The offer is the atom of business. When you disassemble the complex systems of enterprise into their most fundamental components, you end up with offers.

I’ll give you this in exchange for that.

Value propositions. Offers of employment. Strategic partnerships.

Offers aren’t perfect. They exist on a spectrum of acceptability from, “Hell yes!” to, “Uhhh… I guess so.”

Offers exist in an environment that is in flux. An amazing offer today might be an untenable one tomorrow.

The better you understand what the recipient of your offer wants, the easier it is to make an offer in the spectrum of acceptance. The better you understand what the other people in the environment want, the easier it is to build a business system.

I met a guy who built his email list through virtual conferences during Covid:

  • He offered sponsors managed advertising. Every penny they gave him would be put into marketing the event and promoting their brand.
  • He offered speakers money and exposure. He sold recordings of the conference and shared the proceeds with the speakers- as long as they promoted the event to each of their own lists.
  • He benefited by growing a list of people he could cross sell too.

He figured out how to align what each different person, including himself, wanted in order to create value for everyone.

And that’s the core challenge of entrepreneurship.

It starts with the offer, but for the offer to have any chance of succeeding, you have to know who you’re serving and what people want: today. The virtual conference worked during Covid. Now? Maybe, probably not.

What regular activity do you perform to take the pulse on what others want?