The Heart of your Business Model
At the heart of every business model comes a company's value proposition. For those of you who may not be familiar with what a value proposition is, it is the precise guidelines of how a company's product or service meets the needs of customers. Every individual has their own definition of what may or may not be of value to them, but when it comes to the customer at hand, the way you manage and control your small business in direct line with your value proposition can make or break the business model as a whole. The business model from sales to management could severely be at risk if your proposition doesn't match the offerings of your business to the end consumer. You have to take the time to look back and really consider why the customers will choose to do business with your firm instead of other companies, maintaining a clear focus on who your customer is at all times.
Maintaining a strong value proposition is crucial when running a business, and will ease the process of doing business online. Value propositions that are able to differentiate themselves from those of other businesses work well interchangeably, online and offline, however, with all the new prospects and programs available at your disposal online, having a unique online presence will create added value to your business and most likely increase customer reach.
Verifying Value to your Customer
When operating your business online, you have to make sure that at the end of the day you have provided your customer with what they intended to receive as well as an online experience that they'll want to return to. When it comes to fulfilling the needs of customers online, they expect more with having to do less. From a consumer point of view, the online world doesn't fall far from the real world as far as the B2C (business to consumer) or even B2B relationships go. As long as you ensure to put your customer first no matter if you may or may not be dealing with them in person, a satisfied customer usually means a loyal customer.
In order to make your value proposition successful, something as simple as personalizing and customizing your products or your website as best you can in order to help the consumer find exactly what they are looking for. Fulfilling the needs of customers online is just as important as meeting their needs face to face and for that reason several businesses fail at such a task. Many fail to put as much effort into their presence in the real world rather than into their presence in the online world or vice versa which comes as a huge downfall when trying to reach out to both types of buyers.
Focusing in on the Customer at Hand
Whether your customer may be located in your hometown or maybe even on a different continent, despite the lack of physical communication with your customer and maybe a few cultural differences, there is no reason for you to treat them as if one may be more important than the other. If your business isn't able to keep up with both online and traditional in-store shoppers, chances are that you may be losing potentially valuable customers. Always remember that it is your customers who keep the business coming in at the end of the day. When operating your business online, be sure to always stay in line with your value proposition and at the same time keep your customer, as best you can, satisfied thanks to the added value that your business is able to contribute to their lives.
* Instead of looking for ways to be similar to other websites and businesses out there, think of ways to be different from them.
* Be sure to clearly identify your consumer groups along with their demographics, especially when there's more than one.
* Be patient! Don't rush into any business ventures that you haven't carefully prepared yourself and your customers for.
* Put yourself in the position of the consumer. It takes time to realize any weaknesses.
* For assistance creating your value proposition there are several simple templates available online that can help you create your own today!
This is a guest post by Julie Cornell is a freelance writer, WordPress enthusiast, and is currently the online community manager for Nusite Group, a specialty trades group specializing in basement waterproofing.
Photo Credit ideas4christmas2010.