Grafting new business models into an established company: where to start?


From the new technologies available and the high accessibility of the same, there has been a physiological push to bring new business models to the market that has given rise to 10,000+ innovative startups/SMEs. On the other hand, there is no sense that an equal number of initiatives have started in the lap of SMEs/Corporates.


Enabling this opportunity is at the top of the SME/Corporate: it is an opportunity to be exploited considering the low investment required in relation to the resources available and that once the initial phase of gaining traction has been overcome, the go-to-market would be much easier to manage: on the prospects of turnover and margins the business risk is in fact lower than for a startup that starts from scratch given the already consolidated positioning on the market by the core business.

Failure to take advantage of this opportunity is undoubtedly a cultural and mental issue, but it is also often due to negative past experiences/lack of sufficiently interesting initiatives or a prioritisation that does not give adequate space to the topic of innovation.

Here are 4 guidelines for Entrepreneurs/Executives and Managers to keep in mind in order to improve their positioning towards the opportunities and risks deriving from new business models.


1. You need to allocate 10% of your time on the topic of business model innovation and regardless of the results obtained

Otherwise, it will be impossible to confidently measure how much new technology is or is not a risk or an opportunity for today's business. If devoting this time is not physically possible, first ask yourself if you are not confusing operational priorities with strategic priorities and possibly re-balancing operations to create space.


2. You will experience moments of discomfort, but the time devoted to this exploration should not be questioned

Exploring new possibilities means stepping outside your domain and this is by nature a source of stress. An open mind and the ability to "navigate by sight" is necessary, especially when entering this world. The references for navigating this world will become clearer and sharper as time goes on, and getting guidance from those with experience in this area can make the process more enjoyable


3. It is necessary to carry out this activity oneself

If this work is outsourced, even to very trustworthy and competent people, when there is a major decision to be made within the organization, it will lack the weight and influence necessary to shift the balance and the course of processes. The opportunity would be identified but not exploited, since even the best business plan would not have the strength to influence the dynamics of the company's internal management.


4. One Euro of turnover with an innovative business model is equivalent to 10 Euro of turnover with a traditional business model.

It's a rule of thumb that we like to adopt because often the turnover alone is not an indication of the goodness of an initiative. Turnover achieved with an innovative business model (which takes into account new technologies) is much more difficult to achieve because it requires the involvement of new skills, know-how and even at the level of marketing and communication a lot of energy is spent to establish a new product/service not yet known to the market.


The question then arises as to why invest so much energy in a business that generates 10% compared to traditional businesses. The answer is simple: in an ever-changing world, it is not unlikely that in 10-20 years this ratio will be reversed, and that a "traditional" business will generate the 10% of an "innovative" business. It's not possible to predict what will happen in the future, but not being properly positioned on both fronts in the future is a strategic mistake you're already going to make today.

If you liked this article, then you'll appreciate Quodigi's support: we provide consulting and advisory services on web strategy and digital transformation. We have developed IO, the web intelligence platform designed for business decision makers. Learn more about what we do to support your company in its digital growth!

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Ernst Vittorio Haendler
Ernst Vittorio Haendler
Following a degree in Aerospace Engineering and some work experience in Italy and abroad at the European Space Agency and then in the technology intensive sector of Aerospace & Defense, he starts his entrepreneurial activity in 2012 founding the startup Beast Technologies following all aspects from vision, conception and execution of a digital business, raising funding and bringing to market a new product currently sold in 35 different countries through web channel. Following this experience, Ernst-Vittorio joins Quodigi as a Partner in 2017 bringing his vision and experience in business modelling, project management and technology intensive teams, and dealing in the broadest sense with all aspects of business development on the digital plane.
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