Perhaps the more pertinent title for this article would be what happens "when" your business model fails?
Entrepreneurship is a lesson of many things, but none more than adversity and knowing how to manage change. For the same reason that most entrepreneurs don't write business plans and investors don't read them (See Article on "Do you Really Need a Business Plan"), business models go through several versions before they are properly executed and knowing how to prepare yourself for these changes will help you create a sustainable and successful business.
All businesses need a business model. It's what directs how companies earn revenues, make profits, and operate on a day to day basis. The truth is that most entrepreneurial business models (and even mature ones) struggle through a constant evolvement that when completed, look nothing like the original business model that the company's founders drew up in their business plan.
As the saying goes, entrepreneurs must not fear change, but embrace it. Entrepreneurs don't have the time, money, or resources to conduct all of the necessary market research to quantify and validate assumptions before diving into a new business model. Many successful entrepreneurs started on a whim with an idea and made the necessary changes as they went. The difference between success and failure for many was the founder's ability to embrace and promote change rather than resist it.
Business today is not like it was fifty, twenty, or even five years ago. Change is the new business strategy for many. Innovation is occurring so fast and companies are developing new products and services at such a torrent pace that the slightest hint of trouble with a business model leads many to change and adept to a new strategy right away.
A cycle of constant change, especially to one's business model may lead you feel that life is in constant disarray, but perhaps it is more important to think of it as a way of getting you closer to the right business model. This article isn't intended to imply that one can never build and sustain a single business model; rather it is intended to prepare you as an entrepreneur to understand that not all change is bad. Your original business model may not lead you to the fortunes that you had once imagined, but that it's okay, in fact it's more than okay. Entrepreneurs know how to adapt, survive, and make positive changes to ensure their businesses do become sustainable enterprises.