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Methods to Finding The Ideal Product to Offer in Your Business

Understanding the following methods can be very helpful for you to know what product you can offer to the public, if you are not set on an idea just yet:

A. The Problem & Solution method

Have you ever (just as a person, with normal, human-like struggles) done something, or tried to do something and thought “Ugh, if I had {insert name of item here}, doing this would be so much easier!/I’d do it 5 times faster” or “I wish someone were to come up with something to get this thing done faster” …? Think of all those times you have had similar thoughts and see if you have a solution for them. (This is a great time to practice brainstorming! ~If you don't know what I'm talking about, then check out our first post on our business section: The Power of Brainstorming in Business

There are ways in which you can create solutions, or know of possible items that are already in the market that can serve as a solution to those every day problems.

Challenge: Carry a notebook {or make space in your phone} to create a list of those needs/solutions when they appear throughout your day. (Those problems and solutions can be as simple as the example below)

Example: When I was a child, the bottom corners of my notebooks were always messed up because I would lay my elbow on top of them while I was writing. The Problem: folded corners. The Solution: My mom put paper clips every 5 or so pages, so they would stick out straight. She used regular, silver paper clips. Imagine if she would have found cute, colorful clips or something else that wold take care of that problem? The creator of that solution would’ve paid his/her rent with my moms’ money. (Ahem… That person can still be you if you take care of a common problem everyone has, but no one has come up with a real solution to it yet)

Keep that list for a week, or until you reach… let’s say, 10 problems and solutions, and when you reach that goal (whatever it is), look through the list and see what you got. You’d be surprised at how many answers you can come up with to multiple problems just on your own! *If you’re a parent, you’re not allowed to come up with less than 15 problems and solutions! haha*

PS: If you don’t have much luck coming up with problems/solutions on your own, ask friends/family members for some insights, everyone has different needs, therefore, everyone will think of problems and solutions to solve their own problems. …Talk about expanding your mind!

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B. The Market-First Method

1. Knowing who your market is or who you would like your market to be, can help you figure some things out faster. (Like the product itself, the channel of distribution, and a bunch of other little details that come into making your product viral)

2. Choose a target market and learn about them (be more specific about your customer and don’t just say “women”) This can be broken down into categories, like demographics/psychographics: female/male, occupation, income, age, beliefs, ethnicity, etc. Study those facts; see what their problems are as a whole, and find a solution. See what their experiences are daily, or what are the experiences they go through.

Let’s say your target market is women, who are educators (of any kind), are between 30-40 years old, they earn around 65k to 75k a year, most of them are christians, all have families or plan to have families in the near future, are Americans (speak english as a first language), exercise at least once a week at home through free videos on YouTube, and spend at least an hour on Facebook and only a fourth of them have a Twitter account.

Recap: Knowing some basic information about your target market can help you understand the problem your product is solving for those people (and how to specialize it even more), how to market it to them (are you going to pay for advertisement on a $15 magazine that you know your target market does not ever buy, or will you rather pay for advertisement on YouTube or Facebook?), and how to stay in contact with the customer (through a Facebook page that engages the public, or through tweets with a bunch of hashtags?)

C. The Personal Strengths Method

Do you know yourself well? Do you know what you are truly good at? What you truly like doing? Sometimes knowing these little facts about yourself can help you tremendously when it comes to choosing the product or service you want to offer.

If you are a “numbers person” maybe you won’t feel so comfortable having a business in which you plan big events and parties (and are, of course, surrounded by chatty cathys 99% of the time), or are out on the streets talking about your product or selling door-to-door. Same goes to a “peoples person,” most likely you won’t feel comfortable doing the finances in a lonely office.

Think about what your interests are, about the things you usually find yourself doing in your free time, or what you’re passionate about. (PS. These things may be far from what you currently do for a living, don’t cry, {here’s a hug} and if yore thinking of changing careers, and now you want to have a creative business, don’t throw your finance diploma out the window just yet!) The more you know about different fields, the better.

Challenge: You think you know yourself, but believe me, sometimes you don’t, and you notice you don’t when in a moment of pressure you naturally make decisions or do things that you didn’t think you were capable of doing/making. Same goes for things you like/don’t like, and things you are good/bad at. Taking a personality test may help you know your inner self and figure this one out in just a few minutes.

PS. I thought I wasn’t good at reading, because that hobby is the one (according to me) i do the least, well, compared to other hobbies that I love (and that I feel like I spend hours a day doing,) like blogging, painting and baking. Well, happens that when I put pen to paper, I realized that I only spend about 5 hours a week baking, blogging, and painting, and I spend at least 4 hours a day just reading for my own development. (Say whaaa?)

D. The Mix & Match Method

This step is a lot like the brainstorm you had to do earlier; think of two related ideas and see if they are related at all, how they are related, and how they can be combined.

One example is fast food and delivery, put certain parts of each together and you may end up thinking of “overnight shipping”. At first it doesn’t make much sense how these three concepts are related at all, but think of fast food, it is fast; that’s all you get form this one. Now think of shipping; shipping is the delivery of your product to your customer. Now put FAST service with DELIVERY. Does overnight shipping make sense now? (This is what I called successful brainstorming. One thing leads to another and boom, you got something amazing)

Challenge: Begin a more refined list and create two columns, write ideas that may have something in common (right next to each other, if it wasn’t clear) on each column and once you are done, add a third column and see what you get between the two by coming up with a term that puts both ideas to work.


Column A Column B Column C
Fast Food Delivery Overnight Shipping
Plants Watering Irrigation System


Start thinking about these few options and don't forget to come back next Wednesday for our Business Inspiration posts to see the other half of this post!


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