Value PropositionSimply stated, your value proposition is the reason a consumer should choose your product or service over someone else’s. It explains why you’re different and how you add more value or are better at solving their problem. Market that difference and you’ll see profits soar. Fail to differentiate your business and you’ll be doomed to compete on price.

I know, I know – it’s easier said than done. But here’s my “secret sauce”: Ask your top 5 customers these 5 questions. I promise you’ll find your value proposition in their answers:

  1. Why did you hire us/buy from us in the first place?
  2. What’s one thing we do that you love?
  3. What’s one thing we do that others don’t?
  4. If you were to refer us, what would you say?
  5. What are three other companies that you love?


As a small business owner, how can I motivate my employees?

Summer is here – and what with vacations and shorter work weeks it’s no surprise that employee productivity drops as much as 20% when the thermometer soars.

So here are five of my favorite phrases for helping your employees avoid a summer slump – and keeping them engaged and motivated all year long:

  1. That was my fault. Your team already knows who is responsible; you will gain their respect by owning up to your mistakes.
  2. I’m glad to have you on the team. This is one of the most motivating phrases an employee can hear from their boss.
  3. I can always count on you for_____. Be specific. People love to be recognized for the things they do better than anyone else.
  4. What do you think? Asking staff members for their opinions is crucial to letting them know their contributions matter.
  5. Thank you. Truly the two most powerful words in the English language. And your employees will never get tired of hearing them.

What would you add to the list?