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Your questions answered – getting the best from new business

Q. I’m worried that I’m not getting the most return from the business that I’m attracting. What can I do to increase my value and make each project more cost effective and profitable?
A. After the hard slog of attracting and securing a job, it’s only natural that you should want to capitalise on this. It’s up to you to add value by moving your product/service up the value curve so that it’s worth more to the customer and to you.
First and foremost, you need to believe in the value your product. How can you expect a customer to buy into your product if you don’t appreciate its value? If you have more confidence in its worth then you’ll be able to convince the customer.
They will naturally want to know why your product is worth more than what your competitors are offering. Risk removal is an important element of this and can be achieved using tools, such as guarantees, testimonials and references. A much lower risk is associated with using a recognized brand and it’s this that often attracts customers.
Providing them with a service – the next stage in the value curve – will give your product an even greater value. For example, a New York taxi driver who picks up a British passenger from the airport can easily add value by offering advice about where to visit in the city, or even providing guide books for more information. These are very small, but cost-effective ways to increase your overall value.
The next stage in the curve is to provide the ‘wow’ factor and make your service an experience for the customer. Imagine now that the taxi has a selection of music and drinks for the passenger to choose from. An experience is worth far more than the product alone – this means that you can charge more and that your product is more valuable than that of your competitors.
For optimum value, you should achieve a transformation for your customer. The circumstances can also add value and influence how much a customer is willing to pay. If the British tourist has been waiting for a taxi for an hour and there were no others available then it would transform the circumstances of that customer.
If you can crack this then you’re on to a winning formula and you’ll be able to command a much higher and justifiable price for a job which will in turn boost your bottom line.

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