Focus on Value to Gain Support for Your New Business
Getting support for a new idea can frustrate an entrepreneur immensely. Many people seem to say “Yes, but…” to every idea or suggestion you put forward. This vexing response leads you to conclude that these individuals are not interested in supporting or encouraging you to pursue your dream. Instead, they seem focused on rejecting it or convincing you that it will not work. Many of these individuals may actually be trying to help. If you listen to what comes after the words “Yes, but…” instead of rushing blindly forward, you may be ignoring potentially helpful ideas and suggestions.
Entrepreneurs can focus so intensely on their desire to conquer the world that they often fail to recognize constructive advice. This is easy to recognize if you describe your business in terms such as “Transforming the way…”, or “Revolutionizing the industry…” or “Reinventing something… ” These phrases are intended to impress people by convincing them that you are planning to accomplish something on a grand scale and therefore you are worth the attention you desire.
Transform, revolutionize, reinvent. These words inspire many entrepreneurs to take the leap into starting a new venture, and then attempt to attract investors to develop new products and services. Unfortunately, these words say little to nothing about the business you propose to create aside from the product or service category. Frankly, these concepts also imply something significant needs to occur in the industry in order for you to succeed. This may be interpreted as highly risky to investors looking for a sound business idea to grow their money.
To attract investors, partners and ultimately customers, you must articulate a more compelling value proposition. What is a value proposition? It is a statement about a specific benefit that will be gained by the stakeholder. For investors, this optimally translates into a handsome return on their investment. The compelling story for them reveals, amongst other things, how the business makes money, the size and your ability to reach the target market, an accurate assessment of the costs and effort involved, an understanding of key risks and your plans to mitigate them, and a realistic understanding the profit potential of the business.
For customers, the compelling story appeals to their desire or need for improved performance, responsiveness, convenience, cost, durability, ease of access, decision making and more. Benefits that translate into specific productivity or lifestyle improvements or that create for them an advantage in the marketplace in which they operate. For partners, access to new markets and customers or lower operating costs might be good value propositions. Communicating your business idea in these terms may ultimately imply that business success will require a transformation of something in the marketplace. However, that transformation is enabled by the value that you are delivering to the market and not the other way around.
The best business ideas are communicated in simple terms so that everyone understands quickly why a customer – many of them – would want this product and how you plan to deliver it to them in a new way at a cost and price that will impress everyone involved. The more customers you can find who agree with this proposition, the better. Stay focused on the core value propositions of your business and others will find it a lot easier to join in.