You don’t have a business if you don’t have a clear value proposition. So What is your Business Value Proposition?
Businesses exist to solve client’s problems or a specific client problem – this is your value proposition. How well your business solves that problem for a specific client segment is your competitive advantage (see Business Systems Theory).
If your business does not solve a problem for your client then chances are it is not a viable business. This is also the case if it doesn’t solve that problem in a way that means your clients will chose your solution over other options.
Amongst the key questions that every business owner should ask themselves regularly are:
- What is my business value proposition?
- Am I clearly communicating my business value proposition?
You need to be really clear with the first question. Business owners are often natural sales people and sometimes the person we sell best to is ourselves i.e. we buy our own spiel. One way we do this is convincing ourselves that our value proposition is better than it really is or that it is broader than it really is. Just because we think that we can do something, doesn’t mean that the market will buy it from us.
Trying to do to much will weaken your value proposition, as will trying to do it for too many people. Your value proposition resonates highest with a particular client segment. Others also get parts of it (often enough to purchase) but one segment ‘really gets it’. Trying to sell it to the wrong groups devalues it for the target group.
When people are not buying your product or service, or trying to negotiate you down or adjust your offering; it means that either you are not communicating your value proposition effectively enough, or, you are talking to wrong people (I will deal with this next week).
Just looking at your communication – do your clients quickly understand what you are really offering them, what problem it solves and how it solves it better than other options? If not then this is where you should start making changes.
Sometimes it is just that we are assuming too much from the prospect, or that we are using jargon or poor information, sometimes we have just delivered the value proposition poorly. Whatever it is, if you have the right client in front of you and can’t articulate your value proposition effectively, then this will be disastrous long term.
Value propositions can we weak or strong. Remember the analogy about the headache tablet versus the vitamin. One is a must have and the other is a nice to have. Ideally your value proposition should be a must have, at least for your target clients.
So spend a little time answering these questions for yourself and then share with someone you can discuss it with for some blunt feedback. If it is weak then here is a great opportunity to improve.