Let's talk about problem-solution fit.

Problem-solution fit: A critical stage in a start-ups life.

A problem is a chance for you to do your best. Or let’s say, a chance for an entrepreneur to do his/her best. Before launching your business idea, you are seeking for an existing problem, so you can be the one to solve it in a way the customer finds satisfying. The main question here is: Do people want the problem to be solved? And, do they want the solution you are offering? 

You might think you have found the idea of the century, but how can you ever be sure? Would you play roulette when it comes to your (starting) business? Did not think so, since you do not want to risk losing piles of money and time. Luckily for you, there is a way to avoid all this ‘suffering’. Want to know how? Read on for a perfect problem-solution fit. 

Problem identification

When unrolling your idea into a (starting) business, always look for a problem that already exists. A common mistake starting entrepreneurs make is trying to create a problem. Please don’t, people have their own problems, just pick one you might be able to solve. What you do want to create is a solution that fits the needs of the customer. Important side note: If someone else is already offering the solution, it is a ‘no go’ for you, unless you can do it better of course, then I suggest you go for it! 

Identifying and therefore understanding people’s problem is key. Only then, you can start creating a solution that is useful for them. Keep in mind that you are all doing it for your customers, not for you. In the end, you want them to pay for the solution you are offering. 

Commit to commitment

Since you want clear insights into people’s needs, you will have to get closely in touch with people, for example during interviews. This method is much more convenient than a survey for instance, since getting to know them and pitching your idea is exactly what you want in this phase (and in every following phase). As an entrepreneur, ‘pitching’ is your middle name, and you should invest time and money to test your business idea all the time, in every phase, by pitching in. There is no better way to confirm your findings of the customer’s needs. 

The next step is creating commitment to your solution, which is come-at-able by unrolling a unique value proposition. When you have sorted out your target segment and your customer’s needs, your value proposition is the next big thing to shape. Always keep in mind what matters to them, not to you. Your all-time goal here is to solve their main problem in a unique way, in a way no one else can or will. 

Have you ticked all the above boxes? Do you know the problem, your customer’s needs and your value proposition? Now the starting pistol has been fired. Focus on the early adopters, the first group you are targeting with your solution, and from there, adjust your solution to every following target market, using the early adopters as a springboard. Never forget to validate your product-solution fit through experimentation in each phase, since that is the only way to keep pivoting and adapting until you get exactly where you want to be.  After all, adaptation is key in order to create commitment in every market you are targeting. 

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