Small Business Growth Group Week 2: Creating Your Value Statement
Recap of the previous class: Inventory, Organize, and Manage Marketing
The class kicked off the series by diving into some light business housekeeping. There was a review of existing materials and past campaigns. It was important to examine and measure what worked and what didn’t.
There was a pivotal exercise where we ranked what worked and examined the costs of different efforts – including the colossal hidden costs and what the real revenue result was for each.
Finally, the week ended by sharing a 30-minute routine Monday through Friday and setting the checklist or tasks in the calendar. These hyper-focused blocks are dedicated to keeping small business owners on track and building momentum. There were a few tools and an outline provided to activate growth milestones. Next, we’re going to create inspiring small business value statements.
What is a value statement?
Let’s start by defining the term ‘value statement’. Asana and FreshBooks wrote posts where they do a good job of going in-depth to define a value statement, but in short, it’s the truth about the company. No lipstick, no slick suit, no fluff. A value statement is bold and declares clearly and succinctly what the company morals, principles, and priorities are.
Further, a great value statement acts as a beacon that sweeps across the noise of unimaginative, uninspiring, and homogenous statements from other brands. It steps away from other competitors who simply settle for toeing the line in the space.
Before we start tinkering with any value statement, a bigger conversation is needed. We’ll kick off by going deep, digging into what inspired every entrepreneur to step off the line that most people toe: working for a company vs. working directly for customers.
Grab your business owner counterpart and start by sharing what it was that nudged you both to take that first courageous step. What did you want to offer the world that you weren’t able to offer in your past jobs? Start first with each owner’s inspirational thoughts. Explore why was it so compelling to you, and why you think it would be compelling to others. In the class, we worked to define and clearly declare an inspirational statement that brought us into the world of small business ownership.
Every business owner has a great origin story. The group will discuss their origin stories and tease out each owner’s point of view. This is a great space for the owner pair-up exercise.
Aside from the inspirational period which helped fuel each owner’s critical thinking and the nerve to step out on their own, a key aspect of a value statement is the audience. Who are “their” people that will become loyal champions of the offering? Why does that audience value what is said in the value statement? We’ll explore all of a brand’s audiences, not just buyers.
People often overlook how their value statement helps the customer and some manage to get it backward: they muddle the statement by inserting an idea about how buying their product helps the company help the world.
Questions to ask about your company:
- If your offering didn’t exist, how would the buyers’ lives be more difficult or less enjoyable?
- If everyone used your offering, what would be different?
- What would disappear or reappear in the world if your offering was adopted?
- What promise is made and kept for those that buy your offering?
- What are your buyers’ expectations using your offer?
You get the idea. By thinking deeply about the outcomes people experience, you are getting closer to understanding how your offering helps people. Which is the value we’re looking to incorporate into your statement.
There are several other steps that fill out the exercise, including researching competitor positioning, industry market share, and customer surveys, but this is a great starting place to understand where to begin building your value statement.
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