Episode 4 - What is the problem you are trying to solve?
Updated: May 5, 2021
You have a great idea for a business. And now you want to know, what do you do next? How do you actually know if people will buy into your business model? How do you know if you actually have something that will solve a problem that there is a need for? How do you start making money off this great idea for your business solution, product or service? Tune in to this week's episode of stand out and grow to learn more.
I'm Kat Ramirez, your host of stand out and grow. I want to help your business stand out, survive, succeed and grow. building your business is really really hard. And knowing what marketing and advertising tools you need to help you become successful is extremely confusing after their years of working with thousands of businesses. I am here to help you make good business decisions. I want to help you understand the programs that are available to you so that you can stand out, survive, succeed and grow. So let's get started.
This is episode for a stand out and grow. You got this. In order for your business model to be successful, you have to solve some kind of problem. And it would be ideally better if lots of people need to solve the problem you have a solution for when I am referencing is you have to create demand for your product goods or services, so you can make money from your business model, product or service.
In this episode, we will walk through some steps to test your business idea. Today I want to talk about what problem are you trying to solve? ''
This is the model that we all need to look at, in order for our business to be successful. And the reason I bring this topic up, is because I meet with a lot of business entrepreneurs who come up with great ideas. And they approach me and say, Kat, can you listen to my business? model my business plan my business idea? And give me your thoughts? What do you think? Well, I will be the first to tell you that. I'm going to be very honest and to the point and very candid with my feedback, discussion, whatever it is that we engage in. And so I'll just give you an idea. example of one of the conversations I had with an entrepreneur because I think having this conversation is so relevant today, because we do come up with these ideas and solutions and products or whatever. But we don't think it's true, and we don't test it.
And then what happens is we put all of our money into it. And it's a failed attempt. And we don't want that to happen. I don't want that for you. And you don't want that for yourself.
So the example I want to share with you is I had an entrepreneur come to me, they had a business idea and it was about having a gas cap wrench. And so what is that? Well, there are products already out there. And basically what this product is is you if you are elderly or even quite possibly handicapped cap. This is a wrench that helps remove the gas cap off of your car gas tank. And so for an elderly person or for someone who is maybe handicapped, it's really really difficult because if you're having trouble with your hand, it's a little tight area okay to maneuver.
Well, here's the problem. Gas caps are no longer made, like they used to be in the old days. And this product was made for older models. The other problem is elderly people don't traditionally, omo at least for the people that I know are not getting their own gas or they're driving very few miles so they're not, there's not going to be a big usage there. Okay, so, um, so you have to really look back and go Wait your business model, because it has to make money for you, it's going to solve a problem a lot of people have. And so I want to walk through the steps that when you think about your business model or your business idea that you want, whether it's a product service or solution that you really put some thought into it, and you really walk through the process of testing this model before you launch because the last thing you want to do is put a lot of money into something and then find out a year from today or two years from today. You know, it's a failed attempt.
And so the best way to test things is of course to is to put it out there is to talk to people. And so one thing that I would challenge you is look at your business model now. Okay, and so the first question that you should ask yourself is is a My business model product or service solving a problem? Is it legitimately solving a problem that a lot of people need fixed?
Okay, so, you know, and it's very easy to come up with, you know, ideas and a list of problems that people need solving. You know, if you're having conversations with people, whether it's yourself, your family, your sister, your brother, whoever doesn't matter, if you're having conversations and someone says, Oh, my God, I hate doing that, then there should be a solution for that product service or problem there should be or if you have a conversation, and someone says, oh, my god that uses so much of my time, then there should be a solution for that problem.
And I'll give you I'll probably I'll let me just look back on myself because I will tell you a problem that I have all the time and I can't stand it and it's my email. I cannot get myself wrapped around going through all my email and fret. In fact, I dread looking at my email, I am now at a point where I have hired a personal assistant to go through my email and prioritize the most important emails for me to reply to.
But again, this is an awesome opportunity for any entrepreneur out there to solve this problem because I guarantee I'm not alone. I guarantee there's a lot of other people, CEOs, anyone who's out there willing to pay for some product or solution to just pillage through all my email. And quite frankly, I would love for it to apply for me. But you get what I'm saying is that's one of my biggest headaches is one of my biggest pain points.
So what I'm trying to tell you guys is as you're having conversations With people tune in, I mean, literally listen to what people are saying to you. And if something strikes a chord with you, and if something strikes a chord that just prompts you to say to yourself, oh my god, I can fix that I can solve that problem, then that's your opportunity to come up with your business idea, your business model, your business solution, your business plan, because again, every successful company out there is solving a problem of some sort. And it's to the masses. That is what's going to help you become successful. And when I say masses, masses can be niche. So don't assume that I'm saying that your solution has to solve everybody's problem. No, that's not what I'm saying.
Because it me as a CEO Okay, and my email dilemma, then the problem, the solution for my problem may just be targeting CEOs just like me who are freaking time starved and I don't have time to sit for an hour or two and just pillage through email. I don't and I don't want to. So when I say masses, please keep it in perspective because it can be a niche market. So by no means am I saying create, you know, solutions that are going to be to the, like whole universe, you know, that's almost impossible. So just keep that in mind. Okay.
So again, in having conversations with people, stay so tuned in and listen to people's problems. Because everybody has a problem. Just like mine. They may not be be the same, but they all have something that they need a solution for. So that's the first and easiest way for you to come up with your business idea, model or plan.
Okay, so let's say that you had brainstormed a few. And you took a list and you know, you wrote them down, and now you're going to test your solution. Okay, so, quite, it's very easy to test your solution on the people who had expressed their problem to you. Okay? And if that's not easy for you, you know, and depending on the money that you have available to test, your product brand solution, you know, whatever it is, you know, there are companies that do do testing for you, you know, and they're all over the place. If it's online, you can do a focus group of some sort, you know, and, and you can reach out to universities, universities usually do focus groups for entrepreneurs. So just know that you have options in regards to testing this business idea motto or plan, okay?
But what I'm saying to you is you have to test it, you got to talk to people about it. The thing that drives me insane, is when I meet someone, they say they have this great idea. You know, it's so fabulous. It's going to be like, Oh my god, it's gonna make a home run. And all this, they go on and on with me, and then they get to the point where I say, Okay, great. What is it? Oh, I can't tell you, Kat, because it's a secret. Because I don't want anybody to steal my idea. Okay, well, I'm here first and foremost, to tell you that there's not going to be anybody to steal your idea. Nobody wants to steal your idea. And if you think someone's going to steal your idea, they're not going to know the nuances and not going to work as hard as you are, and they're not going to know the background of you. idea.
So that's one thing that just drives me insane and nuts is when someone comes up to me and they tell me they have this great idea, this great plan, but they're not prepared to talk me through it. Well, how do you know it's great. If you've never talked to anybody about it? You don't. You only know it's great within yourself. And I'm going to tell you that you will not know it's great unless you start talking to people about it like real life people, and start talking to the users to potential users about it. Because it's not a great idea until you test it. And I will tell you that I'm just going to be so candid with you guys. It's one thing that drives me nuts. I'm telling you, and I do hear it a lot. I get a lot of entrepreneurs to come up to me. And so my suggestion to you if you come up to me and you want to tell me your great idea, but in the end at the end of the day, you don't tell me then I'm going to tell you, it's not a great idea till you tested until you get some feedback from other people that say, Yeah, that's a great idea. It's a great way to test it. I'm just letting you guys know.
Okay, so you are observing pain, okay, you're coming up with a list. And this is for those of you who don't already have a business model or plan, okay? And then you're brainstorming some solutions. That's the next step. You're going to brainstorm some solutions, how you're going to solve this problem, okay. And you're going to come up with a list of the solutions. And then you got to validate your idea. You got to validate the solution. This is when talking to people and testing it is a priority.
You have to you can't keep it a secret I'm telling you right now, and you can't expect everybody to sign an NDA. What is an NDA, a nondisclosure agreement. I'm sorry, not everybody's going to sign an NDA. So that is my two cents in when you have a product or service, or you're trying to build one, are you trying to come up with one? Okay, so that's one way.
So let's say you do you already have it, okay? So then you're in a skip some of these points and you're going to test it, let's say you already have a business solution or product or service, you already have one. Well, you got to test it, and you got to put it out there. And if you don't want to send it out there to the world, the universe because you're so afraid, someone's going to steal it, send it to me, I'd be happy to analyze it and test it for you. And I will tell you, though,
I'm going to be so very candid and honest about it. Because if your business solution model, product service, whatever it is, okay, is let's say, I had somebody come up to me and they said that they started in, they started an agency where they do collections, and I said, that's awesome because I am I have a problem with collections. I have a major problem, okay. And so then I said, Well, okay, what makes you different? Why should I hire you? Well, they couldn't figure out why that what they told me was they were going to go door to door and bang on doors and collect the money. And I'm like, is that realistic? Are you realistically going to go door to door and collect money? I said, because, you know, my clients are all over the US, how are you going to go door to door and collect money?
So he's, he had to really think about his model, and what his business brand was, because if he doesn't figure out a way to make himself stand out, and how is he different? How is he unique and how is he going to be better than any other collection agency for me to hire him? Okay.
So I'm hoping that resonates with you guys and you understand the route or when I the path I'm trying to take you down. I had another company who created A bicycle for children that were learning to ride a bike. And it had two wheels on the back. So one wheel on the front and two wheels on the back and the wheels are not like a it's going to be a try bike. It wasn't that it was the wheels were really close together in the back so it helped the child balance themselves so they wouldn't be afraid of the training wheels because you know, I get it. I had training wheels and when you got on the bike and you're on that bike and the training wheels were unbalanced, so your bike was like all wobbly. And it's scary as a child and if you don't overcome that you probably never will get on that bike again. Will they had a few problems with their bike.
So I'm again I know it was a laundry list of problems. First off, their pricing was out the door people were not going to pay, you know, I want to say was upwards of $200 for first time. Bye bye For a child, so they didn't test the pricing. So that was one problem. Another problem was they had the product made and created in China and when they went to manufacturing, so they manufacture product, they didn't test it. So when they got their first shipment back, every one of them was defective, every one of them so the tires on the back would not inflate. So they that was their second product. So what I'm trying to tell you, you, I'm just trying to tell you that you can lose a lot of money, you can waste a lot of money if you do not test your product goods or services.
You can I promise you, and I have a million other stories to share. But these are just a few that I am sharing with you guys. And if you want to reach out to me, I can share more and maybe I'll have a Another episode where I do share more stories of how these businesses started. And they didn't TAs and they didn't put it out there. And now they're having trouble selling their good products or services because they didn't test it. And I'm telling you guys, it's so worth the investment to test your products, goods or services. I'm telling you, I can't say it enough. You know, it is so important to do that. Okay.
So let's say that, you know, you do want to solve a problem and you don't want to come up with the solution. You're just like, I'm not that creative, or I don't want to be that innovative. I just I don't have the resources or the times. Well, guess what? There are lots of other people that have solved the problems, and you can buy into franchises. You know, and I don't know if you guys know what a franchise is. a franchise is basically someone who's created a model. So let's say it's house Cleaning. Okay, so I just I'm trying to think on the top of my head a franchise model.
So let's say it's, I think it's Mary made something like that. So let's say that you want to start a cleaning company, but you don't want to go into the whole brand and putting money into the branding and all that because you know that people in your neighborhood or people in your community, keep complaining about how they can't find a good cleaning company. So you look into the Mary made franchise and you buy into it. And so that's your solution. So you don't have to go through the process of creating your brand and your model. And all of that someone else went through all that work, someone else define the marketplace, someone else created the business plan, someone else did all that work for you.
All you have to do is buy into the franchise, and then they give you the support, and they give you the direction and everything so that you can have a successful Full business model. And so they went through all that effort to find the problem and how they solved it. Okay, so let's say that you don't have a lot of money to go into franchises, because franchises either Is it a investment up front, you know, and all of them are various, all of them are very different. So just depends on the franchise you're looking into.
So there's also networking marketing opportunities, you know, and what is a networking, marketing opportunity? Well, those are products and services where you're selling two groups of people and so the first in the that I can think of off the top of my head that you guys can relate to are like, Mary Kay, okay, Avon. Those are samples of that. So those types of business opportunities that are solving problems for people, someone has already invested all the time and energy in To those, so all it is is you going into the program, finding out someone who is part of the program, and just joining it, buying your starter kit and just going off and doing that business model. So that's another example of someone else who has come up with a solution for a problem.
And so this again, nobody and I'm not here to tell you what is good and what's best and what's right and wrong. No, that's not my job. My job is to show you the opportunities that are out there and available to you. And so, you know, this whole episode is about, you know, what is the problem you are trying to solve? And are you solving that problem? And are you making it very clear to the person that you're selling your solution to? That you're solving this problem? That's what this episode is about. And If that means that you come up with a problem, and you come up with a solution, all right, that is awesome, fantastic. If that means that you buy into a franchise model that has a solution to a problem that's already out there. Awesome, you go for it, they've already did all the groundwork, they did all the footwork. And if that means that you buy into the networking marketing program, then that's awesome, because that's another affordable way of getting into a business model as well, where they have identified the problem, and they have identified the solution. And again, they did all the groundwork and all the branding everything for you to get started.
So to wrap this up, I hope that this makes sense to you. And at the end of the day, just to recap, what I'm trying to tell you is If you currently have a business model, and you're not very clear on what the solution is, then you need to redefine it and make sure that when you're talking to people, they understand immediately what the problem you're solving, okay? And the more likely that they can understand the problem you're solving, the more likely you're going to close more business, you're going to do more business, and you're going to be able to identify the marketplace that you're trying to market to. Okay.
If you have not had a business model or plan or solution or product, and you're trying to identify one you're trying to think about how do I create my business, then when I'm telling you is start listening to people's problems, start writing them down, just really, really tune in to what people are saying around you. And that's how You come up with a solution to a problem. And I'm not saying that your solution has to be unique, like the Mark Zuckerberg, so the world. And I'm not saying that your solution has to be this incredible code or, you know, this great algorithm or anything like that. No, no, no, no, I'm saying that the solution has to be something that you can identify with and you can be passionate about,
so that you can successfully sell it, because this is going to be your baby, this is going to be yours. So you have to have some affinity for it. That's what I'm trying to tell you.
So you know, businesses that have been built on solving problems, where the CEO or founder or whoever is in place, is really has the passion and the affinity and the love For what they're doing, those are the successful ones, the ones that are trying to go out and build a business just to make money. Those are the ones that have a little tougher time. I'm not saying that you can't make money because you want to make money. I'm just saying that you're chasing money and you're not chasing solving a problem.
So think about that, as you look at your business model or plan to look at your business model. Just think about that and really ponder on it. And like I said, tested and don't be afraid to talk to people about it, because I'll tell you what, people are so fearful of talking to other people about it in fear of someone stealing their idea or stealing that model or whatever it is. And I will tell you that most people won't. You know, for an entrepreneur, it takes a lot. It takes a lot of work. It takes a lot of time and energy and not everybody is cut out for it. So don't be afraid is what I'm trying to tell you.
So the best of luck to you if you have any questions or you want me to sample your product, yes by God, I will I will more than happy tests and sample your product to send it over my way. Thank you so much. And I wish you guys the best success there is out there. Reach out to me if you need me for anything. And until next week, I will talk to you soon. Thanks a lot. Bye.
If you have listened to the standout and grow podcast recently, you have heard that we just launched a marketing consultant certification program. This 12 month program will give you the tools knowledge and confidence you need to run your own marketing consultation business to generate your passive income. Today, we are excited to offer a 40% discount to the first 25 participants. So go reserve your spot today at www.katramirez.net thank you so much for listening to this episode of stand out and grow.
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