When Are You Going To Get A Proper Business?

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That was the question my youngest daughter asked me last week…

The conversation, like all good conversations with your children, occurred in the car on the way down Glenferrie Road to run some Monday afternoon errands.

“When are you going to get a proper business??”

“What do you mean proper?” I spluttered with indignation.

“Well one where you actually help people, you know like a coffee shop where you can yell out SOY LATTE and stuff."

“Soph, I do help people. I help people all over the world with their businesses.”

“But you don’t give them anything…”

We went on to have a very funny conversation about a bricks and mortar businesses, product versus service and how do customers (clients) know whether you have done what you said you were going to if you don’t give them anything (like a soy latte!) 

Nothing quite like a strategy session with your 8 ½ year old to force you to articulate your value proposition. Actually, it was more like the Toyota ‘Five Whys’ interrogation, but I digress…

Regardless, the conversation got me thinking about one of the key challenges those in the professional services industry have; articulating the value of the service they offer clients. 

In an increasingly commodified market the ability to demonstrate the value that will be created for the client and their business, as a direct result of working with your organisation versus another, is paramount. 

One way to achieve this is through value pricing. Sometimes people confuse value pricing with the notion that you do all the work and then ask the client to pay what they think it is worth. But no.

Value pricing helps quantify to the client the value your expertise will bring to their organisation. 

For example, at First Follower we guarantee our work will generate an increase in revenue within ninety days.

Why do we do this? Because it demonstrates to our existing, and prospective, clients that we have skin in the game. We are confident in our expertise. We have a genuine regard for growing companies and guiding them to increase revenue as well as retaining and growing high-value clients. First Follower implements its strategies with confidence using informed and proven techniques.

We attach metrics and do what we say we are going to do, be it:

·      Increase revenue;

·      Improve profitability;

·      Gain market share; and/or

·      Attract better clients for your business.

So back to Sophie in the car…’so you make people more money and they pay you money?’. And that, is it in a nutshell.

Disclaimer, and at the risk of offending all sorts of people, I have lived in Melbourne since I was 18 months old, coffee runs through my veins and I do not believe soy/almond/oat milk in anyway constitutes real coffee and can therefore cannot be helpful!

Ceinwen McNeil is the founder and managing director of client focused international strategy firm, First Follower. Drawing on over twenty years of business development and client management experience in both the public and private sectors, she founded First Follower to enable businesses to successfully navigate step growth change. Ceinwen’s direct approach, commercial acumen and exemplary stakeholder engagement skills make her a highly sought-after adviser. Visit www.firstfollower.com for more information.

Ceinwen McNeil