Have you ever experienced frustration in doing or accessing something, then had a great idea to develop to fix that problem? With technology advancements, it has never been more possible to progress that idea into a start-up business. Before launching ideas into a business, entrepreneurs should follow a structured process to assess the potential success of that idea as a start-up. In our article Start-Up Series: 7 Step Guide to Assessing Start-Up Success we promised a series of articles to help assess which of your great ideas have the potential to go all the way. Step 1 addressed the important step to define the problem your idea will solve. In Step 2 we tackle the question of determining if the solution to the problem you are solving will actually create value for the end user.
You may have in front of you the best solution in the world to a particular problem but if that solution does not create value for the customer then the solution is worthless to your target market.
The best way to explain this point is by way of example. Have you ever heard of the Plain Lazy Self Stirring Mug? It solved the problem for its customers that were too lazy to stir their own tea or coffee. Whether or not you think it is a great idea, I am sure that you will agree that a massive majority of the market will place no or little value on saving a few seconds and a little of bit effort that it takes to stir their own drink.
Here are just a few more examples of solutions that create little or no value for the customer:
- Perfect Pancake – double sided frying pan that allows you to flip your pancakes with no mess
- Bed Books – the words are printed sideways to allow for easier reading whilst lying on your side in bed
- The Privacy Scarf – we tried numerous ways to describe this one and in the end words could not do it justice, pictured below.
So how can you tell if your solution will create value for your customers? Generally common sense is a great first start. Beyond that ask some independent people, including a sample from the target market, the following questions:
- Do people care if the problem is solved?
- Will it save time or money, or will it help people to make money?
- Will people pay to have their problem solved?
The answer to all three questions above must be a yes before you proceed further. If they are not, work to determine what changes (if any) can be made to the situation that will result in three yes responses.
We encourage you to follow our Start-Up Series of articles to work through this 7 step guide to assess if one of your ideas could be a start-up success. If you want to delve into all 7 steps in one sitting, please download our Guide here. For assistance with any of these steps, please contact Robert Pitt on 3218 3900 for a no obligation discussion.
Please note that this publication is intended to provide a general summary and should not be relied upon as a substitute for personal advice.