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A few days ago I ran across something that the philosopher Aristotle said about money, which I instantly thought applies to offering true value in business. He said that there are 4 characteristics of money. If what you are using as money doesn't meet these 4 characteristics, it really isn't truly useful as money, or it won't last long-term.
- It must be durable
- It must be portable
- It must be divisible
- It must be intrinsically valuable.
Now, if you think about the currency we use here in the United States, it doesn't meet Aristotle's definition. Our currency isn't durable and it is no longer intrinsically valuable since it is no longer backed by gold. But that's a topic for another day.
These four characteristics got me thinking about small businesses and how we offer true value to our clients or customers. I believe we can measure the value of what we offer using these same four things.
- Does what you offer to your clients hold its value over the long term? In other words, is it durable? Can they take what they get from you (either a product or a service) and use it more than once? Does it last?
- Is what you offer portable? Can customers or clients take the product or service and apply it in a variety of situations? The wider the application of what you offer, the more useful, lasting, and dependable it is. If what I teach a small business owner can be taken and applied to more than one situation (or even more than one business) that's true value and any prospect will perceive it that way.
- Is what you offer divisible? In other words, can your services or product be broken down into parts and used, part by part, when needed. Let's say you sell a set of cleaning products for the home. If these products can be divided up and used individually for different cleaning solutions that's good thing. If there's only one way to use what you sell (either product or service) that limits the value. A great example of something not being divisible is a waffle maker. Most people believe it can be used for one thing – making waffles. Consequently, hundreds of thousands of waffle makers sit on kitchen shelves way in the back and are rarely used. Waffle makers are not divisible.
- Is what you offer intrinsically valuable? Can a customer or client take what you sold them and bank on it helping them when they really need it the most? Is it backed by your word or by your guarantee?
I believe it helps us as business owners to think about what we offer to prospects from their point of view. How can we show them that our products and services are “real currency” for them – vital to their business? The more we can do this, the better off they are. And the more we will easily find new clients and customers, too.
Want to read more about creating high value for your clients? Try “Lead Your Business, Don't Just Own it” (click here to read). Here's another blog post that helps you see how much “currency” your business has – How To Get A Broader View of Your Business (click right here).
If you need help tweaking your offers you can get a One and Done Hour with me and we'll review and make changes to what you offer and how you price it, so that it is intrinsically valuable to your prospects and clients.