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Value your Product

Are you really clear on the value of your product or service?

A quick look at the synonyms suggested for value came back with; merit, worth, usefulness, use, utility, practicality, advantage, desirability, benefit, gain, profit. That’s not a bad starting point for considering the unique value you provide in your business.

Firstly lets consider why Unique Value Proposition (UVP) is such a vital descriptor of your business. Without being clear on unique value then what sets you apart from your competition? If you can't be differentiated on value then your potentila clients will choose on price which leads to the kind of competition you should avoid.

UVP can be a combination of factors that sets you apart and, once decided upon, should run through all your communications with potential clients.

So let’s consider some categories of value. A qualification or registration such as Gas Safe, qualified electrician or a medical qualification. Here you add value because you can do something that a customer can’t do. The value is in the reassurance that you provide in providing a service to a particular standard. By their nature there are likely to be many others with the same qualification and so this can usually only be part of your UVP but it shouldn't it be ignored.

A skill or trade - carpentry, car mechanic or hairdresser. In these cases you can do something your client could possibly do but would be very inadvisable. Consider the value as not only in the trade or skill but in reassurance, safety and piece of mind of a job not just completed but completed professionally. The focus should be on the outcome completed in a shorter timescale and to a professional standard.

Linked to the above might be specialist knowledge, such as in IT support. Of course, similar to the above, this is an area your client could do for themselves and, frequently, the knowledge is out there somewhere on the internet. The value is in the application of the right knowledge at the right time. To having the information on tap, in a usable format and, as mentioned previously, a job well done with the reassurance and peace of mind that brings. Beyond the problem solving you should also consider the preventative function of a service that avoids issues in the first place. How does this benefit the customers peace of mind and profitability?

There are of course task we can all complete fairly safely and moderately competently. Everyone can iron clothes or wash their car but yet there are many thriving businesses that provide these exact services.

Every so often we (my wife) decides that a room needs decorating. No problem, I’ll do it, it’s a small task, it will make a change from the day job and won’t take long. Inevitably I end up hating every minute of it, always takes longer than planned and there is always that little patch I missed or a flaw that taunts me every time I walk past. This is followed by the promise that "I’ll pay someone to do it next time". The value of the painter here is relieving my frustration. Taking on a job I don’t like or I have decided I don’t have the time or inclination to complete. And also, as we see once again, probably a better result.

As for Ironing, surely everyone can do that! It’s the weekend, a hard week has passed, time to spend with the family or to relax and enjoy. Just need to do the ironing first! Releasing time is the key value here. Allowing your client to spend their free moments where they want to be. Your not selling the ironing but the other things they could be doing. Always bear in mind that if for a business owner you are saving them time you are also adding to their profits!

Finally how about a different point of view? In both business and home life people become set in their thinking and can sometimes only see one way forward. You may have plans to improve your home but a designer can give you other options. You have a marketing or development plan for your business but an outside view may get you considering different approaches.

So, you’re Unique Value Proposition will likely combine several of these elements and be written from the perspective of the client. Start with a your ideal client then a major problems you solve and the benefit that brings followed by a list of other benefits. Once your happy with use it widely, including when you are asked what you do, and it will attract the right people to the business.

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