Very interesting look at the business model for Bird’s electric scooters, and how they’re taking a ‘business in a box’ (BiaB?) approach to expansion. Will internet franchises be the new Software as a Service business model?
The “business in a box” model allows for significant de-risking of product-market fit (which is very hard to achieve!) by providing a proven product to sell. Nearly 55% of small businesses in the U.S. fail within the first two years, and 40% of these failures are due to the fact that there’s no market for the product or service. A “business in a box” removes the “idea risk” from a venture, leaving the entrepreneur with geographic and operating risk.
If executed well, these models can be value accretive for both the parent company and the individual operators. The parent company benefits from faster and more capital-efficient geographic growth (no need for market launch or operations teams in each city), lower real estate and inventory risk, and better local execution. The entrepreneur benefits from the ability to be his or her own boss (the American dream!) without having to develop an innovative product and establish a standalone company.