We want great business results but where and how do we start?
The Nielsen Wire has a great blogpost on launching a new product. Their 12 steps to consumer adoption is based on actual data collected from tracking 600 product launches. Following these steps increases the probability of a successful product launch to 75%. Step One is to develop a distinct proposition that offers true innovation.
Adapting These Steps to non-Consumer Businesses
I talked about Entrepreneurial Focus in an earlier post. My mantra is that Entrepreneurs Focus on Results. The ultimate result is the success of your business, the sale of your product or service. It can be difficult to define the product when the product is not a thing. When I began my consulting business I really missed the bi-weekly paycheck and was willing to take any consulting job that came along. After capturing the low-hanging fruit of working with people who knew my style and my expertise I found it difficult to leverage my experience into consulting jobs in the wider market. I quickly found myself competing on price. Luckily years of sales training kicked in. I knew that leading with price is the response if you are not really sure that you have value to offer. To increase sales and protect my price I needed to lead with value.
Develop a Value Proposition
To get to results focus on step one. Develop a distinct proposition and offer true innovation. A new product must occupy an innovative niche. It must be a product or service that the buyer needs. Service businesses in particular need to understand who their potential customers are and what value they provide those customers. What is unique about the offering? And it can’t be quality, customer service, or timeliness. These are minimum expections that clients have when they pay for a service provider.
My unique value proposition is that I use my cross-industry experience to help companies protect their margins and increase their sales. All of my services are designed to meet this value proposition. It took a great deal of focused work to come up with a value proposition and services that satisfy the distinct proposition of step one above. It meant taking a hard focused look at my unique strengths, talents and business experience. The idea is never enough. It’s all about execution. Execution demands focus.
Which step is your company on? What kind of focus did you need to get there?