Welcome to how to develop a value proposition for your business.
Having a crystal clear idea of what value you deliver to a customer makes it a lot easier for your marketing messages stand to out. And when you’re talking to your clients, or potential customers, or developing assets that will bring customers to your website means you can be really clear with those messages.
But there’s so much noise out there, that’s increasingly important. It’s interesting, I’m talking to everybody who will talk to me on my LinkedIn, I’ve got about 30,000 connections. So it’s gonna take a while. And you know, there are plenty businesses who don’t need to do any marketing really. They get it through word of mouth or they don’t have enough capacity to meet the demand in the marketplace, so they can create waiting lists.
It’s surprising actually, how many businesses are in that happy situation. But the stuff we’re going to work through today is where you may be like an accounting practice, or a law practice or you’re looking to grow or you’re looking to get investment. And in fact, in two weeks time, we’re going to be a presentation from an expert who helps businesses looking for investment. So you’ve got to be crystal clear as to what you’re gonna do.
So who am I? Well, a number of you will already know me. Basically, I’m a business and marketing coach, and the founder and Managing Director of Kub. We are a coaching and digital marketing agency. I’ve got various qualifications, been around for well over 20 years, just doing this kind of stuff and worked with over 1000 businesses. Charleh, my daughter, joined seven years ago to develop the agency, because I got fed up telling people how to do stuff, sometimes you just need to do it for people.
We actually work as a hybrid. So sometimes, we’ll be doing some stuff for you, or we’ll be coaching, or we will be coaching and training you, or it may be a mixture, using your internal resources as well as people using ourselves as well.
As I mentioned earlier, I have 30,000 connections on LinkedIn, and I’ve been using technology since 1984, so I’ve seen a lot of change. But a lot of fundamentals don’t actually change, which is quite interesting.
So why run these workshops? They’re completely free, and quite a lot of work goes into preparing them. Well, I want to live in a better world. I know it’s tricky at the moment with all sorts going on. But, if everybody does their bit, you never know we might make some progress.
So the purpose here is to help people compete in a digital world, to build on your knowledge. If everybody’s more knowledgeable, then we as an agency can do more clever things. Because whilst you guys get on do the basic stuff.
We’re here to solve marketing problems. If you’re stuck, please use this time to ask that. We are trying to build a community of people who use marketing, marketing professionals and suppliers of marketing resources.
And so what is vision2success? Vision2Success is a brand of KUB. Our main thing is the Wednesday morning workshops. We’ve got the book, drive sales with digital marketing, because sometimes you are stuck. And you have to learn this stuff yourself. So this is an intermediary book to get you started on the management of digital marketing. We’ve got three chapters about strategy and seven chapters all based on the things you need to think about and the key ways to drive traffic.
And then once you’ve done that, you’ve then got a structure in your head as to how you should be doing things. And then you can do a deep dive into HubSpot Academy or Neil Patel’s free training videos.
We have got a couple of training videos ourselves where we were doing face to face or via zoom, we’ve just put those online so that people can access them.
I’m also pleased to say we’re making really great progress on developing the marketing strategy and implementation app. We’re currently building in all the financial modelling into it. It is available, if you go to vision2success.co.uk And then go to the sign in Sign Up button, you can have a play with what’s called an MVP minimum viable product, which is an agile term for saying that it’s usable, it will does work, it doesn’t fall over. But it’s not got all the functionality in it that we’re building.
And then for those people who want us to do it for themselves, we have a process-driven marketing strategy and implementation plan, which we do for people where they don’t have the time, or where it’s absolutely critical that they get everything right.
So this is the book, just type in drive sales with digital marketing into Amazon, we’re coming up number three at the moment, it’s a little bit more work to come up higher, but it’s easy to find.
And we’ve also set up on net hub, which is a networking platform, independent of LinkedIn. It’s like a long line CRM, which makes life a lot easier. And we’ve got a group on there called Vision2success, it’s free, just use the sign up button if you go to mynethub.com. And you can join us on there all or let Rachel know and she can add you in. Or if you go to the Vision2Success Services page, you’ll see the community page there. And we’re looking to build up this community. So that anything you want to ask whilst we’re not doing workshops, you can.
And we also have a WhatsApp group for those who prefer WhatsApp. So again, email Rachel, and she will add your mobile number and pop you on there.
Okay, so how to develop a value proposition for your business. So this process has been brought about and developed over quite a few years now. When we used to do simple face to face workshops, and so forth, it’s all documented out there. I’ve not invented anything new. And there’s lots of material on the process I’m going to take you through, but I found it to be a robust process, even when in challenging businesses.
I did some work with an energy broker. And it’s incredibly hard to differentiate themselves. But using this process we found something that would. So I’m confident this could work in all situations, and it’s been tried and tested.
So today we’re going to look at what a value proposition is. We’re looking at a practical approach, how to develop one for your business. And then the third bit is how to differentiate yourself in a crowded market, which most of us are in to be fair.
So some fundamentals. So what is it? The value proposition tells your prospects why they should do business with you rather than other people and it helps make what you do crystal clear from the outset.
As I said, You’ve got seconds in which to engage people. We did work some work with a client, where, because of the nature of his work, he tended to talk a lot. And he tried to give you lots of information. The problem with that is that we’ve stepped away from it, because we couldn’t get him to focus. And is having a website put up by somebody else. And it’s lots of words, you’re not going to get through to people within seconds, if you’ve written lots of words.
So you’ve got to really think about the words you do use, and we’re going to look at some examples in a minute. So, Uber. I know it’s got its fans and detractors. I like it because you open the app, and know where that your driver’s coming from, they know where you are, it all tracks through, and it’s the smartest way to get around, certainly in cities. When I’m in Manchester, and need to get to somewhere else, I jus tap the app, and I’m away.
Apple. I was very much a Windows guy, and then Charleh wanted to start the agency and she wants to go down the apple route.
And with Windows is was forever doing help desk calls. I very rarely have to do any support calls for the Mac. And it works beautifully with the iPhone. These days, I can’t be bothered with the technology. I need stuff to work and I need it to work now. And so I love that approach of it being absolutely simple. They are beautiful. When you open up a new Mac or whatever, it does look nice. And they say it’s magical to use. But there are times when you go, Oh, wow, that’s really good. So you get a new iPhone these days, you stick it next to the old iPhone, press a couple of buttons. And it’s done.
I don’t worry about a phone upgrade these days because I know within three minutes it’s done. And I do have to go back to using Windows, working with clients who have got windows and so forth. And I aslways look at it and go, “really?” So you know, Apple, I think have nailed it. And it feeds through to everything. The point about this is it feeds through to everything you do.
We’re big fans of slack. Yes, you can use WhatsApp. But slack does have those little extra things where they’ve really thought about how people use messaging, and how the whole business uses it. And because we’re a hybrid, I’ve got people work at home, sometimes people work in the office and so forth. I can keep on top of the whole business, I can see what’s going on. And people can communicate quickly. Without churning through lots of emails so that key messages don’t g et lost.
So we deliver on our promise of making sure we do what we say we’re going to do when we’re going to do it, so there’s been more productive work with less effort. And I’d definitely say that’s true. And now they stand out as one of the leading work messaging apps.
The beers group. Exquisite diamonds wordclass designs breathtaking jewellrey. So you immediately know what the value proposition is when you go along and ask for the beers jewellery. So it sums it up really quickly and this will have taken ages to come about. So our approach, we’re an agency business coaching there are probably 1000s If not 10s of 1000s of people who do what we do.
But because I’ve got an engineering background. The rest of the team are very creative. But I’ve got an engineering background with a systems based approach. And if I want something to work, if you build a strong process, you build a build strong system. So that pervades all our ethos. So one of the sort of key things of what we have to be really good at is project management, because there’s so many moving parts to digital marketing.
And one of the frustrations I’ve had in the past, working with other agencies, as a project manager, is that, you know, they don’t do things when they say they’re gonna do, and, you know, and there’s so many little moving parts in this business. So that’s our focus. So we can, we can then promise, what we, what we say we’re going to do when we are going to do it.
So step by step guide. Now, I don’t know how many of you have watched Simon Sinek. But if you go to YouTube, and type in Simon Sinek, I think is better pronunciation, and start with why that should be a key part of this journey, folks.
You’ve got to have some to believe in. Now, you know, I’ve come, I’ve been I’ve been involved in businesses for 40 years now. And, you know, the old cynical approach is, well, we made widgets, so we can make loads of money, just doesn’t hack it.
You know, so we, in KUB, genuinely want to make the world a nice place to live in. And we can’t really, we’re only a very, very, very small cog in that wheel. But if we can help people be better at what they do, either as a business or in their marketing, then that’s an improvement they can make, and hopefully, then they’ll make some more improvements. And, you know, as they’re going to come in, we can we can move forward, that’s what we kind of fundamentally believe in.
We want to we want to help companies grow and we want to do it, give them processes, so it’s tools to Africa, not food to Africa, you know, so hopefully, today you’ll walk away with some tools, you’re gonna make your lives better.
So we’ve got one of our manufacturing clients, they’ve got a nice one, those team prosperity, they want everybody in the team to being to be prosperous, that’s, that’s from the cleaner to the MD. So it’s not about where the boss is gonna make lots of money or the shareholders gonna make lots of money, it’s about everybody in the business making lots of money. And their whole process for remuneration for bonuses is geared on that premise. And it’s seeped straight through the organisation.
So, it could be you want to make a difference to your market, the wider community or or humanity in general, but have something at a higher level than just we want to make money because money is a result of what you do, not not the goal.
You know, so just taking it down to more fundamentals. You know, you can look at what is broken in your marketplace, I mean, plenty of tradesmen and and people like that, you know they are one of many, but the ones that really stand out are the ones that kind of go you know what this is broken in my market or in my locality or whatever. I just want to give people a better way of working.
But the easiest way to to capture that is just as homework just going, and watching Simon Sinek start with why – the book is a great book. A lot of it’s in the video, though. So if you’ve been to one of my workshops before, you know big Simon Sinek fan, I just think he says it as it is in a very succinct way and clever way and gets that message over.
Okay, so we now know what our purpose is. You can call it your mission if you want but purposes a lot for me a lot stronger word mission goes, well am I am I going out and talking about religion or something with purpose, it is what it wants this business to hear to do. And my you’ll see all sorts of things about doing sort of strategy. But I’ve sort of over the years come down to 12 months, three years and 10 years. There is a thing called beehive which is big, audacious, hairy goal.
And if you’re running a very large corporation, you do think need to think of 30 or 40 years and not just 10 years otherwise you have a Kodak moment or blockbusters moment and I’m sure you think of others that fallen by the wayside that really really to be honest Shouldn’t have done, if they had stuck to their core principles, by the people who actually set them those businesses up, Kodak wouldn’t have had a Kodak moment, they’s have realised that they needed to go back to their principles, their purpose, and they would have been fine.
But they didn’t, they got into Suit mode of, of profits and, you know, annual, quarterly gross and so forth and just completely lost the bigger picture.
But if you if you think about it, in 12 months time, when you’re going to nail in 12 months time, that should be able to plot it out. Think about three years time, very difficult to fill in the gaps these days. But you should have a clear picture, you should be able to sort of either draw it or if you’re into NLP draw pictures of what you want to do, or just write it down or visualise it, if you can dream it in your head, you can.
And then 10 years, you know, if you’re a 30 year old, that takes you to 40. If you’re a 40 year old 50, and 50 year old is 60. So there’s only gonna be like three big transitions of these, you know, because I’m now plus 60. So that means mine is like 10 years time, I need to retire because my body just won’t keep up with this. So I’ve got to think about handling the business of Charleh, extracting myself out making sure that she can do absolutely everything that needs to be done to successfully run the business.
So you’ve gotta think What does overall business success look like for you? And I always have very interesting debates, when we get to the 10 years thing, it always makes people think there’s not really things past probably about three years, but when you think we’re okay, well, what we’re going to achieve in 10 years. You start questioning, you know, are they gonna exit the business or sell the business, you know, all sorts of discussions, So it does really help cement the purpose of your business.
Okay, so we then need to think of, you know, where do you believe you deliver value for your customers? We’re going to be talking about some processes in a minute. You know, why did this stand out? You know, do talk to customers.
Hopefully, you’re all getting testimonials these days. Because to be honest, a website with without social proof on it is kind of is not going to work so well. You know, what, what is it that makes you stand out? How are you different from competition, we’re going to look at some tools later to see how that can be… how you can actually determine that for yourself.
Okay, and this is not a favourite of many people. But I do find this really useful to find out where people add value in a business. If you think you have a standard sort of process that everybody goes through in some form, so you’ve got your your your corporate objectives, what you want to achieve, that feeds through into various marketing activities, that then hopefully drops through to some kind of sales activity, then you’re into whatever, operation production, warehousing, service, delivery, whatever, you know, there’ll be some kind of activity, business value, adding activity, even if it’s even if you’re a distributor, you know, part of your value add is that you hold stock, that means that it’s readily available the day after.
Then you got some kind of dispatch or delivery. So delivering services, it’s people actually going out and doing the stuff but if you’re shipping products, it’s obviously dispatch, and that needs to go into accounting. And then hopefully that results in financial success.
I can guarantee that if I go into a business and do a Value Stream Map of quite detailed all the activities in here, all the activities in sales and so forth, you’ll be leaking clients leaking profit like nobody’s business, it is incredibly difficult to keep on top of things.
But it’s an extremely worthwhile task to do. So if you completely flowchart your business from beginning to end, you’ll then see where you add value. Now there’s a phrase in business called – You either buy it in or you make it yourself – bio make decision.
Anything that is not part of your core activity, I would suggest that you buy it. So for example, all our accounts our payroll, our health and safety, our HR. Our IT even though I’ve worked in technology for a long time, we do have an IT support team, we add no value to our customer. These are just things to keep Kubs wheels on the road. So we give them to experts, it’s far cheaper.
You know, doing everything yourself in a complex world is crazy. I mean, you know, why would you do bring your payroll in house, unless you have very, very specific reasons? There are people out there who do very cheaply. You know, and same with the HR is hugely complex, whenever we have a problem we just email, HR, and their keepers, right.
So you should be focusing on that. And also this move to hybrid means that you really do need to be focusing just on stuff that you are good at and there’s that old phrase stick to knitting very much applies these days.
So, go through it in detail to figure out where you’re adding value, what is it that when you do something for a customer, you make their lives better? You know, what, what is it actually they’re paying for? And you’ll also, if you go through this process, and check it out, you’re probably find you’re actually losing customers, at all these stages. You know, what you need to be doing is right first time through the business.
Okay, this is the main star of the show, the value proposition design by strategizer. I was lucky enough to be involved in their fourth book which is all about team building. And they make it so easy – when I saw this on a clients bookshelf. And we were talking about how we’re going to work together and so forth. So what’s that term? We looked at our Wow, this is great. There’s there’s the first book, which is the business Canvas proposition, which we’ve talked about in previous workshops, which is also fantastic.
So let’s get to the core of the task. Value proposition canvas, this is a way to work through your business and the value you create your business. In previous workshops, we’ve talked a lot about buyer personas, buyer profiles, we were doing a creative team meeting the other week, and Rachel, who’s on call today, had done this amazing piece of work about the sort of the buyer persona for a particular pizza oven that we’ve been asked to promote. And the level of detail was phenomenal. And, and this is a tool to kind of help you get get to that level of detail.
If you’re selling to consumers, then knowing all their interests, and so forth, and what the their values and so forth is extremely important. If you want that Facebook advertising to actually deliver any return for you.
The old days and spray and pray with advertising and so forth are long gone, it’s all provided Precision Marketing, rifle-shot marketing.
First part is, we’ll look at what customers does what they’re trying to achieve. And we do this in quite quite quite a lot of detail. Then we look at all that pains, what is it that’s really stopping them at the moment and, and what games would be like to have think of these needs and think of these as want. So we start in this part of the diagram, then we go to the pains, then we go to the gains, then we can look at this side of the box, we line up all our things that we’re looking at, we’re looking to provide to our customers. And basically, just to have a stake at the table, to being even being able to consider you need these pain relievers do need to match these pains.
So if you’re finding gaps here in the things that they have a pain with related to the things they’re trying to do jobs to try to do in relation to the service and products and service you’re trying to deliver, then you’re not going to get past go.
So for example, we’re looking for an event management system for a client and there we build the site with a with one arm because they have a tight budget and so forth. Now because they’ve been successful, with the website and so forth, they now need a more sophisticated one. So basically, we’ve got to go back to here because their pains have grown. So in terms of pain relief, we’ve now Got to find them a better management system that fits within their budget. And then we finally finished with game creators, this is the stuff that really sets you apart. So this you have to do.
Now here, because this is only a wish list, this can let you look at this list and go right okay, well, we can do this, this and this, we’re going to show you to a later on, which will help you do a better dive into this. But this is the magic for me the Magic Quadrant. As long as these are all satisfied, then you know, what is it we can do that’s going to really set you apart?
So I’ve scripted this out, just as I described it, so that because this deck will be downloadable in there, too, from the from the website, you go to workshop, if you go to workshops, and then hover on the mouse, it will say watch previous workshops. So this is a sequence to identify the buyer persona profile, there’s been plenty of our workshops on that. So I’m not included with that today. Because that’s a almost a session in itself.
I’ve got an example coming up just so remind you, and then work out what the jobs are. So if you think of a bookkeeper. So you’re selling your accounting software, for example, to a bookkeeper, you’d be wanting to list all the jobs, so they’ll want to do their sales invoices or to do their purchase invoices, they’ll want to do the bank who want to do the VAT, they want to do links, and so forth.
So those are all the jobs that the bookkeeper has to do, then you need to have all the sort of the things that that person does. So then you go on to the pains, then the gains, then list like products and services in the far box, then do the pain relievers. Have you got any gaps, because if you’ve got gaps, that is the starting point, guys, because you’re losing business, because people are saying, well, they don’t do this.
So I had 12 event management systems to review the other day. And we found three that we’re going to progress with because the rest just had loads of gaps in their, in how they solve the pain. And then look at the game creators.
So this is a reminder of the buyer persona or buyer profile. You might have a business owner got one to 10 employees, they’re an expert in what they do, but no marketing experience, got various challenges and so forth. And, you know, because I’ve done workshops in the past, and people say, Oh, we sell to everyone, well, you don’t, you know, you’ve got to be raised specific. And you know, this new client that we’re now working with, one of my tasks tomorrow is to really understand who he really thinks he’s selling to, because that’s gonna be the starting point of how he then with this service adds value to those particular individuals.
So the next task, and don’t skimp on this task, if this is your business, write down as many things as you can think of in relation to this today. So we go back to our bookkeeper again, you list all the tasks and jobs our bookkeeper does, but they also make the tea they might do some pension, they might do some, you don’t particularly need to include those, but as many things as you can, because it might actually the reason for doing that is that it might actually surface some ideas actually.
So for example, the bookkeeper may do the pension. So we use nest, which is the government scheme. And it could be that they you know, one of the things that I’ve discovered about my accountant is actually they can do all the nest submission for me as well which I was doing.
So you know, it is worth X funding that jobless as being as big as possible and an OUT out there you might go well actually yeah, these are the pains associated with all these tasks. And that’s what we do we can remember use that so it’s it’s the more the better I think when you’re doing the jobs.
So now we understand the job they’re trying to do. What is it that frustrates them? Well, I ran a workshop a few years ago now. And one of the sales guys who worked in quite a lot of both capacitor organisations. And so in a couple of the end user organisations doing the sort of job that he was now selling software into, it was incredibly insightful. He was saying, oh, yeah, well, we have struggled with this, we stood with that. And it’s those nuances.
So if you have the opportunity to talk to one of your clients, almost do an interview with them half hour interview over zoom or whatever. And say, Well, you know, what is it that’s really bugging you? What’s really stopping you and really get to understand that pain.
There is a pain selling process, where you use lots of questions to dig deep to the pain as they call it. And then then obviously, past that salesperson, you show how you can fix it. So you take them really down quite low in terms of oh my god, you know, the world’s going to end the year, well, actually, we can help you with all this.
So it’s useful both in the sales process later on down the road, but also, in defining what it is you should be doing for them. And write as many needs as you can down. If you get too many you can always prioritise and go actually, these are the top 20 pains or top 10 pains, and so forth.
There’s a thing in creative processes, creative thinking, where you try to think of as many things as possible, they call it brainstorming or thought showering or whatever it is a phrase that they’ve come up with now, but basically allow the brain just to dump. don’t criticise, as soon as you do that, you start to close down the thinking process. So don’t be judgmental.
And so what gains, would you like, you know what we’ll get into a delight to make what would make their life easier? If you had a magic wand, this is a good exercise, if you’ve got a magic wand, what would they do better in order to fill that job? You know, so just really think outside the box. This is creativity. You know, that don’t criticise because you can always it’s very easy to to say, well, these are the top 10 And the other ones but those also seeds for something we’re going to do later on.
A simple list of products and services, the key products please don’t be we sell everything or we sell to everyone – you don’t. So our flagship consultancy product, is route to market strategy and plan. That’s it. That’s all we sell. That’s all we promote. But we then do all the stuff. If somebody needs something different, that’s fine, we’ll sort them. But in terms of our marketing, that’s what’s going to be our go to market products or services.
So have one lead product or service. And as people like Richard Woods, who’s one of the apprentices with Alan Sugar, he actually makes the whole company, a one product service company. But I struggle to see how that then translates into something that the customer wants. But but actually my takeaway from Richard is, you know, what is it you’re going to lead on? What is it that you’re going to major on.
And then the pain, we talked about this, make damn sure that what you do meets their needs, because if it doesn’t, you might as well go home now. And there’s loads of tools out there to do a competitor analysis. The web’s brilliant for giving you all this information, there’s no excuse you can find out pretty much especially with customers want more information upfront, you know, before they even talk to you, so the stuffs gonna be out there to make sure you do address that.
And then this is where you go on to the creativity – what is it in the jobs what is it in the pains and gains that you do that other people don’t do? What is on their wish list?
Okay, so three components for a strong value proposition – identify specific problems being dealt with by a specific audience. So you may have several value propositions, if you’ve got several sectors you’re dealing with, or several buyer personas, which is not unusual for a lot of businesses.
A value proposition for one sector might be different from another. We work with a telecoms company. They had six sectors. Every sector had its own value proposition. For every sector, there priorities were different. You think a phone system’s a phone system, but it isn’t. And so they had to think really carefully. For each sector, which are these? What’s the volume? Who’s a value proposition for?
So we have an app. And this is where the app is live and can be used. So why did we create it? Well, the version that’s running at the moment, it’s free, there will be a paid-for version, but thay’ll be September, October, and it’ll have some more Wizzy stuff in it.
The free version, though, that allows you to sort of start to bring this stuff together. And one of the things I’ve always been keen is mind maps, but not everybody understands a mind map, but quite alot of people understand keywords and so forth. So the system is designed around keywords, provides a systematic approach.
Ojne of you asked the question we sell b2c custom build houses. Well the customer can still get influenced by people, we have no control over architect, local building session. Challenges conversation, I’ll pick that up in a minute, if I may Teressa. Because this is we built this house ourselves. So I’ve got some familiarity with custom build market.
Okay, so if you go to app dot vision success, or you just go to vision2success.co, then at the top right is the sign in, sign up. It’s free.
So we have a thing called the buyer persona, which I’ve said earlier is really critical. You do really have to understand your buyer Sophie, because a kind of understand duress, the custom built houses. Basically, these are people who’ve got probably hire and professionals ABCs got some spare money won’t, you know they’re used to having what they want. And so they’re looking for sort of a builder who can really understand that.
We added another nuance on top, this is what’s called a passive house. It requires very little heating in order to maintain temperature. And so when we were looking for a builder, we were looking for not only somebody who understands our requirements, but also understood passive house which turned out to be a bigger mission than we originally anticipated. So Teressa is asking about influencers – we’re going to get onto that in a minute.
So as you can see, so we’ve ticked on businesses and these are all the things you need to think about. And one of the issues that Teressa has got is influences. Everybody’s been influenced, you know before people will even get to the point where Teressa is, saying yes, I can build a house that they’d have been to the building itself build shows that have, self build magazines. They’ll have watched every episode of Grand Designs and the George Clark stuff, which is what I did probably in Teressa’s target market. I got about loads of information.
So you have no control of that, so that’s fine. You know, there’s a in Stephen Covey’s book, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, you can only control what you control. Yeah, you can’t affect anything else. And so concentrate on that, try not to fix the world, you can’t fix the world but you can fix what you do. So it’s about, you know, making sure that you’ve got the right information at the right time.
And we’ve talked about sales funnels, and so forth. So that when you are found, you answer all their questions for them. You know, you make sure that what you do stands out. And that’s how you overcome influence, because it’s all around you, you’re just one of many unfortunately.
So we’re going to work through some of these pages, so I’m not going to go through all the ones but here, this is a page of tasks and desires. So this is where you document all the things we talked about the tasks and so forth. You know, make sure that you you’re really crystal clear on the job they’re doing, and where you help them with that particular task.
Challenges. You know, what are the customers pain points? What are the things you need to do in order to accomplish the tasks? So this is pulling from, you know, the sort of pain. So, in strategizer they call it pain, I kind of think of it as more positive and call it challenges but it’s the same thing. You know, what is it they’re trying to fix? What are you trying to do?
It’s been interesting watching Zero develop as an accounting package, you know, so I now have stripe connected, so people can pay by credit card, we have direct debit payments on the machine collected automatically. Now we’ve connected up nest, which is the government’s pension thing into it. So the accountant presses a few buttons, and all my nest of stuff gets sorted. And so it’s sort of gradually slowly but surely, over the last few years, I’ve been automating the death out of our accounting. So we don’t really pay the accountant very much either. Because a lot of it’s just, you know, pressing a few buttons, all our invoices going streamline. So, you know, over time, I’ve really reduced the pain points with with with bookkeeping.
You know, and so you think on such a, you know, I mean, sage, how the market wrapped up, but they had another Kodak moment, they completely made it so hard to actually connect to anything, you know, because they wanted to keep it for themselves.
Well the world’s not like that, it’s collaborative, you know, and if we don’t collaborate – it’s collaborate or die, to be honest, in today’s world, we collaborate. And we’ve, you know, we work with the digital creatives from Carol Tamses business network have been – and you know, that’s why it was, you sit on every table, and normally you don’t sit with a competitor, well, deliberately, we now sit, you know – separate meeting from the normal networking thing – we sit with potential competitors, but we work with with quite a few of them now, and we’re looking to work with more of them.
So then get to motivators, you know, what is it that going to buy them? These are the game creators that out of the strategizer and then you get to, you know, what is it that makes you stand out, what’s gonna make you remarkable, what’s really gonna say you’re different.
I don’t know your business, but in terms of your custom homes, you know, you may have a great onboarding process, you know, I hope you don’t mind me mentioning this, but there’s a company called Potts, and they do that kind of stuff. And they have loads of workshops and lectures, we went to all of them, the problem was, their sales processes falls apart because they haven’t done the whole value stream, and you kind of left in limbo land, you know, you have a fantastic, you know, workshops and so forth. But there’s no good onboarding process. So they lost us.
We fell through the gaps. And that’s why it’s important to do the whole process map because there’ll be great at the front end and then if you just fall through the map at the end of it.
Okay, so in the last 10 minutes, we’ll look at Blue Ocean Strategy. Blue Ocean Strategy is the book so this is the book, it’s a very heavy read guys, so you’re better off just using my notes. But if you’re into heavy reading, then you know, it’s a very good book, but it’s quite thick. And you’ll notice most of my books got post it notes in – this doesn’t.
I decided to pull a lot of material straight from the web, because it’s out there. And it’s a lot easier to understand. But you know, solid book, over three and a half million copies sold. It’s a sound strategy.
So we have red ocean waves swimming with sharks. So I’m pretty sure all you probably relate to that, you know, constantly competing against other people, so forth.
And the idea of the blue ocean strategy is to create that uncontested marketplace. You know, there’s some great examples, Southwest Airlines, and then then EasyJet, and then slowly, but surely, Ryanair, and so forth, but for a while they had uncontested space.
The idea is to try and make the competition irrelevant. That’s why we’re doing all these workshops, and so forth. So the people see us, the thought leaders, the experts, so hopefully, we’re the first people you come to before you start doing any any real marketing. And wht you’re trying to get away from is being beaten down on price. Well, competitor A does this, competitor B does this. Well, your competitors see you’re gonna be, you know, we’re looking for you to compete to compete on price.
If you ever get into that situation, you are on a downward spiral. And given that the financial crunch we’re heading into and with Rishi now quitting his job, God knows what’s going to happen with the, with the finances. We are in for a turbulent time that all the indicators are there. So it’s absolutely important that you drive to quality. And the only way to do that is to break this while your cost trade off where people just beat your bond price. Because if they’re doing that, they’re not looking at anything else.
So what you’re trying to do, and it seems almost impossible, but generally, the way we help the energy broker was we identified that technology was a solution for them. It’s not always everybody’s solution. Sometimes it’s just smarter thinking and so forth. What you’re trying to do is drive down cost whilst increasing value, then that’s called value innovation.
And sometimes it’s a very creative process, but it’s one that you should look at in your business, both in running your own business, and also how you help your, your employees.
Like my journey I’ve been on with zero, and connecting with everything that will connect with it does take a little bit of time, but I’ve driven cost out whilst increasing the value of what I get from accounting.
So this is a sort of the process, you know, comparing your business, you know, do competitor analysis, super important, you know, who are your competitors – don’t say we have no direct competitors, because you will have, even if they’re what are called type B competitors. They service, that pain or tasks that that person is trying to do. But they do it a different way. They are still your competitors in marketing terms of type B.
So make sure you’ve got five or six, and going back to Simon Sinek in the book, the infinite game, he talks about worthy rivals, you know, these people who you know, Microsoft and Apple were rivals, they sold computers, but generally into different markets, a different sort of people, but they saw themselves as worthy rivals. And I’m sure they learnt a lot off each other or should have done.
And then we look at Blue Ocean, which we’ll talk about that in a minute. We’re going to create what’s called strategy curve. And then you obviously need to then communicate that out to folk.
But this is the nub of the strategy curve. So if you think of this as your standard airline, if we use a EasyJet as an example, because everybody hopefully gets that, you know, EasyJet were expensive, you know, two to 300 pounds as opposed to 29 pounds or whatever, where you got food on the flight, you got well looked after, they had a lot of staff on the plane. You know, they had longer turnaround times, and so forth.
So EasyJet says, well, actually, people don’t care, you know, they want to use a plane like a taxi, they want to just jump on a plane and go somewhere. Do we have to have food? Well, let’s get rid of food.
In the early days, you didn’t even have an assigned seat, it was quite funny, you ran onto the plane to grab, you know, like you would a coach and grab a seat that you could get. They got rid of all the booking, you know, face to face booking through travel agents, so all that margin disappeared.
And the website was dreadful, to be fair, you had to be really committed EasyJet customer in the early days to use their website, but they got rid of all the humans. You they were able to offer higher levels of price of turnaround, because they were fast turnaround, so like taxes. So value for money was was great. And they helped to get the Brits flying around the world. And so they out competed on things that are important to a client.
So what you do is write everything, all the breakdown your thing into your service or product into the features, really break it down. And then from your competitor analysis, which you’ve done previously, you then score yourself. And what was great, when I worked with this other company, where the sales guy worked for quite a few of the competitors, it kind of ended up with my client – so this was absolutely phenomenal for their business, we were really able to pinpoint the bits where my client was weakened, and the bits the client was strong on, and actucally go actually, that’s super important for the for the customers, let’s let’s fix that. And wow we’re already ahead of the game in others.
It turned out, after this analysis, they thought they were struggling a bit, but actually, they were doing well, they just needed to focus on fixing a couple of things, the pain relievers which we talked about, but then they could then really sort of promote the competing factors.
The goal is which factors do you need to raise well above industry standards? You know, what things can you eliminate? What I no longer needed the amount of stuff that we do? Because we’ve always done it, you know, you’ve got to ask yourself why. And people are so sentimental. You know, you’ve got to get rid of sentiment.
Yeah, we’ve always done it. No, stop. You don’t need to do it anymore. Nobody cares.
And, you know, and going back to, we talked about the game creators, we talked about all the Job List, you know, what are the things that they’re trying to do? Maybe that they didn’t have to do before? Because you always get this gap between what what used to work and what what doesn’t work, and a lot of companies will carry on, do what they’ve always done, and then the market has moved.
So this is this is not a once in a lifetime job. This is you know, once a year maybe you review everything, you know, have their jobs changed you know, when we’ve got tax going digital, sort of corporation tax going digital and I’m working on my accountant at the moment, a few little things that need tidying up in my view on the account you know, so that we can press that button and it does it all digitally you know so that’s that’s changing that’s a big change that you know that went digital taxpayer digital.
You know, you’ve got new regulations you’ve got COVID, goodness gracious, you know, the, the changes that’s that’s brought in and so on. So you got to think right, okay, what can we do?
I mean, doing all these workshops via zoom pre COVID would have been on heard of. I always knew I wanted to do something like this. But it took COVID for people to go Yeah. Okay, that sounds good idea.
And that brings it to a close now. So the blue ocean checklist, again on the slide deck which will be available either later today or tomorrow or later by Friday. This is the process I take people through. And and so so yeah, so they’ll help you with that. And so sort of bring it together what Simon Sinek start with why on YouTube.
That’s critical for me. Really think about what purpose is of what you’re trying to do. Because that will then help you then give you that focus, which you need. And then download Canvas from Google search just type in value proposition canvas template, it’s all over the place. We’ve got a PowerPoint version of it. So if you email Rachel, and she’ll get your copy. And then say write down the value proposition and ensure your marketing plan exploits exploits those advantages.