New value year 2011
The new year is always a discontinuity point and time for making promises. Why not deciding to start thriving your business towards new growth and untapped markets? Here are couple of ideas that might be relevant to you.
Understand your value curve
First you need to understand how your product and service offering is positioned in compared to your competition. This is not because of trying to beat your competition in existing markets but to try understand the reasons why you sell your products and why does your competition. Many cases the reasons are very similar and therefore your product is not diverse. This causes your value curve to merge with the value curve of your competition. In the market economy merging value curves lead to price competition and erosion of the value.
Seek divergence. Providing small incremental product innovations does not often make a big difference in your value. Seek something completely different and unique. It all boils down to people. Similarly minded people with similar backgrounds produce similar ideas. This do not get you very far. Seek radical divergence. Employ people from completely different areas of business than yours. Use external brainstorming facilitation. Read books. Study art. Go sky-diving. Start rock climbing. Observe people who use you products. Travel somewhere completely strange and new place. Do pretty much anything that you have not done before. See it, feel it. I can say from my own experience that diverse activities give you fresh point of view and plenty of new ideas. There maybe even couple of hidden diamonds there that open new markets for you. But it will only happen if you choose the seeking of divergence to be a integral part of you business.
Pick you fight. Focus on the areas which have value. Do not try to do everything, this will only make you mediocre me-too player. Rather choose to be world-class in something. Every extremely successful business has focused on a specific area. There is no point of trying to conquer the whole world at once. Similarly focus your effort on the activities which add value in your chosen area. Forget the rest.
Tell what you have
No one is going to buy your products or services if they do not know they exist. Communicate targeted at your selected audience. Do it with over simplified, even naive, but compelling tag-line. Do not change your message, stick to it for a rather long period of time. Use alternative channels like social media when appropriate.
These tips may sound obvious and oversimplified. As a matter of fact they are! There is also a good reason for that. The reason is to provide a starting point and to focus on few things instead of trying to do everything at once. So, maybe you wish to give it a go starting 2011.
Happy NEW VALUE year 2011!