How to decide on a service or product to offer with your new business is a question that creates panic in even the most confident mind. What if your choice is wrong? What if your market doesn't want that? What about all the lost time?
As we saw in Part 1, the first step in choosing a product or service is not running around asking everyone, "What's working? What's selling?" but rather to begin by making a list of things you like to talk about all day.
Two Key Questions On How To Decide On a Service to Offer
I'd like to address a couple questions you may have had about this. First, I said having a topic you enjoy discussing as the subject of your business automatically makes you enthusiastic. But haven't I, in the past, declared "Enthusiasm Is Your Enemy"?
Yes, enthusiasm is your enemy--false, oil slick enthusiasm that is the cloak of the unethical salesperson. But genuine enthusiasm? That's your friend. The root of the word enthusiasm means "in spirit", meaning you are in spirit...in the zone, time passes without you noticing because you love what you're doing, and that internal light switch is turned on. Now how does that sound as the core of your business? Pretty smart idea.
Second, what about your marketplace? What if they aren't interested in any of the things you are excited about?
Ah, now we have arrived at the crux of today's message. Take a look at this Venn diagram:
Starting to get the picture?
The Next Step of How To Decide On a Service or Product
The next step in your journey is to find out what problems people have with the topic areas you're interested in that you can solve. These are called "pain points" and I have written about them many times on this site. Here in Part 2, it's time to invest some energy in exploring each of those subjects you've written down. You will be looking for things people say about each topic that confirm there is a problem for you to fix.
You could talk to people in each target market. Book and conduct some information interviews. This is a way to get instant feedback. However, you're also required to get on the phone, which is probably outside of your comfort zone.
Another option available to you for finding pain points is data mining of Amazon reviews. Yes, in reviews of Amazon/Kindle books are buried clear descriptions of what was wrong in the buyers' lives right before they bought--what induced them to go looking for help, and why they got this book...and perhaps even most critically, what they didn't find inside to satisfy their expectation of a solution. Here is the best explanation of how to search through Amazon reviews for pain points I've found.
Yes, this is going to take you some time. Several days, perhaps. Isn't the very foundation of your business worth it, though? Don't you want to get this right the first time?
Here's a video I made to discuss this process in a little more detail:
If you don't find any pain points, either you have an untapped opportunity or no opportunity. Likely you should cross this topic off the list. Start narrowing down the opportunities.
Next, we'll look at how to start getting in front of qualified prospects.
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