9 Business Archetypes: How to Choose a Business Model to Jumpstart Your Online Business

A business model is simply how a business is setup to make money. A business archetype is how the business owner operates.

Diapers.com, setup as an ecommerce store, that only sells baby diapers. It will be normal to say it won’t sell, but the advantage the company had was linked to birthrate, which increase at a steady rate.

Over the first 2 years of a child’s life, he or she will need to use lots of diapers. Right?

That then means that once they get a new customer to buy, the customer stays with them for at least 2 years.

“Steady revenue.”


Gidicakes – I got to meet the co-founder last week. They’re basically into cake making. The office is in a building somewhere around Surulere.

Gidicakes makes cakes. Their uniqueness is in having different cake templates which can be customized to fit customer’s themes – wedding, birthday, anniversaries, etc.

Gidicakes uses instagram as the major avenue to reaching their customer. Once the customer likes the picture, and makes an order, they hand-deliver to them at home or a chosen location.



9 Business Archetypes: How to Choose a Business Model to Jumpstart Your Online Business

Below are some of the top 9 business archetypes found around, listen to know which one you fit in, and how to build something off that.

  1. The Eduprenuer — the Edupreneur researches specific topics, tactics, and strategies to help her customers solve specific problems. Rather than delivering them through freelancing or traditional books, the teacher uses digital products like ebooks, online courses, and membership sites. Examples of Edupreneurs include myself, Steph Obi.
  2. The Mediapreneur — the mediapreneur can take many forms, including podcaster, newsletter curator, or food blogger. What ties them all together is their source of income from affiliate marketing, advertising, donations and sponsorships. In other words, they make money from their content. Linda Ikeji, Bella Naija, Ofilli is a typical example. The audience is the product they’re selling.
  3. The Freelancer — the freelancer uses her skills to help others build their businesses. Common freelancing skills include web design, web development, social media marketing or management, photography, copywriting, and business consulting. Capeworx.com
  4. The Coach — the coach unlocks the potential of individuals. She uses the tools of listening, questioning, and guiding to help her clients reach their goals. This differs from the freelancer in that she exclusively works with individual clients. Examples of coaches include…
  5. The Merchant – buys and sells goods from other makers through storytelling and ecommerce. Konga. Jumia.
  6. The Retailer — the retailer is an entrepreneur who has been around the block and sees an opportunity to lead his industry into the digital age. He is a real estate agent, coffee shop owner, or insurance broker who sees the power of the web to grow his business. Lamudi.com.ng could be a good example here.
  7. The Nerd — The nerdy engineer uses her technical skills to build tools for others. She focuses on solving problems through technology. PayPal, Simplepay, Voguepay are examples of this.
  8. The Artist — the artist sells his paintings, photography, comics, apparel or sculptures directly to his customers. These “products” don’t systematically teach things, but, rather, represent creativity, beauty and/or emotional power. Examples of artists include O’Tobi Arts, Yvonne.
  9. The Maker — the maker is a craftswoman/man. She makes jewelry in her workshop. He makes furniture in his wood shop. She creates monogrammed linens in her spare bedroom. They use ecommerce platforms to sell their wares directly to customers. The maker differs from the artist in that he makes functional products rather than art. Examples of makers include sellers on Konga and Jumia. Orion Creations.

Can you combine these business archetypes?

Yes! Absolutely. Almost every Entreprenuer I know is a combination of these 9 Archetypes.

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