I often meet aspiring entrepreneurs working for a company looking for the right idea in order to launch their business.
What they don’t know, is that they’re probably already aware of the problem their startup should be solving; they just haven’t figured it out.
The experience and expertise you have is a great starting point to help identify market opportunities.
To find ideas, you need to find problems. And problems are everywhere in your workplace.
Here’s a little framework I’ve used to make the good ideas come out:
Starting today, every time you begin a sentence with:
- Why can’t this…
- How come this won’t…
- Couldn’t this…
- If only this…
- Or any variation of this.
Write down the problem that follows. If nothing else, this will make you aware of the opportunities around you.
Here’s an example from my past work to get you started:
|Sending one-question surveys via email is painful.|
Once your list starts to grow, take a few minutes to score each problem on the following:
- How painful is the problem? – Is this an Hair-on-Fire problem or a Nice-to-Have?
- How many people experience this problem? – Are you the only person impacted or are all team members feeling the pain?
- How much would a solution reduce the pain? – Would it be a 5% improvement or a 10X impact on the entire organization?
- Is status quo an option? – Can the organization live with the pain caused by this problem?
- Would my boss allow the purchase of this solution? – Would there be budget available if I were to solve this problem?
Your ranking could look something like this:
|Sending one-question surveys via email is painful.||Low||1 to 5||Low||Yes||No|
Problems worth solving are typically invisible from the outside. By being stationed in the organization in a position to observe the way people work around problems, you get privileged access to create new business opportunities.
If you can find a problem that checks all the boxes, you might be able to turn a job into a B2B business opportunity.
Best of all, if you end up solving your own problem, you’ll have unique insights into the problem and possibly be passionate about solving it.
Try this out for a few weeks and see what comes of it. If you’re feeling wild, you can decide to include problems shared by other team members as well.
This will give you a broader view of the full problem set.
⚡⚡ Enjoyed this content? I go into way more detail on this subject in Lean B2B. It covers the ins and outs of finding traction in the market for B2B products. Check it out »
Download the First 6 Chapters for Free
This sampler covers the differences between B2B and Business-to-Customer (B2C) product-market validation, shows you how to define your vision for success, find early adopters, select market opportunities and assess a venture's risk. Download The First 6 Chapters Today »