A business model is the unique recipe that an organization uses to earn income and serve its customers and beneficiaries (or participants in the case of a non-profit organization or social enterprise). A business model typically describes what an organization is offering its customers and beneficiaries, as well as its inputs, processes and method of earning income and profits.
Business models design is about configuring the building blocks of an organization so that it is feasible (can work) and viable (can sustain itself).
It is not uncommon for entrepreneurs to play around with different configurations for their organizations until such time as they find one that works.
When unpacking complex and multi-dimensional business models, I prefer to adopt a relationship-orientated approach where I examine all the different parties that are involved in an organization and how they will work together. Only then do I dive into its inner technical workings such as its activities, financial model and legal structures.
Here is a tool that closely resembles the types of questions that I ask social businesses and non-profit organizations when I start to unpack their complex business models. I hope this tool will assist you to interrogate your own business models.