Start with Value

It's all well and good wanting to start a business, but we have to find an idea...

There is often a lot of confusion at the start.

To find an idea for an enterprise, it is always worth starting from our customers' needs and from the Value that we can bring them.

To eat is indeed a timeless need of the human being. All that's left to be done is to find the competitive advantage...

  1. Define the Value

    The raison d'être of any Enterprise is to bring Value to its Customers by delivering Products.
    Before describing the Product Offers, we therefore have to understand the Values that the potential Customers expect.

    1. Values for the Individual Customer

      We have tried to reclassify the different proposed Values in a single list, which is split into 3 categories: primary Values, social Values and personal Values. Each Value is defined by a verb.

      • Primary values
        • To be alive: Eat, drink, breathe, sleep, heat, shelter, take care of our health
        • To be safe:
          • protect the person and his/her possessions
          • ensure moral safety
          • live in a stable and predictable environment
        • To optimize one's resources
          • Optimize the quality/price ratio of Products obtained
          • Invest one's financial Resources intelligently
      • Social values
        • To be accepted by others
          • Belong to a group
          • Communicate: language
        • To be recognized by others
          • Have accomplished a difficult task
          • Display the attributes of success or good taste: have important and visible Goods, be well-dressed (brands)
          • Be above others: glory, power
        • To be loved
      • Personal Values
        • To enjoy comfort
          • Ease of use of Products used (we speak therefore of the Usability Value of a Product) 
        • To have self-esteem
          • Be useful
          • Be self-confident
          • Accomplish difficult tasks
        • To have competences
          • Know how to (read, write, count...)
          • Have access to knowledge
          • Understand
        • To have pleasure
          • Excel oneself
          • Shows, Arts
          • Games, sports, tourism
          • Sex
        • To be able to get around
        • To feel free
        • To believe in a future life; wisdom
    2. Values for the Enterprise Customer

      We propose the same split for the Enterprise Values:

      • Primary values, those that enable the enterprise to live
        • To be profitable (or benefit from donations or subsidies and grants)
        • To have good Resources at their disposal: cash, personnel, premises
        • To grow
        • To respect legal rules: tax system, regulations
      • Social values, linked to the relations that the Enterprise has with the outside world: its image
        • Offer quality Products: functionalities, robustness, ease of use
        • Create quality customer-oriented Processes: distribution, after-sales service
        • Act honestly
        • Respect the environment
      • Personal values, linked to internal relations: its culture
        • Team spirit, commitment and primacy of the collective interest
        • Professionalism, responsibility
        • Ambition and innovation
        • Justice, ethics
        • Conviviality
        • Access to information

      This list could certainly be improved, but it can already help Product designers to identify the Value that they would like to bring before designing the Product.
      This approach enables Product managers to focus their attention on a specific objective, that of satisfying preselected Values, which should enable them to remain focused and not get sidetracked.

    3. The Customer plays several Roles

      The Customer is the natural Person or legal entity that the enterprise brings Value to through its Offer.
      The Customer can be an individual, a group of individuals (like a family), or a legal entity (enterprise, association, public organization...)

      Several roles are grouped together under the term Customer:

      • Decision maker: this is the person we must convince to purchase the Offer
      • Subscriber: the one who signs the purchase contract or the order
      • Recipient: the person to whom we deliver the Product
      • User: the person who derives Value from using the Product
      • Beneficiary: the person who benefits from the Service
      • Payer: the person who pays the compensation of the Offer

      The same natural personal can play different roles: but it is not always the case. In the context of successive partnerships, the same Enterprise can be both customer and suppliers of the Products.

      • Example of a fabric company for car seats; some distinguish between:
        • the direct customer (car-seat manufacturer),
        • the end customer (driver),
        • the strategic customer (automobile manufacturer)
      • Ditto with the aluminum sheet-metal manufacturer, its customer manufacturing cans, its customer Coca Cola and the end customer who drinks coke.

      These examples illustrate the fact that we must define the concept of Customer (or rather the concepts of Customer) before we begin Modeling the Enterprise.

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