This is a guest post by Nik @Career_Journey who is a coach who provides career and Business Coaching services. He has been employed in some of the coolest companies (Apple Computer) and challenging environments (North Sea Oil Platforms).
Nik has been laid off multiple times and now has his own coaching practice. He has a positive outlook on life and is always willing to help his next client on the way to a successful Career Change.
Recently I wrote an article about the emotional challenges of starting up a business. One of the first challenges is defining what you have to offer and understanding the value of that offer.
First we have to understand what value really means.
Let’s go back in history when people used to trade in goods rather than money. If you had lots of chickens at home you could trade them for milk. The milkman would need eggs and since he had plenty of milk, a trade could take place. Let’s say 3 eggs for a liter of milk. Now if the chicken owner also had a goat, he could get some milk from his goat, so the milkman’s milk was not so valuable for him, so he might only offer 2 eggs.
Depending on the situation of the sellers and purchasers,
a product (the same product) could be less or more valuable.
This sounds logical but many people forget that value is based on someone’s circumstances. Let’s look at a blogger example; let’s say 1 person clicks on your add per 10 visits and you get $1. So if you write a great guest post that attracts 500 readers, then that post has a value of $50.
Then you might put that same post (we don’t recommend doing that as it creates duplicate content, this is just an example) on another blog and suddenly you have fewer clicks for the same traffic.
Let me give you an example: people spend on average $2K on cat accessories and $5K on dog accessories over the lifespan of their pet, so you might blog/write about products that keep your house smelling nice.
A great article on how to deal with pet smells can have significantly
different results if you post it on a cat blog rather than a dog blog.
For you see, dog owners might have more eggs (money to spare on their pet) so won’t mind trading an extra egg for the smell remover that you sell on your website. Even if the post is great – which it should be since it is your guest posting – the results can be completely different because the people that come to your blog from another source might not see your ads as valuable as the people on the other blog.
Sometimes it could well be that you get no benefit from your post and you have wasted a lot of effort for nothing. Can you imagine trying to sell eggs to chicken owners? Don’t be that person!
Value for the seller clearly exists when someone
wants something AND is willing to pay for it.
No point selling pink elephants, because while most kids want them no parent will pay for them and no kids are able to pay for them. Sorry pink elephant sellers, you do not offer value. (If you do have a viable pink elephant business, answers on a postcard please :-).)
Here are some different ways to look at what value can be:
Whatever services or products you provide have to be useful and have to have a fair price.
For identical products and services, value is the lowest cost for providing that service or product in a reliable way; the lowest cost for providing the appearance, attractiveness and features, which the customer wants.
Some products or services are more useful than others or more useful to those who have a higher need for the product. So if you are defining a service, think about its value to your customer.
Start-ups often forget the customer; what demands people have,
what they need and what they are willing to pay for it!
When you are starting out, do some surveys and test the waters before you invest large amounts of time marketing and selling a service that no-one wants, needs or can afford.
So let’s say you have a great product that people need and can afford and it makes you money, so then the only question is – why buy from you?
In order to convince clients to buy from you, you need something unique – something that only you have. Maybe it’s the way that you serve your clients; maybe it is your friendliness or that you give something extra that others don’t.
Whatever you sell, you need something special in order to get people
to buy a similar product from you, rather than the competition.
When you can clearly answer the question “why should I buy from YOU instead of anyone else” – then you are offering true value. Here are some resources from GrowMap to help you find YOUR answer to that question:
- Create Your USP By Looking At What Your Competitors Aren’t Claiming
- Unique Selling Proposition (USP)
- ABC’s of USP’s: Differentiate or Die (Part 1) – USP (Part 2) – Unique Selling Proposition (Part 3)
- Your USP – Just Hyped Nonsense Or Business Brilliance?
- Discover Your Unique Selling Proposition
Latest posts by Nik Lemmens (see all)
- Are You Really Offering Value to Your Customers? - April 8, 2012
- Small Business Startup: Overcoming Emotional Challenges Whilst Setting Up Your Business - February 29, 2012