Starting A Business 3: Needs to meet and Problems to Solve
We have previously identified talent, passion, knowledge, experience and skills as requirements for a successful and sustainable business. All these are but the beginning of the entrepreneurial journey. The next critical stage is to identify the needs to meet and the problems to solve with your passion, knowledge, experience and skills. The first objective of your business should be to meet the needs of people and solve their problems. It is not to make money. You can only make money if your products or services solve enough problems of others or meet sufficient needs of people.
Ask yourself the following questions and write down your responses to test the validity of your business idea.
- What is the problem I want to solve?
- How does my products or services solve that problem?
- What do people lack that I can see or observe?
- What challenges are people going through that I want to provide solution for?
- How can my business add value to the society?
If you are not very certain of your responses to the questions above, then you are probably not yet in a position to start a business. It is interesting to note that needs and problems abound everywhere. We only have to look more deeply and pay more attention to what is happening around us to discover them – do not forget that around us can be the whole world - courtesy of internet and social media.
Check it out. Identify your own needs and challenges as well as those of your neighbours. What do friends and family members complain about, and can these complaints apply to other families too? Can you identify challenges and needs to meet in your conversations and interaction with others? Can you collaborate with somebody else to confirm the needs and challenges you identify through conversations? What do people want around you that they do not presently get? Do you notice a service delivery gap that needs to be filled?
Look around, ask people, carry out a survey to gather information on the problems and challenges that exist in your area of interest. How can customers be served better with existing products or services? Can it be packaging? Can it be delivery? Be innovative and think outside the box to be different. Discover what people want and find out if you can have a business around it.
A big problem is a big opportunity for business – Vinod Khosla