Publications

Creating a Compelling Value Proposition

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Many companies face a fundamental problem: there is a sizeable gap between what they offer and what their customers actually value. This value gap can lead to lost sales, lower profits, commoditisation, failure to innovate and the wrong organisational structure potentially employing the wrong people. Part of the difficulty is that many companies actually misunderstand precisely what a value proposition is. A true Value Proposition is the sum of the offerings and experiences delivered to your customers, during their interactions with your organisation. Getting to the bottom of the implicit hierarchy of why customers do business with you and making it explicit is at the heart of developing your company’s value proposition.

Creating an effective value proposition requires senior sponsorship, a strong business case and the right process. There is a six-step process to help go about this in a structured and rigorous way:

1. Market

The first stage involves analysing your target markets in detail – buyers, influencers, resellers and end customers

2. Value Experience

Detailed qualitative interviews with your customers need to be had to understand their needs

3. Offerings

The third stage maps your product and service offerings against the value they deliver to your customers.

4. Prioritising Benefits

Giving too much choice merely slows purchasing decisions, being clear, direct and succinct wins.

5. Alternatives and Differentiation

This stage is where you compare your value to your competitors value. Other alternatives and substitutes are also compared, including the ‘do nothing’ and ‘we’ll do it ourselves’ customer responses.

6. Proof

The final stage is to design the evidence tools you need, such as case studies, testimonials, fact sheets and genuine total cost of ownership and return on investment models.

Article by Cindy Barnes and Helen Blake featured in The Market Magazine

“Small Companies Need Global Mindset From The Start”, Irish Exporters Association

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Small start-up companies need to develop a global mindset from the very outset, according to John Whelan, chief executive of the Irish Exporters Association (IEA).

He was speaking further to an IEA submission to the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation which urges a speeding up of the process of changeover from the existing County Enterprise Board structure to the new Local Enterprise Office (LEO) structure.

This is because it believes the current economic conditions mean that small businesses urgently need support to restructure and expand, especially into export markets.

Whelan said that small businesses must be adequately funded if they are to succeed past the first few years and must also have a competitive advantage both locally and internationally for long term success.

“This is best achieved by basing their business on new technology and supported by the latest software support systems for their business. Hence, focusing on research-based new products or services must be nurtured and supported.

“The success of the new LEO structure to support micro and small business and increase their level of export activity and expand their job creation in the process will very much depend on ensuring a clear division of the LEOs into regional centres of excellence, focused on the underlying capabilities already in place.”

LEO success will also depend on strategic issues which require the owner/manager to personally invest time and effort in processing the information and directing the research of markets, products or processes, according to Whelan.

“We believe that dedicated knowledgeable mentors will be critical for support at this strategic phase and we recommend a panel of mentors/non-executive directors be utilised to support these companies,” said Whelan

Article by Sorcha Cororcan featured in Business & Leadership

“Steps To Successful Exporting – Selecting Channel Partners” by Hugh Kelly

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Before you begin the search for a distributor or an agent, it’s always a good idea to consider what you need in a channel partner. It makes sense when you think about it, but too few companies take the time to make a check-list before they begin the process. The same check-list can be used to compare and evaluate channel partners when faced with, often, very different partner options.

To read the full article, please click here

“Steps To Successful Exporting – Distributors V Agents” by Hugh Kelly

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What’s the difference anyway and which are more cost effective?

People often use the terms distributor and sales agents as if they were interchangeable yet they are totally different. It is vital that a potential exporter understands why so that he/she can determine which offers the right solution for them.

An agent acts on behalf of the company, known as the principal, who appoints him/her. While the agent seeks out sales opportunities for the principal, legally the sale will be concluded directly between the principal and the customer. Title to the goods never passes to the agent. If the customer is not paid, the principal bears the loss. In essence, an agent acts like a directly employed sales person although he/she is not an employee and is generally rewarded differently.

In contrast, a distributor purchases goods from a supplier and then resells the goods to their customers. Title passes from the supplier to the distributor and from the distributor to the customer. So the risk of the customer not paying is carried by the distributor. To read more of Hughs article click here

“Steps To Successful Exporting – Getting Export Ready” by Hugh Kelly

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Today, exports are more important than ever to the survival and growth of many Irish manufacturers. With a carefully planned approach, the risks associated with exporting can be mitigated and companies can benefit from a substantially larger marketplace for their products.

Sustained export success can result in:

  • Higher earnings and profits;
  • Longer and more efficient production runs;
  • Greater spreading of risk, reduced dependence on any one market and potentially less cyclical demand;
  • More competitive edge through a greater exposure and awareness of international industry developments;
  • Enhanced reputation at home.

 

So where should a company interested in exporting or substantially increasing their export success start?

To read Hugh’s full article, please click here.