Market A Solution, Not An Idea

Market A Solution, Not An Idea

Marketing | Posted by - March 31, 2017 at 12:30 am

We have met lots of entrepreneurs with lots of good ideas. Sometimes, however, having a good idea isn’t enough. As it turns out, the old adage, “If you build it, they will come,” doesn’t always hold up. As a business owner, you always need to be prepared to tell people what you do, and sell them on why they need your expertise/product.

Think about all the businesses you interact with on a regular basis and ask yourself why you purchase from them. Or, put another way, what problem are they solving? Many are obvious: dry cleaners clean our dirty clothes, grocery stores provide food when we are hungry, and hairdressers keep us groomed. It’s easy because these businesses provide the “must haves” as opposed to the “wants.”

One of our clients runs arts-based programs for school aged children. Recognizing that she had capacity in her studio on weekday afternoons, she wanted to offer after-school classes. Her marketing materials described the benefits kids would receive by taking the classes. She opened up registration and had a zero percent response rate.

Then she tweaked her marketing materials.

In version 2.0, she highlighted that after-school programming actually bought time for parents: time to run errands, time to take a coffee break while your kid is well cared for, or time to extend your day beyond the 3 p.m. school pick-up. Same program, different message. In the second version she explained the problem she was solving for time strapped parents. And guess what? The registrations started flowing in.

Our clients who work in businesses that do not provide “must have” services must be especially aware of why people should purchase from them. But regardless of the company you own, with each new offering, the question you need to ask yourself is, “What problem am I solving?” Why should someone spend their money with you, and not the guy down the street?

In your networking, in your marketing materials, and on your website, think about what problem you are solving for your customer or client. A yoga instructor eases your pain. A bookkeeper organizes the receipts in the shoebox. A class instructor can lead you to a new career.

Most entrepreneurs are highly skilled in their chosen career. But if you want to drive more traffic to your business, tell your customer the problem you can solve.

Tags: problem solving, marketing, fix my biz, business, media, business advice, business idea, entrepreneurs, solutions

Fix My Biz
Amy Ballon and Danielle Botterell frequently speak on the topic of entrepreneurship to the media, at seminars and conferences. Both women received MBAs from the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto. They founded Admiral Road Designs, which they sold in 2013 after more than 11 years. These days, the best friends continue to work together, advising other entrepreneurs via their business, Spark Consulting
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Joe Wasylyk
April 1, 2017 at 8:58 pm
What problem am I solving as a Seniorpreneur? Today seniors 50+ are basically lead out to pasture before their time. The major problem is that 'entrepreneurship programs' are unfortunately ageist and are geared towards the under 40 younger demographic. There seems to be specialized support for every group except support for the older entrepreneurs. My particular contribution to the solution is my book where I attempt to identify the economic & social benefits for seniors 50+ to become business entrepreneurs. This solution is verified in part by a recent special report on senior entrepreneurship put out by the (GEM) Global Entrepreneurship Monitor; that states the number of older adults who are self-employed outweighs that of young adults. Yet society doesn't think that people of 50 years and older still have a significant role to play in economies around the world.
Amy & Danielle
April 3, 2017 at 8:29 am
Thanks for sharing, Joe. Your book sounds interesting and topical. Indeed, lots of 50+ Canadians are turning to self-employment as a new way to work.
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