Want Guaranteed Success as a Small Business? Solve a Problem!

I meet entrepreneurs all the time who are (over)flowing with passion about their new idea, gadget, or shiny-new-thingy. They’ve be drinking deeply from the well of their own Kool-Aid, and they can’t seem to get enough.

One of the first questions I always ask them is… “What problem are you solving?”

They usually look at me with that deer-in-the-headlights look accompanied by a “huh?”

“What’s the problem?” I ask again. You see…if you’re not solving a problem, why would someone buy your solution? As impassioned small business owners, we can be so excited about whatever it is that we offer, but IT MUST SOLVE SOMEONE’S PROBLEM.

A great example can be found in this article about Mint.com:

Staying on top of your finances can be a daunting and time-consuming task. Aaron Patzer knows that. That’s why he developed Mint.com, a free personal finance and money management platform that offers a bird’s eye view of your financial situation and offers advice on how to improve it. In fact, Mint makes money by helping you save money — based on your spending and saving habits, Mint can recommend thousands of products. If you switch those products, Mint earns a kick-back, so it’s a win-win for Mint and for the user. Given the business model, it’s not hard to see why software giant Intuit bought Mint for $170 million back in 2009. Now the Mint community is 7 million-strong, with an average age of 31 and an average annual income of $85,000.

  • The Problem: the challenge of managing all your financial accounts.
  • The Solution: an easy to use resource to track expenses, savings, and investments online or via your mobile device.

They started with a specific problem and supplied a specific solution. 

At Best Merchant Rates, that’s what we’re doing as well – providing a solution to a problem. How about you? What problem are you solving through your small business?