‘How do you know you’re adding value?’
If you’re working in a not-for-profit organization today, you already know they are resource constrained, and there’s no guarantee that your job or your team is going to exist in a year or five years from now. If you own your own business, if you’re leading that company, even if you’re in middle management, we always need to be asking that question. If we’re not being indispensable then, of course, we could be, dispensable. Here are three key elements to keep in mind:
- Identify Your Services
The number one thing you need to do is identify the services that you are providing, or have provided in the past. What services could you provide? You need to evaluate, preferably with your team and the input of your clients, how well you provide that service on a scale of 5 to 1.
You should be able to have lots of data. If you don’t have any data or input from your clients, your team, sales metrics or other business metrics, you need to start with that. Make sure you go back and do that first.
Assuming you do have that, identify how well you are providing that service.
- Identify Your Client Base
Next, I encourage you to look at all the clients to which you are providing that service to. This is your next layer of analysis.
Ask yourself, if I am providing that service to entrepreneurs, and to small and large businesses, how well am I providing service ‘A’ to each of those groups. Repeat for all services you offer.
Even for those of you who know who your ideal customer is, you may call that your avatar, if you ever provide service to people outside of that niche, I would still encourage you to do this. For those of you considering expanding outside of that area, this is an important first step; how well are you going to able to provide that core service?
Again, the same scale, 5 to 1. How well are you providing that service in each of your client groups?
- Decide What Business You Need to Be In (or Not In)
One of the next steps is looking at, ‘What business do I need to be in?’ Who do I need to serve?
Here is where your tough choices come in. You can’t do everything. You can’t be everything to everyone (and do it well). Isn’t that true in our personal lives too? It can be some tough choices, individually, as a team, as an organization, however deciding which clients you are going to continue to serve means you will be more effective with them and become known in your niche. It also dictates what services you provide, what type of staff you need, what markets you’re in, where you need to be located, how to market, etc. There are so many important spin-off decisions based on a firm stake in a particular business you’re in….and what business you’re not in.
In a nutshell, you’re ensuring you have a strong value proposition. In a world full of distractions and noise, competition and new innovations, you want to stay viable and visible. I’m not sure a better way to do that than to be consciously deciding, reaffirming and cultivating the value you offer in your particular area of expertise and industry.
I have a tool that I’ve used successfully many times that incorporates these and other questions Would you like a copy? Download it for free here.
Get even more serious about ensuring you are serving the right folks and you are serving them in the best way that you can. That’s when you are going to guarantee, not just business success, but greater physical and emotional well-being as well!