The show Wicked Tuna follows tuna fisherman off the coast of Massachusetts. These fishermen are trying to catch enough tuna to cover their costs and bring home money to live on. Each boat is its own business. In recent episodes there are more tuna than can be sold, prices go down and as a consequence, each boat needs to catch more to cover their expenses. One fisherman was complaining that he wasn’t being paid what the tuna were worth. This is a common complaint of business people and it is because they misunderstand value.
Value is not determined by the seller. It is determined by the buyer. The law of supply and demand states that if supply is high and demand is low the value goes down. The same happens when there are too many suppliers. Designers and writers saw their pay drop when more freelancers became available. What most people fail to remember is that value changes over time. Just because what you have was valuable yesterday, doesn’t mean it will be valuable tomorrow.
You need to adjust your business based on market forces, but you also need to provide real value. Value is a matter of perception. Provide more than your customer expects then you are proving value. If you fail to meet their expectations, you are not providing value.
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