One of the biggest reasons business ideas fail is misidentification of the problem. Your idea may seem like the greatest thing since sliced bread but if your target audience doesn’t experience the problem you’re trying to tackle, who will pay for your solution? And in order to build a business around a problem and a solution, you’ll want to make sure you do your best to define it correctly from the start. This is the discovery stage.
Ideator offers a structured process to help entrepreneurs go from great idea to an even better business. This includes laying out the problem and solution in detail and creating an attention-grabbing elevator pitch to communicate your idea clearly and succinctly to potential customers and investors.
Our process forces you to take a hard look at the underlying problem you’re trying to solve. Not just what you think it is, but the way others see it as well. This often turns out to be more difficult than one would think. We’ve got some ways for you to make sure you’re on the right track.
Finding the Right Problem/Solution Fit
One of the best ways to identify the problem you’re really trying to solve is to interview people, especially those beyond your immediate circle of family and friends. People you don’t know have a higher probability of giving you the objective, unbiased feedback you need to ensure the problem and solution fit. They can also give you a better idea of the potential value of your idea.
How do you find these people?
Personal introductions. Ask contacts for the names of people who might have the problem you’re trying to solve. Then reach out to them and ask them about the problem: how it makes them feel, what they’ve tried to do to overcome it, etc.
Internet forums. Websites like Ideator.com connect you with early adopters by nature. Use it to run your ideas by them, and get immediate feedback. Also look to online communities where people are talking about the problem or insufficient solutions that currently exist. Connect with them and should they want to really be part of the solution, they’ll talk to you.
Go to the problem. Find out where people you believe would be in your target audience work and play, then go to those locations and ask if you can treat them to a coffee to hear their input. Prepare questions beforehand and enter into the conversation ready to learn. Be sure to spend more time listening than talking and take notes.
Collect your feedback from your various interviews and analyze it. Did they agree that they encounter the problem you’ve defined? Do they see value in your solution? What else did you learn from them?
Get creative with your outreaches. Be sure to talk with a diverse cross-section of people. The more input you get and the more time you listen (less you talk) the better you will become at knowing your potential customer and confirming the solution fits the problem. The better listener you are, the more open they’ll be to sharing details. They might even give you insights that make you re-think your entire idea.That’s ok. The true win will be when you turn them into a warm contact and leave the meeting with them saying, “I look forward to hearing updates from you – be sure to let me know when you’re ready for me to take a look!”