Using value propositions to grow your small business.
Want to differentiate your business from competitors? The key is having a solid value proposition. Now what the heck does that even mean?? The phrase "value proposition" sure sounds like some floofy buzz word or useless industry jargon, but it's actually a very helpful and important concept.
If you were to google the phrase, you'd get this:
But if we're being honest, I feel like that doesn't quite speak to why this concept is so important. Here's my definition:
Value proposition: The element of your business that makes you stand out from competitors.
My definition may be simple, but I think it's all you really need. Let's dive into some examples of what this might look like. Let's all close our eyes and picture something... okay maybe don't close your eyes. You'll need those to read this. But let's say you're the owner of a pet grooming business. You're located in a big enough town that there are a couple other groomers in town, so it's crucial to position your business in a way that stands out from the crowd. What do you do better or differently than them? What makes your business special?
To make this process easy, we can look at a few areas in which you might be able to stand out:
Level of service: Do you provide top notch service? Do you have highly-trained, empathetic customer service representatives to walk your clients through every step of the process? Maybe you pride yourself on providing a concierge-type service? If so, maybe your value proposition falls under this category.
Pricing: If your pricing falls on either end of the bell curve for competitive businesses in your industry/area, this may be your ticket! There are folks who are specifically looking for both luxury and affordable products or services for almost everything.
Personal: Take a deep look at you to see if any of your unique personal experiences, qualifications, or characteristics can help you to stand out. Maybe you're a total expert in your field and you've won tons of awards or maybe you're a parent. Either way, people will love learning about you, and you'll gain tons of credibility.
Equipment: This might be the category for you if your equipment is brand new, unique, or state of the art. This can apply to tons of businesses from manufacturing to gyms to salons, and more!
Unique experience: You've heard of yoga, everyone's heard of yoga. But have you heard of "goat yoga" or "gin and tonic yoga," maybe a local studio near even you offers "rescue dog/cat yoga!" These are some examples of extremely unique experiences that certainly make for a memorable value proposition.
Niche specialization: Let's look at that pet grooming example I mentioned previously. Most pet groomers do dogs, but few offer grooming services specialized for cats. If your business provides a unique, specialized service or product, that is a great value proposition!
To give you another example, I want to talk about my value proposition and how it's guided the design of my website. I've founded my business on the idea that there are tons of small business owners who know they need to put more energy into marketing, but find themselves in a position where: a. they don't have the budget to hire a specific marketing staff member, b. they don't have the budget to pay the retainer for a larger marketing agency, and c. they don't have the expertise or the time it takes to learn and properly execute a good marketing strategy. I've tried to condense this in easily digesteable bites on my website as you can see here:
I'm a big believer in marketing with a purpose, and having a solid value proposition can really help with this. You can use your value prop to guide all your marketing content. When you design your logo, website, social media posts, blog posts, etc. with a main selling point in mind, you're able to put forward a strong, cohesive brand that tells your story. To me, that's the essence of successful marketing.
If you have any questions, please reach out! I'd love to help.