Ask “Have You Ever…” to Find the Value Your Business or Startup Should Provide

Frameworks and Processes

Finding clarity in the value you provide can give you a great sense of focus and energy. Two questions can help you find that clarity.

The first question is a question your customer might ask, “Have you ever…?” The second question answers the first with possible solutions, “What if…?”

Ask “Have You Ever…? from Your Customer’s Point of View

“Have you ever…?” can be applied to questions about,

Business Strategy

“Have you ever needed to be absolutely, positively sure your package would arrive overnight?”

“Have you ever wanted a Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) that cared about your well-being and not just your immediate medical crisis?”

Business Startup

“Have you ever wanted to share photos easily with your friends?”

“Have you ever wanted to easily network with business colleagues?”

Division or Department

“Have you ever needed a quick response to a sales proposal so you could win a major client?”

“Have you ever needed a supply chain that could maintain quality and still meet the need for large unexpected orders?”

Answer with “What if…?” from Your Point of View

The answer to the “Have you ever…” question comes from the open-to-all-opportunities question “What if…?”

Framing the answer as “What if…” opens up opportunities for answers and provides clarity.

A few example combinations of “Have you ever…” and “What if…” follow.
(These answers are my personal restatements of what could be the answers for some well-known businesses and startups.)

Business Strategy

Q: “Have you ever needed to be absolutely, positively sure your package would arrive overnight?”

A: “What if we used dedicated airplanes on a hub-and-spoke network to supply guaranteed next-day delivery?” (Federal Express)

Q: “Have you ever wanted a Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) that cared about your well-being and not just your immediate medical crisis?”

A: “What if we provided well-being classes on stress-reduction, nutrition, family planning, exercise, pain management, and more to increase our subscriber’s health and reduce long-term healthcare costs?” (Kaiser-Permanente)

Business Startup

Q: “Have you ever wanted to share photos and comments easily with your friends?”

A: “What if we created an online platform where friends and family could keep each other informed of what’s happening in their “timeline”? (Facebook)

Q: “Have you ever needed to get a quick answer from a co-worker about a project you both work on?”

A: “What if we created an online system that provided real-time communication between individuals or groups and made it easy to share files within the group?” (Slack)

Division or Department

Q: “Have you ever needed a quick response to a sales proposal so you could win a major client?”

A: “What if we created a prioritization system with dedicated specialists to handle priority proposals from significant clients?”

Q: “Have you ever needed a supply chain that could maintain quality and still meet the need for large unexpected orders?”

A: “What if we had a special Rapid Reaction Team to work with pre-qualified outsourcing vendors who act as buffers during overloads?”

So what are the “Have you ever…?” and “What if…?” questions for your business or startup?

 

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