Creating value: the recipe for growth
To grow your business, the foundational task is to create value. Creating value is the essence of business.
Whether you’re selling consumer products, goods and services from business to business, raising funds for a charity, or recruiting students to attend your college, job one is to create and understand your authentic value.
Value is what compels consumers or companies to invest time, capital or reputation because they are going to get something they want–something in which they find personal and corporate benefits.
At Valcort, we’ve seen this play out in hundreds of clients and partners over the years, and we’ve learned some common principles for creating value consistently and effectively. Here are seven:
- Understand who you are. Define what you do, what you create, what you value, what you want to be known for. Who are you and what do you want people to rave about you and your company into the next generation?
- Determine your unique value. What sets apart your company, product or service. Sharpen your value proposition. Creating new, unique value is the most difficult growth strategy. Start with updating your SWOT analysis, identifying, addressing, or optimizing strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats
- Build trust. To assure that your value is communicated, believed, assumed and embraced, you must build and sustain trust. You can be accomplishing great things, crafting amazing products, and developing great plans, but if you have failed at building trust internally, with your customers and vendors, and throughout your value chain, your progress is likely to be sabotaged. Learn more about building trust.
- Build relationships. Through trust-based relationships you can introduce and reinforce your value at every point of contact. Value is in the mind of the beholder. Work hard to understand exactly what value means to your customers, so you can generate and provide it. Value is determined by both supplier and consumer; it cannot take place with only one or the other.
- What are the market’s needs? Understand the unmet needs of the market and how you will have value as you meet those needs. Certainly, value represents the worth of goods or services as determined by the market. But also remember that value is subjective, and can change according to the circumstances your customers are facing. It’s your job to identify what drives your customers, and to construct your offerings around those drivers.
- How can you win? Find soft spots in the competitive offerings, where you can provide more or better value than your competitors. Identify the customers and segments where are you can create more value relative to competitors. Consider three ways to compete around value: First, create better value with impact–delivering a more powerful punch, added value. Second, increase intensity—more strength, power, or potency. Above and beyond what others offer, what the law requires, even what beyond what consumers may expect. Third, look at application– applying the same benefits to a wider variety of uses or number of platforms.
- Think about what’s next. The market won’t be the same in three years. Where do you think it’s going, and how will you fit in? Project market trends and the value you will present in the future perfect.