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What exactly is a value statement in the business world? Here’s one definition:

“A value statement is a marketing statement that a company uses to summarize why a consumer should buy a product or use a service.”

What does it mean from an investor’s point of view? It should be the first statement in a proposal that intrigues the potential investor to continue reading the proposal in hopes of collecting their investment dollars. After visiting with a dozen investment firms and reviewing proposals, value statements seem to be afterthoughts.

They’re either too industry inside jargon to understand. Or too vague that you could insert the word “broccoli” and still come to the same conclusion of ‘helping consumers find [insert word] that benefit themselves in a cost-efficient manner’. And many times, they miss the connection of why their product/business will help consumers, businesses, industries, economy and/or the society at large. And, most of all, their ROI.

Every investor I spoke with told me the key to actually reading further or caring about the proposal and ultimately investing sparks with the value statement. So what’s a good value statement? Here’s one example: 

"Lego is a platform and experience provider focused on the development of children's play and learning. The company also fosters online and in-person communities of enthusiasts of all ages. Lego's capabilities include design of compelling blocks, operations oriented toward complexity at a reasonable cost, and learning-oriented brand development.”

While the statement is specific, it’s not too complex and also focuses on what it does to help the one consumer and to our society at large – “focused on the development of children’s play and learning.” And ultimately why you should buy legos. From the revamping of their value proposition, Lego went from being in trouble in 2004 to becoming one of the world’s top toy profit maker

Several investment firms expressed they receive 1000 proposals per year. As such, they have a minimal amount of time to review each and rely on the value statement to grab their attention. So make sure it’s clear, concise and relevant to their pocket book, the economy and world we live in and the first words the investor reads.

Because it’s the value statement that keeps them reading or clicking on that little red dot that closes the document. Many times, for good.