Today I want to talk about your business, the business you may have, may want to start, and what opportunities are out there today. Really, more the purpose of how exploding the capabilities and the opportunities are. Really, how to find your business success or your next business idea. Can you find a problem and turn it into a business? That’s really what it’s all about.
Think of nothing more than you go into Starbucks, and you get the little spill sticks. How many times before they had spill sticks to stick into a coffee cup, or if you forget them, you’re in your car or something else, and there’s a little bit that spills off, or it spills on to your hand when you’re walking around? That’s all a tremendous business that somebody found, and saw: “I can have this little thing called a spill stick, stick it into a cup, and each and every cup,” and every Starbucks around has a little package of those to give out to anybody.
Of course, I always want to put a little bit of caution, there, because: Because something is a problem for you doesn’t mean it’s a problem for somebody else. When you take a look at something, and think of an issue, you also want to look at: “Who is affected? Who does the problem really harm/hurt, or would like the solution? And how big is the marketplace for that solution?”
You can’t have a solution somebody can’t pay for, not unless you can reinvent how it’s done in such a way that it lowers the cost to make it marketable. Then define and decide who’s the market. We’ve always discussed the demographics of the market. Today, most people talk of an avatar coming out from the internet days, and the emoticons, etc. Same thing, same concept. The only thing that’s sometimes is done incorrectly is they talk of an avatar, as if you’re going to have one person. It sounds good, but most products are differentiated across some demographic groups.
Start out with one. Find out, though, what others might be affected, because there most likely is more than one marketplace that really your product suits very, very well. It may be just multiple age groups, maybe mostly 35- to 44-year-olds, but it turns out that 25- to 34-year-olds are very heavily invested into the same thing, maybe because they want to mimic the people who are slightly older than them. Notice it’s not just notifying and noticing that they want that product, but they want it because they’re mimicking something of a slightly older age. That affects how you position the product.
So, you identify what problems people are having. It’s obvious in the one I just mentioned, spill sticks with Starbucks coffee. There’s also other things. Take the GPS. The GPS now, and this is more modern obviously, because we’re talking about not only GPS, but getting into mapping, and then linking it into your reminders. So all of a sudden, when you’re pulling up to the grocery store and your list of groceries that you want to buy pops up. Why? Because it was in your reminders, the GPS found it. Just you’ve created something where the applications are talking to one another.
Keep in mind you don’t necessarily have to know how to do all that programming. That’s where you have, as I mentioned in a previous episode, your virtual team, your virtual company. There’s a town nearby that you go to for a variety of different things, and as you pass over the bridge, or under the bridge, or over the river, whatever it is – all of a sudden, the list of errands pops up for all the different things that you need to go see in that town or take care of in that town. So your lists are right there on your phones.
Things are constantly being created, invented that are new that are taking advantage of the new and different technologies. Of course, we’ve seen Facebook and Twitter have been around for a while, and now we have Instagram, Pinterest, and Snapchat, and people are using those in a variety of different ways. They start out like Instagram, like Snapchat, as something that is really exchanged by young people, you know, 13 to 24, whatever. Then, overall, people start taking a look and seeing how they can use it, such as Snapchat, for business, for basically having some of those casual meetings where you’re really affecting, in a positive way, your business outcome.
While some of them come out as nice things for youngsters, then adults and businesspeople found uses to reach their markets, but also to reach the markets for the youngsters. If you have a product that’s going to focus in on those youngsters, what better way to do it than with the latest technology that they follow? Everything in social media or the internet points to major opportunities. Everything is still fluctuating, and opportunities are exploding.
As you’re examining or looking for your business idea, or you have your business idea and you want to test it or see how viable it is – don’t just ask your friends. No, that’s really not necessarily a good thing. Just take a look at Facebook when somebody goes and puts something up, and they say they’re either having a good day, bad day, whatever else is happening to them. Tons of friends come in, so many they probably don’t even know, showing overwhelming support. They put something up and it could be something that they did, and everybody tells them what a great job they did. That’s clearly a biased audience. (See episode 30)
The same thing happens. When I first went to General Motors, one of the things they would always say is: “Well, this is the kind of car my neighbor likes.” That’s fine, but you’re trying to sell cars all over the country, and your neighbor probably works for General Motors as well. They’re certainly not going to insult you by saying they really prefer another car. I would tell them: “You’re spending all your time reading the Detroit Free Press or the Detroit News, and you’re looking at the headlines, and page one, your announcement is there. Why? Because the Detroit Free Press or the Detroit News depend on you.” That great article covering the major headline might be in a national newspaper, The Washington Post, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, whichever. It might be on page 26, a one-inch space filler. It doesn’t mean that what you see close to you is representative of the marketplace.
You’ve got to find out ways to test your market out much broader to many other people than the ones that are immediately around you, or the ones that are more likely to say: “Nice job.” Here, again, is another area where the internet can really benefit you. You can go out and survey or probe people through Facebook or something else that you know the demographics of, so that you can turn around and target those people to answer your questions on what their impressions of something are, of how they would use it, whether they would like it, but don’t ask price. I’ll get to that in another episode. But these people turn around and say: “Just ask everybody how much they would pay for something.” That’s an extremely dumb question; yet, so many people try to do it that way.
Thank you so much for spending this time with me. I really appreciate it. I’m anxious to talk to you again next week. Communicate with me. If you have the app, download it, you can click on it, you can leave me an email or voice message (On iPhones and iPads, it’s in the App store; On Android systems the app is in the Play store – It’s free, I’ve paid all royalties), or you can get into the group – just request to join Life Unsettled in Facebook. Thank you very much.