Remember in the flow no. 4, communication, when we defined value as anything people will buy with their time or money?
Remember, if they see value, they’ll give you their time. If they give you their time and you continue to demonstrate value to them, they’ll be happy to give you their money in exchange for what you or your product can do for them.
To look deeper into this concept of value so you can use it to make better decisions with your time, improve your productivity, and be much more valuable to your clients, let’s use an experience we’ve all had…a trip to the Doctor.
As you can see from the map below, there are 11 steps along the journey you’ll be taking as a patient visiting this doctor.
If you notice, only the shaded steps are activities that you would likely actually pay money for. The others are considered non-value added, or wasteful steps. The four shaded steps are considered value added, because you, the patient, are actually getting value from them during the time you’re spending at those steps.
So, each activity can be filtered this way, by asking the question, “Is my customer, client, or patient in this case, willing to pay for this?”
There are three categories in this test:
- Value added: Activities and outputs your client is willing to pay you for.
- Non-Value added: Activities or outputs your client is NOT willing to pay you for.
- Non-Valued added but required: There are SOME activities that must be done, whether your client is willing to pay for them or not. An example would be filling out government mandated paperwork, things like that. This must be done, but your client doesn’t care, because it doesn’t benefit them directly.
Your visit to the doctor used up 1 hour and 45 minutes of your day, yet you actually experienced just 45 minutes of value-added time. Fully one hour of your time was wasted, non-value added time.
As you do your work to help your new client along the journey from higher ground to mutually profitable ground, ask yourself, “Is what I’m doing truly value-added? Is my client willing to pay me for this?” If the answer is no, consider eliminating the step and the activity altogether, automating it with technology, or delegating it to someone else, so you can focus on value-added activities.
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