50 business models

BY Simon Lake

The business model is one of the essential elements of the annual report. It is now fundamental to understanding how any business creates, conserves and captures value.

However, it is the one element that causes the most head-scratching in corporate headquarters up and down the land. What should go in? What do we leave out? What are we trying to show? Do we really want to tell our competitors how we do it? What can we get away with? Does it make us look simple? Or complicated? Should it be round, square, linear or a quadrilateral? Do we already have one in a presentation that we could use?

All these questions have been asked in the last 12 months. But perhaps the one question we’ve been asked most often is, ‘What is everyone else up to?’

So we decided to pull together 50 business models from the most recent annual reports from the FTSE350. We simply chose every seventh company from an alphabetical list, from 3i to WPP. We have not judged them; the book is more a reference guide to provide inspiration.

But there is another question we get asked a lot. ‘Who does the best business model?’ So, on page 50 we finally come off the fence, name the best one, and give you the reasons why.

For a copy of the report, please click below to download.