DEFINITION of 'Back Of The Napkin Business Model'

A slang term that refers to the representation of the basic components of a business model excluding any fine details. It incorporates only the core ideas and success factors of the business. The name comes from the notion that a quick outline of a business can be easily sketched on the back of a napkin to sufficiently demonstrate its fundamental concepts.

BREAKING DOWN 'Back Of The Napkin Business Model'

The slang term comes from a hypothetical scenario in which an entrepreneur pitches an idea to a potential investor over coffee, dinner or a drink. The entrepreneur quickly sketches the business model on the back of a napkin to demonstrate the feasibility of the business.

This type of business model should probably only be used as part of the initial stages of planning. A final business model should be drafted for clarity and color, including complete details on all operations as well as the short-term and long-term visions of the business. Without a clear understanding of how a business will operate and bring in sustainable revenues, the probability of building a successful company is low.

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