After asking for The Story to explain what the world looks like before the product / service exists and then what the world looks like after, Bizignite asks "What problem(s) does your idea solve?". It seems like a simple enough question, especially if a 30+ page narrative style business plan has been written, or the entrepreneur is looking for funding, but getting a clear concise response is rare. Usually we get a 10 minute explanation of the solution. Knowing what problem the idea solves is the nucleus of the startup business, if a problem isn't being solved there probably isn't a business.
This topic reminds me of the famous quote credited to Henry Ford "If I had asked my customers what they wanted they would have said a faster horse." Whether he said this or not, it gets to the heart of why it's so important to understand the customer's problem. In this case people wanted to get from A to B quicker, so Henry Ford, knowing this, came up with a solution to achieve this for as many people as possible.
By understanding the problem he knew what to build and how to sell it, i.e., communicate it in such a way that people recognized the problem and wanted to buy the solution. For example, "Our vehicles can get you from A to B 4 times faster than a horse." Now he didn’t say this, but you get the idea.
Truly understanding the problem your target customer has IS the key to open the door to a viable sustainable business.
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