What does added value mean? Well it depends on what your company has to offer.
If you are an event then added value is offering a free online viewing via TubeMogul, YouTube, UStream, and Vimeo. Also offering the in person value of meeting like-minded, brilliant, innovative influencers. It may also include shwag and some of the presentations not being available online.
If you are a consultant then added value may be drowning out the bullshit and creating viral means to actually help people make money. It is doing more walking then talking. Being a consultant may be proving your worth before you ever even get your first check. Maybe even, pause for gasp, offering people recommendations before they hire you. Maybe even being proactive and offering your twitter/Facebook/friends/clients non-evasive free consulting, I bet they hire you anyway if your first few recommendations make any difference.
If you are a farmer then added value is doing your job to the best of your ability. Producing fabulous crops, attending farmers markets, offering free samples in front of your sales items, being online, searching for places like the Wedge Co-op to sell your delicious organic LOCAL goods. Maybe even connecting with companies like Coborn Delivers.
If I was a laundromat or dry cleaner I would offer a delivery/pick up service. I would offer appointment reminders via Twitter, email, Google Calendar, and SMS (text messaging). If I owned a dry cleaning company and offered "green" cleaning, I would promote that like crazy. I would also make sure that my online presence was clean, user friendly and easy to find. I might even offer a monthly package to pick up peoples non-dry cleaning so that I could do clean/fold or hang/deliver. Then I would team up with a house cleaning service and really tackle the busy mom/executive/fraternity and clean their home and clothes for them weekly for a friendly affordable charge.
What is your added value? Are you reaching your business's full potential? Are you thinking outside the box? Just because everyone else in your industry is running their business in an atypical fashion, doesn't mean that you have to follow their lead. If you act like the pack then why should someone use your services over the person next door? People buy from friends, because they are friends. Helpful people because they learn something and other companies because they feel a certain loyalty and comfort. Think about it and get back to me.
Photo Credit d3 Dan
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--Desarae A. Veit