Will your business add value for your customers?

You’re starting a small business so that you can exchange a product or service you create with a customer who wants what you’re selling – you’re exchanging value with one another. But creating value is really the essence of business.

Sometimes it’s easy to lose sight of what “value” really means to us or to our customers. We can turn it into an abstract concept – and when we do, we lose that tangible sense of what actually creates value in our small business. The truth is, value is something quite real and quite concrete.

How can you create value for your customers?

If you want to understand how to create value in your business, think about being of service. All products of real value are embedded with specific ways of serving customers. Through that service, value is created. That which serves, creates value.

Let’s try a little exercise. Stop for a moment and think of something you own that you really value. Take off your business hat and see yourself as someone else’s customer. It may be a great pen that fits perfectly in your hand and doesn’t smudge, the satisfaction you get from your latest piece of tech, or the joy you get from your mountain bike. It doesn’t matter what it is, just so long as it’s something you would be really sorry to lose. Without it, there would be a small hole in your life – nothing like the loss of a friend or loved one, of course – but still, you would feel its absence. Now, in just a few words, write out exactly what you’d miss most about that possession.

We want your customers to feel that way about your products or services if they weren’t available to them. We’d want them to be a little sad without them. Perhaps there would be a little hole in their lives where your products or services once were. That’s value. And that’s the magic we’re trying to create for your customers.

For more about creating value for your customers, read about the elements of a value proposition.

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