What’s your Small Business Value Proposition?

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.

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Gary

CEO at 3Bug Media
Gary Shouldis is the founder of 3Bug Media, a web marketing company that helps businesses create 360 Marketing Strategies to dominate their market. His blog is read by over 20 thousand small business owners a month and has been featured in the N.Y. Times Small Business, Business Insider and Yahoo Small Business.
29 replies
  1. Margarette
    Margarette says:

    Every business owners has their own preferences when it comes to business value propositions. However, this could somehow affect the management and operations hence, it must be analyzed carefully prior to finalize and stick to that guidelines. For me business is all about taking a good care of your customers.

  2. Luke
    Luke says:

    I am an internet marketer for how many years now. It’s hard to trust anyone on the web that is why I need to be very careful in doing business with someone. Trust is very essential to me and I will rather focus on that factor first than anything else.

  3. William
    William says:

    There are some businesses who failed to reach success because of a weak value proposition. My business has started from a small seed and became a big tree because of a strong business model and creating the best value proposition. Making a good relationship with the customers allow me to maintain my business in a good state.

  4. Kristin Sojecki
    Kristin Sojecki says:

    Thanks for the response!
    Careful analysis with the end buyer in mind should ultimately give you a better grasp on business operations “post-proposition”. Similar to how a strong thesis engages the readers, a strong value proposition is likely to engage the customer.

  5. Kristin Sojecki
    Kristin Sojecki says:

    Thanks for your feedback! Trust is also a dominating factor for me, but consider if the return will ultimately be worth the risk. In business you’re going to be put in ambiguous situations, especially with e-commerce when that physical interaction just isn’t there.
    DEPENDENT on your type of business, networking via social media may be a solution to getting to know your client(s)better.

  6. Johnny
    Johnny says:

    We always need to give importance to our customers. We may not please them all but at least do something extraordinary for them. Giving them what they need doesn’t guarantee good fortune. We need to do a lot of research before providing what they need.

  7. Arnie
    Arnie says:

    I agree with having a unique online presence will give you more edge amongst the other businesses online. Give something unique and provide them support. This will help you get more clients too.

  8. Debbie
    Debbie says:

    This is totally true. If we want to have loyal customers, make sure we make them happy. Providing them what they expect from us and setting the right expectation are a must. Letting them know beforehand what we are and aren’t capable of doing will make a lot of difference.

  9. Jared
    Jared says:

    I have learned this from my business partner that we need to fulfill both our customer’s personal and emotional needs. The personal one is the product or service they are getting. They want to get that because they need to. The emotional part is giving them attention and full support if needed. This will make a great impact on your business thus making it grow.

  10. Natalie
    Natalie says:

    A simple personalized email or letter after their first purchase will give them an idea that you value them. They will keep coming back and share this great experience with their family or friends. Thus, you will both benefit from this gesture.

  11. Bruce
    Bruce says:

    Thanks for sharing this wonderful article. My professor wants me to present a reliable value proposition for my case study. I have been trying to think of a good one and I stumbled upon this website while checking Google. This will help me in so many ways. I will share your website in class so they can check it too.

  12. Bob
    Bob says:

    I enjoyed reading your blog. I might add that on-line marketing presents its own unique challenges as well. Consider hiring a professional web designer who will make it easier for potential customers to navigate through your product list and will polish the image your online business presents to customers; don’t forget grammar and spell checks; also try to avoid garish colors. If applicable, product photos and specs will help to sell your products but don’t forget secure encryption payment methods through a third party, not to mention a clear return policy. All of these suggestions should combine to make an on-line customer more inclined to deal with a small business. You don’t have to be big to look big on-line.

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