Have You Nailed Your Value Proposition?

By Esther Vargas

One of the areas that I see so many entrepreneurs and small business owners struggling with is defining and articulating their Value Proposition. Failure to effectively communicate your Value Prop often results in your audience not fully appreciating the value that you bring to the marketplace, and will often be reflected in your sales (or lack thereof).

In some cases, when asked what their Value Proposition is, some entrepreneurs default to their Elevator Pitch, not realizing that there can be a difference. The Elevator Pitch serves as a brief statement that defines your target market and how you intend to help them and is commonly used at networking events and icebreaker conversations to explain your business idea to a captive audience (of however many). The Value Proposition, on the other hand, takes the Elevator Pitch a step further towards also communicating the unique value which you offer your target customers relative to others in the industry. Note that the operative word is “unique”.

Consider these questions as a starting point for creating, or assessing the effectiveness of, your Value Proposition:

  • What aching pain are you, once-and-for-all, resolving for your customer and the marketplace? Tip: The more costly, persistent, nagging, troublesome, worrisome (you get it) the problem, the better.
  • What truly differentiates your solution from the one your target customer is currently using or considering?  
  • What unique value can/do you offer that is irresistible (from the perspective of your target customer, of course)?   
  • Does your business model enable you to serve your customers efficiently and effectively? 
  • Why would it be difficult for a competitor to replicate or catch up with the adoption of your solution?  

As you can tell, there is an art and a discipline to designing a compelling Value Proposition. It’s the art and discipline of filling a critical gap in the marketplace, as a result of identifying and getting to know your target customers so well that your solution is so perfectly and uniquely tailored to their needs…so much so that they are willing to pay (ideally a premium!) for it.  

At the UCFBIP, we spend weeks, sometimes months, guiding our clients through a proven process by which they can achieve said product-market fit, and score a winning Value Prop. If you haven’t yet come up with your compelling and irresistible Value Proposition, perhaps it would be worth investing a bit more time and effort in getting to know your target audience more deeply; i.e. better understanding their needs, their frustrations, their desires, their decision-making and buying habits, etc. You may just uncover a key missing ingredient (or two) in your customer and market knowledge which will enable you to truly nail your Value Proposition.