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36 Examples of Service Business Models

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Service business models are a means for creating intangible value and getting paid for that value. While there are perhaps thousands of unique types of service business, these are all based on a few dozen business models as follows.
Ad-Supported Services
Bricks & Clicks
Club Goods
Creative Services
Education & Training
Financial Services
Gig Economy
High Touch
Live Services Model
Managed Services
Network Effect
Personal Services
Product as a Service
Professional Services
Project Services
Software as a Service
Transaction Fees
Transaction Spread
Club goods offer access to major capital for a fee. For example, a theme park.
Free-to-play is a video game model that creates popularity for a game by offering it for free with offers in the game for upgrades and virtual items.
High touch are services that are labor intensive and completely personalized. For example, an artist that will design a tattoo to your specifications.
Live services model is a business model for video games and other media that create the sense that there is always something going on with constant changes that keep users engaged.
Manage services provide a complete solution that reduces the overhead of managing something. For example, a software service that manages infrastructure, security and capacity for customers.
On-demand allows you to access a resource whenever you want such as a streaming media service that allows you to play movies at your convenience.
The network effect denotes a service that is more valuable when more people use it. For example, a free-to-play video game that attracts millions of players such that you can compete with others online at any time of the day.
Transaction spread is a service such as foreign exchange that buys low and sells high on every transaction.


It can be argued that all services are based on a few dozen foundational business models. Some of these business models, such as retail are amongst the oldest known ways of creating and capturing value. Others are recent innovations.
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