Keys to having a value creation mindset
How am I generating value for my client? Is my value proposition different than what exists out there? Is it easy or difficult for the competition to copy?
To understand a bit about some of the changes that have occurred in business in recent years, just take a walk down the cereal aisle at the supermarket. What a few years ago was limited to brands (with their associated characters), flavors, shapes and colors established and positioned in the market, today it has diversified in an important way to meet, from the needs and pains of the market, to regulation valid. And, if something is a fact, it is that we live in a time when it is difficult to differentiate ourselves from an increasingly aggressive competition and in times when any type of information is a click away, which adds to a increasingly informed, involved and demanding consumer.
How am I generating value for my client? Is my value proposition different than what exists out there? Is it easy or difficult for the competition to copy? Among many others, these are questions that we have to ask ourselves, not only to form a new business, but to constantly keep them in the conversation of any business. Hence, the importance of having a clear concept: value. I don't know someone who has started a business just for the sake of it. That which you manage to generate or solve for your user or client, is often your main secret weapon against the competition or simply being one more.
In this sense, let's review three aspects that I consider essential to take into account in the generation of value of any business: it is a constant process, it goes far beyond adding functionalities and, most importantly, it has to be people-centered.
Let's start with the fact that creating value is an ongoing process. What do I mean by this? It is very likely that, when creating a business, every entrepreneur really questions whether their value proposition is significant. Generally, he will validate it with the market, who will be clear: if it is, the business can take off, but if not, it will probably never happen that his clients are family and friends. The "trap" is that, when you have managed to create a successful venture, you consider that the value you offer today will be exactly the same as what your client will need tomorrow. Don't rest on your laurels, because this will hardly be the case. The creation of value has to be something that is on the table every time you make a decision in the company, because it is part of your essence and it has to govern your strategy.
The "trap" is that, when you have managed to create a successful venture, you consider that the value you offer today will be exactly the same as what your client will need tomorrow / Image: Depositphotos.com
Second, it is a fact that the true generation of value goes far beyond simply adding functionality that, sometimes, all they achieve is to hinder the user experience. In addition, it is the perfect way to become easily imitable, exposing you to your competition, in some way, reducing costs and going to market with a more competitive price or, failing that, with a more innovative functionality than yours. On the other hand, if what you offer is differentiated and specifically addressing a need in your market and, once established, you dedicate yourself to being the best offering it, it will be more complex for your competitors to “copy the formula”.
Finally, we talk about how, the most important thing in all this is that your generation is people-centered and this, it seems to me, is the essence of the success of your venture, no matter how simple or ambitious it may be. Sometimes, in business dynamics we can fall into the trap of focusing more on the competition (what it is doing, what it is going to launch) or on trends (what is fashionable or what is coming), than on your client. And while it is important to know your competition and the trends around your industry, they can never dictate the essence of your strategy or your purpose. Part of your client: what hurts him, what moves him, what he needs. Having a business is, like any relationship, a journey of mutual and constant knowledge in which the base is in trust and in making the life of the other (in this case your client), better. If you achieve this, it is more likely, not only that you can attract more customers, but that you can retain them.
Now, the challenge is really getting to know your customer. Although the most direct way to achieve this is precisely by asking him. Something that can serve as a guide to understand what you need to know and what to do with the information obtained is the Value Proposition Canvas , created by Alexander Osterwalder, in which, through a very intuitive tool, you can understand, on the one hand, the client profile, starting from their activities or habits, pains and profits, from there to build a value map that includes the "medicine" for pain, profit creators that maximize existing ones and products and services that attend to the the activities and habits related to the problem you seek to address. If you did not know this tool, I highly recommend that you study it in depth (it is very simple) and, above all, that you apply it continuously.
Although we begin this reflection by talking about the excess of competition that is currently in the market and how complex it can be at times to differentiate, it is a reality that there are enough pains and needs waiting to be addressed through the creation of value of new solutions. So my advice? Find a problem that you are passionate about and in which you really have the ability to generate value through a solution that you can validate. So, become excellent in what you offer and, above all, never lose sight of having your client at the center of your strategy, with a constant mentality of generating value.