Potential customers gather to solve their own problems on social networks every day. Here is how to discover unconventional opportunities.
You want to start something.
But don’t know where to begin.
And whether people need what you envision.
Well. You’re definitely at the right address. Let’s explore how social media platforms are an endless source of business ideas.
If you are anything like me, you are constantly looking to identify real problems, experienced by real people. Why? Because you want to improve your future customer's lives and have a true impact.
Personally, I like building things. And not just copy proven business models other people have already made. That’s boring.
But finding and defining problems that give way to ideas truly worthy of conceiving is tricky. I’ve found it requires two things:
The former is a skill you knew best from when you were a child. You had an endless curiosity & hunger to learn. The latter can oftentimes be a struggle as it requires you to prime yourself with a focus on what’s at the core of real problems. But for that, we need to define what a problem is first:
problem: an intricate unsettled question — thanks merriam!
Now, we can explore how to identify them with 3 signals:
Understanding the above means you can actively seek out identifying problems by scouring platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Clubhouse or Reddit. By doing this, you will train your ability to make logical deductions between WHATproblem is being experienced and WHO is experiencing it.
If you want to take it a step further, you can expand your thinking by defining WHEN they are experiencing this problem and HOW they are experiencing it.
Now, this might seem vague, but to put it simply: in order to find a problem worth solving, you need to connect it with a customer segment and the early adopters within it. Why early adopters? If you don’t know who you’re selling to, you’ll never find a repeatable business model to scale up with. An example:
A customer segment might be called Founders. An early adopter in that same segment is a specific type of Founder working in EdTech with a Business School background from Ivy League universities.
The rule of thumb for this is: ‘the more specific, the better’.
As you can imagine you can find varieties of early adopters within one segment. So, I usually aim to find 15+ early adopters in 5+ customer segments. I use a framework called SPA Treatment to help me do this:
Once you do this with much detail, you will know exactly where you can find & speak to your potential customers = in the highest total (multiplied).
Otherwise, you’ll be tapping in the dark.
When it comes to platforms I am referring to the likes of Facebook groups, Clubhouse Rooms & more as mentioned above. These are the perfect breeding ground for connecting real problems to tangible customer segments.
Platforms by nature are multifaceted. So, they invite certain target groups to gather around solving something for themselves — because they connect like-minded individuals without any friction. So if you look closely. You don’t just see WHAT Problem, you can also see the WHO, WHEN & HOW.
And voila. You can start building a proper business.
Clarify the problem by using the WWWH framework to define:
Then categorize the WHO into customer segments and early adopters so you can immediately build for them (see SPA Treatment from above).
BUT! Keep in mind these are all just assumptions. And they remain as such, until you actually validate them.
In my opinion, platforms are a truly indefinite source of problem-centric customer behavior on display. Free to take. Up for grabs.
Your job as an entrepreneur is to uncover problems that are real and frequent enough to build a repeatable business model. And to do that, you need to build where your customers are. By seeking them and speaking with them.
This was a lot I know. But it’s just a fraction of the logic contained in BOOTSTRAP OS, which will help you execute your business step-by-step.
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The toolkit to help you go from idea to independent business. Based on proven frameworks, evolved through peer-review and refined with community.
Crafted by Julian Paul.