Business Plan, defines what your Business Model is. After much thought (and a quick review at Wikipedia), I believe his definition is…Right On Point!

According to Anthony Stewart, The Business Model is an efficient system of; 1.) Legal Product Protection, 2.) Marketing and Promotion, 3.) Product For Dollar Exchange (otherwise known as Value proposition) and 4.) Customer Satisfaction, all working in harmony and cooperative union. What Brother Stewart, has termed as a Harmonized Business Model.

When I compared his definition to Wikipedia’s (see, I found the terms/words to be different, but the meaning was the same… A business model is a term used for a broad range of informal and formal descriptions that are used by enterprises to represent various aspects of its business, including its purpose, offerings, strategies, infrastructure, organizational structures, trading practices, and operational processes and policies.


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The key difference in the two definitions is the word Harmony. For as many of us that write business plans know, we often have a great product/service, but overlook the importance of a Harmonized Business Model, in favor of simplistic answers to complicated business assumptions. In other words, if we build it…They will come.

You can’t give away gold…if nobody knows about it….but what if they know about it and don’t want to walk down the dark alley to get it? So if your Business plan doesn’t take into consideration all the above factors of a Harmonized Business Model and more importantly, how they interact…you are doomed to failure. Who are your customers, where do they get their info, what are their buying habits, are all standard questions in a Business Plan, but a Harmonized Business Model says how all these factors work together to ensure you a profit..

Now my MBA friends are all familiar with the terms: Infrastructure, Distribution, Marketing, Value Proposition, and Customer Satisfaction, but how many of us have focused in on how these components truly work together, hormonally to ensure a successful business enterprise. Like fingers in a glove, the afore mentioned business principals must all work in harmony.

In these troubling economic times, we must refocus on the business basics, to begin to address these issues of survivability in a tight market. Have you thought about your Business Model? About how your supply chain (think vendors) effects not only customer relations, but marketing opportunities (think co-op advertizing); How product fulfillment, relates to value proposition (think free shipping); How your legal structure impacts consumer banding…

We all have good business, that are based on sound market assumptions…but now as our forefathers (and mothers) repeatedly drummed into our heads…we’ve got to be twice as good!! How good is your Business Model???

Remember, We Must Share The Knowledge (Network)... To Share The Dollars!!!


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