The most successful companies solve problems.
Unless you’re interested in starting a company just so you can make business cards and prance around telling people you’re an entrepreneur, you have some homework to do before you can get started.
It doesn’t matter if you’ve recently become interested in entrepreneurship or business in general, if you’ve been studying business at USC, or if you’ve been working in business for the past 20 years, you need a solid idea for a business before you can set sail on your venture. It doesn’t have to be pretty, which we’ll talk about later, and it doesn’t have to be cool, it just needs to provide a solution to a common problem.
What Problem’s Look Like
In my experience, problems in need of solutions have always been preceded with statements like “there needs to be a way to …” and “I wish there was a way to …”, however, that’s only the tip of the iceberg. There are plenty of problems in need of solving … the key is to find them before someone else.
What Solutions Look Like
That’s up to you.
Once you find a problem in need of solving, it’s up to you to provide the world with a solution. If you’ve done your homework and know how to solve it efficiently while delighting your community, you’ll have a company people need.
How to Find Problems to Solve
You can either spend time researching a variety of markets, products, services, and potential gaps customers need filled, or you can discover problems through your own experience in the niche. The later seems to be more common amongst newer entrepreneurs, because it happens naturally. The longer you spend in a particular niche, the more familiar become with the ins and outs.
I have an idea I think could close the gap on a problem the publishing crowd faces simply because I’ve spent a few years as a publisher. It all started with “I wish there were a way to” and will eventually come to fruition after research and development.
A Question to Get You Started
If you’re interested in starting a business, but you’re not sure what the big idea is, spend time in your niche and talking with others in the community and ask yourself:
What does the community here need?
This could lead to the discover of a major problem your community wants filled.
Image by portland_mike