The more information you have, the easier it is to solve a problem. Unfortunately, entrepreneurs typically don’t have all the information they need to define the problem they’re actually trying to solve. Defining the problem correctly is absolutely essential to coming up with a business opportunity that can succeed in the market. If you define the problem incorrectly, the solution you offer the customer won’t be what they need. Here’s an example. Let’s suppose that your problem is we don’t have enough lab space. Try restating that problem by asking why until the real problem emerges.
Why? Because we don’t have room for all our researchers.
Restatement: How can we accommodate all the researchers we need?
Why? Because we have had to hire more to complete our work on time.
Restatement: How can we get more researchers without having to provide lab space?
Why? Because we don’t have the funding to add more lab space right now.
Restatement: Can we outsource some of the research to another lab?
Why? Because we need to finish the project on time. Eureka! we’ve found the REAL problem
Restatement: How can we finish the project on time? That’s a very different problem than the one we started with.
One retailer thought her problem with declining sales was how could she get more customers to her store? Going through this same process, she discovered that the problem was how could she get more customers? That led to her deciding to sell online.
Try asking why and restating your problem. You might come up with a real opportunity that solves a real need.