By Princess Jones

Who you are and what you do is your business’ identity. What you do that your competitors don’t is your value proposition. It’s why your customers should shop with you rather those other guys.

You should have written your value proposition long before you ever opened your doors. But these things can change your business grows and changes. As the year ends, you’re probably thinking of ways your business can conquer the world in 2018. As you’re making your plans be sure to rethink your small business’ value proposition and whether it needs a little update.

It’s Not What You Do

The biggest mistake a small business owner makes when coming up with their value proposition is focusing on features rather than benefits. A feature is something your business does. A benefit is something that your audience receives by using a feature. Customers care about benefits, not features.

Take a look at your value proposition. Does it focus on the right thing? If not, now’s a great time to change it.

Reevaluate Your Audience and Competitors

Your company’s value proposition is built on a foundation of who you aim to serve and what you do that the others can’t do. Believe it or not, a lot of small businesses get up and going without ever going to the trouble of researching their target audience and competitors. In the process of writing your business plan, this research would come naturally. But many, many businesses are started without a proper business plan each year.

Whether you’ve done the research or this will be your first time looking into the information, it’s important to know who you’re targeting and who you’re competing against. For example, you could give your current customers a giveaway or incentive to take a survey that helps you identify who they are and who they consider to be your competitors.

Redefine Your Mission

Another key component of a value proposition is your mission statement. Maybe it needs an update as well.

What is the reason your business opens every morning? Why do you persist year after year? Has anything changed with your business in the past year? What must you do each day to consider your company successful?

If you want to check the veracity of your mission statement, show it to a few of your employees. They’ll be able to tell you if it’s more like a wish rather than a blueprint.

Give Your Value Proposition a Face

What you do for your customers can’t just be words on a page. It has to be a living, breathing thing. Sure, your value proposition should be the first thing your customers see on your website, but you have to find ways to give it legs.

Mascots, spokespeople, and slogans are all examples of manifestations of your value proposition that can give it life. Essentially, you want to condense it down to something that’s easily connected to your much longer version. Then you can use your new marketing tool to spread the word about what makes your business so different from the others.