The BRIE Model: Definition, Application & Techniques

Instructor: Nick Chandler
When starting a business, there is a long list of things to be done. This lesson looks at how the BRIE model is used to help entrepreneurs plan the tasks involved in setting up a business.

What's the BRIE Model?

Thinking of starting your own business? There a lot of things to think about - finances, marketing, product distribution, and more. Where do you even begin?

The BRIE model is a way for an entrepreneur to think about the main activities that are required to get a business started. It involves setting a checklist of tasks that you should undertake for each step. Businesses are more likely to survive if most, if not all, the items in each category are checked. There are four main elements that the acronym stands for:

  1. boundary
  2. resources
  3. intention
  4. exchange

These can help you as a form of a checklist - making sure that as many tasks relating to an element have been completed as possible. Let's look at each one in turn.


Boundary is all about creating a place for your business. This doesn't only mean a physical location and headquarters, but also establishing a place for the company in people's minds.

To establish a physical location means registering the business with the state and associated tasks, such as setting up internet / phone connections, and opening a business account at the local bank.

To place the business in people's minds, a company website needs to be set up and, if possible, a domain name that relates well to the business.

For example, if you have a company called Aztec Mobile Communications, then you could set up a domain name with or Print business cards and distributing them at every possible place where potential clients will see them.

Establishing a company and its boundaries give a sense of putting the name on the market, but also sets up a base where resources are stored and kept safe, such as products, stationary, PCs, and so on.


The resources step refers to the items that the business possesses to make it function.

Informational Resources

Informational resources may be the owner's or employee's product knowledge and experience in the industry, or even the knowledge of how to run a business. If you set up the business based upon a particular innovation, register the new product as a patent or trademark so that other companies cannot copy the product and take your business.

If you are less experienced, then informational resources will need to be developed through staff or training courses on how to run a business and understand the workings of the industry.

Human Resources

Human resources may be limited in the early days of a business, after all, money is tight and paying employees is an extra cost. Often human resources may be the owner, an administrative assistant, and say, a van driver, to take care of deliveries, for example.

Consider the suitable team for running the business (human resources), interviewing, and selecting the employees.

Materials And Equipment

The materials to start a business involve the raw materials to get the production running as well as a starting inventory, the first lot of products to start selling or distributing. The equipment needed could include PCs, stationary, machinery, and facilities to get the business into operation.

It may even include the company van for the delivery man or tablets for sales staff so that they can easily display the latest range of products to a potential customer.


The intention refers to the desire of the entrepreneur to start a business and make it into a success. You might have a vision of the company growing into an empire or being hugely successful. Give a lot of thought to the long term and analyze the market potential.

From the analysis, decide on the target market and methods to advertise the product or service. Be sure you are motivated enough to operate the company regardless of the cost in time and money.

This step involves a lot of planning, not only through market research, but with writing a business plan and preparing a budget of the potential income and expenditure. If possible, a forecast of the sales, costs, and profits for the coming months would be a benefit too.

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