What Is Your Proposition?
What is your business proposition? Puzzled by the term itself?
Your proposition is basically what you tell the world that your product or service is. It sounds simple, but actually it’s the most common cause of confusion in business.
I have attended networking events and ‘oh so that’s what you do’ or ‘oh so that’s what he/she does’ is not an uncommon phrase, unfortunately. This is not said about new recruits, but quite often about people we see all the time. It is only when the opportunity arises to put the meat on the bones, either through a 1:1 or 10 minute presentation that the penny eventually drops.
So if you are not clear and concise in communicating exactly what it is that you do, your business is suffering.
At networking events for example, the temptation is to try and cram your whole offer into a 60 second pitch. It is more effective to segment your market and concentrate on one at a time over a few weeks. This gives your peers chance to become more intimate with your service, gaining greater insight and thus be able to obtain more quality leads and referrals for you.
Another reason that consideration to proposition is important is product life cycle.
Have you been around for a while? Hopefully you have a healthy portfolio of income streams. Where are they in their life cycle? Are they a fad? Are they new, cutting edge? Are they still relevant to your clients or a bit outdated? Have you saturated the market in a particular location? Do you need to cast your net wider geographically? Do you need to drop some lines and give thought to fresher modes of income? Is what you offer quite expensive? Do you have low cost items that are quicker to convert or hook new customers in with?
A lot of questions that require a lot of contemplation.
I find that quite often marketing is just thought of as pretty logos, advertising, social media and websites. The proposition, income streams, relevance, product life cycles and geography are completely ignored. This is dangerous.
Have you carried out any market research in the last two years? If not then you could be losing touch with your customers. Send out questionnaires to existing and loyal prospects but also reach out to those you have not engaged with yet.
Purchase market data. Mintel and other agencies carry out analysis of markets all the time, so the work may have already been done for you.
I am still in the early phases of my business and am still test trading. My proposition has already changed. I pay attention to what businesses are asking me for, then I position myself so that I can solve their problems. It is not about me deciding what I do and forcing it onto the local business community. It is about staying in touch with the real issues and being on hand to deal with them to free up their time.
These problems never stay the same but can change rapidly and without warning, so if your business is still the same as it was five years ago, a rethink is very much required
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