The 31 Day Guide To Starting Your Own Accounting Business – Day 3 – What Problems Do You Solve?

In another article here at EzineArticles, I talked about “Target Market Segments.” If you read that article, then by now you should have developed a list of the target markets you serve, and those you think you can effectively serve. This list should be a list of categories of clients for whom you are effectively creating value,  thebusinessdaysor providing services.

It does not necessarily have to be a long list. It can be as few as one category if that is all that you are serving, can serve, or wish to serve. This is a case of no matter what you may think, size does not matter, accuracy of definition does. What you are trying to do is define you current or desired business model, not come up with something to brag about.

Today, you should be working to define what problems you are solving for you target market segments.

There is no reason for a client to retain you unless you are going to solve some problem for them. It may be a problem defined by analytical means, or it may be a problem defined by emotional needs. Either is valid.

A “Value Proposition” is the service, or bundle of services, that you provide to a particular market segment. It is what the client values enough to pay you for. bareng88

The “Value Proposition” you provide to your clients may be generic, or standard, or they may be new and innovative. They may have added features and benefits, or they may have reduced features and benefits. You may be duplicating a product or service that is already on the market, or providing one that you have developed specifically for your target segment.

You can define your value proposition by answering the following questions:

What value do your clients or customers receive from your product or service?
Which of your clients problems are you solving with your products or services?
What bundles of products and services are you offering to each target segment?

Your solutions may include the basic tax compliance and financial reporting requirements commonly referred to as “client writeup,” where value is created for your client by solving their compliance requirements. Or, you may be extending this basic service and providing analytical solutions that answer questions about business operations through reporting of exceptions and measuring of objectives.

Another solution may be the solving of some special need, such as a tax resolution service that you provide to troubled taxpayers. The taxpayer client may see value in your ability to reduce their liability or prevent seizure and sale of assets.

In some cases, you may be providing custom solutions to unique problems that a client is facing. Your value proposition may include an audit of business operations and you may be providing solutions in the form of recommendations from your operational audit or engineering survey. storygame

In each of these cases, your value proposition encompasses the entire set of client solution attributes, including price, the time frame in which the solution is provided, and client relations. The complete list of features in your value proposition is limited only by your imagination. You greatest task will be to refine your list of features to those that are material to solving your target segments needs and ignoring those which offer minimal value.

For example, your clients may value the fact that your services are delivered in hours instead of days, or days instead of weeks. Your clients may receive value from your timely updates and regular communication. Or, your clients may value that you are non-intrusive and do not bother them with excessive data and reports.

You may find that some clients value an association with you and your “brand,” or they may value your independence and lack of branding.

Each factor in the design and structure of your service delivery is a part of your value proposition. Your task is to define what you deliver as a solution, and possibly want you want to deliver as a solution. What you are delivering as a solution to each of your target market segments helps define your current business model. What you want to deliver in the way of solutions will help define what your proposed business model is. What your desired target market segment seeks in the way of solutions is what your business model should be. sportsyearly

As you read this, some of it may have caused you to reach into the “duh” part of your vocabulary, but that’s okay. It should be commonsense, and you should be able to understand it.

Business models are logical, and your business model should be logical to you. But, without a good intellectual understanding of the subject, what is obvious after reading about it, was unknown and might not have been a part of your vocabulary before.

Your task today is to write down your understanding of what you are delivering in the way of solutions to your clients in each target market segment. Don’t spend a lot of time on the particular products or services as you start your breakdown. Instead, make a list of what solutions you are providing by answering the question, “Why did your clients hire you rather than another practitioner?”


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