RE-START Circular Business Plan Toolkit


Advertising fee: This is a revenue stream type that is produced bycharging customers to advertise a product or brand using company’s mediums (print media, broadcast media, interactive and digital media, in-store media, etc.).

Asset sales: This is a revenue stream type that concerns selling ownership rights for a product to a buyer. Through this a company generates money. For example, Amazon sells books, music or other items and through these sales it earns money.

Automated services:It is a customer relationship type. In this relationship,services are provided through automated processes or machines and the customers perform services themselves. For example, in train stations, ticket dispensers provide automated services. The dispenser recognizes the customer’s profile and destination request and provides the appropriate ticket.

B2B: Business-to-business (B2B) is a business model where a business sells or purchases products or services to and from another business. This type of relationship is common among manufacturers, wholesalers, distributors, and retailers that will resell the products or services.

B2C: Business-to-consumer (B2C) is a business model where a company sells products and services directly between a business and consumers who are the end-users of its products or services. Most companies that sell directly to consumers can be referred to as B2C companies.

B2G: Business to government (B2G) is the sale and marketing of goods and services to federal, state, or local agencies.

Brokerage fee: It is a revenue stream type. It is associated with companies that serve as intermediators on behalf of two or more parties. Examples of such companies are credit card providers who earn a small percentage of money each time one performs a transaction with a credit card and real estate agents who earn a commission when they match a buyer with a seller.

Buyer-supplier relationships: It is a type of partnership. In this partnership, a commercial agreement is formed between two companies. It concerns the provision and supply of goods and services. This is a very important partnership for a company since the supply of goods is one of the most important elements of a business. 

C2B: Consumer-to-business (C2B) is a business model where an end user or consumer makes a product or service that an organization uses to complete a business process or gain competitive advantage.

C2C: Customer to customer (C2C) is a business model whereby customers can trade with each other, typically in an online environment. Two implementations of C2C markets are auctions and classified advertisements. C2C marketing has soared in popularity with the arrival of the internet and companies such as eBay, Etsy, and Craigslist.

Channels: The pathways or distribution channels through which goods, services or information are delivered from a company to its customers or end-users. Channels are the basically the touch points with customers, through which a company interacts and maintains its relationship with them.

Co-creation: It is an direct type of customer relationship. This relationship entails the collaboration between service providers and customers. Through this relationship, customers bring added value to a company by providing content or their knowledge. A good example is YouTube platform, in which users are involved in the development of content enriching the platform’s product, improves the engagement of the online users and generates profit for both the content creators and the platform’s owners.

Communities: It is an indirect type of customer relationship. In this relationship,companies use online communities that customers can use to exchange views about a product or service. Through these communities, companies can have a more engaging relationship with their customers and better understand their customers’ needs or problems.

Cost structure: The composition and allocation of costs incurred by a company in its operations and activities. Cost structure outlines how costs are distributed across different aspects of the business.

Customer relationships: The interactions, connections and strategies that companies develop and maintain with their customers in order to ensure the success and longevity of a business. These relationships are established through different channels.

Customer segments: The distinct groups of customers a business targets to sell their products or services to. Customer groups are divided based on their characteristics, needs, behaviours or preferences.

Dedicated personal assistance: It refers to a direct customer relationship type. This dedicated assistance is provided when a recruited customer employee/salesperson provides services to an individual customer. It is an intimate and type of relationship and it gradually develop through the years.

Direct Owned channels: These channels refer to the in-house sales channels, websites (e-commerce site) or social media sites a company employs owns and operates to sell or promote its products to the customers. For example, an online shop uses a digital platform to communicate and sell its products.

Disruptive solution: It is a type of innovation that refers to the efforts of a smaller company, usually with fewer resources, to expand and challenge larger and well-established companies.

Diversified customer: A company that serves two unrelated customer segments with different needs or preferences. For example, in 2006 Amazon was mainly a book-selling platform. The company decided to start catering to a totally different customer segment by selling “cloud computing” services.

Economies of Scale: It refers to the cost advantages a business gain as it increases production or expands its operations while reducing average costs per unit.

Economies of Scope: It refers to the cost advantages a company gain by producing a variety of products or providing multiple services together rather than separately. The extension of the production scope, occurs when the total cost of producing a combination of products or services is lower than the sum of costs of producing each item individually.

Financial resources: These key resources refer to funds or financial guarantees that an entrepreneur has, either on hand or at reasonable interest and are used for the operation of a business. These resources can be cash, bank deposits or holdings of stocks (traded stocks that can be converted to cash).

Fixed costs: Expenses that are permanent, recurring and predictable regardless of the volume of production or sales.

Human resources: These key resources refer to the people that work for a company, the workforce. This category includes the designers or manufacturers of a product, delivery drivers, customer service officers, managers overseeing production, merchants, IT staff.

Innovative idea: Novelty and creativity are key components of innovation in business and they are linked to the development of a product, service, business model or strategy. Innovations don’t necessarily include forward-looking or groundbreaking ideas in technology or new business models. They can provide an upgrade to a company’s customer service or contribute to the improvement of a product’s features or settings.

Intellectual property resources: These key resources refer to the intellectual property of a company, such as brands, proprietary knowledge, patents and copyrights and customer databases. Through its operation a company develops unique products or services that are legally protected and verified and they can become a source of revenue for the company. For example, Microsoft has developed software that is considered to be an intellectual property of the company.

Joint ventures: It is a type of partnership. In this partnership, two independent companies form an alignment and work on a shared project with shared resources.

Key partners: Key partners are the network of companies, suppliers or other parties a company works with to perform all the business operations and deliver customer value through its products or services.

Key resources: All the keyresourcesentrepreneurs need to have for meeting customers’ needs and creating their company’s value proposition.These resources allowa company to reach markets, maintain relationships with customers and safeguard revenues. Examples of key resources are physical, financial, intellectual or human.

Key activities: The most important activities an entrepreneur has to complete to fulfill the business purpose and make the business model work. Key activities include production (design, manufacture and delivery of products), problem-solving (generating ways to solve customers’ problems) and platform/networks (companies that develop digital domains or software providing services and promoting platforms).

Lending/leasing/renting fee: This is a revenue stream type that concerns the exclusive right a customer has to use an asset for a specific period of time. The lender benefits from receiving the fees for this service provided. The renter enjoys the rented service or product for a limited time without having to buy it. An example of this type of revenue streams is car rent companies.

Licensing: This revenue stream type is produced when acustomer pays to get permission to use a product that is protected by intellectual property rights. Through licensing, rights holders earn money without having to create a product or commercialise a service. An example of licensing is the media industry. A customer pays a licensing fee to media content owners be able to use copyrighted material. The same applies to technology sectors where patent holders grant the right to other companies, organisations or individuals to use the patented technology.

Mass market: This is a customer segment that includesa large group of customers withbroadly similar needs or problems (e.g. smart phone buyers).

Multi-sided markets: This customer segment refers to two or more distinct types of interrelated customers. For example, credit card company provides services to credit card holders and merchants who accept those cards. In this case, the company serves two different types of customers with interrelated interests.

Niche market: specific group of people with unique needs or traits (e.g., sports shoes or luxury automobile companies etc.)

Partner channels:  They refer to indirect channels that a company uses including wholesale distribution, retail on partner-owned websites.

Personal assistance: It is a type of a direct customer relationship. It is based on human interaction and it entails that a customer communicates with a sales person or company’s representative during the sales process or after the transaction is complete. The interaction with the customer can be done in person, by email or through phone calls.

Physical resources: They refer to all the tangible resources, including production facilities, materials, supplies and equipment. Some examples of physical resources: machinery and equipment (tools and machines used for the production and manufacturing process), office spaces and buildings (physical location of a business), vehicles and trucks (these are used for transporting products or for on-demand delivery services), point-of-sale shops.

Platforms/network: operating platforms to maintain relationships with customers.

Problem-solving: finding new solutions to satisfy customers’ needs or solvingcustomers’ problems.

Production: designing, manufacturing, delivering a product.

Recover: Recovery of energy or by-products from what is disposed of as waste.

Recycle: Conversion of waste materials into new materials and products.

Reduce: Minimization of use of raw materials.

Regenerate: Ensuring that the waste disposed by any process serves as a resource to the natural environment.

Reuse: Maximization of reuse of products and components.

Revenue streams: It represent the ways a company generates cash from each customer segment.

Scalability: It refers to the capacity of a business to grow in order to meet increased demands. It allows a business to generate revenue without being concerned about its lack of resources or small size. While the volume of sales increases, so does the growth potential and efficiency of a company.

Segmented: This is a customer segment that refers to customers with slightly different needs but within the main customer segment.

Self-service: It is an indirect type of customer relationship. In this relationship, the company has no direct relationship or interaction with the customer. However, it provides all the necessary services that the customerscan use on their own to help themselves.

Solution based on real market gap: Identifying market gaps in an industry is key to achieving long-term success in any business. This can be done through market research. If you want your business to have a steady growth you need to focus on making your brand appealing to the niche market you are targeting. By satisfying your customers’ preferences and expectations and by providing them a product or service with unsurpassed quality you increase your chances of having a long-term success. If you don’t do this, you will struggle trying to survive in the competitive business world.

Subscription fee: This is a revenue stream type which concerns charging the customer for continuous access to a service. For example, in a gym customers pay monthly or yearly subscriptions in order to be able to have access to its exercise facilities.

Subsidies: It refers to financial benefits that government authorities provide to individuals, businesses or institutions. Subsidies are offered to lower the burden on companies with financial problems, encourage the production of goods, boost exports or promote research.

Switching costs: It is an indirect type of customer relationship. It refers to the costs a customer pays when switching to a different supplier or product. It is common for companies to apply high switching costs to prevent customers from changing a brand.

Transaction-based fee: It is a revenue stream type. It entails that money is generated for a company when a customer completes a one-time payment for a product or service provided.

Transactional: It is an indirect type of customer relationship. The interaction between the company and the customer is done on a transactional basis. An example of this relationship is when a customer buys a bottle of water from a kiosk or convenience store at the airport. The relationship between the company and the customer is not really established.

Usage fee: This a revenue stream type that concerns the use of a particular service. The customer is charged for the use of a product or service. The more a product or service is used, the more the customer pays. For example, a hotel customer is charged based on the number of nights he/she spend in a hotel room.

Value proposition: It refers to the unique value or benefit a company’s product or service offers to its customers. A value proposition is the main element that differentiates a business from its competitors.

Variable costs: These costs change in relation to the number of goods or services a business provides. If the company has a solid operational plan these costs can be predictable. However, in any case, these costs are not the same from one period to the next. Examples of variable costs are: labour costs, materials costs, maintenance payments, utilities expenses etc.