So this may sound super backwards but whether you’re looking from a personal or a professional standpoint on problems then the good news is that a lot of the time these are a good thing. For this article we are going to focus mainly on how this applies to business, entrepreneurial ventures and the professional sides to our lives, so what the fuck am I talking about…
Problems and things that cause use pain are often linked to undesirable experiences and ones that most would prefer to stay away from but when it comes to ideas in business this is your start point for sure.
So the two parts to this are the problems and the pains:
To really get a great idea rolling or a business thriving you will need to be aware of how they apply to you and also make sure they actually exist.
There are many traps decision makers, business leaders and entrepreneurs fall victim to and they are mainly:
At the end of the day human nature includes ego and so it is vital as you play your role in your brand that you bench the ego to ensure you don’t miss the point and that is to solve a PROBLEM FOR YOUR CUSTOMERS and to do that you’ve got to keep it at the core of what you’re doing. The trap of solution first approaches will benefit from a similar tactic - bench the ego and keep your customers problem front of mind because they aren’t paying for solutions they’re paying because a problem they have is getting solved.
*solutions are important but not the start or finish but more like the vehicle between the two*
So to be super clear, your problem is the the issue you experience between what is and what could be. This leads nicely on to pain…
This is the type of pain you should be after because this pain comes with super powers in the form of brilliant insights, marketing material options and most importantly viability options of your brand, which could either save you loads of time and money (lets face we all like saving both of those) or could help pivot your approach to really hit a home run!
Pain is directly linked to your problem that you’ve established but now the question is “does anyone actually care?” You could have a great idea and a real problem to solve but if no one gives a crap then they won’t pay for it and if they won’t pay for it, well you know how that’s going to end up. So the key is once you find your problem then identify what the PERSONAL COST is related to that problem because this is the emotion behind it all and will have the major impact of your customers buying decisions.
Netflix, I think we can all agree that they’ve nailed it and are doing really well so how does this apply:
Problem = late fees, rubbish customer experience and limited stock on hard copies
Pain = time and convenience
So they’re the short answers and here comes the expanded…kind of…
How much easier is for customers to log into their online Netflix account, stream the movie they want without leaving their sofa versus having to drive to Blockbusters, look for the movie they want to realise they’re out of stock (whilst sticking to the gross carpet) then go to pay to realise they owe late fees on their last rental that they left at home - I mean when it comes customer experience there is a clear winner and that normally equates to increase in customers, increasing sales (alongside a kick ass product).
It’s why a lot of direct-to-consumer brands do so well and challenge the corporates because they’re obsessed with the consumer, which starts with “what problem are my potential customers having and what pain is it causing them?”
So to wrap it up, focus on these two connected issue and do something you probably have avoided before but fall in love with problems and pains! They will serve you well because you will be serving your customer well