You have arrived at Day 3. If you are just joining this series, we are traveling through seven questions you can ask yourself to advance as an individual, and to advance your business. If you missed out on our first two questions, they were What is Broken? and What is Missing?
If you have been following along, then thank you very much for reading what I’ve put on the page. I would greatly appreciate your feedback in the form of comments or emails (eb at ellisbenus.com).
Today, on Friday the 13th, let’s ask what value we can add to ourselves and our businesses.
What value can I add?
Value is not a missing piece, nor is it a broken element. Thinking about what value a person or business can add is forward thinking required to remain competitive and competent in this ever changing world. Added value in a business could be a new service or offering. Value added to a person could be training or continuing education, or simply reading a good book. Obviously, there are far more options than those listed, what could add value to you?
Adding value to yourself as an individual or your business will help future proof both. As competitors continue to raise the bar, some businesses will keep making it over by adding value, while others fail. Recently I was in a hotel for a meeting. As I walked around I noticed the heated in-door pool, the exercise room, and the nice breakfast buffet they had available. All of these in the past were perks, now each consumer expects them. No hotel will distance itself from its competitors by offering these perks, because nearly everyone offers them today. However, failing to offer these items will most surely hurt a hotel.
What value should you add? Start with the first two questions we asked, what is broken and what is missing. After you have identified these elements, begin to think about one more piece you could add. What is something that would distance you as a business in front of your competitors? Better service? Better product? Cheaper product? With the rising gas prices Dodge and Chrysler have guaranteed people’s gas for 3 years at $2.99, this is an added value. Personally, I promise my customers a year of updates on their website. The value added is that they do not have to worry about doing anything with their website and they can focus on their business.
Individuals can add value too. If you are an employee and cannot affect the business you work for when it comes to adding value, then add the value to yourself personally. Think about what skills you could add to the old resume. What additional personal features could make you a more valuable asset of the company. Could you take some courses on public speaking or marketing? Is there a new programming language you could learn? What jobs are there inside the company that you could learn in addition to yours to make yourself invaluable and versatile?
Adding value is not an option. It is a necessity. Lots of people and companies do not add anything beyond what they already have. Normally neither last for very long in today’s marketplace. As a business you must constantly be fighting to stay ahead of your competition. As an individual, or employee, you must make sure you are constantly learning. With the advent of the internet and the plethora of free information available at your fingertips, there is no excuse to not continue your learning. Figure out what value would make your business and you better in the eyes of those you serve, be that an employer or customers.
Find the value, and Add it!
Lifehack.org has a great article titled How to Make Yourself Indispensable