• Sandra Norval

Are you still winging it in business? You might regret it!

Winging it

You started your business with a passion for your product. You honed it until it made the best of your skills, polished it with a brand and marketed like crazy to put it out to the world. You’re ticking over quite nicely.

Competitors come and go, sometimes they will fly, sometimes they disappear, it’s all part of the joy of doing business.

But how much attention have you paid beyond that?

Have you worked on a ‘build it and they will come’ principle, or perhaps put all your energy into building a marketing funnel centred around a third party platform like Facebook or eBay?

What questions have you asked yourself each time you’ve reviewed your business?

How long is that going to last?

What are the risks coming your way?

Who is going to blow your world apart?

Why does your customer buy from you?

Maybe you’re thinking these things don’t matter, they don’t apply to you because you’re doing OK right now. And maybe, for now, you’re right.

But what if you’re not?

At Bluedotaug we understand businesses that are struggling to make it to the next level, and others who are really starting to fly but find themselves juggling like crazy to keep their team functioning and their key players from burning out. And we have the tools to help them to bring order, unlock the heart of what they are trying to do and truly prepare for the future.

You can’t build resilience if you don’t understand what the risks might be, and you can’t plot the route to your customers if you don’t work out who they are in the first place.

Missing this step can completely undermine your investment in your marketing plans, your operations and your team which in turn impacts on how you serve your customers.

Great news though, there are lots of ways to make a big difference.

Let’s focus on a product as an example.

You have a machine that creates widgets. It’s awesome. It churns out widgets all day long, the team knows how to operate it, pack the widgets and send them out to your customer. But your widgets are made out of plastic and only used once.

Right now, you’re still doing OK because the widgets serve a vital purpose and things don’t work without them. It’s not like plastic straws, you can do without those but everyone needs your widget.

Also right now, someone is designing a widget free system. Someone else is designing a non-plastic widget made out of unicorn poo. But you haven’t heard anything about them so you keep churning out your widgets.

In this simple example there’s plenty of publicity about the big challenge coming your way, you’ll possibly hear about someone getting investment in their new system or about a deal that’s been done to secure supplies of unicorn poo. But no-one is going to say your widgets aren’t needed until they have secured an alternative.

If plastic widgets are your biggest seller someone is going to lose their job when that bombshell arrives and your sales drop.

There are answers you can explore here, increase sales of other things, start designing new products, research alternative materials, buy another company (maybe the one making widgets from unicorn poo) but careful assessment is key to what you do next.

Your first question in all these options should be what is your customer actually trying to achieve when they buy from you. Do they actually want the same widget made from something else, or do they want a completely different option to what you currently offer?

What is the value to them?

Understanding the value of any proposition is critical in building your business. In the early days back of an envelope thinking was probably enough but as you grow you need to think more clearly about every step of the process so you can understand where your true opportunities are.

It also pays to have someone work with you who isn’t directly involved in your business because they aren’t emotionally involved in your approaches. You might get lucky and find that the engineer who designed your widget maker is excited to develop a next generation machine but what if the alternative is a shift to a digital service led approach to what your customer is trying to achieve? They might never suggest it!

Imagine if your true opportunity is to think through what your customer wants to achieve, look beyond the capability you have right now and start to develop a solution to a problem you aren’t yet suffering from!

Value proposition unlocks that possibility and leads you to define a strategy to develop it, remodel your business to strengthen it ready for growth and develop your team ready for success in your new direction. Maybe your engineer even goes on to learn new things and lead the project with you!

Just because you’re winging it doesn’t mean you will take flight. Sometimes taking control means bringing someone in to remove the chocks from in front of your wheels and set you at the start of a new runway. Wouldn’t that be exciting?

Have a chat about your business today, call 07985 610626 or email to arrange a visit!

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