Ask yourself a very simple question: "What do you solve?"
Or, to go further, if you were asked at a cocktail party what you and your business do for its customers, what would you say?
I bet you can't answer either of those questions succinctly or, in some cases, even correctly.
And now you're wondering, "How did you know that?"
Well, the truth is I didn't.
What I do know is that so many businesses outgrow what they set out to do, or their personnel has entirely changed, so the goals and vision set out at the start of their journey are no longer relevant.
And you know what? That's fine. What's not fine is neglecting to solve this problem.
Here's why and what to do instead.
The Problem: The Evolution Dilemma
Many businesses naturally evolve over time.
Well, let's face it: if you’re not evolving, how are you staying relevant?
What started as a simple idea or a specific niche offering can morph into something entirely different as markets shift, customer demands change, or new opportunities arise.
The people who initially charted the course may no longer be steering the ship, and their original vision may no longer apply. Or, very simply, the market has moved on, and you need to adapt.
And that's okay. In fact, it's a sign of adaptability and responsiveness—a testament to the ability to pivot and seize new opportunities.
The problem arises when businesses neglect to recognise and address this evolution.
Failing to acknowledge the gap between the initial vision and current affairs can have severe consequences.
The Solution: Make your proposition a living thing
You don’t need to reinvent the wheel to remain in pole position in your industry.
Having a great value proposition isn’t about revolution but is definitely about evolution.
Moving your positioning forward over time is all part of the process, but you shouldn’t get bogged down trying to say something new, quirky, or exciting.
Quite the opposite, in fact.
When you do come to revisit your positioning, it’s rarely a complete overhaul or pivot on what you were doing before.
Instead, it should be about subtle tweaks here and there, adjusting how you appear in the minds of your audience and keeping that market fit, which we all know drives buyability.
An ever-evolving document
We’re not giving an exact timeframe to revisit your positioning; everyone is different.
There are a multitude of reasons why you might revisit your value proposition. But the baseline is that it should be revisited periodically regardless of what your landscape looks like.
It should evolve over time as your business changes, the market changes, and your audience moves on. Because let’s face it, your audience won’t stay the same forever – especially not if you’re on a growth flight path.
Your business changes as new team members join and leave, products change, and the vision of the company might change. What was true a year ago might not be true now, so it’s worth revisiting your proposition to understand if it still speaks to your values, vision, and goals.
All these subtle changes mean that you should change incrementally, not wholesale. A sudden pivot risks alienating your existing audience, but a gradual evolution is more likely to reflect who you are in the moment and speak to your audience on a good level.
Listen to the market and leverage your best asset (your customer base).
Have you ever just asked why someone has bought your services but, even better, hung around?
What about the challenges that they’re facing as a business, so you can understand their pressures and how what you’re good at fits the need? Perhaps better than ever before.
Work with them to test, learn, and refine products and processes. Even find ways to sell the service in a Beta form at a lower rate. It makes the exercise much more meaningful for both sides.
Quite often, when building out new service lines, we’ve run a three-step process:
- Proof of concept
Each phase allows us to take the product to market and sell it, albeit at a low price, transparently, as it is a new offering. Then, as we learn, we improve, optimise and move towards scaling out the offering to the broader market.
It is a much better approach than designing something in isolation.
Getting your team involved
So, you get the picture now. Your value proposition is never finished – just done for now. It should evolve with your business and reflect who you are, but beware of your team.
Not because they’ll tank your positioning but because as they change and come and go, team alignment starts to wobble.
Having your team on board and up to speed on the business mission, vision, and values and, as such, value proposition means that your positioning will reflect who you are.
And if you’ve got a cracking culture and an awesome set of people, that’s not a bad thing.
Evolving your value proposition shouldn’t be arduous; it should be a chance to celebrate how far you’ve come and how far you’re going to go. Embrace it, and get stuck in.
Final word: Avoid dissipation, embrace differentiation
Remember, it's not about clinging to a static vision but about adapting and evolving with purpose.
By addressing the evolving identity of your consultancy head-on, you can not only survive but thrive in an ever-changing world.
So, the next time you're asked, "What do you do?" you can confidently respond, knowing that your answer reflects the dynamic and valuable consultancy that you've become.
Ready to revisit your positioning but don't know where to start? Drop me a message, and let's roll up our sleeves and work together.