What’s Your Problem?

Why people struggle to take the leap from work to starting a business……

For some it is a lack of confidence in their ability, for others it is fear of failure (This is a great post on failure). Nevertheless a distinct problem I’ve noticed with those you take the first steps, is that they arrive at solutions based on assumed problems. This is why ‘the problem is the problem’ itself.

Say i’m walking through the royal golden paved streets of Tottenham and a guy in a Nike tracksuit with his hood up approaches me and says, “I’m selling studio time at £50 per hour.” I respond, “I don’t rap, sing or make beats, why would I want studio time?” Mr in the tracksuit then replies, “I know a lot of young people are trying to break into music, if you know anyone, let them know.” As you probably figured, this was a real life scenario recently, and the reality of the situation was that he had invested in leasing studio based on a solution he thought the market wanted. However, he never tested the concept with potential customers, figured out what alternatives his potential customers considered and he hadn’t built a basic hypothesis to prove or disprove. Such as, “X number of people I know make music, they revealed that ‘Y’ is their biggest pain point (that’s where curiosity should kick in), therefore I want to find out the value they would place on solution Z.”

There is so much benefit in cost effective customer testing, such as focus groups.

Step 1: Find the problem you want to solve by speaking to customers, e.g. multi-choice survey 
Step 2: Take the insight (top 3 challenges) and reach out to interview a portion of those that filled the survey in Step 1
Step 3: In the interview drill down deeper into deep rooted problems
Step 4: Test out potential solutions they value
Step 5: Find out the gap between the solution they value and how much they are willing to pay for it
Step 6: Crush it! and supply the value they are demanding

Sounds simple right? Well you can help me with my initial step and fill out my survey too: http://goo.gl/forms/BZN4u1g1Zy (thanks to those who have already responded).

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