A business model describes the rationale of how an organization creates, delivers, and captures value (economic, social, cultural, or other forms of value). The process of business model construction is part of business strategy.
In theory and practice the term business model is used for a broad range of informal and formal descriptions to represent core aspects of a business, including purpose, offerings, strategies, infrastructure, organizational structures, trading practices, and operational processes and policies. The literature has provided very diverse interpretations and definitions of a business model. A systematic review and analysis of manager responses to a survey defines business models as the design of organizational structures to enact a commercial opportunity. Further extensions to this design logic emphasize the use of narrative or coherence in business model descriptions as mechanisms by which entrepreneurs create extraordinarily successful growth firms.
Business model is a buzzword that everybody used (or overused) during the dotcom boom. In fact, poorly thought out business models were the downfall of many dotcoms.
However, the business model dates back to the earliest days of business; it merely describes the way in which a company makes money. A business model can be simple or very complex. A restaurant's business model is to make money by cooking and serving food to hungry customers. A website's business model might not be so clear, as there are many ways in which these types of companies can generate revenue. For example, some make money (or try to) by providing a free service and then selling advertising to other companies, while others might sell a product or service directly to online customers.