• Sandra Norval

How value proposition development transforms ideas into innovation

Turning ideas into a value proposition

How many times have you seen a product come to market and thought to yourself ‘I had that idea years ago!’.

How many times did you start to think beyond the original idea to consider how you could make it work?

For most people good ideas come to them all the time, but the reality of turning them into something tangible, developing the product or service, attracting funding, creating the business model (and maybe a whole new business), managing intellectual property and pulling together the teams needed to make it happen just seems too daunting.

For every product that makes it to market all those things have happened and potentially others have started to develop similar ideas and given up! But it’s not as scary as it all sounds.

This is where your value proposition comes in. From the notes on a post-it of your original idea you can work through the key aspects to work out whether the idea has legs, and start to map out where your market really is, who you would actually be selling to (the end user isn’t always where the money is – think about Google for example), how you can sort out technical aspects such as design, sourcing of materials etc, through to your approach as a business.

It’s the squeaky, rattly, prototype of what the business idea looks like. But the interesting thing about it is that it’s still flexible. You can go on to test the thinking, examine each element more closely, talk to potential customers and tweak and mould the ideas to turn them into something that is more likely to be commercially viable.

The days are gone when your first step would be to create a full business plan. You only need that when you know you have a viable idea for a commercial market, and even then, only when you are looking to attract investors, partners, key people to work with you, or perhaps your first beta customers.

You may actually find that you park some of the ideas you originally had and narrow your focus to get started, but you can always pick those ideas up again at a later date.

Working through this stage means you are testing the idea to ensure that you aren’t creating a solution without a problem, or that you aren’t thinking of the wrong customer in the first place. As your proposition emerges and you gain clarity it then starts to form the basis for your business plan, when you do eventually need it, giving you solid thinki

ng and a strong narrative basis to help you to communicate your ideas to others.

Heck, it’s even fun to work through if you are really on to something. If it feels like a real drag let that tell you something, could it be that you aren’t really that convinced by the idea yourself? If so, how could you possibly convince others?

You can work through the process on your own if you feel confident, but it pays to work with a critical friend, someone who will actively listen to your thoughts, articulate them well, spot other connections you might not have noticed but also help you to notice any gaps, or lumps that you could be removing. A well facilitated value proposition development process is like laying solid foundations to a building. When it’s done well the foundations prepare you for the size of building you imagine, after all you wouldn’t create foundations for a house and then build a skyscraper on them!

Do you have ideas you are ready to build on?

Make sure this time you are the one bringing it to market so others are sitting there watching you and thinking ‘I had that idea years ago!’.

For an informal discussion call 07985 610626, or email sandra.norval@bluedotaug.com today.

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