Problem solving to find ideas for business

Maybe you already have a business idea in mind. Maybe you have a hobby or talent that you’d like to share with others. Do you love to scrapbook and can create them for others. After all, you love creating a book to help you remember all the good times so others probably do too. Or maybe you don’t have a clue where to start. I am on a mission to make it as easy as possible for you. Because becoming an Agent of Change starts with a business idea, I’m going to give you 2 different techniques to help you discover the perfect business for you. The traditional approach and the MP laser target approach.

Traditional approach

So, traditionally, we were taught to use a Venn Diagram. (OMG, I can hear the groans already!). Okay, technically I wasn’t taught this technique with a Venn Diagram, but it works in this situation. Maybe you have seen this image online or at school:

To start, write down all the things you love to do. Maybe you sing in the school choir, are a great sketch artist or play a sport. Next, create a list of all the things you are really good at. Finally, make a third list of the things that will pay well. Once those are completed and put into a Venn Diagram (are these things really that useful?) then the sweet spot, or the business you start, would ideally be in the very center and fit into all three of these categories.

Now, there is absolutely nothing wrong with this approach. It works for many people and has for a long time. There are several reasons why this method didn’t work for me.

1) Two of the categories, the things you are good at and the things that you love to do are often the same, which makes the Venn Diagram useless (See, I knew these things weren’t foolproof!).
2) It’s really hard to tell what will pay well, because you haven’t fleshed out many of the important parts of your business plan, namely your audience, products/services, etc. So how can you know what will sell well.
3) If you are anything like me, with lots of interests and talents, this could easily be a long list that you still have to find a way to narrow down.

Mission Possible laser targeted approach to discovering your ideal business

The MP laser targeted approach is a much easier process. Find a problem and solve it.

Really. I touched on this in a previous post but it’s important to find a pain point and solve it. That becomes your business.

If you can discover a problem that a particular group of people experience and find a way to solve that problem, you have a goldmine business idea. That is a business that will most likely make money.

An example of a teen that discovered a common problem, solved it and turned that into a successful business is a girl who realized that elderly people living in assisted living often did not get any visitors. Their children had families of their own and often didn’t have the time to go and visit. (PAIN POINT). She started a business organizing visits from kids in her neighborhood.  The families would hire the neighborhood kids to go and visit their families when they couldn’t. Kids would read to the elderly, play games and go for walks. (SOLUTION)

Now, not every problem solved equals a successful business. Sometimes. the problem isn’t just enough of a problem for people to pull out their wallets. Make sure you are doing research and asking lots of questions of your potential target audience, the people whose problem you are solving. With solid research, you will know whether people would pay for your services or product.