The starting point for any successful venture is when your passions and skills provide an answer for—as Buechner calls it—the world’s deep hunger.
Since I’ve started working alongside small business owners, I’ve been surprised by how many of them don’t have a professional outline of what this actually looks like for their business.
Recently, I worked my way through The Business Model Canvas from Alexander Osterwalder and Yves Pigneur’s book “Business Model Generation.” That starting point I mentioned above is found when you uncover the needs presented within your customer segments and the value propositions that your business is offering to meet those needs.
Outlining value propositions and customer segments aren’t easy. They take research, detailed analysis, and continual evaluation to ensure that each customer segment is accurately represented. Here’s why this is so important…
Value propositions define your business.
Understanding the values you bring to the market requires a great deal of self-awareness. It means you’re fully aware of the true value (not price) of your products or services, the lifespan of those offerings, and how it’s different from what your competitors are offering. Values help you work efficiently, they help you stay on mission, and they build a consistent brand message that stands out in the market.
Customer segments define your audience.
Knowing the audience that your products or services are intended for will determine how you talk about your business in the market place. It will help potential customers know if what you offer is the right fit for them and it will help you know if your current customer relationships are the best for your business.
Defining value propositions and customer segments is hard and it takes a professional approach. But without them, you’re hoping for lightning to strike.
Take some time with your team (or bring in some outside help) to work through Stategyzer’s Business Model Canvas. It might affirm things you already knew and it will most likely uncover new details or connections you haven’t considered before. Most importantly, it’ll help you establish the professional approach that your business needs.